dbm: dbmclose, dbminit, fetch, store, delete, firstkey, nextkey -- database subroutines


cc ... -ldbm

typedef struct {
	char *dptr;
	int dsize;

dbminit(file) char*file;

datum fetch(key) datum key;

store (key,content) datum key, content;

delete(key) datum key;

datum firstkey()

datum nextkey(key) datum key;



These functions maintain key/content pairs in a database. The functions will handle very large (a billion blocks) databases and will access a keyed item in one or two filesystem accesses. The functions are obtained with the loader option -ldbm.

keys and contents are described by the datum typedef. A datum specifies a string of dsize bytes to which dptr points. Arbitrary binary data, as well as normal ASCII strings, are allowed. The database is stored in two files. One file is a directory containing a bit map and has .dir as its suffix. The second file contains all data and has .pag as its suffix.

Before a database can be accessed, it must be opened by dbminit. At the time of this call, the files file.dir and file.pag must exist. (An empty database is created by creating zero-length .dir and .pag files.)

Once open, the data stored under a key is accessed by fetch and data is placed under a key by store. A key (and its associated contents) is deleted by delete. A linear pass through all keys in a database may be made, in an (apparently) random order, by use of firstkey and nextkey. firstkey will return the first key in the database. With any key, nextkey will return the next key in the database. This code will traverse the data base:

   for (key = firstkey(); key.dptr ! = NULL; key = nextkey(key))
A database may be closed by calling dbmclose. You must close a database before opening a new one.


All functions that return an int indicate errors with negative values. A return value of zero indicates successful completion of the function. Routines that return a datum indicate errors by returning a null pointer.


The .pag file will contain holes so that its apparent size is about four times its actual content. Older UNIX systems may create real file blocks for these holes when touched. These files cannot be copied by normal means (cp, cat, tp, tar, ar) without filling in the holes.

dptr pointers returned by these subroutines point into static storage that is changed by subsequent calls.

The sum of the sizes of a key/content pair must not exceed the internal block size (currently 1024 bytes). Moreover, all key/content pairs that hash together must fit on a single block. store will return an error in the event that a disk block fills with inseparable data.

delete does not physically reclaim file space, although it does make it available for reuse.

The order of keys presented by firstkey and nextkey depends on a hashing function.

Because interlocks and reliable cache flushing are not implemented, concurrent updating and reading is not recommended.

© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003