fixed length field

fixed length field

A constant field size; for example, a 25-byte name field takes up 25 bytes in each record. It is easier to program, but wastes disk space and restricts file design. Description and comment fields are always a dilemma. Short fields allow only abbreviated remarks, while long fields waste space if lengthy comments are not required in every record. Contrast with variable length field.
References in periodicals archive ?
The leader is a fixed length field that occupies the first 24 character positions in a MARc record.
For example, system designers assume that: the date of publication of an item will be recorded in arabic numerals rather than in words; that date of publication will be isolated from other data elements in the record so that it can be readily identified and accessed by the system; that the record will use a MARC-like format; and, further, that in a MARC formatted record the date of publication will be recorded in field 260, subfield c, and also in character positions 7 to 10 of the 008 fixed length field.
Allowing fixed length fields to be created and analyzed independently of variable length fields becomes increasingly important as network speeds increase.
Character, fixed length fields are 60 bytes maximum; date fields are 8 bytes maximum; numeric fields are 18 digits maximum; and free text paragraphs are 65,000 bytes maximum.