.dbf database tables not recognised as relational

I’m struggling to recreate my 25-year-old customer database in Base because Lotus approach is buggy in the latest version of Wine and I think it’s probably time to move to a newer program!

I’ve got my 5 .dbf tables available and visible and I’ve designed a form, but I now need to join the tables and that’s where I’m struggling. If I connect to the database, select Query, and Click Tools-Relationships I just see a dialogue claiming “The database doesn’t support relations” which is nonsense since the tables are from a relational database.

What do I need to do to make the database relational in Base?

DBase (and this are *.dbf-files) are all separate files. There couldn’t be defined a relation between this files, because DBase doesn’t support this. Relationships in Base will only be created with the supported possibilities of the database. Could be Approach has saved such an information for relations in a separate file like *.ADX for indexes.

You could create such a relation through forms, subforms and listboxes. But you have to ensure integrity yourself.

If you need a relational database you could use the internal HSQLDB, also the internal Firebird database and many external databases like MariaDB, PostgreSQL, external versions of HSQLDB or Firebird … You only have to copy the data from the dBase-connected database to this new database and create a primary key to every table.

Yes, I’ve been reading round a bit, and I’ve come to a similar conclusion. I’ll have to create a new database and find a way to copy the data across from the old tables to the new. It would appear that, as you say, Approach creates the joins and manages them whereas Base relies on back-end functionality to do that and only provides a view. I think it’s slightly disingenuous to call this DBase not supporting relationships when it’s really Base which doesn’t provide them, yet claims to be a relational database. No, it’s a viewer for other databases which relies on those for the functionality they have to provide.

Still, if that’s what it is, that’s what it is and that’s what we need to work with.