Database File Formats

Database format unites a ream of file extensions purposed to store an organized collection of data. The data is usually kept in tables and fields. Access to editing data organization, adding entries, storage and retrieval is provided by DBMS (Database Management System) software that can be pre-installed with computer’s current operation system or can be installed manually.

The logical data stored in databases is typically organized in a certain fashion called “database model”. The most prevalent database models are:

  • Flat file model – keeps data in the form of a plain text file. One line of this database holds one record with fields separated with commas or tabs. A flat file cannot contain multiple tables which is disadvantageous if a complex structure is a necessity.
  • Hierarchal model – level-based tree-like structure where records relate to each other through links. The higher record can link to a few records below it, but lower records are linked only to one higher record. Widely used for storing geographic data and in any application demanding high performance.
  • Relational model represents data in a set of tuples grouped into relations. Records created in this database model are linked together using a “key” – a predicate variable relating two or more tables by its content. This model is the most common one due to convenience and efficiency of data edit and storage.
  • Object-oriented model stores information as objects. This model is used in object-oriented programming easing developing because of maintained consistency with environment where development takes place.

Database format files are found almost everywhere from the very core of operation systems to the engine of a game, from a nearby bank to this website. Ability to store large quantities of information digitally is what makes the database format so widely used.

The variety of database format files extensions leads to numerous problems caused by failure of software to identify them. Those failures generally cause error 3343 – unrecognized database format which is often easily solved by reinstalling the software.

Most common database file extensions are listed below:

  • DB – database format used in Windows and mobile devices. Generally stores data in the relational model. DB files are created using DBMS software like Microsoft Access or Filemaker and can be converted to CSV format.
  • SQL – as well as all sorts of derivatives (SQLITE, SQLITEDB, etc.). Those files contain code written in Structure Query Language. SQL files can be used to create an entry, update or delete data in related databases. What is interesting about SQL format is that files written in SQL are easily edited in any text editor, including Notebook.
  • ACCDB – this extension relies on Microsoft Access database file. It means that a file that has this extension is unique to and can only be opened and edited by the Microsoft Access or ACCDB viewers. It was created to replace the MDB extension which is now outdated.
  • FP7 – database file created by FileMaker Pro. Stores data in the form of tables and records, also uses forms, charts and organizes personal and company data. Later versions of FileMaker (ver. 12) use the newer FMP12 format, but older files would not cause any trouble since FP7 files are automatically updated to FMP12 by opening those files in FileMaker Pro 12.