An ordered set of fields, usually stored contiguously. The term is used with similar meaning in several different contexts. In a file, a "record" probably has some fixed length, in contrast to a "line" which may have any length and is terminated by some End Of Line sequence). A database record is also called a "row". In a spreadsheet it is always called a "row". Some programming languages use the term to mean a type composed of fields of several other types (C calls this a "struct").In all these cases, a record represents an entity with certain field values. Fields may be of a fixed width (bits or characters) or they may be separated by a delimiter character, often comma (CSV) or HT (TSV). In a database the list of values of a given field from all records is called a column.
Last updated: 2002-03-22