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Smithware DDF Builder

Note: On February 13, 1998, Smithware was acquired by Pervasive Software. This site is an archive of the materials that were on the Smithware site when was routed to This site is maintained for archival purposes only.

ActiveX Controls for Btrieve
I*net Data Server
Crystal Reports for Btrieve
DDF Builder
DDF Sniffer
VBX Controls for Btrieve
Butility for DOS

Other Products Available Through Smithware's Product Marketing Group:

ODBC Interface
Scalable SQL

Note: On February 13, 1998, Smithware was acquired by Pervasive Software. This site is an archive of the materials that were on the Smithware site when was routed to This site is maintained for archival purposes only.

DDF Builder wins the 1998 Access Office VB Advisor Readers Choice Silver Award!

DDF Builder from Smithware is the #1 tool for defining Btrieve data.

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
  • Microsoft Access
  • Visual Basic
  • Scalable SQL
  • Crystal Reports
  • Titan

  • 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.

    DDF Builder lets you create and document data dictionary files for Btrieve databases, and also includes file creation, import, export, and browse utilities.

    Here are a few of the reasons why thousands of developers use DDF Builder.

    • Modify existing DDF's or create a new set.
    • Modify existing Btrieve file definitions and create new ones.
    • Define and modify table definitions by changing, inserting, and deleting field and index definitions. When you modify a table definition for an existing Btrieve file, DDF builder for Windows gives you the option to restructure the Btrieve data by copying it into a new file which is created according to the new definition.
    • Print and maintain complete file documentation.
    • Set options to display fields either by offset or by position, or to allow Smithware Extended Data Types. DDF Builder for Windows also correctly handles ASCII characters used by many non-English applications by setting the OEM-Convert option.
    • Open the table using the definition in the DDF to test the DDF structure. You may also use the table editor in DDF Builder for Windows to browse, modify, or populate data files.
    • Use DDF Wizard to build a boiler plate DDF for a file whose structure is not known. This allows you to open the table and use the Find Field operation to search for data packed in the file.
    • Use Index Wizard to create the index definition portion of the DDF after you have defined an existing Btrieve file and after the field list has been defined.
    • Create Btrieve files for tables defined in the DDF.
    • Copy table definitions from one table or DDF to another.
    • Import and export DDF structures from other sources.
    • Work with Btrieve version 5.x and 6.x. DDF Builder for Windows includes the Btrieve Client Engine v6.15 (WBTRCALL.DLL).
    • Get expert advice and assistance from Smithware technical support representatives.

    The quality of your work depends on the quality of your tools. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations. Get the original DDF Builder(tm) from Smithware today.

    Smithware also offers an add-on to DDF Builder for Windows called DDF Sniffer. DDF Sniffer will automatically parse existing Btrieve data files, looking for fields of information. If you have undocumented Btrieve data files, DDF Sniffer can cut hours off the tedious task of hunting for field information. Sniffer uses proprietary data parsing and pattern recognition algorithms developed by Smithware, the leader in Btrieve database programming tools, to analyze the raw records in your Btrieve files, and determine possible underlying field structures. DDF Sniffer produces DDF Builder input format files from raw Btrieve data.

    DDF Builder for Windows includes the latest version of the Btrieve for Windows client engine (v6.15 at this printing) which is completely setup by our comprehensive installation program. Complete on-line context sensitive help is always available with the click of a mouse button.

    For more information:
    For complete product information on DDF Sniffer, see
    DDF Sniffer Product Information.
    See for yourself everything this product can do!
    Download Product Help Files.

    DDF Builder for Windows $149.95
    To Order Call Toll-Free (800) 828-7438 or (615) 386-3100 or CLICK HERE for on-line ordering information!

    Copyright © 1988, 1998 by Smithware, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Smithware, Controls for Btrieve, DDF Builder, DDF Sniffer, Btrieve Developer's Journal, and Power Tools for Btrieve are trademarks of Smithware, Inc. Btrieve is a registered trademark of Pervasive Software, Inc. ActiveX, Windows, Windows NT, and Internet Explorer are trademarks of Microsoft Corp. All other product or brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Legal Notice.