Pitney Bowes MapInfo Professional is one of the most well-known commercial GIS applications.
Mapinfo saves the digital map layers as TAB files. A TAB file consists of several files that belong together. These files have different extensions but share the same file name.
The main file has the extension .tab. In addition to the .tab a tabular data file must be present, this file usually has the extension .dat or .dbf, the extension .xls also occurs.
Optional associated files have the extensions .map, .id, .ind.
MapInfo TAB is not suitable for long-term sustainability and accessibility. Part of the data consists of binary data, of which it cannot be guaranteed that applications other than the applications with which they are made can open the data without errors.
For the long term and to promote interoperability, it is therefore recommended to store GIS data in an open, well-supported and robust text file.
MapInfo TAB is a non-preferred format for file type GIS.