Database Terms


Databases store data or information in tables, just like the one below:

The table allows you to see all of the records stored in the database. Tables can store many records, from a few dozen for a small database up to millions for a large company database.


Fields are the categories about which data is entered. Examples include first name, surname and date of birth. The table below has 7 fields and the field 'surname' is highlighted.


Each table contains a lot of records. A record is all of the data or information about one person or one thing. In the table below, all of the information about each cartoon character is stored in a 'row' or 'record'. Each table contains a lot of records. A record is made up of lots of individual pieces of information. The table below contains 7 records and the record for 'road runner' is highlighted.

Data Types

When creating a database table you must tell it which types of data you want to store in each field. For example, 'surname' is likely to be stored as letters and so we give it the data type 'Text'. 'Date of birth' is given the data type 'Date/Time'. Shown below are all the data types available in Microsoft Access and on the right you can see the data types used in our cartoon characters table.