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Chapter 27. Outlook Essentials > How Outlook Stores Your Data

How Outlook Stores Your Data

Outlook stores many types of information in a simple flat-file database. In Outlook parlance, each record in this database is an item, and the type of item—email message, contact, appointment, and so on—defines which fields are available for entering and displaying information. Each of Outlook's default folders displays items of a single type, and you can create new folders as well.

Note

Outlook's flat-file architecture makes it fast, but it also means it's incapable of some fairly basic one-to-many (page 976) tasks. For example, if a number of items in your Contacts folder belong to people who work for the same company, you have to update each one individually if the company changes its name or phone number. If the structure of the database were relational, you could create a many-to-one (page 976) relationship between the contacts and the company and update all contacts by changing the company record.



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