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(tool, product, language)
An interactive DBMS, originally from Ashton-Tate Corporation, and the language used by it.

dBASE evolved from Vulcan by Wayne Ratliffe, which came out in around 1980 and ran on CP/M. It was called dBaseII when sold to Ashton-Tate Corporation.

The first release was dBASE II, ca 1980. There never was a "dBASE I". Later versions included: dBASE III, dBASE III+, and dBASE IV.

Ashton-Tate was taken over in the early 1990s by what became Borland Software Corporation who sold dBase in March(?) 1999 to the newly formed dBase Inc. dBase Inc's first release was Visual dBASE 5.7, a Y2K upgrade to Visual dBASE 5.x.

Current version, as of 2003-11-24: dBASE PLUS 2.0x build 1703.

dBase Home.

dBASE Plus

A relational database management (DBMS) and object-oriented application development system for Windows from dBase LLC, Binghamton, NY (www.dbase.com). Providing cross-database capability, it reads and writes natively to dBASE, Paradox, Access, Oracle, MS SQL Server and other databases. dBASE is an interpreted language that can also be compiled to speed up runtime operation.

dBASE's dQuery/Web interface provides a drag and drop capability for building and manipulating databases as well as interactive editing data. One-Click Windows and Web applications can be generated directly from the data models. dBASE's Distributed External Objects (DEO) provides a thin client capability that allows dBASE programs to be stored and updated on a LAN or Internet server and downloaded into the PC for execution.

dBASE Has History
dBASE was the first sophisticated database program for personal computers, and dBASE file formats became de facto standards. It was originally developed for the CP/M operating system and later DOS, but starting with dBASE for Windows, it became a client/server development system with the inclusion of the Borland Database Engine.

dBASE provides a Pascal-like, fourth-generation interpreted programming language that became very popular. Its interpreted nature allows small fragments of code to be instantly tested and databases to be interactively edited. For example, the following commands, which convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, can be entered one at a time for execution or placed in a program file:

    INPUT "Enter Fahrenheit  " TO FAHR
    ? "Celsius is ", (FAHR - 32) * 5 / 9

The following dBASE 4GL example opens the Products file and displays green items:

    use products
    list for color ='GREEN'

dBASE Evolution
Originally named Vulcan, dBASE was created by Wayne Ratliff to manage a company football pool. It was modeled after JPLDIS, the DBMS at Jet Propulsion Labs in Los Angeles. Renamed dBASE II when Hal Lashlee and George Tate formed Ashton-Tate to market it in 1981, dBASE became a huge success within a couple of years. In 1991, Borland acquired the company, and in 1999, dBASE, Inc. acquired dBASE from Borland. The company's name was later changed to dataBased Intelligence, Inc., and dBase LLC took over the product in 2012.

dBASE spawned the "Xbase" industry, which included Clipper, FoxBase, FoxPro and other products that provided a dBASE-like programming language and support for dBASE file formats. See dBASE versions and Xbase.

C. Wayne Ratliff
Ratliff designed and programmed the first successful DBMS for personal computers, dBASE II. (Image courtesy of Ratliff Software Productions.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The ISYS program "reads" every word of every text file and can index over 70 file formats, including Adobe Acrobat PDF; ASCII; AmiPro; dBASE III Plus and IV; IBM DisplayWrite; Microsoft PowerPoint;
We turned back to dBase III Plus to give it a closer examination.
The Lattice dBC III Plus library contains more than 45 functions which allow C programmers to create and maintain database programs that are compatible with dBASE III Plus files.
I have used the program with versions 4.2, 5.0, and 5.1 of WordPerfect and with dBase III Plus. The recently released WordPerfect for Windows has drastically altered its macro language, however, and the described macro will not work with it.
What often happens when a programmer creates an application in the previous version of the language, DBASE III Plus, is that he or she wants something to occur that is beyond die capability of the language, - that would require a tremendous amount of ingenuity.
DBase was followed by DBase II was followed by DBase III, DBase III Plus, and now DBase IV.
Several of the COBOL tests were also implemented in dBase III Plus to observe the caching behavior in this application environment which is very typical for personal computers.
With our dBASE III Plus software, I built a simple database using the "Assist" mode to handle the formerly manually maintained reserve item lists.
Software requirements include dBase III Plus and a separate text editor or word processor for writing customized programs; although a text editor is part of dBase Ill Plus, its memory is limited.
dBASE IV's publisher, Ashton-Tate, had some initial problems with its SQL, however, and most of the current literature on both dBASE III PLUS and dBASE IV still reflects the traditional dBASE language.
By this time we were using dBASE III Plus, with its optional menu-driven system.