A method for describing a database query originally developed by IBM for mainframes. A replica of an empty record is displayed and the search conditions are typed in under their respective columns (fields). This visual approach has been adopted by nearly every modern query program. Although there are differences from one to another with regard to expressing complicated queries, everything is selected from a menu by the user. The program turns the visual query into the command language, such as SQL, necessary to interrogate the database.
Query By Example (QBE)
This query selects all Pennsylvania records that have a balance due of $5000 or more.