Database management is the process for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users and editing it as required and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the informational infrastructure of a company that supports decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which made it possible to store and retrieve massive amounts of data for a variety of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data in accordance with an established pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table contains a number of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. The most widely used type of database currently 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 simpler to use. It also makes it easier to update data since it eliminates the necessity of changing different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It can include a mixture of different external views based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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