File management systems (FMS) are also called flat file systems. It stores data in a plain text file. A flat file is a file that contains records, and in which each record is specified in a single line. Fields from each record may simply have a fixed width   with   padding, or may be delimited by whitespace, tabs, commas or other characters. Extra formatting may be needed to avoid delimiter collision. There are no structural relationships and the data are "flat" as in a sheet of paper. For example, the records in Figure below could constitute an author file. A group of related files makes up a database (E.g. files author, book, and publisher etc makes up a database publication). The author file illustrated in Figure below could be grouped with files on book and publisher to create a publication database.


In this approach each application has data files related to it containing all the data records needed by the application. Thus, an organization has to develop number of application programs each with an associated application-specific data files. For example, in a college MIS, the library programs, accounting


programs, and examination programs would have their own data files as shown in figure below: