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Database management is a method of managing the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it when needed as well as monitoring changes in data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is one component of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure, which supports 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 among others came up with the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that arrange data according to a particular arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table has a variety of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most widely used type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the need to change 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 is focused on cost, scalability, and other operational issues like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of different external views based on different models of data and may include virtual table that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.