GS-Base zip database file format

GS-Base databases are zip archives saved either with the *.zip or *.gsb extensions. For more information about which extension you should choose, please see the Default file extension option in the Settings > Options dialog box.

Simplified GS-Base zip files contain only plain text files representing tables and can be created manually by users or by other applications. For details please see: Simplified GS-Base files.

A database zip file contains files of the following categories:

  1. Database records stored as

    [table name].txt

    text files. These are plain comma-separated UTF-8 text files containing field names in the first row and records in the subsequent rows.
    You can edit these files manually without GS-Base using any text editor capable of saving UTF-8 text files.
    Deleting such a file from the database zip archive means deleting all records.
    If you insert any text (*.txt, *.csv, *.tsv, *.tab) file into the zip, GS-Base will detect and report a new table(s) and will enable you either to setup and add it to the database structure or to retain it in the zip as an unused file.

  2. Long Text, Images/Files and Code field subfolders. Each such subfolder has the following form:

    [table name].r[8-digit record number]f[5-digit field number]

    For Long Text fields, each such subfolder contains one *.rtf or *.txt file.
    For Images/Files fields, each such subfolder contains any number of any files.
    Code field subfolders contain one *.txt file.
    You can edit/add/remove these files manually without GS-Base and add/remove/edit subfolders or their names.

  3. One configuration config.dat file containing various information about the database: the order of tables, page settings and formatting.
    If you delete this file manually, GS-Base can still use all the record tables and binary fields and re-import them automatically as if they were new tables.

  4. One META-INF/manifest.txt file containing the list of all files used by the database. If the file is encrypted, that file also contains various encryption parameters.
    If the database is not encrypted, deleting this file doesn't affect the database.
    If the database is encrypted, you must not modify that file in any way or you'll risk loosing the data.

  5. Any number of any files not used by GS-Base that you can drag-and-drop into the database zip file manually.
    If the Settings > Options > Show the unused files list option is on, GS-Base will report detecting such files. When the database zip file is saved, all such unused files are stored in the separate unused/ zip subfolder.

Note: If your database contains a very large numers of memo/image/files/code objects (e.g. thousands), it's recommended to use the *.gsb extension as processing such zip's by Windows (e.g. when Windows performs file searching/indexing) might be very slow.

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