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Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing information that supports a company’s business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to users and applications, modifying it as necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being damaged by unexpected failures. It’s a component of a company’s informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and corporate growth, 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which enabled the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a collection of tables that arrange data in accordance with a specific pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are the most popular database type currently. This design is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also easier to update data because it does not require changing several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support various types of databases, by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational concerns including the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views based on different data models. It may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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