• Subject: RE: What About Price vs. Perform
  • From: Scott Klement <klemscot@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 12:29:29 -0500 (CDT)

PCs, UNIX machines and other systems define a "file" as a simple
collection of bytes.   If you like, you can think of it as one big huge
character string, or "stream" of data.   On the AS/400 we normally call
them "stream files" to distinguish them from the database files that
are native on the AS/400.

A "file server" is a machine that allows access to these types of files.
Under Windows, for example, you'd assign a "share" on a file server to
be a "drive letter".    Maybe I:  is your Windows NT file server.   Then
you'd read/write files directly to that drive.

A "database server" is a machine that contains files or "tables" that have
a specific layout, record format, etc.   These files frequently have
indexes and access paths that allow you to retrieve records by key values
or in key sequence instead of just physical data sequence.  Usually with a
database server, you can access the files remotely (using ODBC, JDBC,
etc) , only transferring the  records you need at any given moment, rather
than copying the entire file into RAM/disk.

On Thu, 5 Apr 2001 D.BALE@handleman.com wrote:

> At the high risk of jumping into this volatile thread and of potentially
> embarrasing myself, could someone please distinguish how a file server is
> different than a database server?
> Spending the bulk of my career on the IBM midrange, I have used "database" and
> "file" interchangably.  Only more recently have I come to understand (correct
> me if I'm wrong) that the AS/400 has one "database", DB2/400 or whatever IBM
> has renamed it to, and that we have thousands of data "files" of the physical
> and logical variety.
> Dan Bale
> IT - AS/400
> Handleman Company
> 248-362-4400  Ext. 4952
> D.Bale@Handleman.com
>   Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.
>   (Whatever is said in Latin seems profound.)

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