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detail file[′dē‚tāl ‚fīl]
A file containing current or transient data used to update a master file or processed with the master file to obtain a specific result. Also known as transaction file.
transaction fileA collection of transaction records. The data in transaction files is used to update the master files, which contain the data about the subjects of the organization (customers, employees, vendors, etc.). Transaction files also serve as audit trails and history for the organization. Where before they were transferred to offline storage after some period of time, they are increasingly being kept online for routine analyses. See data warehouse, transaction processing and information system.
Following are the kinds of fields that make up a typical transaction record in a business information system. There can be many more fields depending on the organization. The "key" fields below are the ones that are generally indexed for fast matching against the master record. The account number is usually the primary key, but name may also be used as a primary key. See master file for examples of typical master records.
EMPLOYEE PAYROLL RECORD key Employee account number Today's date Hours worked ORDER RECORD key Customer account number Today's date Quantity Product number PAYMENT RECORD key Customer number Today's date Invoice number Amount paid Check number PURCHASE ORDER key Purchase order number Today's date Department Authorizing agent Vendor account number Quantity Product number Due date Total cost WAREHOUSE RECEIPT key Purchase order number key Invoice number Today's date Quantity Product number