What Is File Organisation in Data Structure?


Larry Thompson

File organization in data structure refers to the way data is arranged and stored in a file. It plays a vital role in efficient data retrieval and manipulation.

There are various methods of file organization, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore some commonly used file organization techniques.

Sequential File Organization

The sequential file organization is the simplest method of storing data in a file. In this method, records are stored one after another in a sequential manner. Each record has a unique identifier called a key that helps in identifying and accessing the record.

  • Advantages:
    • Easy to implement and understand.
    • Records can be accessed sequentially without any need for an index.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Insertion and deletion of records are time-consuming as it requires shifting of subsequent records.
    • Searching for a specific record can be slow if the file is large.

Indexed Sequential File Organization

The indexed sequential file organization combines the advantages of sequential and indexed file organizations. In this method, an index is created that maps key values to their corresponding record addresses. The index allows for faster searching and retrieval of records.

  • Faster searching as compared to sequential file organization.
  • Records can still be accessed sequentially if required.
  • The index itself needs to be maintained, which adds overhead.
  • The insertion and deletion of records still require shifting if they affect the order of records.

Direct File Organization

The direct file organization, also known as hashing, uses a hash function to map key values directly to their storage location. This method provides constant-time access to records, making it highly efficient for large databases.

  • Fast and direct access to records.
  • Efficient for large databases.
  • Hash collisions can occur, leading to slower access.
  • Insertion and deletion of records may require reorganizing the file.


File organization is an important aspect of data structure that impacts the efficiency of data retrieval and manipulation. Different file organization techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different scenarios.

Understanding these techniques can help in designing efficient data storage systems.

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