dcsimg
Main » TERM » S »

sequential access

Sequential access is the reading or writing of data records in sequential order, that is, one record after the other. To read record 10, for example, you would first need to read records 1 through 9. This differs from random access, in which you can read and write records in any order.

sequential access

Sequential Access in Programming

Some programming languages and operating systems distinguish between sequential-access data files and random-access data files, allowing you to choose between the two types. Sequential-access files are faster if you always access records in the same order. Random-access files are faster if you need to read or write records in a random order.

Other Sequential Classifications

Devices can also be classified as sequential access or random access. For example, a tape drive is a sequential-access device because to get to point q on the tape, the drive needs to pass through points a through p. A disk drive, on the other hand, is a random-access device because the drive can access any point on the disk without passing through all intervening points.

Recommended Reading: Webopedia's random access definition.










LATEST ARTICLES
Texting & Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »

List of Well-Known TCP Port Numbers

Port numbers 0 to 1024 are reserved for privileged services and designated as well-known ports. This list of port numbers  are specified in... Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Computer Architecture Study Guide

Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »