For those few readers who do not know, CAFS is a system developed by ICL to search through data at speeds of several million characters per second. Its full name is Content Addressable File Store Information Search Processor, CAFS-ISP or CAFS for short. It is an intelligent hardware-based searching engine, currently available with both ICL's 2966 family of computers and the recently announced Series 39, operating within the VME environment. It uses content addressing techniques to perform fast searches of data or text stored on discs: almost all fields are equally accessible as search keys. Software in the mainframe generates a search task; the CAFS hardware performs the search, and returns the hit records to the mainframe. Because special hardware is used, the searching process is very much more efficient than searching performed by any software method. Various software interfaces are available which allow CAFS to be used in many different situations. CAFS can be used with existing systems without significant change. It can be used to make online enquiries of mainframe files or databases or directly from user written high level language programs. These interfaces are outlined in the body of the report
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