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Caracal Software Logo

Caracal Software Logo

33 Knapps Road
Stephentown, NY 12168-2702

Phone: 518-966-7889


What are Flex Files (DBV files)?

In the early days of data tables, storing memos (random length text)was a very inefficient process. Each memo field had a minimum block size - for example, 500 bytes. If you only needed to store a few words, the table still allocated the full 500 bytes. As a result, memo fields quickly became very large.

Other limitations of memo files were that they could only accept character data, were limited to 64K in size, and were difficult to search through when attempting to locate data.

A company named Ganahl software created a product called "Flex-File" to overcome these limitations. A Flex-file memo file typically had a .DBV extension, as opposed to the more usual .DBT extension.

Flex-files saved only the data you needed, resulting in much smaller file sizes. Additionally, you could save ANY valid data type, the memo field had no size restriction, and you could quickly and easily find specific text in memos.

Because of this, and other features, Flex-File became very popular with Clipper programmers. Unfortunately, other vendors soon came out with comparable memo storage schemes, and Flex-file began to die off.

Caracal Software can help you identify which version of Flex-File your DBV file is, what kind of data is stored in it, which data storage method was used, and in most cases can convert it to whatever format you would like.

Please contact us for more information!

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