DBF files (or Database Files, sometimes simply referred to as databases) are files which use the file extension .dbf and are used to store various game data for players, teams and statistics in the NBA Live series, first used in NBA Live 98. The process of creating roster patches involves editing DBF files to modify hidden attributes that are not accessible within the game's Create-a-Player and Edit Player functions. The most common tool used to edit data in dbf files is DB Commander by T&T Solutions.
Editing data within dbf files is simple using tools such as DB Commander. The process involves opening a dbf file, locating the necessary data and changing it as desired. Data is organised in a table making it easy to find a particular player or team usually searching by name, and then the particular field of data according to the column's label. Making changes to the data requires a knowledge of the field labels and their respective values, information that is mapped out in the NLSC's DBF Editing Guides. These can be found in the appropriate NBA Live subsites.
When working with DBF files it is best to modify files from a saved roster (or if desired a saved Dynasty/Season game). This is preferable to editing the files in the database folders (workingdb, currentb and originaldb) as the roster can be re-loaded with the latest changes from the Load/Save menu. It is advisable that backups are made before making any changes to a dbf file as the process of dbf editing can cause the files to become corrupted and unusable in certain situations. It is generally not recommended that programs such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access be used to modify dbf files despite their capability to read such files as it is easy for the user to save the file incorrectly and thus cause a corruption. Changes are saved automatically in DB Commander by moving to another cell in the database making it a safer alternative.
Common uses of DBF Editing
Basic DBF editing is used primarily to modify data that is not accessible from within the game. These modifications involve changing single cells of data to a new value that is valid and recognised by the game which usually avoids complications unless the database is saved incorrectly. Advanced DBF editing techniques can used to develop more detailed modifications for NBA Live, such as:
- Custom Teams
- Custom rookies in Dynasty Mode
- Additional team jerseys and gear