Database management is a method of managing the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users, editing it as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws like 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 the storage and retrieve large amounts data for a variety of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of tables that store data in accordance with a specific arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, referred to as attributes, that contain information about the entities that comprise the data. The most well-known type of database currently 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 simpler to use. It also makes it easier to update data by 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 addresses cost, scalability and other operational concerns like the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on the various data models) and could also include virtual tables which are generated using generic data to improve performance.