What is dBase, and how can you import dBase files into Microsoft Access?

dBase is the first database management system that is built specifically for microcomputers. The components of this system include a core database engine, query system, forms engine, and a programming language. The format in which the File is saved in the database system is .dbf. If you are looking for a simple yet efficient format to store structured data, you should consider creating File over dBase.  To learn more about power bi you should enroll power bi courses.

It allows users for a hassle-free production of various applications like middleware applications or Web Apps that run on Windows servers and other Windows applications. Moreover, it is a versatile third-generation language, and numerous database management systems accept its format. 

With this information, you might think that the dBase system might not be in use nowadays. But this is not true. With rapid technology changes, dBase systems have also upgraded themselves with the changes. One such change that happened over the years is that now dbase dbf files can be imported into Microsoft Access using less complicated steps.

Let’s see what those steps are:

  1. First, you have to select the external data from the Import & Link group. Click on more and select the dBase file.
  2. When a dialogue box opens, you have to select the browse option. 
  3. From the File Open dialog box, track down the dBase file and click on Open.

By default, your file format will be dBase III. To change the file format to dBase IV or dBase 5 you must select a different file format which will be present on the drop-down list next to File Name. You will notice that the file name usually listed is either dBase five or dBase 7. This is because both of them are the same file formats.

  1. From the Get External Data-dBase File dialog box, you must select Import the source data to a new table on the current database and click on ok.
  2. Save the import steps, and your .dbf files are imported into Microsoft Access. Don’t worry if there are no column headers in your dBase file; Microsoft Access will create them for you.

Now that we know how to import dBase files into Access let’s dive into some of the core features of dBase that make it still in demand.

Features of dBase Systems:

  • JIT (Just in Time) compiler helps convert source language into machine language. 
  • A source code editor allows manual editing and entry of codes.
  • With the help of two-way graphical user interface (GUI) design tools, you can switch back and forth from GUI design tools to the code editor. 

As we are now aware of what is dBAse and what are its features, let’s look at what are its advantages and disadvantages of dBase systems:


  • Showing users useful data only: 

With dBase, you can hide complex data from the users and show them only the useful data they are searching for.

  • Controls Data Redundancy:

With the dBase system, you can ensure that your data is not copied multiple times. As a result, it helps you save your storage space and increase retrieval.

  • Protects data from unauthorized Access:

The database from dBase systems can only be accessed through proper authentication, usually by login and password. This process ensures that any outsider does not access your data.


  • Staff Training Cost:

To run a DBMS system, you require proper training and for that organization have to spend hefty amounts. If the employee leaves the organization, all the efforts and money go in vain.  

  • Pricey Hardware and Software:

Running a dBAse system requires a high-speed processor and large memory size. Furthermore, as all the equipment is on an expensive end, organizations require huge capital to fix them. 

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