Free Pascal

Database Tutorial - part 1

Lazarus contains components for working with databases. In this tutorial, we'll set up a project with the still popular DBF format.

Short history of DBF

dBase was one of the first database management systems for microcomputers, and the most successful in its day.

dBase's underlying file format, the .dbf file, is still widely used in applications needing a simple format to store structured data.

dBase was originally published by Ashton-Tate in 1980. On the PC platform, dBase became one of the best-selling software titles. Starting in the mid-1980s, several companies produced their own variations on dBase. These were the so-called xBase products, including FoxPro and Clipper.

In the early 1990s, xBase products constituted the leading database platform for business applications. Soon the xBase firms were acquired by larger software companies; thus, Borland purchased Ashton-Tate, and later on Embarcadero purchased Borland.

From the start on, one of Delphi's strengths was in its ability to work with databases and its support for DBF based databases. However, the current Delphi versions don't support the DBF format any more.

Our project: The GuitarClub

We'll show you how to set up a relational database management system (RDBMS) for our imaginary "GuitarClub". It will contain tables for the club members and for their collector items (Members.dbf, and Guitars.dbf) plus some helper files.

Next we'll write a program for the club's administration.