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Database Terminology

Before you create a database, you should familiarize yourself with some basic database terminology and concepts. Following is a list of database terms you will encounter throughout this chapter, along with a brief definition of each term:

  • Field: On a fill-in-the-blanks form, fields are the blanks. You type a unique piece of data (such as last name, first name, or middle initial) into each field.

  • Record: A completed form. Each record contains data for a specific person, place, or thing. In a recipe database, for example, each recipe is a record.

  • Form: A fill-in-the-blanks document you use to type entries into your database. It is just like a form you would fill out to apply for a new credit card.

  • Sort: To rearrange records in alphabetical or numerical order based on the entries in a particular field. For example, you might sort records in a phone/address database alphabetically by last name.

  • Filter: To display a select group of records in a database. For example, you might filter out all records in a phone/address database except those records that have “Chicago” as the city entry.

  • Table: A way of displaying records in a database other than by using forms. A table is laid out in a worksheet format, consisting of rows and columns that intersect to form cells. Each record is contained in its own row and consists of field entries, each of which is typed in its own cell.

  • Pivot Table: A report that consolidates data in worksheets and databases and enables you to restructure the data to compare and analyze it.


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