JavaDBF: Read/Write xBASE (DBASE/DBF) files from your Java Application
Till late 90s dBase and its cousins were the most preferred database platform for small and even medium enterprise applications. They demanded only low hardware configurations and were cheaper to develop. I myself have developed and maintained many such applications. I liked the the dBase file structure called
.dbf which is simple and good enough for the purpose. But eventually, more capable desktop databases like M$ Access came into picture. But still DBF file format remains one of the simplest way to store and transfer data.
DBF format has some advantages over csv
or XML: it can contain the structure definition including data type information. DBF is more like an open standard so it can be used as a data exchange format. If you have a database application with an RDBMS at the back-end and still you need to import a report to your spread sheet program, DBF format is the most elegant and sure-shot approach.
JavaDBF also comes handy when it is required to transfer data between applications which do not have a common data format. Java developers often come across such situations when they are asked to share data with spreadsheet application.
What JavaDBF is NOT
JavaDBF is not a database engine. It cannot act as a back-end for your application. Data can be piped into JavaDBF (to export data in DBF format) and data can be piped from JavaDBF (to import database from DBF format).
anil at linuxense dot com