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What is Data Purging?

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Data purging is permanently deleting data such that it can't be recovered by standard methods. The term is most commonly applied to databases but is used by other business software as well.

Delete vs Purge

Deleting data in databases doesn't necessarily physically delete the data or free space. In some cases, such data is recoverable and remains allocated in a recycle bin. Purge is a function for freeing space that is viewed as unrecoverable from the perspective of the database software. In some cases, the data may still be physically recoverable from data storage.
Purge may be run by a database administrator based on a variety of criteria. It may also be run by the database itself to purge data based on age that has been deleted. Such processes may be initiated when space runs low.

Purge vs Archive

Archive is an alternative to purge that moves data to an archive file as opposed to deleting it. Archive can also be used to free space in a database by moving data to storage devices for archives such as tape.
Overview: Data Purging
Definition (1)
Permanently deleting data such that it can't be recovered by standard methods.
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