Structured vs Unstructured
Structured and Unstructured are two types of data or information that show differences between them when it comes to their concepts and meanings. The description of data contained in fields is what is called as structured information. On the other hand, all binary documents are called by the name unstructured information or data. This is the main difference between the structured and the unstructured.
The structured information is so called, because its nature and function are identified by metadata tags. On the other hand, some of the best examples of the documents that come under the unstructured type of data or information are .pdf and .docx.
It is important to know that structured information has to do a lot with SharePoint. It is said that all the content produced or created directly at or within SharePoint is considered to be structured in nature. For example all area listings and list items that are created or produced directly within SharePoint come under the structured type of data or information. This is an important observation to make when it comes to defining structured data.
It has to be remembered that all binary documents that use proprietary applications such as Acrobat or Word come under the unstructured type of data or information. As a matter of fact unstructured information is automatically extracted by means of the application of IFilter or the corresponding converter. This is another important difference between structured and unstructured data.
It has to be of course remembered that SharePoint references are primarily used only to index the structured data. It is not used for any other purpose. A clear understanding of the difference between structured and unstructured data or information is absolutely essential for the software expert in the sense that he will be in a position to categorize the files and the data correctly.