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DBF driver in GRASS

Defining the DBF driver

The DBF driver is the default driver, in theory no user interaction is required. However, if the settings should be set back from a different to the DBF driver, the following step is required:
# keep single quotes:
db.connect driver=dbf database='$GISDBASE/$LOCATION_NAME/$MAPSET/dbf/'
db.connect -p
The dbf/ subdirectory in the mapset must exist or must be created by the user.

Creating a DBF table

Usually DBF tables are created by GRASS when generating a vector map with attributes (and using DBF as default attribute driver).

If a DBF table has to be created manually, db.execute can be used or a spreadsheet application. Also db.copy is sometimes useful as well as to import external tables.

Supported SQL commands by DBF driver

  ALTER TABLE table ADD [COLUMN] columndef
  CREATE TABLE table ( columndefs )
  DROP TABLE table
  SELECT columns FROM table
  SELECT columns FROM table WHERE condition
  DELETE FROM table WHERE condition
  INSERT INTO table VALUES (value1[,value2,...])
  INSERT INTO table ( column1[,column2,...] ) VALUES (value1[,value2,...])
  UPDATE table SET assignment1[,assignment2,...]
  UPDATE table SET assignment1[,assignment2,...] WHERE condition

Operators available in conditions

  "="  : equal
  "<"  : smaller than
  "<=" : smaller/equal than
  ">"  : larger than
  ">=" : larger/equal than
  "<>" : not equal
  "~"  : Substring matching  (non-standard SQL)
  "%"  : Substring matching  (limited functionality)

Arithmetic expressions using constants and field values are allowed in condition clauses and in the RHS of assignments. Usual precedence rules and bracketing (using '(' and ')') are supported. Type conversion is performed if necessary (experimental).

Aggregate functions (sum, count, min, max,...) are NOT currently supported in SELECT clauses.

Mathematic functions (sin, cos, exp, log,...) are NOT currently supported in expressions.

Conditions allow boolean expressions using the AND, OR and NOT operators, with the usual precedence rules.

NULLs can be tested by 'colname IS NULL' in conditions. The negation is 'colname NOT NULL'.


An error message such as:
DBMI-DBF driver error:
SQL parser error: syntax error, unexpected DESC, expecting NAME processing 'DESC'
indicates that a column name corresponds to a reserved SQL word (here: 'DESC'). A different column name should be used. If this happens during import with, the cnames parameter can be used to assign different column names on the fly.


db.connect, SQL support in GRASS GIS
DBF Specifications (Shapelib)

Last changed: $Date: 2007-07-18 07:10:27 -0700 (Wed, 18 Jul 2007) $

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