A file is a named collection of data. It normally resides on a secondary storage device such as a disk or tape. It may be manipulated as a unit by operations such as
  • open – prepare a file to be referenced.
  • close – prevent further reference to a file until it is reopened.
  • create – build a new file.
  • destroy – remove a file.
  • copy – create another version of the file with a new name.
  • rename – change the name of a file.
  • list – print or display the contents of a file.
Individual data items within the file may be manipulated by operations like
  • read – input a data item to a process from a file.
  • write – output a data item from a process to a file.
  • update – modify an existing data item in a file.
  • insert – add a new data item to a file.
  • delete – remove a data item from a file.
Files may be characterized by
  • volatility – this refers to the frequency with which additions and deletions are made to a file.
  • activity – this refers to the percentage of a file’s records accessed during a given period of time.
  • size – this refers to the amount of information stored in the file.
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