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I'd like to understand more how data can be stored on disk so it can be read quickly. I don't want to say database record because I'm not asking how to build a database. My question is closer to how would I build a table.

I'm not asking about indexing. I'm thinking about you have an application that already has some a pointer to a record.

I've been trying to find some references e.g. papers, books, but everything so far focuses on database design as in writing DDL or structures for indexing like B+ trees.

Are there any references that talk about how tables are actually implemented and what are the tradeoffs?

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Databases have some issues that "mere mortal" data storage doesn't concern itself with, such as transaction safety and disk failure.

Here are a few classic papers on the topic:

There are also some good books that cover the relevant topics, such as Database System Implementation by Garcia-Molina, Ullman, and Widom.

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