Database management is the method for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to applications and users making changes as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure It is part of the informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) that made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts of data for a broad range of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that arrange data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, known as attributes, that contain information about the data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also easier to update data because it does not require the changing of many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs support different types of databases by offering different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a combination of different external views (based on the different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from data that is generic to enhance performance.