Database Management Basics

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Database management is the process for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data and distribution to users and applications, modifying it as necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming damaged by unexpected failures. It is a part of a company’s total informational infrastructure which aids in decision making, corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that organizes data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a collection of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. Relational models, which were developed by E. F. “TedCodd Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most used database type currently. This model is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it easier to update data, avoiding the need to update several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational concerns including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated using generic data to improve performance.