1) In computing, an access method is a program or a hardware mechanism that moves data between the computer and an outlying device such as a hard disk (or other form of storage) or a display terminal. The term is sometimes used to refer to the mechanics of placing or locating specific data at a particular place on a storage medium and then writing the data or reading it. It is also used to describe the way that data is located within a larger unit of data such as a data set or file.
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2) An access method is also an application program interface (API) that a programmer uses to create or access data sets or to read from or write to a display terminal or other output device. Examples are the Virtual Sequential Access Method (VSAM) and the Virtual Telecommunication Access Method (VTAM).