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Glossary Of Terms

Term Definition
Attribute See Property.
Data Record Each data record in the database represents an entity - a material, a process, a supplier, etc. Each has a set of attributes or properties. There are two types of data record: specific and generic.
Datasheet The datasheet for a record displays the data values for its properties.
Database A database consists of one or more tables (datasets) which are linked together.
Filter A filter specifies a subset of records in a table.
Form The form for a table determines the properties that are displayed on the datasheet and that are available for selection purposes.
Folder Record A folder record acts as a branch of the tree. It does not have any data associated with it, but does have records below it in the tree.
Generic Record A generic data record is a record that is both a folder and a data record. Its properties span the range of properties of the specific records beneath it in the tree - that is, it is a 'fictitious' entity whose properties are an envelope around the properties of the records below it in the tree (eg. “Wrought Aluminium Alloys”).
Property Each data record in the database has a set of attributes or properties.

For a material record, these properties include its composition, strength, density, etc. For a manufacturing process record, the properties include the surface finish, tolerance, economic batch size, etc. For a supplier, the properties are the company name, address, telephone number, etc.
Record A record can either be a folder record, a data record, or a combination of the two (a generic record).
Specific Record A specific data record is a data record that is not also a folder record. It can not be subdivided, and usually represents a 'real' entity (eg. “Aluminium alloy 2014-T4”).
Table A table is a compilation of information relevant to a single type of entities (records). For example, it may contain materials and their properties, or manufacturing processes. A table can be thought of as one page of a spreadsheet: with records (eg. materials) in each row and a set of attributes (sometimes called 'properties' or 'fields') in the columns.
Tree The records in a database are organised into a hierarchical tree structure, known as an 'Identifier tree', where at an any level in the tree, groups of data records with similar properties are grouped together into folders. These folders, which may themselves have properties, are similarly grouped together into other folders. Individual records are the leaves of the tree, and folders are the branches.

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