Glossary Term Definition: 

A method of storing data. In a database, data is divided up into database records; in turn, database records are divided up into database fields. The advantage of a database is that it can be sorted and searched by field contents.

Though modern databases are usually digital, a physical example of a database is a card catalog in a public library. In a card catalog, data is divided up into individual cards, which are directly analagous to database records. Each card (record) in the catalog corresponds with and describes a book. The information about each book is divided up into fields: title; author; subject; publication date; etc.

Digital databases can be in tabular format (that is, a table) in which rows represent individual records and columns constitute fields; or they can be viewed record-by-record.