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Bionic Buffalo Tech Note #66: File Identification Headers
Bionic Buffalo Tech Note #66
File Identification Headers
last revised Monday 2003.07.20
©2003 Bionic Buffalo Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Tatanka and TOAD are trademarks of Bionic Buffalo Corporation
Bionic Buffalo has a standard header structure for non-text data files. The purpose is to allow quick
determination of the application and user owning the file, and also of the underlying file organization.
This Tech Note describes the standard header structure, and how it is used.
The information herein corresponds to the file header structure version A.0.8.2.
Application, Organization, and Owner
The identification header is concerned primarily with three aspects of the file: application,
organization and owner.
The application is the program which uses the file. Examples of applications are
accounting programs, software engineering tools, and process control systems.
The organization is the underlying file structure. Examples include flat files, indexed
sequential files, various kinds of databases, and archives containing other files. 
The owner is an indication of who controls or is responsible for the file. Examples include
users, processes, or customers.
It sometimes is convenient to be able to learn information about all three aspects of the file before
beginning processing. For example, an application may want to ascertain that a file in fact belongs to
that application, and not simply that it has a certain kind of name. The underlying file access or
database routines may want to know that the organization of the file they are processing is appropriate
for them. In both cases, an important function is to determine that the version of the software being
used to read or write the file is current or compatible with the version of the file itself. A program
might want to operate only on files belonging to a certain owner, ignoring any other files.
The identification header separates the application, organization, and owner information for several
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