Database management is a system for managing information that aids the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage, distributing it to users and application programs, modifying it as necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory, to aiding complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that arrange data according to an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and permits cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most widely used kind of database is a relational model created by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data by avoiding the need to change many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues like 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 external views based on different models of data and can include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to improve the performance.

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