Database management is the system for managing information that supports the business operations of an organization. It involves storing data and distribution to application programs and users, modifying it as necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from getting corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s 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.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed 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 aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is tables that are organized according to a particular pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permit 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 well-known type of database today is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it easier to update data since it eliminates the need to change several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level addresses costs, scalability, and other operational concerns like the layout of the physical storage. 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 also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to enhance the performance.