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A database is a collection of data. An address book or a phone directory are well known databases. Unlike one of these written or printed databases, with a computerized database you are not stuck with a single format. Not only can you search for a phone number, you can also search for an address, a first name, or whatever other data, or combination of data, is in the collection. When you add the fact that a computer database is not restricted to certain data like name, address, and phone number, then you really have something. You can collect any data you specify, such as part numbers, order numbers, dates, or product prices.

With a computer database you can report exactly the information you want, in the format you want. You can report sales by city. You can report part numbers by customer, by route, or by category. You can report orders by salesman. You can report sales by dollar value. You can report whatever you want. For example: What if there were a route code assigned to each customer? Then deliveries could be sorted and made by route to save time. Such data can quickly make some businesses much more profitable.


Answers Section


How is the data stored? Information is stored in a datasheet. A datasheet looks like a spreadsheet with it's many columns and rows. The rows are called records (for example, each customer is a different record). The columns are called fields. Each field contains some important attribute of each record (for example, a certain field would contain a name, another a telephone number, another a part number, or another may be an order date).

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