This extension has been moved to the » PECL repository and is no longer bundled with PHP as of PHP 5.3.0.
These functions allow you to access records stored in dBase-format (dbf) databases.
We recommend against using dBase files as your production database. Use » SQLite or choose any real SQL server instead; » MySQL or » Postgres are common choices with PHP. dBase support is here to allow you to import and export data to and from your web database, because the file format is commonly understood by Windows spreadsheets and organizers.
As of dbase 7.0.0 the databases are automatically locked via flock(). There has been no support for locking earlier, so two concurrent web server processes modifying the same dBase file would have very likely ruined your database. This can happen even with dbase 7.0.0+ on systems which implement the locks at the process level with multithreaded SAPIs such as ISAPI.
dBase files are simple sequential files of fixed length records. Records are appended to the end of the file and deleted records are kept until you call dbase_pack().
Only dbf file levels 3 (dBASE III+) - 5 (dBASE V) are supported. The types of dBase fields available are:
|Field||dBase Type||Format||Additional information|
|M||Memo||n/a||This type is not supported by PHP, such field will be ignored|
|D||Date||YYYYMMDD||The field length is limited to 8|
|T||DateTime||YYYYMMDDhhmmss.uuu||(FoxPro) No validity checks are done. Available as of dbase 7.0.0.|
|N||Number||A number||You must declare a length and a precision (the number of digits after the decimal point).|
|F||Float||A float number||Same as N. Available as of PHP 5.2.0|
|C||String||A string||You must declare a length. When retrieving data, the string will be right-padded with spaces to fit the declared length. Overlong strings will be silently truncated when storing data.|
T or Y for
As of dbase 7.0.0, returned as a bool (
As of dbase 7.0.0 nullable fields are supported for
DBASE_TYPE_FOXPROdatabases. If a field is nullable, passing
NULLwill set the respective flag, and on later retrieval the field value will be
There is no support for indexes or memo fields.