The database approach is possible because of the database management system (DBMS). As shown in Figure 4.2, the DBMS is a software program that sits between the actual data stored in the system and the application programs that use the data. As shown in Figure 4.4, this allows users to separate the way they view the data (called the logical view) from the way the data is actually stored (the physical view). The DBMS interprets the users' requests and retrieves, manipulates, or stores the data as needed. The two distinct views separate the applications from the physical information, providing increased flexibility in applications, improved data security, and ease of use.
In a database system the manager will rarely, if ever, need to understand or be familiar with the physical view of the data. In most instances, the internal auditor and the programmer will not need to understand or be familiar with the physical view of the data. Most everything they do requires only an understanding of the logical view of the data.