Field (Computer Science)

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Field (computer science)

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In computer science, data that has several parts can be divided into fields. For example, a computer may represent today's date as three distinct fields: the day, the month and the year.

Programming languages usually have a record data type to represent composite data types as a series of fields. An array of boolean values can be represented as a bit field.

Relational databases arrange data as sets of database records, also called rows. Each record consists of several fields; the fields of all records form the columns.

In object-oriented programming, field (also called data member or member variable) is the data encapsulated within a class or object. In the case of a regular field (also called instance variable), for each instance of the object there is an instance variable: for example, an Employee class has a Name field and there is one distinct name per employee. A static field (also called class variable) is one variable, which is shared by all instances.
[edit] See also

* class variable
* instance variable
* key field
* record
* n-tuple
* attribute (computing)
* data hierarchy

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