Database Management Services

Humans have been collecting data for a long time, be it census numbers, crop yields, or tax collection. We're obsessed with collecting and hoarding data, and in today's digital age, holding onto all this raw data is much harder than it seems. Thankfully, in the 1960s, Charles Bachman invented the first modern database, known as the Integrated Data Store. His idea was later perfected by IBM, who created the Information Management System. Nowadays, every business, no matter how larger or small, collects data of some kind. But the real question is, how do you put that data to work? That's where database management comes in. With a database management system and data expert, you can leverage your terabytes of customer purchase data or web traffic analytics to improve your business.

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What Is A Database Management System?

Databases can take many forms--hard drives, cloud storage, analog data caches, etc. But, what sets a database management system (DBMS) apart from these static storage methods is the ability to sort, organize, and retrieve specific data. A DBMS takes data in various stages of structuring and compiles it in an accessible software system. This data can be sorted by any number of qualifiers, like date, client, or many other customizable variables.

The DBMS even allows users to search for data using query functions. The system provides a quick and easy interface for an otherwise static database.

Why Do I Need One?
  • Database schema can minimize redundancy in data values
  • A DBMS provides a heightened level of privacy and security
  • Database queries allow users to quickly access relevant data, increasing efficiency and reducing the time for analytical tasks
  • Takes unorganized data and fashions it into an intelligible format
  • Database changes are automatically related to all users, so DBMS decreases data inconsistency and redundancy

Types of Database Management Systems

Every business has a different method for storing data, and plenty of different needs when it comes to sorting and retrieving data. As such, there isn't a one-size-fits-all DBMS, instead, there are multiple different systems where data is stored and accessed in specific ways.

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Distributed DBMS

A decentralized model of database management that uses a network to manage and distribute data. This is usually deployed across organizations, but can also be used to coordinate an internal network within a single company. Oracle DBMS is one example of a distributed DBMS.

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Hierarchical DBMS

A model of DBMS where data is organized according to a hierarchical tree structure. Data can be received, stored, and reported from one main node, which acts as the root. The hierarchy continues through several levels of nodes, allowing each level to house increasingly specific data. IBM IMS/DLI is one example of a hierarchical DBMS.

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Network DBMS

The network model of data management, where data is stored and accessed through various interconnected nodes within the network. Data can be sorted by any number of search parameters, including the location or client identification. IBM Netezza is an example of a network DBMS.

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Relational DBMS

The relational model is the most common type of database management system in use today. A relational DBMS uses a tabular form to represent data, where each row represents an individual record. Each record holds specific data values for predetermined attributes, which are all linked together by predefined relationships between the records. The data values are organized so that users can easily identify the relationships between them. This relational model is what makes querying possible, as well as other actions like data mining. IBM DB2 is an example of a relational DBMS.

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Object-oriented DBMS

An object-oriented DBMS is organized around objects, which represent specific actions or data values. Each object has its own unique identifier, which makes it possible to separate related objects from others. This model facilitates the process of creating new applications by simplifying the switch between different types of machine architecture. IBM DB2 pureXML is an example of an object-oriented DBMS.

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Tools for Database Management Systems

Just having a database management system isn't enough to ensure the integrity of your data. There are several tools that have been created for this purpose, which vary depending on the specific system being used.

Backup Tools

Backups are useful for protecting data from unforeseen disasters, but can also be helpful after a disaster occurs to restore backups of files that were lost or damaged during the event. The types of backup tools available range from those that simply make copies of data to those that provide testing for database security. Backup tools also vary depending on the type of DBMS being used, as well as whether a distributed, networked or relational system is in place.

Recovery Tools

Recovery tools help restore a database after it has been altered by corruption, failed updates, or other forms of damage. Recovery tools are generally used in conjunction with backup tools, although they can also be obtained independently.

Security Tools

There are many different security tools that have been created for databases. They can be either stand-alone programs or included within a recovery tool or backup program. Security tools are often designed specifically for either network or relational models, as well as specific DBMS software.

Refining DBMS For Easier Access and Data Organization

Oftentimes, businesses that handle a lot of data will hire people specifically to manage their databases, index relative data, and refine search query functions. But, it's not just large corporations that need this kind of database management. Really, any business that collects information about sales, customers, or inventory should have a system and people in place that can improve and protect a database's integrity. Having a trusted professional who can manage your database systems is critical in being able to access the right data at the right time. Data organization doesn't have to be difficult, it can actually be very exciting! Drop us a line to find out how a database manager can improve your company's data collection and refinement!

Database Management FAQs

Who is responsible for cleaning and maintaining a DBMS?

In reality, anyone who accesses the database is responsible for it's organization and effectiveness. Think of it like doing your dishes. Everyone in your family might wash their dishes when they use them, but that one person who leaves dirty plates in the sink mucks up the process for everyone. So teaching your employees how to properly handle the database is key for its success. Contracting a database manager can also help keep error rates low and improve efficiency.

As a small business, why do I need a database?

Businesses with massive customer pools and tons of data are able to make decisions that are backed up by solid evidence from that data. Smaller businesses might not find immediate benefits for decision-making processes, but having a collection of relevant client and product data can help provide insight for process refinement or overall growth. Running a business without a data collection and storage method is like taking a test and not knowing what questions you got wrong or right. Sure, you can keep going in the class, but the specific results will allow you to refine your studying approach.

What if I have a limited budget DBMS?

Most companies understand that information is the lifeblood of their business, but don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Good news! Contracting an outside company or person with DBMS experience to keep your databases in check won't take a major chunk of your budget. In reality, outsourcing can save you money because you're working with an expert who already knows the proper storage and refinement methods.

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Questions?
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