The term sequential access (also sequential access, access sequence ) refers to a type of access to a data store or data structure, wherein the data sets are arranged in succession. In order to access a particular record, all records initially located between the source and target position must be consulted. The access time is mainly dependent on the distance of the records.
The term is also used in theoretical computer science, eg in the case of the Turing machine.
In technical applications, the sequential access method is specified by the technical implementation of the underlying device, for example, punched cards and magnetic tapes of any kind ( audio or video cassettes, tapes, storage tapes, Streamerkassetten ).