A data component holds the data that flows through the stream, that will be displayed and edited in forms, and that will appear in generated documents and email messages.
The stream definition can have multiple data components. It will always contain at least one primary data component--a master record that can encompass multiple kinds of child records., or child data components. If needed, additional primary data components can be defined, as well.
The stream record is the name given to the collection of data stored in the data components for one instance of the stream. (It is called an "instance" because, whenever a new form is submitted, the data is stored in a data component defined by that version of the stream--essentially a copy of the stream definition, including it's process definition, forms, roles, and other stream components. That mechanism allows new versions of a stream to be created without interrupting the processing of previously-created stream records.)
Data Components contain different kinds of fields to hold different kinds of data.
The attributes of fields include:
User Preference Options
Turning on the User Preference Option for the 'Correspondence' field shown below allows
each user to specify their default choice for that field. When a new-record form which
contains that field is displayed, the field is automatically pre-filled with their choice.