Database management is the process for managing information that supports the company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and application programs making changes as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is one component of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) that made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts of data for a variety of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that are organized according to some schema, such as one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table has a variety of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most well-known kind of database 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 more user-friendly. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to change several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational issues, such as the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of different external views that are based on different data models and may include virtual table that are calculated with generic data to enhance the performance.