We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Control Break?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A control break is a change in category within a database to allow a computer to calculate subtotals. Control breaks can be necessary for certain kinds of operations that require logic to break up the information into meaningful chunks. A human being could quickly find the natural breaks in a table of information and process them, but a computer needs cues. Programmers can insert breaks at a variety of intervals, and users can create their own as long as they fit within the program’s parameters.

In a simple example, a college might maintain a database of current students. Staff might want to be be able to sort this data in a number of different ways. They could request breakdowns of students by state, province, or country, for example. They might want to look at the number of students in a given year, people in particular majors, and so forth. Control breaks can create separate categories within the database to allow the computer to do this.

Nested category creation is possible. In the student database, for example, one control break could be by county or similar unit of local government, with another by state or province, and a final control break by country. Personnel could request subtotals at each different control break; for example, they might want to know that of the 150 students from the United States, 70 are from Mississippi. Having breaks at the nation and state level allows the computer to return this data.

This can be useful in a wide variety of databases, from bookkeeping programs to title and deed records. Control breaks allow for detailed database management within a single database, without the need to create new files and entries for sorting different kinds of information. This makes analytical processes possible. Accountants preparing annual reports, for example, can total profits and losses by quarter, business sector, and other parameters.

Database programs may have control breaks built in automatically by designers, and users can add more, if they follow the program’s specific syntax. It is important to make sure the control break covers the desired fields, as accidental inclusions could create errors. People may also want to think about how others might use and organize the data when they set up control breaks. Advance planning can reduce the risk of problems that might make it harder to access the database and extract needed information in the future.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.