Borland Paradox

From EDM2
Jump to: navigation, search

Paradox is a relational database system for OS/2 and DOS with a version later showing up for MS Windows that was very different from the other two versions although mostly compatible with the exception of the programming language.

Paradox was quite a different take on the database that most of the other database packages popular at the time, it was heavily influenced by the spreadsheet package Lotus 1-2-3 in looks and function and this was not the least apparent in the programming language that was shipped with the database, known as Paradox Application Language (PAL) and although a fairly common 4th generation business language in some way it could be recorded from keyboard actions like a Lotus 1-2-3 macro.


Originally released in 1985 by USA independent publisher Ansa Software in 1985, it was taken over by Borland in 1987, who went on to port it to OS/2.

A version for the Mac was not shipped. The Reflex flat file database that on DOS was a budget software with limited programming abilities, existed in a version for the Mac was already quite an advanced relational database.

Paradox SQL

An add on program developed for Paradox OS/2 in 1988 that emulated the SQL interface of IBM DB2 and allowed Paradox for OS/2 1.0 to replace IBM's product as a database server, this was later given more generic SQL features and ported to other operating systems.


  • Version 5.0: Last known release to work under WinOS/2
  • Version 4.5 for DOS
  • Version 4 for DOS re-written mostly from scratch in Borland C++
  • Version 2 for OS/2
  • Version 1 for OS/2 announced by Borland as shipping in late 1987 but actually not shipped until early summer on 1988. A superset of "Paradox version 386" but could run all programs developed on it and "Paradox version 2"
  • Version 386 released in a DOS version in 1987 by Ansa.
  • Version 2 released in a DOS version in 1986 by Ansa.
  • Version 1 for DOS released by Ansa Software in 1985


  • PC Magazine's famous 1988 rave review of Paradox OS/2 which asserted that it was the first OS/2 software that took advantage of the OS/2 feature set to such a degree that it made sense for people to move from DOS to the newer OS.


  • Commercial software - DOS and OS/2 versions discontinued, MS Windows version still available.

Authors & publishers

  • Richard Schwartz (Original author)
  • Robert Shostak (Original author)
  • Ansa Software (Original Publisher), Borland, WordPerfect Corp., Corel (Current owner)