Understanding Databases – Glossary Of Terms


A logical operator that is used in queries to state that values must satisfy all of the set criteria.


A feature that can be attributed to data under a certain field (often the primary key) of a table that will automatically create a unique number for each entry. Best used with ‘integer’ data type.


The separate areas/titles in a table, which form the columns. For instance, First Name may be one field, Surname may be another.

Foreign Key

A key from a second table that is related to the first. E.g. Table A may have Item Code as the primary key, linked to ID number in table B which is the foreign key


An on-screen user interface for entering, modifying or viewing data records.


A positive or negative whole number or zero, with no decimals.


A logical operator that is used in queries to state that values must satisfy at least one of two or more criteria.

Primary Key

A field which uniquely identifies a record, e.g. Staff ID number or Item Barcode. The database creator can specify which field to set as the primary key. If none of the existing fields have unique identifiers, the autovalue feature can be set for integers to create a unique ID for each record.


A method of extracting specific data from one or more tables. This is done by using the Wizard (simplest method) or Structured Query Language (SQL) (complex method).


Data that is stored in a table, under a particular field. Records form the rows of a table.


A method of linking records between tables to save repeating the same data. E.g. Names in one table, phone numbers in another, linked by staff ID number. Data cannot be altered in a secondary table without the primary table being altered first to preserve integrity.


A report is an output displaying specific records from a database. Reports can display data directly from tables or queries and exports them to a document which can be saved or printed.


A table contains fields (columns) and records (rows), that store data. There is no limit on the number of tables that can be created within a database.


Characters including * and ? that are used in searches or queries to represent one or more other characters.