These independent files which are maintained for a unique purpose by the various functional components of an organization e.g. an employees file may be maintained by the human resources department to hold employee records. Various standard files may contain the same data e.g. employee name and employee number may be contained in the employees file and also in the pensions file. This situation is referred to as data redundancy. Standard files are being phased out by the database approach to filing which creates interrelationships amongst files to reduce the amount of data that is duplicated.
Problems encountered when using standard files for data processing systems:
1. Data redundancy and confusion
When many files hold the same data a lot of filing space is wasted storing duplicate data. It also difficult to know which file contains the correct version of the data since the versions of the data contained may differ due to incomplete or omitted updates.
2. Program-data dependence
When each program has its own file, problems arise when changes have to be made to the data in the files. In such a case, changes also have to be made to the programs accessing the data. This process may be lengthy and costly to an organization because of the expertise required.
3. Poor Security
It is difficult to administer security over each individual file maintained by an organization as compared to administering security over a system of related files.
4. Lack of data sharing and availability
Standard files do not facilitate data sharing since each application maintains its own file.