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Database Management Basics

Database management is the method to manage information that is essential to an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and application programs and modifying it as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with others created the first database systems. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that allowed the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a variety of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of tables that store data according to a particular scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most popular database type today. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require the changing of many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational issues including the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level determines 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 that are computed using generic data to improve performance.

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