1 A collection of data handled together in transfers to and from peripheral devices. Files held on backing store are frequently treated as sequences of records. The collection of data transferred as a unit is called a physical record. In contrast, the collection of data relating to one subject is then called a logical record. The number of logical records in a physical record is the blocking factor.
2 A data structure in which there are a number of named components, called fields, not necessarily of the same type. It may have variants in which some of the components, known as variant fields, are absent; the particular variant for a given value would be distinguished by a discriminant or tag field. The record is widely recognized as one of the fundamental ways of aggregating data (another being the array) and many programming languages offer direct support for data objects that take the form of records (see structured variable). Such languages permit operations upon an entire record object as well as upon its individual components.
3Another term for write, used particularly when writing the value of data that may change or disappear.