Database management is a method of managing the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and application programs making changes as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted by unexpected failure. It is part of the entire informational infrastructure of a company that aids in decision-making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.
The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS), which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.
A database is a collection of tables that arrange data according to a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes or fields which provide information about data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most widely used type of database today. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of many sections of the databases.
The majority of DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational issues including the layout of the physical storage. The external level determines how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of external views based on different data models. It may include virtual table that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.