XBase / DBD::XBase

Distribution DBD::XBase contains module XBase which provides read and write access to dbf files, including memo information in dbt and fpt files. The distribution also includes DBI driver DBD::XBase that provides SQL interface.

Download DBD-XBase-1.05.tar.gz, the latest release.

The two main pieces of documentation:

XBase
Perl module for reading and writing the dbf files
DBD::XBase
DBI driver for XBase compatible database files

Documentation for modules that are used internaly:

XBase::Base
Base input output module for XBase suite
XBase::Memo
Generic support for various memo formats
XBase::Index
Base class for the index files for dbf

What is this module for

Module XBase provides access to XBase (dBase, Fox*) dbf files. It also handles memo files (dbt, fpt) and to certain extend index files (ndx, ntx, mdx, idx and cdx). The DBD::XBase is a database driver for DBI and provides simple SQL interface for reading and writing the database files. So this package offers two ways of accessing your beloved data in dbf files: XBase.pm and DBD::XBase. I recommend using DBD::XBase and only resort to XBase.pm if you need something special which is not supported by the DBI interface.

You do not need any other servers/software, these modules directly read and write the dbf (and other) files. The main goal was to create a parser, mainly to work with data from your legacy applications. If you are looking for something more powerfull, check real relation database servers, such as Oracle, MySQL or PostgreSQL.

How does the code look like

The DBI (DBD::XBase) way of doing things is

use DBI;
my $dbh = DBI->connect('dbi:XBase:/directory', undef, undef, { RaiseError => 1 });
my $data = $dbh->selectall_arrayref(q!
	select * from table
!);

which is the same as would be with any other database. Remember, this is only a simple parser, so no joins or subselecects are supported.

If you want to use the base XBase.pm interface, you'd use code like

use XBase;
my $table = new XBase 'table.dbf';
my @data = $table->get_record(0);

The distribution also includes a dbfdump script that prints the content of the table in readable form.

Index support

The support for ndx/ntx/idx/mdx/cdx index files still needs quite a lot of work. It currently allows you to search directly to the record you want, using the prepare_select_with_index method of the XBase table object. But you cannot create the index, nor is the index updated when you change the dbf. Check the XBase::Index(3) man page and the eg/ directory for how you can help to make it better.

Support, documentation

This module is provided in a hope you might find it useful. My intent is to support as many variations of formats as possible, but I do not have dBase/Fox* and do not plan to have, so send me examples of your data files if you feel your native XBase engines produce data incompatible with this module.

Man pages for XBase, DBD::XBase, dbfdump, XBase::Index and XBase::SDBM are included, examples of little scripts can also be found in eg/ directory of the distribution. Read the DBI man page for DBI specific issues, and the XBase::FAQ page.

Contact the author at jpx dash perl at adelton dot com.

Installation

For installation and problem and bug reporting, please read the INSTALL file.

Copyright: (c) 1997--2011 Jan Pazdziora

All rights reserved. This package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.