Archive for May, 2017

(PL/SQL) CFBF File Reader

May 21, 2017 Leave a comment

In this post, I’ll be presenting a PL/SQL utility to read Compound File Binary Format (CFBF).
CFBF is originally a Microsoft proprietary format, which has now been published through the Open Specifications program.

In a nutshell, a CFBF file, or Compound Document File (CDF), is a container assembled like a FAT filesystem, which can be explored as a regular directory structure.

The purpose of the post is not to discuss about the format itself so I’ll let the reader browse the specs to get more familiar with it :

CFBF is the basis for various file formats used in Windows systems.
To cite a few, .MSI (Microsoft Windows Installer) and the well-known .DOC, .XLS, .PPT etc. from the Office 97-2003 Suite.

So, why am I interested in developing a CFBF PL/SQL reader?

  1. Because it’s fun
  2. Because password-encrypted Open Office XML files (.xlsx, .docx …) are stored in a CFBF container, and I thought it would be a good enhancement to my ExcelTable interface.

Source code available on GitHub :



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