Programming Essay

4028 words - 16 pages

File Input/Output
- To be able to create, read, write and update
- To become familiar with sequential access file
- To become familiar with random-access file
• Information to be written to or from an
auxillary memory device
• This information is stored on the memory
device in the form of a data file
• C++ does not distinguish between sequential
and direct access (random access) data files.
• There are 2 types of data files, called stream-
oriented (or standard) data files and system-
oriented (or low-level) data files.

• Data files
- Can be created, updated, and processed by
C++ programs
- Are used for permanent storage of large
amounts of data
• Storage of data in variables and arrays is only
The Data Hierarchy
• Data Hierarchy:
- Bit - smallest data item
• Value of 0 or 1
- Byte - 8 bits
• Used to store a character
- Decimal digits, letters, and special symbols
- Field - group of characters conveying meaning
• Example: your name
- Record - group of related fields
• Represented by a struct or a class
• Example: In a payroll system, a record for a particular
employee that contained his/her identification number,
name, address, etc.
The Data Hierarchy
• Data Hierarchy (continued):
- File - group of related records
• Example: payroll file
- Database - group of related files

The Data Hierarchy
• Data files
- Record key
• Identifies a record to facilitate the retrieval of
specific records from a file
- Sequential file
• Records typically sorted by key
Files and Streams
• C views each file as a sequence of bytes
- File ends with the end-of-file marker
• Or, file ends at a specified byte
• Stream created when a file is opened
- Provide communication channel between files
and programs
- Opening a file returns a pointer to a FILE
• Example file pointers:
• stdin - standard input (keyboard)
• stdout - standard output (screen)
• stderr - standard error (screen)
Files and Streams

• Stream-oriented data files can be divided
into 2 categories:
• (i) Text files
• (ii) Unformatted data files
Text files
• Text files consist of consecutive
characters. These characters can be
interpreted as individual data items, or as
components of strings or numbers.
• Unformatted data files organizes data into
blocks containing contiguous bytes of
information. These blocks represent more
complex data structures such as arrays &

• System-oriented data files are more
closely related to the computer's operating
system than stream-oriented data files.
Opening a file
• The first step when working with a stream- oriented data file is to establish a buffer area where info is temporarily stored while being transferred between the computer's...

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