Database management is the process for managing information that supports the company’s business operations. It involves storing data and distribution to application programs and users making changes as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making in corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) which allowed for the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a broad range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that arrange data in accordance with a specific scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, known as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most well-known kind of database is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational issues including the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of external views based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are computed using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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