The earliest business computer systems were used to process business records and produce information. They were generally faster and more accurate than equivalent manual systems. These systems stored groups of records in separate files, and so they were called file processing systems. In a typical file processing systems, each department has its own files, designed specifically for those applications. The department itself working with the data processing staff, sets policies or standards for the format and maintenance of its files.
Programs are dependent on the files and vice-versa; that is, when the physical format of the file is changed, the program has also to be changed. Although the traditional file oriented approach to information processing is still widely used, it does have some very important disadvantages.
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