Database management is a system of managing information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications, editing it as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the entire informational infrastructure of a company that aids in decision-making in corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) that made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts of data for a variety of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of tables that store data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, developed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn’t require changing various databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support various types of databases, by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of external views based on different data models and can include virtual tables that are calculated with generic data to enhance the performance.