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data type

In programming, classification of a particular type of information. It is easy for humans to distinguish between different types of data. We can usually tell at a glance whether a number is a percentage, a time, or an amount of money. We do this through special symbols -- %, :, and $ -- that indicate the data's type. Similarly, a computer uses special internal codes to keep track of the different types of data it processes.

Most programming languages require the programmer to declare the data type of every data object, and most database systems require the user to specify the type of each data field. The available data types vary from one programming language to another, and from one database application to another, but the following usually exist in one form or another:

  • integer : In more common parlance, whole number; a number that has no fractional part.
  • floating-point :A number with a decimal point. For example, 3 is an integer, but 3.5 is a floating-point number.
  • character (text ): Readable text

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