dBASE IV v1.0

Ashton-Tate dBase was an early popular database management system for CP/M and MS-DOS. It was regarded as one of the killer applications for CP/M, and achieved good success. At the time of conception Ashton-Tate was a garage based company but quickly grew.

In 1982, enjoying large success on CP/M, dBASE II was ported to DOS and the IBM PC. By the start of 1984 dBASE II had retained about 70% of the computer database market with over 150,000 copies sold.

In 1988, after years of promises to rewrite, Ashton-Tate released dBASE IV. This version would be seen as its downfall, as it was slow, buggy, slow, incompatible, slow, and unable to compete against newer SQL offerings. It was eventually sold to Borland in 1991, who then continued to sell dBase III Plus as well as IV. Many dBASE developers would eventually start working in the closely related Fox Software / Microsoft FoxPro system.

Ashton-Tate also released a Macintosh database under the dBase name, called "dBase Mac". It was acquired from another company and was not directly related to the DOS dBase product, although it had reportedly been considered as a basis for a new DOS rewrite instead of dBase IV.

Wanted: dBase III Plus distributed by Borland.


Release notes

dBase IV was a major rewrite. Compared to dBase III, this version was much slower, less stable, and very buggy. In part, this caused many dBase users to move to other database products.

Installation instructions

Important: This software has problems running on some faster computers and emulators. This has been tested to run in PCE.

Product type
Application Database
Release date
User interface
Download count
20 (0 for release)


Download name Version Language Architecture File size Downloads
dBase IV 1.0 (1988) (3.5-720k) IV 1.0 English 1.45MB 0
dBase IV 1.0 (1988) (5.25-360k) IV 1.0 English 3.35MB 0
dBase IV 1.0 Student Edition (1988) (5.25-360k) 1.0 Student Edition English 7.43MB 0


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