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  Working with databases

Databases are a type of file in which data is arranged in a structure which consists of fields, each with a specified name, length and type. The entire database consists of a number of such structures which are termed records. In addition, the database has a header at the beginning in which information on its structure is contained. This type of organisation facilitates the accurate retrieval of information and the selective extraction of data.

Obviously, users who are starting out with corpus processing or whose aims are to find strings in available text files as quickly as possible will not be concerned with databases. However, compilers of a corpus, or colleagues concerned with preparing data from corpora in tabular form, may well find that databases offer a powerful and flexible means of managing data.

Corpus Presenter can handle databases easily. The following screens show some options of the database module which is built into the program. If you load the test corpus supplied on the CD-ROM accompanying the book, you will find that it contains a number of databases the contents of which can be searched for user-specified strings as shown below.