Database management is a system for managing the data that supports a company’s business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to the data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as 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 of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory, to supporting complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that arrange data according to an established pattern, such as one-to-many relationships It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, which were developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most well-known database type currently. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data since it eliminates the need to update several databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on costs, scalability, and other operational concerns like the layout of the physical storage. The external level is how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and could also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data to improve performance.

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