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Last modified: Thursday, December 05, 2002 

(1) A space allocated for a particular item of information. A tax form, for example, contains a number of fields: one for your name, one for your Social Security number, one for your income, and so on. In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information you can access. In spreadsheets, fields are called cells.

Most fields have certain attributes associated with them. For example, some fields are numeric whereas others are textual, some are long, while others are short. In addition, every field has a name, called the field name.

In database management systems, a field can be required, optional, or calculated. A required field is one in which you must enter data, while an optional field is one you may leave blank. A calculated field is one whose value is derived from some formula involving other fields. You do not enter data into a calculated field; the system automatically determines the correct value.

A collection of fields is called a record.

(2) The phrase in the field refers to any geographical location other than the factory or office where a product was created. Similarly, a field representative is an employee who represents a company in distant locations.

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