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The History of Database Management Systems

With the hot new buzz about data management systems, you would have thought that they are a very recent invention. In fact, that is not true at all. Simple electromagnetic databases have existed even in the earliest electronic computers. In fact, it is hard for any computer to operate without a database infrastructure behind it. In this article, I'll give you the history of database management systems.

If you think about it, database management systems have even existed for thousands of years. However, in the earlier days they were recorded without computers, with crude accounting systems that banks used to use over a 500 years ago.

However, when most people talk about database management systems, they refer to one of an electronic nature. This is where electromagnetic storage of information takes place, is organized and can be recalled later with a set of commands.

At first, database management systems are very crude, as there was always a memory problem with the earlier electronic computers. In fact, Bill Gates was quoted as saying in 1981 that 640K memory ought to be enough for anybody. Ha!

Around the 1960s, the earliest of electromagnetic database storage was used only by those who could afford it, because of its extremely high expense. In fact, whereas today databases are used for research purposes, at this time computers were themselves considered a research project.

It wasn't until the 1970s, when memory was able to be increased and component prices began to decrease, was there any real headway with database management systems. It was at this time that a number of different problems started coming up, as related to information management on the computers. With all these problems surfacing, a solution was needed.

In the 1980 all the major vendors who sold hardware systems started incorporating database management systems into their computers for a systematic solution.

At first, these database management systems were very specific to the computer and to the user. IBM was one of the leaders in this category, but soon many clones and competitors entered into the marketplace, all at varying price points with different and alternative solutions.

With the advent of the 90s, the shift turned from having an accurate database management system, to having one that was easily maintainable. This is because memory capacity started to grow, as well as the creation and spread of information. This is when some of the more sophisticated database management systems at the market.

Currently, the focus is on completely automating most of the database management administration.

Want to learn more? Steven Ross is an expert in Database Management Systems and has written many more articles on the topic at: http://www.databasemanagement101.com
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