File server

The IBM® i file server and its associated programs work with the integrated file system.

The IBM i architecture supports several different file systems with similar interfaces. The integrated file system is a part of the base IBM i operating system that supports stream input/output and storage management, similar to personal computer and UNIX operating systems. The integrated file system integrates all information that is stored on the system and allows users and applications to access specific segments of storage that are organized as file, directory, library, and logical unit objects.

The file server allows clients to store and access objects, such as files and programs, that are located on the system. The file server interfaces with the integrated file system and allows clients to use their own interface to interact with files, rather than using the integrated file system interfaces and APIs. Depending on the support provided by the client product, the file server can give clients access to all the files on the system or just the files in the Document Library Services File System (QDLS).

The key features of the integrated file system are the following:

  • Support for storing information in stream files, which are files that contain long, continuous strings of data. These strings of data might be, for example, the text of a document or the picture elements in a picture. Documents that are stored in system folders are stream files. Other examples of stream files are PC files and the files in UNIX systems. The stream file support is designed for efficient use in client/server applications.
  • A hierarchical directory structure that allows objects to be organized like branches of a tree. To access an object, specify the path from the directories to the object.
  • A common interface that allows users and applications to access stream files, database files, documents, and other objects that are stored on the system.

For a list of file systems, see the Work with file systems topic collection. For more information about the integrated file system, see the Integrated file system topic collection.