DDF's (Data Dictionary Files) are the standard for defining the fields of data that are contained in files created and maintained by the Btrieve database engine. Once you have DDF's defined for your Btrieve files, you immediately open your Btrieve data to the vast array of commercial tools and applications that now support the DDF format including:
Smithware ActiveX Controls for Btrieve
Btrieve Technologies developed the DDF structure in order to use Btrieve files as the underpinnings of their relational database offerings including Scalable SQL and Xtrieve. Btrieve is a data-model-independent indexed filing system, which means that the fields of information stored in Btrieve files is dictated by the application which creates and uses the files. The DDF standard was implemented to enforce the SQL relational model on files used with BTI's SQL products. New SQL-based database products from independent software vendors such as Microsoft, with their Access and VB database and ODBC specification, have adopted the DDF method for defining Btrieve files. If you have valuable Btrieve information that you want to access, then DDF Builder is for you!
DDF Builder for Windows is very easy to use and understand. To create a new data dictionary, simply choose the location of the dictionary and DDF Builder will create the three empty, standard DDF's: FILE.DDF, FIELD.DDF, and INDEX.DDF. DDF Builder also creates two Smithware Extended DDF's: COMMENT.DDF and FIELDEXT.DDF which contain comments and definitions for fields defined using nonstandard Btrieve data types. Next, enter the Table Name and Table Location of the file, then define all of the characteristics of each field in the file. Once all fields have been defined, the new DDF definition is ready to use! DDF Builder has several features that help you move quickly along the path of file definition. For example, once all fields have been defined, you may use the Index Wizard to automatically build the index portion of the definition for you based on the index structure of the existing file. If you already have a data definition for your Btrieve file in some form other than a DDF, you can import that definition into DDF Builder for Windows by creating a DBIF (DDF Builder Interchange Format) file.