Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2009 Edition

Database Management System

  • Pat Helland
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_662




A database management system is a software-based system to provide application access to data in a controlled and managed fashion. By allowing separate definition of the structure of the data, the database management system frees the application from many of the onerous details in the care and feeding of its data.

Historical Background

The first general purpose database systems emerged in the 1960s and represented their data in the network data model which presumes that portions of the data (typically called records) would explicitly reference any related data items in a graph (or network). The model was standardized as the CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Languages) model and remained a strong influence on database systems into the 1980s.

In the late 1960s, the hierarchical data modelemerged as exemplified by IBM’s IMS (Information Management System). In the hierarchical data model, data was oriented in a hierarchy and the most natural form of navigation...

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Recommended Reading

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    Gray J. Data management: past, present, and future. IEEE Comput., 29(10):38–46, 1996.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Helland
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft CorporationRedmondUSA