Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a company’s business operations. It includes data storage and distribution to applications and users and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being damaged due to unexpected failures. It is an element of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies developed the first database systems. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a broad range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of tables that arrange data according to a certain arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table contains a number of fields, referred to as attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most popular type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. « Ted » Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of several databases.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the way the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a mixture of external views based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.