GDBI - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I still don't get it -- what is GDBI?

    GDBI is a very unique genealogy program. It can be used by itself, but it is mostly used as an add-on to GenJ and PGV.

    Most people use GDBI to edit their PGV database. GDBI runs on your local PC, and is more convenient and powerful than the web interface. You can also use GDBI (instead of a web browser) to view other PGV databases that have public access. You should be able to view these databases by copying the URLs and logging in without a user/password:

    Sites Using PhpGedView

    GDBI is also a development tool for genealogy program developers. Instead of developing a program from scratch, you can write it on top of GDBI. If you are writing a new editor, it will automatically work with 3 different databases. If you are writing a new database, it will automatically have editors and report systems that can use it.

  2. I downloaded the .jar -- how do I run it?

    JAR files are Java binaries. You cannot use it unless you install the Java runtime environment from

    On Windows, the Java installer usually associates .jar files to run Java automatically when you double-click the file. If that is not configured correctly, you have to run java from the command prompt. You can write a 1-line batch file to do that for you, and then you only need to double-click the .bat file. Use an editor to create a file, like gdbi-start.bat, with the line:

    java -jar gdbi-13.5-pgv.jar

  3. Which version of GEDCOM does it use?

    GDBI tries to support GEDCOMs created from all popular genealogy programs. Most of them are based on version 5.5 or 5.5.1 with various _TAG extensions.

  4. How do you merge in another relative's GEDCOM?

    This is a difficult problem. It is discussed in detail on the merge.html page.

  5. It doesn't work--what do I do now?

    If GDBI doesn't work, post a question to the Help forum.

    It will be much easier to track down the problem if you provide a debug log. GDBI can generate internal status information, which is useful when trying to track down bugs. See the set-debug page for step-by-step instructions.

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