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Definition: database

A set of related files that is created and managed by a database management system (DBMS). Today, most DBMSs can manage any form of data including text, images, sound and video. Database and file structures are always determined by the software. As far as the hardware is concerned, all data are simply "bits and bytes." See DBMS.

Data Are Bits and Bytes
To the hardware, data are nothing more than bits and bytes. The software determines the format of the data and how to handle it. To understand data and file structures, review the hierarchy and terms in this illustration.