Database management is a system of managing information that supports a business’s operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users and modifying it as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged by unexpected failures. It is part of the informational infrastructure of a company which supports decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS), which allowed massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a set 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 permits cross-references among tables. Each table contains a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability and other operational issues such as the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level focuses on how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of external views based on different data models. It could include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to enhance the performance.

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