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DB_File(3perl)	       Perl Programmers Reference Guide		DB_File(3perl)

       DB_File - Perl5 access to Berkeley DB version 1.x

	use DB_File;

	[$X =] tie %hash,  'DB_File', [$filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_HASH] ;
	[$X =] tie %hash,  'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_BTREE ;
	[$X =] tie @array, 'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_RECNO ;

	$status = $X->del($key [, $flags]) ;
	$status = $X->put($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
	$status = $X->get($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
	$status = $X->seq($key, $value, $flags) ;
	$status = $X->sync([$flags]) ;
	$status = $X->fd ;

	# BTREE only
	$count = $X->get_dup($key) ;
	@list  = $X->get_dup($key) ;
	%list  = $X->get_dup($key, 1) ;
	$status = $X->find_dup($key, $value) ;
	$status = $X->del_dup($key, $value) ;

	# RECNO only
	$a = $X->length;
	$a = $X->pop ;
	$a = $X->shift;
	@r = $X->splice(offset, length, elements);

	# DBM Filters
	$old_filter = $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { ... } ) ;
	$old_filter = $db->filter_store_value( sub { ... } ) ;
	$old_filter = $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { ... } ) ;
	$old_filter = $db->filter_fetch_value( sub { ... } ) ;

	untie %hash ;
	untie @array ;

       DB_File is a module which allows Perl programs to make use of the
       facilities provided by Berkeley DB version 1.x (if you have a newer
       version of DB, see "Using DB_File with Berkeley DB version 2 or
       greater").  It is assumed that you have a copy of the Berkeley DB
       manual pages at hand when reading this documentation. The interface
       defined here mirrors the Berkeley DB interface closely.

       Berkeley DB is a C library which provides a consistent interface to a
       number of database formats.  DB_File provides an interface to all three
       of the database types currently supported by Berkeley DB.

       The file types are:

	    This database type allows arbitrary key/value pairs to be stored
	    in data files. This is equivalent to the functionality provided by
	    other hashing packages like DBM, NDBM, ODBM, GDBM, and SDBM.
	    Remember though, the files created using DB_HASH are not
	    compatible with any of the other packages mentioned.

	    A default hashing algorithm, which will be adequate for most
	    applications, is built into Berkeley DB. If you do need to use
	    your own hashing algorithm it is possible to write your own in
	    Perl and have DB_File use it instead.

	    The btree format allows arbitrary key/value pairs to be stored in
	    a sorted, balanced binary tree.

	    As with the DB_HASH format, it is possible to provide a user
	    defined Perl routine to perform the comparison of keys. By
	    default, though, the keys are stored in lexical order.

	    DB_RECNO allows both fixed-length and variable-length flat text
	    files to be manipulated using the same key/value pair interface as
	    in DB_HASH and DB_BTREE.  In this case the key will consist of a
	    record (line) number.

   Using DB_File with Berkeley DB version 2 or greater
       Although DB_File is intended to be used with Berkeley DB version 1, it
       can also be used with version 2, 3 or 4. In this case the interface is
       limited to the functionality provided by Berkeley DB 1.x. Anywhere the
       version 2 or greater interface differs, DB_File arranges for it to work
       like version 1. This feature allows DB_File scripts that were built
       with version 1 to be migrated to version 2 or greater without any

       If you want to make use of the new features available in Berkeley DB
       2.x or greater, use the Perl module BerkeleyDB instead.

       Note: The database file format has changed multiple times in Berkeley
       DB version 2, 3 and 4. If you cannot recreate your databases, you must
       dump any existing databases with either the "db_dump" or the
       "db_dump185" utility that comes with Berkeley DB.  Once you have
       rebuilt DB_File to use Berkeley DB version 2 or greater, your databases
       can be recreated using "db_load". Refer to the Berkeley DB
       documentation for further details.

       Please read "COPYRIGHT" before using version 2.x or greater of Berkeley
       DB with DB_File.

   Interface to Berkeley DB
       DB_File allows access to Berkeley DB files using the tie() mechanism in
       Perl 5 (for full details, see "tie()" in perlfunc). This facility
       allows DB_File to access Berkeley DB files using either an associative
       array (for DB_HASH & DB_BTREE file types) or an ordinary array (for the
       DB_RECNO file type).

       In addition to the tie() interface, it is also possible to access most
       of the functions provided in the Berkeley DB API directly.  See "THE

   Opening a Berkeley DB Database File
       Berkeley DB uses the function dbopen() to open or create a database.
       Here is the C prototype for dbopen():

	     dbopen (const char * file, int flags, int mode,
		     DBTYPE type, const void * openinfo)

       The parameter "type" is an enumeration which specifies which of the 3
       interface methods (DB_HASH, DB_BTREE or DB_RECNO) is to be used.
       Depending on which of these is actually chosen, the final parameter,
       openinfo points to a data structure which allows tailoring of the
       specific interface method.

       This interface is handled slightly differently in DB_File. Here is an
       equivalent call using DB_File:

	       tie %array, 'DB_File', $filename, $flags, $mode, $DB_HASH ;

       The "filename", "flags" and "mode" parameters are the direct equivalent
       of their dbopen() counterparts. The final parameter $DB_HASH performs
       the function of both the "type" and "openinfo" parameters in dbopen().

       In the example above $DB_HASH is actually a pre-defined reference to a
       hash object. DB_File has three of these pre-defined references.	Apart
       from $DB_HASH, there is also $DB_BTREE and $DB_RECNO.

       The keys allowed in each of these pre-defined references is limited to
       the names used in the equivalent C structure. So, for example, the
       $DB_HASH reference will only allow keys called "bsize", "cachesize",
       "ffactor", "hash", "lorder" and "nelem".

       To change one of these elements, just assign to it like this:

	       $DB_HASH->{'cachesize'} = 10000 ;

       The three predefined variables $DB_HASH, $DB_BTREE and $DB_RECNO are
       usually adequate for most applications.	If you do need to create extra
       instances of these objects, constructors are available for each file

       Here are examples of the constructors and the valid options available
       for DB_HASH, DB_BTREE and DB_RECNO respectively.

	    $a = new DB_File::HASHINFO ;
	    $a->{'bsize'} ;
	    $a->{'cachesize'} ;
	    $a->{'hash'} ;
	    $a->{'lorder'} ;
	    $a->{'nelem'} ;

	    $b = new DB_File::BTREEINFO ;
	    $b->{'flags'} ;
	    $b->{'cachesize'} ;
	    $b->{'maxkeypage'} ;
	    $b->{'minkeypage'} ;
	    $b->{'psize'} ;
	    $b->{'compare'} ;
	    $b->{'prefix'} ;
	    $b->{'lorder'} ;

	    $c = new DB_File::RECNOINFO ;
	    $c->{'bval'} ;
	    $c->{'cachesize'} ;
	    $c->{'psize'} ;
	    $c->{'flags'} ;
	    $c->{'lorder'} ;
	    $c->{'reclen'} ;
	    $c->{'bfname'} ;

       The values stored in the hashes above are mostly the direct equivalent
       of their C counterpart. Like their C counterparts, all are set to a
       default values - that means you don't have to set all of the values
       when you only want to change one. Here is an example:

	    $a = new DB_File::HASHINFO ;
	    $a->{'cachesize'} =	 12345 ;
	    tie %y, 'DB_File', "filename", $flags, 0777, $a ;

       A few of the options need extra discussion here. When used, the C
       equivalent of the keys "hash", "compare" and "prefix" store pointers to
       C functions. In DB_File these keys are used to store references to Perl
       subs. Below are templates for each of the subs:

	   sub hash
	       my ($data) = @_ ;
	       # return the hash value for $data
	       return $hash ;

	   sub compare
	       my ($key, $key2) = @_ ;
	       # return	 0 if $key1 eq $key2
	       #	-1 if $key1 lt $key2
	       #	 1 if $key1 gt $key2
	       return (-1 , 0 or 1) ;

	   sub prefix
	       my ($key, $key2) = @_ ;
	       # return number of bytes of $key2 which are
	       # necessary to determine that it is greater than $key1
	       return $bytes ;

       See "Changing the BTREE sort order" for an example of using the
       "compare" template.

       If you are using the DB_RECNO interface and you intend making use of
       "bval", you should check out "The 'bval' Option".

   Default Parameters
       It is possible to omit some or all of the final 4 parameters in the
       call to "tie" and let them take default values. As DB_HASH is the most
       common file format used, the call:

	   tie %A, "DB_File", "filename" ;

       is equivalent to:

	   tie %A, "DB_File", "filename", O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH ;

       It is also possible to omit the filename parameter as well, so the

	   tie %A, "DB_File" ;

       is equivalent to:

	   tie %A, "DB_File", undef, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH ;

       See "In Memory Databases" for a discussion on the use of "undef" in
       place of a filename.

   In Memory Databases
       Berkeley DB allows the creation of in-memory databases by using NULL
       (that is, a "(char *)0" in C) in place of the filename.	DB_File uses
       "undef" instead of NULL to provide this functionality.

       The DB_HASH file format is probably the most commonly used of the three
       file formats that DB_File supports. It is also very straightforward to

   A Simple Example
       This example shows how to create a database, add key/value pairs to the
       database, delete keys/value pairs and finally how to enumerate the
       contents of the database.

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   our (%h, $k, $v) ;

	   unlink "fruit" ;
	   tie %h, "DB_File", "fruit", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_HASH
	       or die "Cannot open file 'fruit': $!\n";

	   # Add a few key/value pairs to the file
	   $h{"apple"} = "red" ;
	   $h{"orange"} = "orange" ;
	   $h{"banana"} = "yellow" ;
	   $h{"tomato"} = "red" ;

	   # Check for existence of a key
	   print "Banana Exists\n\n" if $h{"banana"} ;

	   # Delete a key/value pair.
	   delete $h{"apple"} ;

	   # print the contents of the file
	   while (($k, $v) = each %h)
	     { print "$k -> $v\n" }

	   untie %h ;

       here is the output:

	   Banana Exists

	   orange -> orange
	   tomato -> red
	   banana -> yellow

       Note that the like ordinary associative arrays, the order of the keys
       retrieved is in an apparently random order.

       The DB_BTREE format is useful when you want to store data in a given
       order. By default the keys will be stored in lexical order, but as you
       will see from the example shown in the next section, it is very easy to
       define your own sorting function.

   Changing the BTREE sort order
       This script shows how to override the default sorting algorithm that
       BTREE uses. Instead of using the normal lexical ordering, a case
       insensitive compare function will be used.

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my %h ;

	   sub Compare
	       my ($key1, $key2) = @_ ;
	       "\L$key1" cmp "\L$key2" ;

	   # specify the Perl sub that will do the comparison
	   $DB_BTREE->{'compare'} = \&Compare ;

	   unlink "tree" ;
	   tie %h, "DB_File", "tree", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open file 'tree': $!\n" ;

	   # Add a key/value pair to the file
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
	   $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
	   $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;
	   $h{'duck'}  = 'donald' ;

	   # Delete
	   delete $h{"duck"} ;

	   # Cycle through the keys printing them in order.
	   # Note it is not necessary to sort the keys as
	   # the btree will have kept them in order automatically.
	   foreach (keys %h)
	     { print "$_\n" }

	   untie %h ;

       Here is the output from the code above.


       There are a few point to bear in mind if you want to change the
       ordering in a BTREE database:

       1.   The new compare function must be specified when you create the

       2.   You cannot change the ordering once the database has been created.
	    Thus you must use the same compare function every time you access
	    the database.

       3.   Duplicate keys are entirely defined by the comparison function.
	    In the case-insensitive example above, the keys: 'KEY' and 'key'
	    would be considered duplicates, and assigning to the second one
	    would overwrite the first. If duplicates are allowed for (with the
	    R_DUP flag discussed below), only a single copy of duplicate keys
	    is stored in the database --- so (again with example above)
	    assigning three values to the keys: 'KEY', 'Key', and 'key' would
	    leave just the first key: 'KEY' in the database with three values.
	    For some situations this results in information loss, so care
	    should be taken to provide fully qualified comparison functions
	    when necessary.  For example, the above comparison routine could
	    be modified to additionally compare case-sensitively if two keys
	    are equal in the case insensitive comparison:

		sub compare {
		    my($key1, $key2) = @_;
		    lc $key1 cmp lc $key2 ||
		    $key1 cmp $key2;

	    And now you will only have duplicates when the keys themselves are
	    truly the same. (note: in versions of the db library prior to
	    about November 1996, such duplicate keys were retained so it was
	    possible to recover the original keys in sets of keys that
	    compared as equal).

   Handling Duplicate Keys
       The BTREE file type optionally allows a single key to be associated
       with an arbitrary number of values. This option is enabled by setting
       the flags element of $DB_BTREE to R_DUP when creating the database.

       There are some difficulties in using the tied hash interface if you
       want to manipulate a BTREE database with duplicate keys. Consider this

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my ($filename, %h) ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   # Enable duplicate records
	   $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

	   tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   # Add some key/value pairs to the file
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key and value
	   $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
	   $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;

	   # iterate through the associative array
	   # and print each key/value pair.
	   foreach (sort keys %h)
	     { print "$_  -> $h{$_}\n" }

	   untie %h ;

       Here is the output:

	   Smith   -> John
	   Wall	   -> Larry
	   Wall	   -> Larry
	   Wall	   -> Larry
	   mouse   -> mickey

       As you can see 3 records have been successfully created with key "Wall"
       - the only thing is, when they are retrieved from the database they
       seem to have the same value, namely "Larry". The problem is caused by
       the way that the associative array interface works. Basically, when the
       associative array interface is used to fetch the value associated with
       a given key, it will only ever retrieve the first value.

       Although it may not be immediately obvious from the code above, the
       associative array interface can be used to write values with duplicate
       keys, but it cannot be used to read them back from the database.

       The way to get around this problem is to use the Berkeley DB API method
       called "seq".  This method allows sequential access to key/value pairs.
       See "THE API INTERFACE" for details of both the "seq" method and the
       API in general.

       Here is the script above rewritten using the "seq" API method.

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my ($filename, $x, %h, $status, $key, $value) ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   # Enable duplicate records
	   $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

	   $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   # Add some key/value pairs to the file
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Brick' ; # Note the duplicate key and value
	   $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;
	   $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;

	   # iterate through the btree using seq
	   # and print each key/value pair.
	   $key = $value = 0 ;
	   for ($status = $x->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;
		$status == 0 ;
		$status = $x->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) )
	     {	print "$key -> $value\n" }

	   undef $x ;
	   untie %h ;

       that prints:

	   Smith   -> John
	   Wall	   -> Brick
	   Wall	   -> Brick
	   Wall	   -> Larry
	   mouse   -> mickey

       This time we have got all the key/value pairs, including the multiple
       values associated with the key "Wall".

       To make life easier when dealing with duplicate keys, DB_File comes
       with a few utility methods.

   The get_dup() Method
       The "get_dup" method assists in reading duplicate values from BTREE
       databases. The method can take the following forms:

	   $count = $x->get_dup($key) ;
	   @list  = $x->get_dup($key) ;
	   %list  = $x->get_dup($key, 1) ;

       In a scalar context the method returns the number of values associated
       with the key, $key.

       In list context, it returns all the values which match $key. Note that
       the values will be returned in an apparently random order.

       In list context, if the second parameter is present and evaluates TRUE,
       the method returns an associative array. The keys of the associative
       array correspond to the values that matched in the BTREE and the values
       of the array are a count of the number of times that particular value
       occurred in the BTREE.

       So assuming the database created above, we can use "get_dup" like this:

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my ($filename, $x, %h) ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;

	   # Enable duplicate records
	   $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

	   $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   my $cnt  = $x->get_dup("Wall") ;
	   print "Wall occurred $cnt times\n" ;

	   my %hash = $x->get_dup("Wall", 1) ;
	   print "Larry is there\n" if $hash{'Larry'} ;
	   print "There are $hash{'Brick'} Brick Walls\n" ;

	   my @list = sort $x->get_dup("Wall") ;
	   print "Wall =>      [@list]\n" ;

	   @list = $x->get_dup("Smith") ;
	   print "Smith =>     [@list]\n" ;

	   @list = $x->get_dup("Dog") ;
	   print "Dog =>       [@list]\n" ;

       and it will print:

	   Wall occurred 3 times
	   Larry is there
	   There are 2 Brick Walls
	   Wall =>     [Brick Brick Larry]
	   Smith =>    [John]
	   Dog =>      []

   The find_dup() Method
	   $status = $X->find_dup($key, $value) ;

       This method checks for the existence of a specific key/value pair. If
       the pair exists, the cursor is left pointing to the pair and the method
       returns 0. Otherwise the method returns a non-zero value.

       Assuming the database from the previous example:

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my ($filename, $x, %h, $found) ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;

	   # Enable duplicate records
	   $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

	   $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Larry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
	   print "Larry Wall is $found there\n" ;

	   $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Harry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
	   print "Harry Wall is $found there\n" ;

	   undef $x ;
	   untie %h ;

       prints this

	   Larry Wall is  there
	   Harry Wall is not there

   The del_dup() Method
	   $status = $X->del_dup($key, $value) ;

       This method deletes a specific key/value pair. It returns 0 if they
       exist and have been deleted successfully.  Otherwise the method returns
       a non-zero value.

       Again assuming the existence of the "tree" database

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my ($filename, $x, %h, $found) ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;

	   # Enable duplicate records
	   $DB_BTREE->{'flags'} = R_DUP ;

	   $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   $x->del_dup("Wall", "Larry") ;

	   $found = ( $x->find_dup("Wall", "Larry") == 0 ? "" : "not") ;
	   print "Larry Wall is $found there\n" ;

	   undef $x ;
	   untie %h ;

       prints this

	   Larry Wall is not there

   Matching Partial Keys
       The BTREE interface has a feature which allows partial keys to be
       matched. This functionality is only available when the "seq" method is
       used along with the R_CURSOR flag.

	   $x->seq($key, $value, R_CURSOR) ;

       Here is the relevant quote from the dbopen man page where it defines
       the use of the R_CURSOR flag with seq:

	   Note, for the DB_BTREE access method, the returned key is not
	   necessarily an exact match for the specified key. The returned key
	   is the smallest key greater than or equal to the specified key,
	   permitting partial key matches and range searches.

       In the example script below, the "match" sub uses this feature to find
       and print the first matching key/value pair given a partial key.

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   use Fcntl ;

	   my ($filename, $x, %h, $st, $key, $value) ;

	   sub match
	       my $key = shift ;
	       my $value = 0;
	       my $orig_key = $key ;
	       $x->seq($key, $value, R_CURSOR) ;
	       print "$orig_key\t-> $key\t-> $value\n" ;

	   $filename = "tree" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   $x = tie %h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_BTREE
	       or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n";

	   # Add some key/value pairs to the file
	   $h{'mouse'} = 'mickey' ;
	   $h{'Wall'} = 'Larry' ;
	   $h{'Walls'} = 'Brick' ;
	   $h{'Smith'} = 'John' ;

	   $key = $value = 0 ;
	   print "IN ORDER\n" ;
	   for ($st = $x->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;
		$st == 0 ;
		$st = $x->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) )

	     {	print "$key    -> $value\n" }

	   print "\nPARTIAL MATCH\n" ;

	   match "Wa" ;
	   match "A" ;
	   match "a" ;

	   undef $x ;
	   untie %h ;

       Here is the output:

	   Smith -> John
	   Wall	 -> Larry
	   Walls -> Brick
	   mouse -> mickey

	   Wa -> Wall  -> Larry
	   A  -> Smith -> John
	   a  -> mouse -> mickey

       DB_RECNO provides an interface to flat text files. Both variable and
       fixed length records are supported.

       In order to make RECNO more compatible with Perl, the array offset for
       all RECNO arrays begins at 0 rather than 1 as in Berkeley DB.

       As with normal Perl arrays, a RECNO array can be accessed using
       negative indexes. The index -1 refers to the last element of the array,
       -2 the second last, and so on. Attempting to access an element before
       the start of the array will raise a fatal run-time error.

   The 'bval' Option
       The operation of the bval option warrants some discussion. Here is the
       definition of bval from the Berkeley DB 1.85 recno manual page:

	   The delimiting byte to be used to mark  the	end  of	 a
	   record for variable-length records, and the pad charac-
	   ter for fixed-length records.  If no	 value	is  speci-
	   fied,  newlines  (``\n'')  are  used to mark the end of
	   variable-length records and	fixed-length  records  are
	   padded with spaces.

       The second sentence is wrong. In actual fact bval will only default to
       "\n" when the openinfo parameter in dbopen is NULL. If a non-NULL
       openinfo parameter is used at all, the value that happens to be in bval
       will be used. That means you always have to specify bval when making
       use of any of the options in the openinfo parameter. This documentation
       error will be fixed in the next release of Berkeley DB.

       That clarifies the situation with regards Berkeley DB itself. What
       about DB_File? Well, the behavior defined in the quote above is quite
       useful, so DB_File conforms to it.

       That means that you can specify other options (e.g. cachesize) and
       still have bval default to "\n" for variable length records, and space
       for fixed length records.

       Also note that the bval option only allows you to specify a single byte
       as a delimiter.

   A Simple Example
       Here is a simple example that uses RECNO (if you are using a version of
       Perl earlier than 5.004_57 this example won't work -- see "Extra RECNO
       Methods" for a workaround).

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my $filename = "text" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   my @h ;
	   tie @h, "DB_File", $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_RECNO
	       or die "Cannot open file 'text': $!\n" ;

	   # Add a few key/value pairs to the file
	   $h[0] = "orange" ;
	   $h[1] = "blue" ;
	   $h[2] = "yellow" ;

	   push @h, "green", "black" ;

	   my $elements = scalar @h ;
	   print "The array contains $elements entries\n" ;

	   my $last = pop @h ;
	   print "popped $last\n" ;

	   unshift @h, "white" ;
	   my $first = shift @h ;
	   print "shifted $first\n" ;

	   # Check for existence of a key
	   print "Element 1 Exists with value $h[1]\n" if $h[1] ;

	   # use a negative index
	   print "The last element is $h[-1]\n" ;
	   print "The 2nd last element is $h[-2]\n" ;

	   untie @h ;

       Here is the output from the script:

	   The array contains 5 entries
	   popped black
	   shifted white
	   Element 1 Exists with value blue
	   The last element is green
	   The 2nd last element is yellow

   Extra RECNO Methods
       If you are using a version of Perl earlier than 5.004_57, the tied
       array interface is quite limited. In the example script above "push",
       "pop", "shift", "unshift" or determining the array length will not work
       with a tied array.

       To make the interface more useful for older versions of Perl, a number
       of methods are supplied with DB_File to simulate the missing array
       operations. All these methods are accessed via the object returned from
       the tie call.

       Here are the methods:

       $X->push(list) ;
	    Pushes the elements of "list" to the end of the array.

       $value = $X->pop ;
	    Removes and returns the last element of the array.

	    Removes and returns the first element of the array.

       $X->unshift(list) ;
	    Pushes the elements of "list" to the start of the array.

	    Returns the number of elements in the array.

       $X->splice(offset, length, elements);
	    Returns a splice of the array.

   Another Example
       Here is a more complete example that makes use of some of the methods
       described above. It also makes use of the API interface directly (see

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   my (@h, $H, $file, $i) ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   use Fcntl ;

	   $file = "text" ;

	   unlink $file ;

	   $H = tie @h, "DB_File", $file, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666, $DB_RECNO
	       or die "Cannot open file $file: $!\n" ;

	   # first create a text file to play with
	   $h[0] = "zero" ;
	   $h[1] = "one" ;
	   $h[2] = "two" ;
	   $h[3] = "three" ;
	   $h[4] = "four" ;

	   # Print the records in order.
	   # The length method is needed here because evaluating a tied
	   # array in a scalar context does not return the number of
	   # elements in the array.

	   print "\nORIGINAL\n" ;
	   foreach $i (0 .. $H->length - 1) {
	       print "$i: $h[$i]\n" ;

	   # use the push & pop methods
	   $a = $H->pop ;
	   $H->push("last") ;
	   print "\nThe last record was [$a]\n" ;

	   # and the shift & unshift methods
	   $a = $H->shift ;
	   $H->unshift("first") ;
	   print "The first record was [$a]\n" ;

	   # Use the API to add a new record after record 2.
	   $i = 2 ;
	   $H->put($i, "Newbie", R_IAFTER) ;

	   # and a new record before record 1.
	   $i = 1 ;
	   $H->put($i, "New One", R_IBEFORE) ;

	   # delete record 3
	   $H->del(3) ;

	   # now print the records in reverse order
	   print "\nREVERSE\n" ;
	   for ($i = $H->length - 1 ; $i >= 0 ; -- $i)
	     { print "$i: $h[$i]\n" }

	   # same again, but use the API functions instead
	   print "\nREVERSE again\n" ;
	   my ($s, $k, $v)  = (0, 0, 0) ;
	   for ($s = $H->seq($k, $v, R_LAST) ;
		    $s == 0 ;
		    $s = $H->seq($k, $v, R_PREV))
	     { print "$k: $v\n" }

	   undef $H ;
	   untie @h ;

       and this is what it outputs:

	   0: zero
	   1: one
	   2: two
	   3: three
	   4: four

	   The last record was [four]
	   The first record was [zero]

	   5: last
	   4: three
	   3: Newbie
	   2: one
	   1: New One
	   0: first

	   REVERSE again
	   5: last
	   4: three
	   3: Newbie
	   2: one
	   1: New One
	   0: first


       1.   Rather than iterating through the array, @h like this:

		foreach $i (@h)

	    it is necessary to use either this:

		foreach $i (0 .. $H->length - 1)

	    or this:

		for ($a = $H->get($k, $v, R_FIRST) ;
		     $a == 0 ;
		     $a = $H->get($k, $v, R_NEXT) )

       2.   Notice that both times the "put" method was used the record index
	    was specified using a variable, $i, rather than the literal value
	    itself. This is because "put" will return the record number of the
	    inserted line via that parameter.

       As well as accessing Berkeley DB using a tied hash or array, it is also
       possible to make direct use of most of the API functions defined in the
       Berkeley DB documentation.

       To do this you need to store a copy of the object returned from the

	       $db = tie %hash, "DB_File", "filename" ;

       Once you have done that, you can access the Berkeley DB API functions
       as DB_File methods directly like this:

	       $db->put($key, $value, R_NOOVERWRITE) ;

       Important: If you have saved a copy of the object returned from "tie",
       the underlying database file will not be closed until both the tied
       variable is untied and all copies of the saved object are destroyed.

	   use DB_File ;
	   $db = tie %hash, "DB_File", "filename"
	       or die "Cannot tie filename: $!" ;
	   undef $db ;
	   untie %hash ;

       See "The untie() Gotcha" for more details.

       All the functions defined in dbopen are available except for close()
       and dbopen() itself. The DB_File method interface to the supported
       functions have been implemented to mirror the way Berkeley DB works
       whenever possible. In particular note that:

       ·    The methods return a status value. All return 0 on success.	 All
	    return -1 to signify an error and set $! to the exact error code.
	    The return code 1 generally (but not always) means that the key
	    specified did not exist in the database.

	    Other return codes are defined. See below and in the Berkeley DB
	    documentation for details. The Berkeley DB documentation should be
	    used as the definitive source.

       ·    Whenever a Berkeley DB function returns data via one of its
	    parameters, the equivalent DB_File method does exactly the same.

       ·    If you are careful, it is possible to mix API calls with the tied
	    hash/array interface in the same piece of code. Although only a
	    few of the methods used to implement the tied interface currently
	    make use of the cursor, you should always assume that the cursor
	    has been changed any time the tied hash/array interface is used.
	    As an example, this code will probably not do what you expect:

		$X = tie %x, 'DB_File', $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0777, $DB_BTREE
		    or die "Cannot tie $filename: $!" ;

		# Get the first key/value pair and set	the cursor
		$X->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;

		# this line will modify the cursor
		$count = scalar keys %x ;

		# Get the second key/value pair.
		# oops, it didn't, it got the last key/value pair!
		$X->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) ;

	    The code above can be rearranged to get around the problem, like

		$X = tie %x, 'DB_File', $filename, O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0777, $DB_BTREE
		    or die "Cannot tie $filename: $!" ;

		# this line will modify the cursor
		$count = scalar keys %x ;

		# Get the first key/value pair and set	the cursor
		$X->seq($key, $value, R_FIRST) ;

		# Get the second key/value pair.
		# worked this time.
		$X->seq($key, $value, R_NEXT) ;

       All the constants defined in dbopen for use in the flags parameters in
       the methods defined below are also available. Refer to the Berkeley DB
       documentation for the precise meaning of the flags values.

       Below is a list of the methods available.

       $status = $X->get($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
	    Given a key ($key) this method reads the value associated with it
	    from the database. The value read from the database is returned in
	    the $value parameter.

	    If the key does not exist the method returns 1.

	    No flags are currently defined for this method.

       $status = $X->put($key, $value [, $flags]) ;
	    Stores the key/value pair in the database.

	    If you use either the R_IAFTER or R_IBEFORE flags, the $key
	    parameter will have the record number of the inserted key/value
	    pair set.


       $status = $X->del($key [, $flags]) ;
	    Removes all key/value pairs with key $key from the database.

	    A return code of 1 means that the requested key was not in the

	    R_CURSOR is the only valid flag at present.

       $status = $X->fd ;
	    Returns the file descriptor for the underlying database.

	    See "Locking: The Trouble with fd" for an explanation for why you
	    should not use "fd" to lock your database.

       $status = $X->seq($key, $value, $flags) ;
	    This interface allows sequential retrieval from the database. See
	    dbopen for full details.

	    Both the $key and $value parameters will be set to the key/value
	    pair read from the database.

	    The flags parameter is mandatory. The valid flag values are

       $status = $X->sync([$flags]) ;
	    Flushes any cached buffers to disk.

	    R_RECNOSYNC is the only valid flag at present.

       A DBM Filter is a piece of code that is be used when you always want to
       make the same transformation to all keys and/or values in a DBM

       There are four methods associated with DBM Filters. All work
       identically, and each is used to install (or uninstall) a single DBM
       Filter. Each expects a single parameter, namely a reference to a sub.
       The only difference between them is the place that the filter is

       To summarise:

	    If a filter has been installed with this method, it will be
	    invoked every time you write a key to a DBM database.

	    If a filter has been installed with this method, it will be
	    invoked every time you write a value to a DBM database.

	    If a filter has been installed with this method, it will be
	    invoked every time you read a key from a DBM database.

	    If a filter has been installed with this method, it will be
	    invoked every time you read a value from a DBM database.

       You can use any combination of the methods, from none, to all four.

       All filter methods return the existing filter, if present, or "undef"
       in not.

       To delete a filter pass "undef" to it.

   The Filter
       When each filter is called by Perl, a local copy of $_ will contain the
       key or value to be filtered. Filtering is achieved by modifying the
       contents of $_. The return code from the filter is ignored.

   An Example -- the NULL termination problem.
       Consider the following scenario. You have a DBM database that you need
       to share with a third-party C application. The C application assumes
       that all keys and values are NULL terminated. Unfortunately when Perl
       writes to DBM databases it doesn't use NULL termination, so your Perl
       application will have to manage NULL termination itself. When you write
       to the database you will have to use something like this:

	   $hash{"$key\0"} = "$value\0" ;

       Similarly the NULL needs to be taken into account when you are
       considering the length of existing keys/values.

       It would be much better if you could ignore the NULL terminations issue
       in the main application code and have a mechanism that automatically
       added the terminating NULL to all keys and values whenever you write to
       the database and have them removed when you read from the database. As
       I'm sure you have already guessed, this is a problem that DBM Filters
       can fix very easily.

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;

	   my %hash ;
	   my $filename = "filt" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   my $db = tie %hash, 'DB_File', $filename, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH
	     or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n" ;

	   # Install DBM Filters
	   $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { s/\0$//    } ) ;
	   $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { $_ .= "\0" } ) ;
	   $db->filter_fetch_value( sub { s/\0$//    } ) ;
	   $db->filter_store_value( sub { $_ .= "\0" } ) ;

	   $hash{"abc"} = "def" ;
	   my $a = $hash{"ABC"} ;
	   # ...
	   undef $db ;
	   untie %hash ;

       Hopefully the contents of each of the filters should be self-
       explanatory. Both "fetch" filters remove the terminating NULL, and both
       "store" filters add a terminating NULL.

   Another Example -- Key is a C int.
       Here is another real-life example. By default, whenever Perl writes to
       a DBM database it always writes the key and value as strings. So when
       you use this:

	   $hash{12345} = "something" ;

       the key 12345 will get stored in the DBM database as the 5 byte string
       "12345". If you actually want the key to be stored in the DBM database
       as a C int, you will have to use "pack" when writing, and "unpack" when

       Here is a DBM Filter that does it:

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   my %hash ;
	   my $filename = "filt" ;
	   unlink $filename ;

	   my $db = tie %hash, 'DB_File', $filename, O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0666, $DB_HASH
	     or die "Cannot open $filename: $!\n" ;

	   $db->filter_fetch_key  ( sub { $_ = unpack("i", $_) } ) ;
	   $db->filter_store_key  ( sub { $_ = pack ("i", $_) } ) ;
	   $hash{123} = "def" ;
	   # ...
	   undef $db ;
	   untie %hash ;

       This time only two filters have been used -- we only need to manipulate
       the contents of the key, so it wasn't necessary to install any value

   Locking: The Trouble with fd
       Until version 1.72 of this module, the recommended technique for
       locking DB_File databases was to flock the filehandle returned from the
       "fd" function. Unfortunately this technique has been shown to be
       fundamentally flawed (Kudos to David Harris for tracking this down).
       Use it at your own peril!

       The locking technique went like this.

	   $db = tie(%db, 'DB_File', 'foo.db', O_CREAT|O_RDWR, 0644)
	       || die "dbcreat foo.db $!";
	   $fd = $db->fd;
	   open(DB_FH, "+<&=$fd") || die "dup $!";
	   flock (DB_FH, LOCK_EX) || die "flock: $!";
	   $db{"Tom"} = "Jerry" ;
	   flock(DB_FH, LOCK_UN);
	   undef $db;
	   untie %db;

       In simple terms, this is what happens:

       1.   Use "tie" to open the database.

       2.   Lock the database with fd & flock.

       3.   Read & Write to the database.

       4.   Unlock and close the database.

       Here is the crux of the problem. A side-effect of opening the DB_File
       database in step 2 is that an initial block from the database will get
       read from disk and cached in memory.

       To see why this is a problem, consider what can happen when two
       processes, say "A" and "B", both want to update the same DB_File
       database using the locking steps outlined above. Assume process "A" has
       already opened the database and has a write lock, but it hasn't
       actually updated the database yet (it has finished step 2, but not
       started step 3 yet). Now process "B" tries to open the same database -
       step 1 will succeed, but it will block on step 2 until process "A"
       releases the lock. The important thing to notice here is that at this
       point in time both processes will have cached identical initial blocks
       from the database.

       Now process "A" updates the database and happens to change some of the
       data held in the initial buffer. Process "A" terminates, flushing all
       cached data to disk and releasing the database lock. At this point the
       database on disk will correctly reflect the changes made by process

       With the lock released, process "B" can now continue. It also updates
       the database and unfortunately it too modifies the data that was in its
       initial buffer. Once that data gets flushed to disk it will overwrite
       some/all of the changes process "A" made to the database.

       The result of this scenario is at best a database that doesn't contain
       what you expect. At worst the database will corrupt.

       The above won't happen every time competing process update the same
       DB_File database, but it does illustrate why the technique should not
       be used.

   Safe ways to lock a database
       Starting with version 2.x, Berkeley DB  has internal support for
       locking.	 The companion module to this one, BerkeleyDB, provides an
       interface to this locking functionality. If you are serious about
       locking Berkeley DB databases, I strongly recommend using BerkeleyDB.

       If using BerkeleyDB isn't an option, there are a number of modules
       available on CPAN that can be used to implement locking. Each one
       implements locking differently and has different goals in mind. It is
       therefore worth knowing the difference, so that you can pick the right
       one for your application. Here are the three locking wrappers:

	    A DB_File wrapper which creates copies of the database file for
	    read access, so that you have a kind of a multiversioning
	    concurrent read system. However, updates are still serial. Use for
	    databases where reads may be lengthy and consistency problems may

	    A DB_File wrapper that has the ability to lock and unlock the
	    database while it is being used. Avoids the tie-before-flock
	    problem by simply re-tie-ing the database when you get or drop a
	    lock.  Because of the flexibility in dropping and re-acquiring the
	    lock in the middle of a session, this can be massaged into a
	    system that will work with long updates and/or reads if the
	    application follows the hints in the POD documentation.

	    An extremely lightweight DB_File wrapper that simply flocks a
	    lockfile before tie-ing the database and drops the lock after the
	    untie. Allows one to use the same lockfile for multiple databases
	    to avoid deadlock problems, if desired. Use for databases where
	    updates are reads are quick and simple flock locking semantics are

   Sharing Databases With C Applications
       There is no technical reason why a Berkeley DB database cannot be
       shared by both a Perl and a C application.

       The vast majority of problems that are reported in this area boil down
       to the fact that C strings are NULL terminated, whilst Perl strings are
       not. See "DBM FILTERS" for a generic way to work around this problem.

       Here is a real example. Netscape 2.0 keeps a record of the locations
       you visit along with the time you last visited them in a DB_HASH
       database.  This is usually stored in the file ~/.netscape/history.db.
       The key field in the database is the location string and the value
       field is the time the location was last visited stored as a 4 byte
       binary value.

       If you haven't already guessed, the location string is stored with a
       terminating NULL. This means you need to be careful when accessing the

       Here is a snippet of code that is loosely based on Tom Christiansen's
       ggh script (available from your nearest CPAN archive in

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   use Fcntl ;

	   my ($dotdir, $HISTORY, %hist_db, $href, $binary_time, $date) ;
	   $dotdir = $ENV{HOME} || $ENV{LOGNAME};

	   $HISTORY = "$dotdir/.netscape/history.db";

	   tie %hist_db, 'DB_File', $HISTORY
	       or die "Cannot open $HISTORY: $!\n" ;;

	   # Dump the complete database
	   while ( ($href, $binary_time) = each %hist_db ) {

	       # remove the terminating NULL
	       $href =~ s/\x00$// ;

	       # convert the binary time into a user friendly string
	       $date = localtime unpack("V", $binary_time);
	       print "$date $href\n" ;

	   # check for the existence of a specific key
	   # remember to add the NULL
	   if ( $binary_time = $hist_db{"http://mox.perl.com/\x00"} ) {
	       $date = localtime unpack("V", $binary_time) ;
	       print "Last visited mox.perl.com on $date\n" ;
	   else {
	       print "Never visited mox.perl.com\n"

	   untie %hist_db ;

   The untie() Gotcha
       If you make use of the Berkeley DB API, it is very strongly recommended
       that you read "The untie Gotcha" in perltie.

       Even if you don't currently make use of the API interface, it is still
       worth reading it.

       Here is an example which illustrates the problem from a DB_File

	   use DB_File ;
	   use Fcntl ;

	   my %x ;
	   my $X ;

	   $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_TRUNC
	       or die "Cannot tie first time: $!" ;

	   $x{123} = 456 ;

	   untie %x ;

	   tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_CREAT
	       or die "Cannot tie second time: $!" ;

	   untie %x ;

       When run, the script will produce this error message:

	   Cannot tie second time: Invalid argument at bad.file line 14.

       Although the error message above refers to the second tie() statement
       in the script, the source of the problem is really with the untie()
       statement that precedes it.

       Having read perltie you will probably have already guessed that the
       error is caused by the extra copy of the tied object stored in $X.  If
       you haven't, then the problem boils down to the fact that the DB_File
       destructor, DESTROY, will not be called until all references to the
       tied object are destroyed. Both the tied variable, %x, and $X above
       hold a reference to the object. The call to untie() will destroy the
       first, but $X still holds a valid reference, so the destructor will not
       get called and the database file tst.fil will remain open. The fact
       that Berkeley DB then reports the attempt to open a database that is
       already open via the catch-all "Invalid argument" doesn't help.

       If you run the script with the "-w" flag the error message becomes:

	   untie attempted while 1 inner references still exist at bad.file line 12.
	   Cannot tie second time: Invalid argument at bad.file line 14.

       which pinpoints the real problem. Finally the script can now be
       modified to fix the original problem by destroying the API object
       before the untie:

	   $x{123} = 456 ;

	   undef $X ;
	   untie %x ;

	   $X = tie %x, 'DB_File', 'tst.fil' , O_RDWR|O_CREAT

   Why is there Perl source in my database?
       If you look at the contents of a database file created by DB_File,
       there can sometimes be part of a Perl script included in it.

       This happens because Berkeley DB uses dynamic memory to allocate
       buffers which will subsequently be written to the database file. Being
       dynamic, the memory could have been used for anything before DB
       malloced it. As Berkeley DB doesn't clear the memory once it has been
       allocated, the unused portions will contain random junk. In the case
       where a Perl script gets written to the database, the random junk will
       correspond to an area of dynamic memory that happened to be used during
       the compilation of the script.

       Unless you don't like the possibility of there being part of your Perl
       scripts embedded in a database file, this is nothing to worry about.

   How do I store complex data structures with DB_File?
       Although DB_File cannot do this directly, there is a module which can
       layer transparently over DB_File to accomplish this feat.

       Check out the MLDBM module, available on CPAN in the directory

   What does "Invalid Argument" mean?
       You will get this error message when one of the parameters in the "tie"
       call is wrong. Unfortunately there are quite a few parameters to get
       wrong, so it can be difficult to figure out which one it is.

       Here are a couple of possibilities:

       1.   Attempting to reopen a database without closing it.

       2.   Using the O_WRONLY flag.

   What does "Bareword 'DB_File' not allowed" mean?
       You will encounter this particular error message when you have the
       "strict 'subs'" pragma (or the full strict pragma) in your script.
       Consider this script:

	   use warnings ;
	   use strict ;
	   use DB_File ;
	   my %x ;
	   tie %x, DB_File, "filename" ;

       Running it produces the error in question:

	   Bareword "DB_File" not allowed while "strict subs" in use

       To get around the error, place the word "DB_File" in either single or
       double quotes, like this:

	   tie %x, "DB_File", "filename" ;

       Although it might seem like a real pain, it is really worth the effort
       of having a "use strict" in all your scripts.

       Articles that are either about DB_File or make use of it.

       1.   Full-Text Searching in Perl, Tim Kientzle (tkientzle@ddj.com), Dr.
	    Dobb's Journal, Issue 295, January 1999, pp 34-41

       Moved to the Changes file.

       Some older versions of Berkeley DB had problems with fixed length
       records using the RECNO file format. This problem has been fixed since
       version 1.85 of Berkeley DB.

       I am sure there are bugs in the code. If you do find any, or can
       suggest any enhancements, I would welcome your comments.

       DB_File comes with the standard Perl source distribution. Look in the
       directory ext/DB_File. Given the amount of time between releases of
       Perl the version that ships with Perl is quite likely to be out of
       date, so the most recent version can always be found on CPAN (see
       "CPAN" in perlmodlib for details), in the directory

       This version of DB_File will work with either version 1.x, 2.x or 3.x
       of Berkeley DB, but is limited to the functionality provided by version

       The official web site for Berkeley DB is
       All versions of Berkeley DB are available there.

       Alternatively, Berkeley DB version 1 is available at your nearest CPAN
       archive in src/misc/db.1.85.tar.gz.

       Copyright (c) 1995-2012 Paul Marquess. All rights reserved. This
       program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the same terms as Perl itself.

       Although DB_File is covered by the Perl license, the library it makes
       use of, namely Berkeley DB, is not. Berkeley DB has its own copyright
       and its own license. Please take the time to read it.

       Here are are few words taken from the Berkeley DB FAQ (at
       regarding the license:

	   Do I have to license DB to use it in Perl scripts?

	   No. The Berkeley DB license requires that software that uses
	   Berkeley DB be freely redistributable. In the case of Perl, that
	   software is Perl, and not your scripts. Any Perl scripts that you
	   write are your property, including scripts that make use of
	   Berkeley DB. Neither the Perl license nor the Berkeley DB license
	   place any restriction on what you may do with them.

       If you are in any doubt about the license situation, contact either the
       Berkeley DB authors or the author of DB_File. See "AUTHOR" for details.

       perl, dbopen(3), hash(3), recno(3), btree(3), perldbmfilter

       The DB_File interface was written by Paul Marquess <pmqs@cpan.org>.

perl v5.18.2			  2014-01-12			DB_File(3perl)

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