Database management is a method of coordinating the information that supports a company’s business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to users and applications and then modifying it if necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being damaged by unexpected failure. It’s a component of a company’s overall informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company 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 developed the first database systems. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a set of tables that organizes data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most popular type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require the changing of various databases.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational issues such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level determines how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of various external views (based on different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are created from data that is generic to enhance performance.