Database management is the method for managing data that supports the organization’s business processes. It involves storing and distributing data it to users and applications, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a part of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure which aids in decision making, corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS), which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory, to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.
A database consists of tables that arrange data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, referred to as attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also simpler to update data because it does not require the changing of certain sections of the database.
Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational issues including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on different data models) and could also include virtual tables that are constructed using generic data to improve performance.