Xbase is an older "flat-file database" environment derived from the 1980's. Why use a file structure that is not 'leading edge'? Aren't there newer, better databases?
The short answer is "yes..but". There are more sophisticated database environments that outperform xBase in a variety of functions. But there is a price to pay in complexity and administration.
The true relational database and especially newer object database structures embed functionality and capabilities that are very powerful for data selection and retrieval. More importantly, these environments are excellent for transaction processing, where several different records or files must be updated based on a single entry. Their strength is their exception handling. That is, when an update fails for some reason, all records/files can be "rolled back" to the status prior to starting the transaction.
These environments use a database server to handle processing. The "client" program sends the requests to a server program that actually processes the request and returns a result set to the requestor. You may have a number of client programs simultaneously making requests to the server over a network. This client/server environment is very efficient since all clients need to share data from a common database. For a large company with networked employees who need to access the same databases, this is ideal.
However, what is ideal for networked users sharing data may not be ideal for single user desktop applications. This is a case where the single user is the only one with access to the database, and the database is located on the same computer. The overhead of a database server is excessive in this situation. More importantly, if the application must be easily installed by the user, database server installation can be a significant problem.
In this type environment, xBase combined with Halcyon's database handling is a winner.
- Data access is fast and reliable.
- The xBase file format is simple to work with and can be imported/exported from a vast number of applications, such as Word and Excel.
- The application is portable. It can be moved to another computer simply by copying the directories from the old computer.
- The application is self-contained without any external libraries or database servers.
In summary, the xBase format can outperform newer database structures in the single user environment described above.
- No external library required. All functionality is embedded within the executable. (No deployment/installation issues)
- The dataset component is descended from TDataset, and is compatible with all Delphi data-aware components.
- Create indexes in memory for fast search.
- Small footprint; less than 500K added to the size of the program.
- Simple user interface to read and write xBase files in a network environment.
- Create, read and update multiple .CDX/.MDX/.NDX/.NTX index files.
- Reading and update .DBT/FPT memo file entries.
- Create new dBase III/IV and FoxPro files, including memo and index files.
- Do all of the above using native Pascal--No .DLL, .ASM or .OBJ files are used.
Halcyon 6 Components:
- THalcyonDataset - Descended from TDataset, this is the non-visual dataset component for Halcyon. Behavior is similar to TTable, but does not require the BDE.
- TCreateHalcyonDataset - Component to simplify creation of new tables.
- THalcyonNavigator - Similar to TDBNavigator, but with better graphics for the buttons.
You may also use the stand-alone database engine through an included interface unit. Used this way it provides a powerful tool for dBase access in console applications, such as CGI and ISAPI for web servers.
This version available for Delphi 4 and later.
Price: $100.00 US Complete source code is included in the purchase price.