When working on complex applications, you may find that you are creating an overwhelming number of data and index files. This proliferation of files can create problems for the operating environment and the user. Many operating environments place a limit on the number of files open at any given time. c-tree allows you to get around this by using the concept of virtual files, but the performance overhead this creates can be a problem in some cases. In addition, by having a large number of separate data and index files, you complicate the user’s backup procedure, and increase the risk of getting various files and indexes out of synchronization.
To help manage this problem, c-tree offers Superfiles. A Superfile is one physical file containing any number of logical data and index files. This limits the number of physical files open, and allows you to move or copy a group of files as a single unit.
The two major advantages of using superfiles are reduced directory clutter and reduced system resource demand. Since a superfile is a container file it acts like a drawer in a file cabinet that lets you hide all the individual files. Because it is a single file, only one system file descriptor and associated control block are needed, thereby reducing demand on system resources.