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dBASE.NET - Read and write DBF files with .NET

dBASE.NET is a .NET class library used to read FoxBase, dBASE III and dBASE IV .dbf files. Data read from a file is returned as a list of typed fields and a list of records. This library is useful to add data import from dBASE sources to a .NET project.

This code has been tested against a number of dBASE files found in the wild, including FoxBase and dBASE III/IV files with and without memo files. A .NET unit test project is part of this repository and new test files may be added to it over time.

There is an article describing the dBASE file format.

Installing dBASE.NET

dBASE.NET is available from nuget:

  • Package manager:
PM> Install-Package dBASE.NET -Version 1.2.2
  • .NET CLI:
> dotnet add package dBASE.NET --version 1.2.2
  • Paket CLI:
> paket add dBASE.NET --version 1.2.2

Opening a DBF file

using dBASE.NET;


This returns an instance of the Dbf class. With this, you can iterate over fields found in the table:

foreach(DbfField field in dbf.Fields) {

You can also iterate over records:

foreach(DbfRecord record in dbf.Records) {
	for(int i = 0;  i < dbf.Fields.Count; i++) {

Count the records:


Working with memo files

When memo file accompanying the .dbf file is found (either .dbt or .fpt), with the same base name as the table file, then dBASE.NET will load the memo file's contents.

Writing a DBF file

To write DBF data, you can either create a new instance of Dbf, then create fields and records, or load an existing table and modify its fields or records.

This sample code creates a new table with a single character field, then saves the .dbf file:

dbf = new Dbf();
DbfField field = new DbfField("TEST", DbfFieldType.Character, 12);
DbfRecord record = dbf.CreateRecord();
record.Data[0] = "HELLO";
dbf.Write("test.dbf", DbfVersion.VisualFoxPro);

Supported Field types

Code Field type .NET counterpart
C Character string String
D Date DateTime
I Integer Int32
L Logical Bool
M Memo String
N Numeric Double
T DateTime DateTime
Y Currency Float

Class diagram

Class diagram

yuml:[Dbf]+->[DbfRecord], [Dbf]+->[DbfField], [DbfRecord]+->[DbfField], [Dbf]->[DbfHeader], [DbfHeader]^-[Dbf4Header]


  • Version 1.2.2: Fix reading DbfField from file with invalid name.
  • Version 1.2.1: Fixed buffer overflow on write operation. Fixed trimming and padding on write operation. Performance improve on write operation.
  • Version 1.2.0: Sign assembly.
  • Version 1.1.0: Add support for custom character encoding
  • Version 1.0.0: Initial release


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