.DBF File Extension

dBase Table File file format

Database File
DBF (dBase Table File) is a database file format used in various applications for the storage of simple structured data. It was originally introduced as the native data storage format of the dBase database management system developed by Ashton-Tate, which was the first database management system for microcomputers with mainstream popularity.

Briefly after its introduction in the early 80s, the DBF file format got adopted by a wide array of alternative database management systems belonging to the xBase family, like Clipper and FoxPro. Basically these were more or less derivatives of the original dBase system, with certain enhancements in performance and functionality, therefore utilizing slightly altered versions of the original DBF format.

Later on, with the appearance of SQL and the diminishment of the xBase family of database systems, the DBF format found other applications, like in the specification of the Esri shapefile format used with the Esri ArcInfo geographic information system, where DBF files serve as a storage for various geometrical shape attributes.

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