Database management is a system to manage information that is essential to an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and application programs, modifying it as necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged by unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making in corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS), which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that store data according to some arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most popular type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of various databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a combination of various external views (based on the various data models) and could also include virtual tables that are constructed using generic data to improve performance.