A stream is a flow of data elements that are transmitted or intended
for transmission in a defined format. A record is a set of data elements
treated as a unit, and a file (or data set) is a named set of records
that is stored or processed as a unit.
The z/OS® XL C/C++
supports four types of input and output: text streams, binary streams,
record I/O, and blocked I/O. Text and binary streams are both ANSI
standards; record I/O and blocked I/O are extensions for z/OS XL C
I/O and blocked I/O are not supported by either the USL I/O Stream
Class Library or the Standard C++
Note: If you have written data in one of these four
types and try to read it as another type (for example, reading a binary
file in text mode), you may not get the behavior that you expect.