What Is Record in Data Structure in C?

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Angela Bailey

What Is Record in Data Structure in C?

A record, also known as a structure, is a composite data type in C that allows you to store multiple variables of different data types under a single name. It is a fundamental concept in data structures and plays a vital role in organizing and manipulating data efficiently.

Defining a Record

To define a record in C, you use the struct keyword followed by the name of the record. Inside the record, you can declare variables of different data types that represent the characteristics or attributes of the entity you are modeling.

For example, consider modeling a student entity:

struct Student {
    int id;
    char name[50];
    float gpa;
};

In this example, we define a record named Student that contains three variables: an integer variable id, which represents the student’s identification number, a character array name, which stores the student’s name, and a floating-point variable gpa, which represents their grade point average.

Accessing Record Members

To access individual members of a record, you use the dot operator (.) followed by the member name. For example:

struct Student s1;
s1.id = 123456;
s1.name = "John Doe";
s1.gpa = 3.75;

In this code snippet, we create an instance of the Student record named s1. We then access each member using the dot operator to assign values to them.

Nesting Records

Records can also be nested within other records, allowing you to represent complex data structures. This is commonly known as a nested structure. For example:

struct Date {
    int day;
    int month;
    int year;
};

struct Event {
    char name[100];
    struct Date date;
};

In this example, we define two records: Date and Event. The Event record contains a member named date, which is of type Date. By nesting records, you can group related data together and access them in a hierarchical manner.

Using Records in Data Structures

Records are widely used in various data structures to organize and manage collections of data efficiently. For example, you can use records to represent nodes in linked lists, vertices in graphs, or entries in hash tables.

Linked List Node Example:

struct Node {
    int data;
    struct Node* next;
};

In this example, we define a record named Node, which represents a node in a singly linked list. It contains an integer variable data, which stores the actual data, and a pointer variable next, which points to the next node in the list.

Conclusion

The record is an essential concept in C’s data structures that allows you to group variables of different types under a single name. It provides a way to organize and manipulate complex data efficiently. By understanding how to define, access, and nest records, you can effectively utilize them in your C programs.

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