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Alpha Size Limit

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  • Alpha Size Limit

    I thinking about purchasing a database containing about 70 million records. Each record is has a total lenghth of 100 characters and has about 6 fields.

    Can alpha handle this efficiently? If so, what is the limit to the size of the database? Doesn't windows some sort of file size limit and does this apply to the dbf?

  • #2
    Alpha's .dbf file is set to a maximum size of 2 gb. Further details can be found at:
    #1 Designs By Pagecrazy


    • #3
      Re: Alpha Size Limit

      Yes, this is an old thread, but the website asks that you search for previous instances of your question before re-posting. Your link now goes to which is no help whatsoever.
      I have been using A4 v2 ever since I bought it sometime in the early '90s. It still works great for what I'm doing, a hobby database. What is the upper limit on size of record, number of records in file, etc? Cannot find in user manuals. Cannot find online. Cannot find on this site.
      Update: gives all relevant limits for the program "Alpha Anywhere" but it is not clear if these limits are the same as my older "Alpha 4 Version 2".
      Last edited by SandyW; 07-11-2017, 01:01 PM. Reason: add info


      • #4
        Re: Alpha Size Limit

        Should be in the local documentation under Database Specifications or online at
        There can be only one.


        • #5
          Re: Alpha Size Limit

          [QUOTE=Stan Mathews;727221]Should be in the local documentation under Database Specifications....

          Okay, found it in the Reference Manual, Chapter 9 "Database Design" page 9-4 as the first paragraph in "Database Structures":

          A database can have up to 128 fields per record; each record can contain up to 4,000 characters. Each database can contain approximately two billion records.

          (I typed that in because, in 14 more years, someone else will have the same question and now it's been actually answered.)

          Actually, since the .DBF files are Ashton-Tate dBaseIII files, I probably could have gone there and gotten the same answer. The program has survived innumerable computer crashes. It's probably running on its 7th or 8th platform since I bought it. Right now it's running on an old PC on top of Windows 98/SE with the GUI turned off as that's the most stable version of "DOS" I've found. The PC can't do much else these days, but it's still great for running DOS programs like this. I'm up to 17,000 records and I was wondering.... I guess I'm still safe.


          • #6
            Re: Alpha Size Limit

            Originally posted by SandyW View Post
            Update: gives all relevant limits for the program "Alpha Anywhere" but it is not clear if these limits are the same as my older "Alpha 4 Version 2".
            The limit is for the dbf file type and not directly related to Alpha or any other engine that manipulates them.
            There can be only one.


            • #7
              Re: Alpha Size Limit

              the .DBF files are Ashton-Tate dBaseIII files
              Is this still true for AA v12?

              Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford


              • #8
                Re: Alpha Size Limit

                The limit is for the dbf file type, it has nothing to do with Alpha, any version. Native Alpha dbf files are FoxPro 2.6 compatible and are constrained by that specification.

                The technical details are beyond me but the limit has to do with the dbf standard being built on a 32 bit addressing platform. The actual address space is 31 bits leaving 1 for the (+/-) sign.

                ? 2^31 'binary
                = 2147483648 'possible
                ? bytes_to_mega(2147483648) 'conversion
                = "2.0 GB"
                Last edited by Stan Mathews; 07-19-2017, 03:02 PM.
                There can be only one.