What is the difference between a sequential access file and a random access file?

Asked By: Cortes Erusalimchik | Last Updated: 4th February, 2020
Category: technology and computing data storage and warehousing
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Sequential Access to a data file means that the computer system reads or writes information to the file sequentially, starting from the beginning of the file and proceeding step by step. On the other hand, Random Access to a file means that the computer system can read or write information anywhere in the data file.

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Furthermore, what is sequential file access?

Sequential access is a term describing a group of elements (such as data in a memory array or a disk file or on magnetic tape data storage) being accessed in a predetermined, ordered sequence. Sequential access is sometimes the only way of accessing the data, for example if it is on a tape.

Also, which is an example of sequential access device? A common example of sequential access is with a tape drive, where the device must move the tape's ribbon forward or backward to reach the desired information. The opposite would be RAM (Random Access Memory) that can go anywhere on the chip to access the information.

Also question is, which function allow to access a file in a non sequential or random mode?

Answer: The Random Access data file is the function which allows us to access a file in non sequential or random mode.

What is file access methods?

File Access Methods in Operating System. There are three ways to access a file into a computer system: Sequential-Access, Direct Access, Index sequential Method. Sequential Access – It is the simplest access method. Information in the file is processed in order, one record after the other.

29 Related Question Answers Found

What are the two types of data access methods?

These are:
  • Generalized Sequential Access Method (GSAM),
  • Hierarchical Direct Access Method (HDAM),
  • Hierarchical Indexed Direct Access Method (HIDAM),
  • Hierarchical Indexed Sequential Access Method (HISAM),
  • Hierarchical Sequential Access Method (HSAM),
  • Overflow sequential access method (OSAM),

How do I access sequential files?

The only way to access records in a Sequential file, is serially. A program must start at the first record and read all the succeeding records until the required record is found or until the end of the file is reached. Sequential files may be Ordered or Unordered (these should be called Serial files).

What is a sequential process?

Definition. Sequential processing refers to the mental process of integrating and understanding stimuli in a particular, serial order. Both the perception of stimuli in sequence and the subsequent production of information in a specific arrangement fall under successive processing.

What are the advantages of file replication?

Advantages of File Replication. Data replication improves the availability of the data. It masks the problems in the network and ensures that at least one copy of the file is available. File replication software makes sure that all copies of the data are up-to-date.

What are the different file allocation methods?


There are three main disk space or file allocation methods.
  • Contiguous Allocation.
  • Linked Allocation.
  • Indexed Allocation.

What are the methods of file organization?

As mentioned previously, the three most common methods of file organization include sequential, indexed and relative organization. Sequential organization describes a method in which specific data records are organized in the exact order in which they have been added to the computer.

What is a file classification system?

A file classification scheme (also known as a file plan) is a tool that allows for classifying, titling, accessing and retrieving records. It is presented as a hierarchical structure of classification levels and is based on the business activities that generate records in a specific organizational business setting.

What do you mean by random access file?

Random-access file is a term used to describe a file or set of files that are accessed directly instead of requiring that other files be read first. Computer hard drives access files directly, where tape drives commonly access files sequentially. Direct access, Hardware terms, Sequential file.

What are two advantages of the sequential type file?

Sequential access has advantages when you access information in the same order all the time. Also is faster than random access. On the other hand, random access file has the advantage that you can search through it and find the data you need more easily (using indexing for example).

What is random access file explain with example?


A random access file behaves like a large array of bytes. There is a cursor implied to the array called file pointer, by moving the cursor we do the read write operations. If end-of-file is reached before the desired number of byte has been read than EOFException is thrown. It is a type of IOException.

What are sequential files?

A file that contains records or other elements that are stored in a chronological order based on account number or some other identifying data. In order to locate the desired data, sequential files must be read starting at the beginning of the file.

What are the functions used for random access and sequential access of file?

The terms random access and sequential access are often used to describe data files. A random-access data file enables you to read or writeinformation anywhere in the file. In a sequential-access file, you can only read and write information sequentially, starting from the beginning of the file.

What is a master file?

master file. A collection of records pertaining to one of the main subjects of an information system, such as customers, employees, products and vendors. Master files contain descriptive data, such as name and address, as well as summary information, such as amount due and year-to-date sales. See master data management

What is random access file in C?

Random access means you can move to any part of a file and read or write data from it without having to read through the entire file. Years ago, data was stored on large reels of computer tape. The only way to get to a point on the tape was by reading all the way through the tape.

What are sequential files in C?


A sequential file is a sequence of records. The records may or may not be kept in sorted order in the sequence. In standard C input/output all files are sequential files. A record of a file is not necessarily declared to be of type structure.

Is array sequential or random?

Elements stored in an array can be accessed both sequentially and randomly. * An array is a contiguous collection of elements that can be accessed randomly by the means of their index value. * This is known as random access of the array elements using an index.

Is a hard disk sequential access storage device?

Magnetic sequential access memory is typically used for secondary storage in general-purpose computers due to their higher density at lower cost compared to RAM, as well as resistance to wear and non-volatility. Examples of SAM devices still in use include hard disks, CD-ROMs and magnetic tapes.