Glossary: Database

A database is a group of records, all with something in common. Every database has a purpose. For instance, TOPCAT is a database of items that we have in our library and an index is a database of article descriptions.

Records are items in the database. Each record represents one item and is made up of fields, which organize bits of information within each record. For instance, a TOPCAT record describes a single book and there are fields to show the author, title, call number, etc. Databases allow us to search through records to find the information we want. In TOPCAT, you can search for all books by a particular author or containing a certain keyword.