The Historical Origin of Software and Data Management

As we known, in the ancient time, even the tools for recording were not useful, not to mention recording the data. Rather than studying the evaluation of database, it is better to say that we study the process of recording in the early era.

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In the middle east, estimated 8000 B.C. , small tokens which were used for keep track of information were found to represent commodities(sheep or grain).

Later, in Babylon around 3500 B.C. The notations that scribes made in clay tables to represent economic activities, including totals and subtotals, could be considered as early balance sheets. However, coined money, invented by Greece and Rome, moved society away from recording value and quantity of merchandise, which improved the method of recording people’s transactions. Data management systems originated from recording transactions in business, science, and commerce. In addition, data primarily consisted of numbers and characters. During six thousand years, technological evolved from clay table to papyrus to parchment and then to paper. Furthermore, data representation innovations, like phonetic alphabets and ledgers, appeared, which were great changes. However, the data management system was still on manual in the early era.

Later, punch card, a piece of stiff paper in which holes are punched in predefined positions to represent data, were invited to input, output and storage data. At the end of the 1800s, Herman Hollerith invited punched card data processing technology for the 1890 US census. The invention of punched card, providing data read by machined not by human, met the needs of large and complex firms, an efficient way to process and collect data. Furthermore, In 1890, as the memory of a mechanical tabulating machine, punched cards were adapted by Herman Hollerith for weaving looms. Initially, the dynamoelectric machines only counted holes, but by the 1920s they had units to implement basic arithmetic operations. In 1924, the Tabulating Machine Company, founded by Hollerith, was renamed from Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company(CTR) to International Business Machines Corporation(IBM) which was widely used in the 20th due to the WWII.

Because of the needs of computing technology, the first computer was invented in 1946. Four years later, replacing punched cards and tabulating machines, IBM model computer offered an more efficient way for commercial use. However, the nature of data management did not change radically.

In 1964, the first Data Base Management System (DBMS) software, IBM’s system 360, was introduced for disk storage, computer terminals and mini computers, which introduced a new concept that data should be managed independently without application programs and users. As time goes by, data were used not only for commercial use but also for marketing, personnel and production. In addition, other DBMS software appeared for first computers. Management information systems (MIS), for example, emphasized that not only can manage data efficiently, computer technology also helps make decision. Another software, Local Area Networks(LAN), tries to deconcentrate the data processing environment and allows minicomputer to talk to each other. Compared with early system, todays DBMS applies relational databases rather than categories and subcategories. In addition, advanced analytical software can find out schema in large database and abstract the meaning.

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The historical origin of software and Data management. (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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