Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it as required and monitoring changes to the data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s informational infrastructure, which 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that store data according to a particular scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records, and also allows cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of fields, also known as attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to update many sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on the various data models) and may also include virtual tables that are created from generic data to improve performance.

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