Database management is a system to manage information that is essential to an organization's business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is one component of a company's overall informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws like 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 information management systems (IMS) which allowed the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a variety of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a collection of tables that store data in accordance with the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. The most popular type of database currently is a relational model, designed by E. F. "Ted" Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the need to change different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views based on different data models and can include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to enhance the performance.