File type: Database
The DBF file extension is a legacy file format from dBASE which is considered as one of the pioneers in the computer industry in the field of data management.
The DBF format file represents a standard database file that to date, is utilized by the application along with other database management applications.
This format supports the organization of data into a series of multiple records defined by fields stored using an array data type. It also maintains compatibility with a broad range of xBase applications or what are termed as dBASE clone applications.
The application made its debut in the computer industry via the dBASE II software which proceeded up until the version IV of the software. Majority of these files types are supported by either Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel which means that they can be imported into these programs under the Microsoft Office productivity suite. It is commonly associated with the NDX format file which represents the database index.
Category: Database File
File format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: dBASE, multisoft FlagShip, Microsoft FoxPro, Sage ACT!, Clipper, GTK DBF Editor
Open with Linux: GTK DBF Editor
The DBF file extension was conceived originally as a proprietary format by dBase Inc for its database management software. Due to the early dominance of the application in the computer market, it was able to establish itself as the de facto standard for these types of applications.
Other database applications also incorporated the functionality of opening, editing, and saving the DBF format files allowing for their interoperability.
dBASE is based on the Vulcan software developed by Wayne Ratliff in 1981 and was transformed to the dBASE software after his partnership with Ashton-Tate.
The continuous development efforts the company invested in the technology led to subsequent upgrade releases of the application until it eventually gave up its dominance of the database programming market to the overwhelming power of the Microsoft Office productivity suite.
It supports the storage of data compatible with nearly all types of database management including spreadsheet applications. Some software applications that do not adhere to the dBASE standards have a built-in functionality for importing and exporting it as another database file variant.