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Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing information that supports the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage and distribution to application programs and users and modifying it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that supports decision making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables which organize data according to an established pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. Relational models, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are the most used database type in the present. The design 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 various databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is concerned with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of different external views (based on the various data models) and may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve performance.

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