Database management is a method of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to users and applications and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the overall infrastructure of a company that aids in decision-making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) that made it possible to store and retrieve huge amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a set of tables that store data in accordance with an established pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes or fields that provide information about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are among the most well-known database type currently. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data because it does not require changing various databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational issues including the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on the various data models) and can also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.