What Is Records in Data Structure?


Heather Bennett

Records in Data Structure

A record is a data structure that allows you to store multiple pieces of related information together. It is also known as a struct or a composite data type. In many programming languages, such as C, C++, and Java, records are used extensively to represent complex data structures.

Defining a Record

To define a record, you need to specify the data types and names of its individual fields. Each field in the record can have its own data type, such as integer, float, character, or even another record. Let’s take a look at an example:

record Person {
  string name;
  int age;
  string address;

In this example, we define a record called “Person” that has three fields: name (of type string), age (of type int), and address (also of type string).

Accessing Record Fields

To access the individual fields of a record, you use the dot operator (.). For example:

Person person1;
person1.name = "John Doe";
person1.age = 25;
person1.address = "123 Main St";

In this code snippet, we create an instance of the Person record called “person1” and assign values to its fields. We can then access these fields using the dot operator.

Using Records in Data Structures

Records are often used as building blocks for more complex data structures. For example, you can create an array or linked list of records to represent a collection of related information.

Let’s say we want to store information about multiple people. We can create an array of Person records:

Person[] people = new Person[3];
people[0].name = "John Doe";
people[0].age = 25;
people[0].address = "123 Main St";

people[1].name = "Jane Smith";
people[1].age = 30;
people[1].address = "456 Elm St";

people[2].name = "Bob Johnson";
people[2].age = 40;
people[2].address = "789 Oak St";

In this example, we create an array of Person records called “people” with a size of 3. We then assign values to the fields of each record in the array.

Benefits of Using Records

  • Organization: Records allow you to group related data together, making it easier to organize and manage.
  • Readability: By defining a record, you provide a clear structure for the data, making it easier for other developers to understand your code.
  • Code Reusability: Once you define a record, you can create multiple instances of it and reuse the same structure in different parts of your program.


In summary, records are a powerful tool in data structures that allow you to store multiple pieces of related information together. They provide organization, readability, and code reusability, making them invaluable in programming. By understanding how to define and use records effectively, you can enhance your ability to work with complex data structures and build more efficient programs.

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