Database Elements Field Types (continued)
Records - In the database, the system stores each individual occurrence of the entity as a record, also called an instance. Thus, while the entity might be contacts, an instance of the entity might be John Smith. For example, for the Contacts entity, every contact has its own record:
- Contact 1 record
- Contact 2 record
Fields / Attributes - Each record is made up of fields. The fields break all of the information stored about an entity into manageable chunks. For example, a contact record will include fields such as Last Name, First Name, Main Phone, Zip Code, and so on. The Last Name field in a John Smith's record would contain Smith. Each field defined in the system has a data type such as money, text, dates and numbers. The data type of a field controls the type of information that can be stored in that field.
- Contact 1 record: Last Name, First Name, Main Phone…
- Contact 2 record: Last Name, First Name, Main Phone…
The information stored for each record of a given record type is always the same. Each type of record will have a different set of fields.