A program database file (extension .pdb) is a binary file that contains type and symbolic debugging information gathered over the course of compiling and linking the project. A PDB file is created when you compile a C/C++ program with /ZI or /Zi or a Visual Basic, Visual C#, or JScript program with the /debug option. Object files contain references into the .pdb file for debugging information. For more information on pdb files, see Program Database Files (C++). A DIA application can use the following general steps to obtain details about the various symbols, objects, and data elements within an executable image.