Database Management Basics

May 17, 2023

By Raffy Luquis

Database management is the process for managing information that aids the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users, editing it as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is part of the entire informational infrastructure of a business that supports decision making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws like the GDPR and the 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 range of purposes. From calculating inventory to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that organizes data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of attributes or fields that contain information about data entities. The most popular kind of database is a relational model, designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it easier to update data by avoiding the need to modify various databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is focused on costs, scalability and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of different external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are computed from data that is generic to enhance performance.