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Header (computing)
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In information technology, header refers to supplemental placed at the beginning of a block of data being stored or transmitted. In data transmission, the data following the header are sometimes called the payload or body.

It is vital that header composition follows a clear and unambiguous or format, to allow for .


Examples
  • : The text (body) is preceded by header lines indicating sender, recipient, subject, sending time stamp, receiving time stamps of all intermediate and the final mail transfer agents, and much more.
Similar headers are used in () messages, and .
  • In a sent via the , the data (payload) are preceded by header information such as the sender's and the recipient's , the protocol governing the format of the payload and several other formats. The header's format is specified in the Internet Protocol.
  • In data packets sent by wireless communication, and in of data stored on , typically the header begins with a to allow the receiver to adapt to analog amplitude and speed variations and for frame synchronization.
  • In graphics file formats, the header might give information about an image's size, resolution, number of colors, and the like.
  • In Archive file formats, the file header might serve as a or to identify the specific and corresponding software utility.
  • In some programming languages (for example C and C++) the are declared in .


See also
  • Protocol overhead
  • Trailer (information technology)
  • Field (computer science)

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