Database management is the process to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users making edits as needed and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an element of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making, corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS), which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that arrange data according to some scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, known as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most well-known database type in the present. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it easier to update data, avoiding the necessity of changing several databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views based on different data models. It may include virtual table that are calculated using generic data to improve the performance.