Features in Depth

New – dBASE PLUS 9 Programmers Editor™

The new editor in dBASE PLUS 9 brings new programmer functionality that will help developers increase their productivity and get their jobs done faster and with more consistency. The new editor has an extensive list of valuable built-in features reading dBASE code easier than ever before. Some of these great features include:

  • End of Line: (now know where the end-of-line mark is)
  • Code Folding: (lots of code, reduce the length and focus on only the code you need)
  • Indentation Guides: (help better document the code)
  • Line Numbers: (Know the exact line number in the code and use in combination with bookmarks)
  • Comment line: (Simple key-combination for commenting out a line or uncommenting a line)
  • Comment Block: (Simple key-combination for commenting out a block of code or uncommenting out a block of code)
  • Make selection upper case: (Simple editor tool, make the selected text ALL UPPER CASE)
  • Make selection lower case (Simple editor tool, make the selected text all lower case)

NEW – dComplete™ – Code completion for dBASE!

The #1 requested feature of dBASE, code completion. Now dBASE PLUS 9 has dComplete™ our version of code completion, code insight, intellisense, or whatever you want to call it, is now available inside dBASE. dComplete™ is very useful in the new editor, when the prediction is based on a list of words in one or more languages. dBASE PLUS 9’s displays the technical texts a word list of terms in that field is used and auto-fills the text in place. dComplete™ speeds up human-computer interactions in environments to which it is well suited.

New – dBlocks™ – Code snippet insertion for dBASE!

Allows users to use code-shortcuts to enable snippets of code to be inserted in to the editor. Not only does this save time and speed development it also reduces common typing mistakes. dBlocks™ can be user-enhanced with individual additions to the dBlocks™ file.

New – 60% more keyboard editor commands

Productivity is all about not breaking the flow and dBASE PLUS 9 increases the number of functions that can be accomplished in the new editor with keyboard shortcuts. No longer having to stop typing to click the mouse to do an operation, now just combine a few keys and get the operation done fast!

CTRL-{num pad} + (zoom bigger) CTRL-{num pad} – (zoom smaller) CTRL-Q (Toggle Comments – lines or blocks) ALT-SHIFT-{arrow keys} (Column selecting and highlighting going up) ALT-SHIFT-{arrow keys} (Column selecting and highlighting going down) Plus many, many more options…

Zoom in the Editor
CTRL-{num pad} + (zoom bigger) CTRL-{num pad} – (zoom smaller)

Toggle Comments on/off in the Editor – CTRL-Q (Toggle Comments – lines or blocks)

New – dPreview™ – print preview functionality

Now preview what could be printed before wasting paper. This feature works with dBASE Forms, Programs, or Reports. Click for CTRL-P to preview, then click the Print to finish the task.

New – dLocator™ – Find in files functionality

Now allows for incremental search, faster search and replace, and also brings the Search in Files features to the product.

New – dBabel™ – multi-language editing support (BETA)

No need to have multiple editors on a machine now, dBASE can handle the work. The new editor allows various other languages to be worked with from within the IDE. These languages include xBASE and dBL of course, but it also allows for plain Text, SQL, JavaScript, HTML, XML, and others. The support currently brings context sensitive highlighting, code folding and other coding tools to dBASE 9.

New – dExtract™ – extract code, forms, reports to new file types

The new editor now allows you to export out your source code, forms, reports, etc. in various useful formats that make working with and sharing much easier and safer than before. The new output formats include HTML, RTF, PDF, LaTex, and XML.

New – Code Hints – Help docs as quick as a mouse hover

The new editor will now display code hints to help people create code quickly with updated material from the documentation.

New Application Look & Feel

The new dBASE PLUS 9 IDE as the new Look & Feel introduced with dBASE PLUS 8, now those UI Themes can be used in your projects as well. A couple of lines can be added to the shipping applications .ini file or use the Project Manager to add the specific UI Theme during the build process.

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New – Code Folding

Code Folding: (lots of code, reduce the length and focus on only the code you need).

New – Line Numbers

Know the exact line number in the code

New – White Space Indicators

Now with one ‘.’ representation, know exactly where the spaces are in a line, used in combination with End of Line Indicators and Indentation Guides makes a very powerful set of tools.

New – End of Line Indicators

Know where the line ends and how it was ended. The End of Line Indicators work in combination with White Space Indicators and Indentation Guides.

New – Indentation Guides

Well-defined and well-structured code makes it easier to read and ultimately understand. Use the new Indentation Guides to ensure code is lining up from line to line and from indentation to indentation.

New – Customization

dBASE PLUS 9 allows the new editor to be fully customized, which allows the users to make the environment fit their personalities and make using the product easier, faster, and more enjoyable to use.

New – Full Context Highlighting

Simplify the readability and understanding with full Context Sensitive Highlighting of dBASE programs as well as other programming languages. dBASE PLUS 9 now gives the ability either through the configuration property editor or through the properties files the ability to customize the display of information for easier consumption.

New – dbfExplorer™

This new dbf Utility allows users to quickly see what the dBASE file extensions are all about. Now with this Windows® plug-in the user can click on a dBASE based file and understand in depth information about the file and its extension.

New – SocketTools ActiveX Controls and Libraries

SocketTools is a suite of ActiveX controls and libraries for software developers who need to integrate Internet functionality into their Windows applications. Using SocketTools, you can easily add features such as uploading and downloading files, sending and retrieving e-mail, exchanging information with web servers, interactive terminal sessions, and remote system management.

  • SocketTools – File Transfer Protocol Control 8 – The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) control provides a comprehensive API which supports both high level operations, such as uploading or downloading files, as well as a collection of lower-level file I/O functions. In addition to file transfers, an application can create, rename, and delete files and directories, search for files using wildcards and perform other common file management functions.
  • SocketTools – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Control 8 – The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a lightweight, stateless application protocol that is used to access resources on web servers, as well as send data to those servers for processing. The control provides direct, low-level access to the server and the commands that are used to retrieve resources (i.e.: documents, images, etc.). The control also provides a simple interface for downloading resources to the local host, similar to how the SocketTools FTP control can be used to download files.
  • SocketTools – Post Office Protocol Control 8 – The Post Office Protocol (POP3) provides access to a user’s new e-mail messages on a mail server. Methods are provided for listing available messages and then retrieving those messages, storing them either in files or in memory. Once a user’s messages have been downloaded to the local system, they are typically removed from the server. This is the most popular e-mail protocol used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the control provides a complete interface for managing a user’s mailbox. This control is typically used in conjunction with the Mail Message control, which is used to process the messages that are retrieved from the server.
  • SocketTools – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Control 8 – The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) enables applications to deliver e-mail messages to one or more recipients. The control provides an interface for addressing and delivering messages, and extended features such as user authentication and delivery status notification. Unlike Microsoft’s Messaging API (MAPI) or Collaboration Data Objects (CDO), there is no requirement to have certain third-party e-mail applications installed or specific types of servers installed on the local system. The control can be used to deliver mail through a wide variety of systems, from standard UNIX based mail servers to Windows systems running Exchange or Lotus Notes and Domino.
  • SocketWrench Windows Socket Control 8 – The SocketWrench control provides a simplified interface for the standard Windows Sockets API used to develop Internet and intranet applications using the TCP/IP protocol. With SocketWrench, you can create both client and server applications, as well as send and receive UDP datagrams.

[button url=”#” bg=”EB1A22″ color=”FFF” bg_hover=”#EB1A22″ target=”blank”] New in 9.0 [/button]

Multiple Language Support

dBASE 8.1 brings back the popular Multi-lingual support that users of dBASE have come to expect. The latest release of dBASE adds back the support for German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and of course the default language of English.

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Enhanced ActiveX Support

dBASE 8.1 has enhanced the ActiveX capability in every way. ActiveX support has been limited over the past couple of releases. Microsoft® has changed many of the underlying frameworks and interfaces and now dBASE better supports well-behaved ActiveX controls and automation.

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Component Updates

dBASE 8.1 updates a number of key components to enhance the capability of prior releases. Updates to Notebook and Menus allows users to use the components as they expect.

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BDE Alias Wizard

dBASE 8.1 introduces a new level of convenience with the addition of the User BDE Alias page found in the Desktop Properties dialog. Now there is no need to jump into BDE Administrator to add a User Alias.

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Revised Graphics Engine

dBASE 8.1 introduces a new internal graphics engine that allows for better support of the most commonly used graphics formats available today. This means support for BMP, PNG, ICO, GIF and others like animated GIF format.

[button url=”#” bg=”EB1A22″ color=”FFF” bg_hover=”#EB1A22″ target=”blank”] New in 8.1 [/button]

High Precision Math

Implemented via 128 bit decimal floating point numbers that support up to 34 digits of precision. A decimal floating-point number is stored using a base 10 value, which reduces conversion errors that normally occur switching back and forth to base two floating-point values.

ADO Support – Components

Being able to use an ADO data source is great, but we did not stop there. We have also added in several custom ADO components that make working with ADO a breeze in dBASE PLUS 8.

ADO Support – Connectivity

More has changed under the hood of dBASE PLUS 8 than just support of Microsoft’s latest operating system. We have also added support for connecting to ADO datasets.

ADO Support – UDL

The new support for ADO includes the ability to create and use Microsoft based UDL files. A UDL File stands for universal data link (.udl) file is essentially a text file that contains the connection string for an OLE DB data source. This connection string can then be loaded into dBASE and used by the components and tools to connect to ADO data sources.

Drag and Drop SQL Builder

Completely redesigned, the SQL Designer can be used to quickly pull all of your data together in a visual way. You can see the relationships between each dataset, and create result sets that meet the true business needs of your application.

Addition of ActiveX Controls

dBASE has always had the ability to run ActiveX controls since they were introduced by Microsoft. dBASE has started to add additional ActiveX controls to the product to fill-in areas of functionality that is currently missing from the standard components included in dBASE PLUS 9.

The new controls are focused on areas people have requested:

  • dJvClockX Control – A quick clock control for standing time management. Support both digital and analog look and feel, support Dates, and it also has full support for Alarms.
  • dJvDriveComboX Control – This is a simple window Drive combobox. It will show all the registered drives on a system. Find and interact with those drives in a couple clicks.
  • dJvDirectoryListBox Control – This is a Directory listing component and can be easily connected to the dJvDriveComboX component. This will allow for traversing a drive and directory on a registered drive. Many advanced features are included with its Properties, Methods, and Events.
  • dJvFileListBoxX Control – dJvFileListBoxX is a file listbox that shows all of the files inside a particular directory on a registered drive. This component works very well with both the dJvDriveCombo Control and the dJvDirectoryListBox control. This component has many advanced features that are exposed from its Properties, Methods, and Events.
  • dJvRichTextEdit Control – Have full RTF capability with the ActiveX control.

dBASE PLUS 9 also supports 3rd party ActiveX components. The .ocx or .dll that are accompanied with the ActiveX’s must be deployed with your application.

Tool Palette Docking Support

In addition to supporting themes inside of dBASE PLUS 8, it also support docking of tool windows. Therefore, tool windows like Component, Format, Fields, and the Inspector can now be docked to the sides of the screen, stacked on top of each other with a tab interface, or strategically laid out to the developer content. In addition to supporting tool windows, the product also supports movable menus as well.

Updated Look and Feel

dBASE PLUS 8 now includes an updated and modernized interface. These additional features include new professional icons, updated wizard graphics, and support for Microsoft Themes. The product appearance has been updated as the new default theme is based on the black color scheme, which is configurable by the user at any time including while the product is running.

Backgrounds and Textures

dBASE PLUS 8 has a wide range of new graphical features, that include Icons, Application Themes, new components, and also new textures. Developers can now use these textures to create modern looking interfaces that are very common today. These textures are used in the background property of the form and the product supports all common window sizes for easy application building.

Included Glyfx Icons and Graphics

There is more to staying current than just maintaining functionality. While the user interface for dBASE PLUS 8 has itself been enhanced to look more modern, we realize that the applications dBASE users have created also need to be updated with the times. That is one reason dBase, LLC has partnered with Glyfx to provide a rich set of visually stunning graphics that can be used to enhance the look of any dBASE application.

Modern Application Themes

The new IDE supports Microsoft’s themes, these are packaged colors, fonts, and window looks. The current themes supported in dBASE PLUS 8 include most of the standard themes using in Microsoft office 2007 and 2010.

Enhanced Project Navigation

One of the important features of an MDI interface, which dBASE PLUS 8 is based, is the ability to quickly find Windows, Wizard, tool windows in the interface. The new Window tab manager can be customized to the developer’s desire and really help find and manage open windows.

Project Explorer

The updated project file allows users to build applications with all needed resources (tables, forms, queries, bitmaps, and so on). In addition to keeping things organized, having a project file lets you Compile and build a project. It also allows you to set properties for the project as a whole and set properties for individual files. It will allow you to designate which file should be the first to open when your executable file is run.

Revised Help System

Getting help when and where you need it is important to everyone. In dBASE PLUS 8 we have updated the content and enhanced the in app help system just as we have been expanding our available training solutions for dBASE users. Knowing how to get things done right in dBASE PLUS 8 is as important to us here at dBase, LLC as it is to you.

Running on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

One of the biggest concerns on the minds of current dBASE users is the future. Will dBASE continue to work on future operating systems. With dBASE PLUS 8, we have certified that all major and minor features of the product continue to work well on Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.


A callback allows you to write a function or method in dBL code and setup a pointer to it that can be passed to an external program – such as Windows or the BDE or some other 3rd party software that supports callbacks. Callbacks can be used to notify your program of specific events occurring with an external program OR to allow your program to modify what an external program is doing.

Core Features

Build Options
Conversion Tools

These are included tools to help migrate from prior releases of dBASE.

Build Web Application

Specialized tools for building applications for the web.

Runtime Engine

Allows dBASE application exe’s to be deployed and run on user’s workstations, servers, and web-servers.

Just-In-Time Compiler

Compiles source code into a highly compact object code (also called “byte code”) either on demand or only when needed – prior to running it.

Integrated Debugger

A debugger that has a graphical user interface inside of the development environment and is a used to test and debug other programs (the ‘target’ program).

Virtual Machine Interpreter

A highly optimized interpreter for executing dBASE object code (byte code) that has been generated by the dBASE compiler.

Tool Features
Command Window

The Command window is used to directly execute one-line dBL commands. It is handy for testing simple expressions and immediately seeing the results in the results pane.


The Navigator provides a visual way to create, locate, access, and open individual files. It also lets you establish your working directories and search paths.

Form Designer

The form design window is a visual design surface on which you position the components you need for your form, then set their properties in the Inspector and code their event handlers and other methods.

Report Designer

The report window is a visual design surface to which you drag and drop the components you need for your report, then set their properties in the Inspector.

Menu Designer

Building basic menus through the designers is a simple two-step process of adding items, then adding code to make the items do what you want them to do.

Label Designer

Use the Label designer to create labels and other reports that use more than one report band.

Source Code Editor

The Source editor lets you view or edit code for any dBASE Plus form, report, menu, query, data module, program, or any other type of text file.

OLE / COM / ActiveX support

3rd party libraries support for extending dBASE applications.

Data Manipulation
Table Designer

Use the Table designer to design or restructure a table.

Data Module Designer

The Data Module design window is a visual design surface for designing data modules that you can use in your forms, reports, and labels.

Data Access Classes(Session, Database, Query, Rowset, Field, StoredProc and Datamodule)

A set of non-visual classes that make working with databases easier.

ODBC Support

dBASE can interact with any ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivty) data source and manipulate its data.

Support for Native dBASE Tables (Levels 3,4,5 and 7)

Supports all dBASE DBF table structures from level 3 thru level 7.

Support for Paradox Data

dBASE can interact with Paradox data structures.

Support for FoxPro and Visual FoxPro Data

dBASE can interact with FoxPro and Visual FoxPro data structures.

Customize Solution
Visual Object Classes

A set of components that are visual in design and make creating Microsoft Windows applications fast and easy.

Operating System classes

A set of components that allow for simple integration to the underlying Operating System items like the File System.

xBASE language support

One of the first functional database programming languages that the dBASE product pioneered.

dBL (dBASE Language)

dBL (dBASE Language) is an object Oriented language for building rich database applications in dBASE.

Local SQL

Local SQL (sometimes called “client-based SQL”) is a subset of ANSI-92 SQL for accessing DB (Paradox) and DBF (dBASE) tables.


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