RapidFile database software, by Ashton Tate

RapidFile is the name of a flat-file database program released in the late 1980s to run on personal computers with the DOS operating system. Although marketed as a very simple product it is actually very versatile if you take the trouble to get to know what it is capable of. As well as being very adaptable it is also fast to use, fast to perform and, unlike many subsequent products, it is almost entirely reliable (though pressing Ctrl-Break in the middle of certain operations is definitely not a good idea). In the year 2011, the 1986 edition of RapidFile (the most recent release) is still alive and well and in use around the world and can be used on both MS Windows and GNU/Linux based systems. Consequently there is no reason why this fantastic little tool needs to be retired yet.

RapidFile is an excellent platform for preprocessing data obtained from some other source and any general purpose record keeping operations. In years gone by we have used it to create an accounting system and a sophisticated stock control system. In our business the RapidFile product is still used daily for general data storage such as simple lists and also for more complicated things. In particular we use it to hold data that will be incorporated into assembly language programs or C-language programs. Sometimes we use it to generate HTML pages that contain large numbers of links. It is also still used occasionally to pre-process large sets of data obtained from other sources such as information gathered by data-loggers, the results from experiments or internet log files.

Articles about RapidFile

Rapidfile configuration
If you no longer have your Rapidfile manual, here are the most important things you need to know about configuring the software. Its all pretty simple stuff and easy to do.
Rapidfile limitations
Although Rapidfile is more than capable of handling many commercial and technical database tasks it is important to be aware of the limits. This page highlights some of the most important ones.
It is possible to print successfully from Rapidfile but not especially easy to get good results. This article has a few tips.
Rapidfile can be used reliably and quite easily within a GNU/Linux environment by making use of DOSemu or VirtualBox.
Windows XP
Rapidfile can be used within the DOS emulation box of most versions of Windows. Here are some notes for users of XP.
Windows 7
A report has been received of RapidFile running successfully in a Windows-7 environment using the DOSbox emulator available from http://www.dosbox.com/. No futher information is presently available
keyboard shortcuts
Many operations can be performed rapidly using keyboard short-cuts.

RapidFile data extraction service

If you have RapidFile database files we can extract the data from them and give it to you in comma-delimited format ready for importing into your favourite application software. Inexpensive service, easy payment by bank transfer or paypal, fast turn-around. Contact us.


This web site is not in any way, directly or indirectly, affiliated with the authors, distributors, or owners of the RapidFile database software.

This page is located at:


Ancient history

The original creators of RapidFile were Miller Microcomputer Services, working apparently on behalf of a company called Ashton Tate. In the year 2004, Miller Microcomputer Services appeared to still exist and function while Ashton Tate apparently expired long, long ago; possibly because they weren't smart enough to recognise that RapidFile was a product they should have continued to market and develop.