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Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of coordinating the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications and modifying it as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from being damaged due to unexpected failures. It is an integral part of the overall informational infrastructure of a business that supports decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like 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) that enabled the storage and retrieve large amounts of data for a broad range of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a collection of tables which organize data in accordance with a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table contains a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. The most popular type of database currently is a relational model designed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to change many sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational concerns, such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on the various data models) and can also include virtual tables that are created from data that is generic to enhance performance.

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