Database management is a system of coordinating the information that is used to support a company’s business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to users and applications making edits as needed, monitoring data changes, and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s overall informational infrastructure which aids 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 enabled the storage and retrieve large amounts of data for a broad range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of tables that store data according to some scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields called attributes that represent facts about data entities. The most popular kind of database is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require the modification of certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support different types of databases by offering different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level addresses costs, scalability, and other operational issues such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on different data models) and could also include virtual tables that are constructed from generic data to improve performance.