Browse Definitions :
Definition

file

1) In data processing, using an office metaphor, a file is a related collection of records. For example, you might put the records you have on each of your customers in a file. In turn, each record would consist of fields for individual data items, such as customer name, customer number, customer address, and so forth. By providing the same information in the same fields in each record (so that all records are consistent), your file will be easily accessible for analysis and manipulation by a computer program. This use of the term has become somewhat less important with the advent of the database and its emphasis on the table as a way of collecting record and field data. In mainframe systems, the term data set is generally synonymous with file but implies a specific form of organization recognized by a particular access method. Depending on the operating system, files (and data sets) are contained within a catalog, directory, or folder.

2) In any computer system but especially in personal computers, a file is an entity of data available to system users (including the system itself and its application programs) that is capable of being manipulated as an entity (for example, moved from one file directory to another). The file must have a unique name within its own directory. Some operating systems and applications describe files with given formats by giving them a particular file name suffix. (The file name suffix is also known as a file name extension.) For example, a program or executable file is sometimes given or required to have an ".exe" suffix. In general, the suffixes tend to be as descriptive of the formats as they can within the limits of the number of characters allowed for suffixes by the operating system.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About file

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an area of security planning that aims to protect an organization from the effects of significant ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that will not be frequently accessed.

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

Close