Data Feed

What Does Data Feed Mean?

A data feed is a mechanism for delivering data streams from a server to a client automatically or on demand. The data feed is usually a defined file format that the client application understands that contains timely information that may be useful to the application itself or to the user.


A popular form of data feed is the Web feed, which carries information for real-time Web applications. A common form of this is the rich site summary (RSS) feed, which allows blogs and other websites to automatically send timely news excerpts or notifications to all those who have subscribed to the RSS feed.

Techopedia Explains Data Feed

A data feed can be thought of simply as a way to deliver structured data from one system to another. Applications include sending out small snippets of information or news, delivering required data, and even advertisement and marketing.

The data feed is often in the form of a file that contains information structured according to the specifications of the application receiving the data. The information is arranged in tables, with columns and rows, or with tags. The file types can vary, but formats like XML and CSV are common because of their structure, and even plain text files are supported by some because of their simplicity, which allows even non-technical individuals to easily create their own data feeds.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.