Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.


(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 ?
Ksoft says it has already started planning the next release, under the name dBASE 2000, with a tentative release date of late spring, early summer this year, and will issue quarterly releases from then on.
Using ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters 18 and 5, we instructed the dBase program to insert the WordPerfect END FIELD and END RECORD codes directly into our merge file.
It's an uncomplicated task to add or delete individuals from the list for a specific magazine by altering the dBase file.
We turned back to dBase III Plus to give it a closer examination.
However, many other data base products read and write files in dBase format.
Over the years, Ashton-Tate's lethargy opened the doors to a whole sub-industry of companies that provided dbase customers with products Tate couldn't get out the door, often with slicker features and superior performance.
FoxPro 2.0 is acknowledged by most in the field as combining the most advanced dBASE programming language constructs with superior performance and close adherence to dBASE IV compatibility.
All the features we needed were to be found in dBase IV, version 1.1: a customized data entry screen, a choice of print formats, and simple retrieval and printing.
The Clipper database programming package can be used with dBase III and dBase III files and indexes.
Compare Borland with AshtonTate, which is building a flavor of dbase IV for virtually everything that runs on electricity.
Among public firms, the old standby, dBASE still controls the database market (holding as much as 58% in one category), but the relatively new Paradox is gaining quickly.
Although DBM depends on dBASE IV (or a compatible package like Foxpro or Arago), it transcends the limits of dBASE that are usually encountered in working with textual information.