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Data management software (DMS) is software that takes in data and converts various kinds of data into a single storage container, or aggregates diverse data into a consistent resource, such as a database. In many cases, the specific term is used interchangeable with the broader term data management software, in which many data management resources may direct the incoming data to a database or series of databases.
Within the realm of database management software, common applications like MS Access, Visual FoxPro or SQL help to handle different kinds of data within their respective databases or data containers. Apart from just taking in data, data management software often contemplates other long-term goals, such as comprehensive security for data, data integrity and interactive queries. The ability of data management software to handle different types of queries is crucial to its role in supplying the aggregated data when it's needed. In addition, data management software may also look at the life cycle of data to provide security in all phases: during the generation of data, during data storage, and during eventual data disposal. Data managers may need to set time frames for data life cycles in order to control the maintenance burden on a system and to answer key questions about data security and compliance with standards or regulations pertinent to an industry or field.