In a narrower sense, the data format names / describes the format of individual data fields , for example in the source code of a computer program . It is specified in the declaration according to the syntax of the respective programming language . In this sense, “data format” is very close to the term data type , supplements it or is used synonymously - as is the case in or, for example.
At a higher level, data formats are valid specifications for a certain subject area , which describe the structure / composition / sequence of data (e.g. a database ). They are application-specific , often also applicable across companies or internationally; see examples. In this sense, “data format” is used synonymously for “ file format ”.
Examples relating to the format of data fields are: characters (such as ABC etc.), digits 0 to 9 according to the character set , binary number , floating point number , 'packed' numbers (one digit per nibble ), logical 0 or 1 and others that depend on Programming language can be called differently, for example numeric, text, VARCHAR, Integer or INT, long integer or similar.
The 'data format' includes additional information for such 'data type-based' data fields such as: The length of the data field (see example), the number of decimal places, the type of representation (e.g. '-' or red for minus, thousand point ( e), spaces for leading zeros ...), which values the field can assume (such as positive / negative) and other language-specific information.
Application- specific data formats (= file formats) describe the structure of data stocks. Examples for SEPA are the data format “EBICS” (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard), “ GIS data formats ” or the “Q-DAS ASCII transfer format ”.
Format specifications are to be declared in accordance with the actual format of data in databases in the source code of programs and processed with program commands suitable for the respective format (e.g. for adding binary numbers).
- Inf-Schule.de Excursion - data formats Archived copy ( Memento of the original from November 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Uni Graz  data format
- SAP Help Portal  data format
- PLC course Arithmetic Functions  (uses 'data type' and 'data format' synonymously)
- Richard Kaiser Object Pascal with Delphi  Chapter 3.3 "The data format can ... be different"
- Saar-LB SEPA data format archive link ( memento of the original from November 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- ebics specifications 
- Q-DAS.de ASCII transfer format