Definition

block

A block is a contiguous set of bits or bytes that forms an identifiable unit of data. The term is used in database management, word processing, and network communication.

1) In some databases, a block is the smallest amount of data that a program can request. It is a multiple of an operating system block, which is the smallest amount of data that can be retrieved from storage or memory. Multiple blocks in a database comprise an extent.

2) In word processing, a block is a contiguous set of characters. Often it consists of a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or a set of paragraphs that is selected by the user for copying/pasting, cutting, or moving. But a block can consist of any contiguous set of characters, whether or not it forms a logical unit of text.

3) In network communication, a block is a group of data bits or bytes that is transferred as a standard unit. The size (or length) of such a block depends on the communications protocol.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchSQLServer.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

  • Database index design and optimization: Some guidelines

    What are the latest tips and tricks for database design and optimization? Check out this tip from Basit Farooq to learn more.

  • Download SQL Server Insider

    SQL Server Insider e-zine is a quarterly online publication focusing on Microsoft’s enterprise database, SQL Server. Join the editors of SearchSQLServer.com for an in-depth look into the database trends sweeping over Microsoft, including business intelligence, cloud computing and “big data.”

  • SQL Server's Data Quality Services makes cleanup a cinch

    SQL Server Data Quality Services is Microsoft’s newest data-cleansing tool. Expert Denny Cherry examines the upcoming SQL Server 2012 feature and delves into its components and processes.

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: