This section discusses in detail how RMSfiles are organized and accessed within the MS-DOS environment. Much of the detail presented here is not necessary to use RMS effectively. However, it is often helpful to understand the file system's underlying principles.
Files in the MS-DOS environment are byte streams with no particular structure imposed. It is possible to read or write any individual byte anywhere in the file. This flexibility is one of the greatest strengths of the MS-DOS operating system, but that alone is not very useful in the traditional business data processing environment.
Business data processing typically treats a file as a collection of data records. Each record contains a collection of data fields. Each record represents some transaction within the business. It is desirable to access these records quickly according to the contents of the record. RMS accomplishes this by adding a sophisticated file system to the MS-DOS environment.