Database management is the process for managing data that supports the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data and distribution to users and application programs and modifying it as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged due to unexpected failures. It is a component of the entire informational infrastructure of a business that aids in decision-making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts data for a wide range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a collection of tables that store data according to a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of fields called attributes that contain information about data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also easier to update data because it does not require the changing of several databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level addresses costs, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level determines how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a mixture of different external views based on different data models. It may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to enhance the performance.