Database management is a system of coordinating the information that supports a business’s operations. It includes data storage and distribution to users and applications and modifying it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted by unexpected failures. It is part of the informational infrastructure of a business that assists in decision making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with others created 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 purposes. From calculating inventory, to supporting complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that organizes data in accordance with a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that provide information about data entities. The most widely used type of database currently 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 more user-friendly. It is also easier to update data because it does not require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational issues such as the layout of the database’s 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 the different data models) and may include virtual tables that are created from generic data in order to improve performance.