1) In computer data processing, a record is a collection of data items arranged for processing by a program. Multiple records are contained in a file or data set. The organization of data in the record is usually prescribed by the programming language that defines the record's organization and/or by the application that processes it. Typically, records can be of fixed-length or be of variable length with the length information contained within the record.

2) In a database, a record (sometimes called a row) is a group of fields within a table that are relevant to a specific entity. For example, in a table called customer contact information, a row would likely contain fields such as: ID number, name, street address, city, telephone number and so on.

3) In Virtual Telecommunications Access Method, IBM's proprietary telecommunications access method for mainframes and part of its Systems Network Architecture (SNA), a record is the unit of data that is transmitted from sender to receiver.

This was last updated in September 2005

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