[icq-devel] ICQ database format

Gerke Preußner j3rky at tactical-ops.de
Sat Jul 13 20:10:31 CEST 2002

>> Unfortunately, there are too few docs in the web
>> about ICQ database format.

Of course... a public database documentation will surely
be the end of ICQ. Having all these ICQ clones is a big
problem already. But if the developers continue to abuse
ICQ's technology, there will soon be nobody left to finance
the expensive ICQ servers and we all have to switch to
MSN or AIM *shudder*

>> Does anyone want to start a project like [..]

I completely reverse engineered the ICQ database format
using a hex editor and some selfmade analyzing tools.
However, as the name 'database' implies, the ICQ message
archive is a complex piece of software. It is possible
to figure out the mechanism by observing (thats what i
did) but better be prepared for a really tough job and
make sure you had at least 2 semesters in database design.

A few years ago Derek Soeder started an attempt to
document the format - look for "Icqnewdb.txt" in Google.
Also Paco Capella wrote some VisualBasic code to extract
information from ICQ databases - you can find it in
"ICQDBExplore.bas" which is available in alt.icq and

If you just want to extract some items from a database,
these 2 files will be a good start. However, keep in mind
that both documentations turned out to be very incomplete
and partly errornous. And by all means they can not be
used to create a working database from scratch.

good luck,


email: j3rky at gerke-preussner.de
email: j3rky at tactical-ops.de
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www: http://www.gerke-preussner.de
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