Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It includes data storage and distribution to users and applications and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from getting damaged due to unexpected failure. It is part of the overall infrastructure of a business that assists in decision making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) that allowed the storage and retrieve large amounts of data for a wide range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources 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 allow cross-references among tables. Each table contains a number of fields, known as attributes, that contain information about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are the most popular database type currently. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the necessity of changing many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, as well as 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 include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.