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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Unanswered: Understanding .DBF structure

    We have all our contacts stored in an ACT! 2000 database. They are organised into Groups within ACT.

    I can backup this database to a folder. This produces one large .dbf file, and about 50 or so smaller files. I assume most of these are things like report templates that I can ignore for my purposes.

    I can connect to this file* and read data from it. But not all the data I need. In fact, all I can get when I connect to it is a list of contacts.

    From its size, and the fact that it's the only DBF file created when I tell ACT to do a compete backup, I'm assuming that this file contains not only all my contacts, but all the groups and, cruically, whatever internal table it's using to track which contacts are members of which groups.

    That's the table I want. But I've no idea how to get into it.

    Any quick Google search brings up a load of small 3rd-party export utilities that claim to do what I want. But (a) professional pride and (b) my tightfisted nature is stopping me buying one. The data is there, somebody else can read these files and get all the data out, I see no reason why I can't get into it myself.

    Can anyone help?

    *from within an ASP page:
    set oConn = server.CreateObject("adodb.connection")
    oConn.Open "DBQ=C:\folder\where\I\backed\up\to;Driver={Microsoft dBase Driver (*.dbf)}; DriverId=277;FIL=dBase4.0"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Ok, a little progress. In which direction, I'm not sure.

    I found a free utility called "ACT DayLite Exporter" ( which, as far as I can work out, exports your DBF file into a whole bunch of other files that can be imported into something called DayLite, which seems to be a contact management database for Macs.

    So now I've got a folder full of ".tbl" files. It would appear that these are a step closer to what I'm after - there's one called "Contact.tbl", one called "Group.tbl" and one called "ContactGroup.tbl", for example.

    But I've still no idea how to get these things into an ODBC database. Any will do, but I can't find anything that says it'll import it. SQL Server can import from a bewildering array of data sources, but doesn't mention ".tbl" files specifically.

    So... in short: anyone heard of .tbl files and know how to get the data out of them?

    ETA: scrap that - you can open the things in Notepad
    Last edited by Spudhead; 08-31-06 at 06:06.

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