Testing sequential order, sorting, and indexing

Testing sequential order (the Examine Sequence option) allows you to verify whether data is currently in a sequential order, or in other words, has already been sorted or indexed. It also allows you to identify out-of-sequence items in data that should have an inherent sequential order, such as invoice or check numbers, indicating possible irregularities.

Sorting and indexing are two different methods for sequentially ordering data in tables. Ordering data can be a useful analytical operation in itself.

Because computers process files in sequence, starting with the first record, sequentially ordering data is a prerequisite for several analytical tests and other operations in ACL. Other ACL tests and operations may not require ordered data, but they execute much more quickly if the data is first sorted or indexed. Multiple-table operations, such as joins or relations, may require key fields be sorted or indexed.

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