Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to the data and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.
A database is a collection of tables which organize data in accordance with a certain scheme, like 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 popular type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to update many sections of the database.
Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational concerns including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level focuses on how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a mixture of different external views that are based on different data models and could include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.