Computers store data in variables. Each variable will be of a predefined type. These types, or data types as they are more popularly known, include integers, floating point numbers, characters, strings, and arrays. Other data types include such things as date, timestamps, Boolean values, and varchar (variable character) formats. Some languages are more flexible and do not require that you explicitly assign a data type to each variable, and will assume the data type from the first value assigned to the variable. This has both advantages and disadvantages. Data types are also an integral part of database applications. Fields within a database should normally be assigned to a specific data type.