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mid-14c., "book of church services," from Anglo-French jurnal "a day," from Old French jornel, "day, time; day's work," noun use of adjective meaning "daily," from Late Latin diurnalis "daily" (see diurnal). Meaning "book for inventories and daily accounts" is late 15c.; that of "personal diary" is c.1600, from a sense found in French. Meaning "daily publication" is from 1728.
An on-going record of transactions, such as database updates, file system writes, procedure calls or message transmissions. A journal differs from a simple log in that the contents of the journal can be used to reconstruct the state of the system after a failure by re-applying the transactions in the journal to a snapshot of the system previous state.