Re: What is a FLAT FILE ?

From: David Cressey <>
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 19:21:32 GMT
Message-ID: <03nU8.53$>

> I agree with Andy. I've always known "Flat files" to be a record by record
> structure with each record of a specified size and no indexing.

If I'm reading Andy right, he intended to exclude other internal data structures as well as indexes. But no matter. Yes, you agree with Andy that indexed files are not flat.

However, when you say "with each record of a specified size" you come awfully close to agree with me that "all the records are of the same type".

It may in fact be that, way back 20 years ago, flat files were indeed files with nothing but fixed length records of a single type in them. As I replied off line to Andy, my view is colored by my use of RMS under VAX/VMS 20 years ago. With RMS
you could take an indexed file, and proceed to read it as if it were a sequential file. That made it appear flat enough for me to call it flat, regardless of the technical definition. Received on Tue Jul 02 2002 - 21:21:32 CEST

Original text of this message