Andréa Sumé

Database Management Basics

Database management is a system to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall infrastructure of a company that supports decision making, corporate growth, and 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 evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data according to an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes, or fields, that contain information about data entities. The most well-known type of database currently is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require changing many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational concerns like the layout of the physical storage. The external level focuses on how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of different external views (based on the different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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