Random access files

Random access files allow us to go directly to recover the desired record, without having to read all the previous ones before. In this way they solve the main limitation of sequential access files, which was precisely their method of accessing the data, the need to go through the entire file from the beginning until we reached the point that interested us. This limitation is high time consuming and became larger and larger as the size of our file increases. Working with sequential access files having a high number of records, the reading times could take too long, to the point of not being operative and making sense of a migration to a random access file.

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Sequential access files

Sequential access files were the first digital storage solution, those files present a certain structure to store the data but are still far away from the databases.

Let’s put ourselves at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century when our protagonist Antonio begins to digitally the data of his business, the SuperGades store. The option available then was simply to pass the data from a paper file to a digital file, using a very simple word processor with very few functionalities, in which we would write the data without any format. This file is also called an archive, taking the name of its analogue antecedent, a physical file with drawers where we kept the files with the data.

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