Database management is a method of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it when needed as well as monitoring changes in data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s overall informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with others created the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS), which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that store data according to a particular pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most used database type currently. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to modify many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables that are computed from generic data to improve performance.