Difference Between Purging or Deleting a Data Entry

By Jim Campbell

Relation and hierarchical databases are two of the most common kinds of databases.
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The terms "deleting" and "purging" have different meanings when working with data entry. Database administrators use different methods when purging and deleting. Purging means moving data from one source to another, and you keep an archive in case you need the data in the future. Deleting data removes it permanently from the tables, and you can no longer reference the records.


Database administrators purge data from tables when the table rows exceed several hundreds or even millions of records that are no longer needed. However, purging lets you archive the records even though you remove them from tables. Administrators move records from a large table to an archive table. Purging records from a large table speeds up queries.


Deleting information removes it permanently from a table, and this task doesn't keep a copy of the records. Deleting is done by the administrator or you can delete records from your users' application. Deleting a record, for example, is used when the data entry employee makes a mistake when creating a record and needs to delete the bad record from the database.


The main difference between the two types of administration is that purging keeps a copy of the records, and this is more advantageous when removing large amounts of data. If you're only removing one record, deleting takes fewer resources on the database server, so it's faster than purging. Purging is used on large record sets and deleting is used on a small amount of rows.


If you remove hundreds of records from a table, consider purging to ensure that you have a copy if the company needs a backup. If you're sure that you never need a record set, use the delete function. Database programming has a "DELETE" keyword that lets you remove one or all of the records in a table.