Databases

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A database is a software program that handles the creation and storage of sets of data and in most cases also handles utilitarian tasks in relation to the dataset such as sorting & searching individual records inside the set, and with more advanced packages tasks such as the replication, visualisation and mining of data. Databases are primarily business tools although they can also be useful for the storage of personal information and they can be either intended for software developers or end users.

Alternatives to database programs

Databases are not the only tool available for storing and working with structured data and not always the best option you have. Software such as spreadsheets handle data, in particular business, financial and statistical data with aplomb, no matter if it is a classic spreadsheet like Lotus 1-2-3 or a more abstract tool like Lotus Improv and more specialised programs like accounting software, personal finance managers, PIM's and contract managers may solve the problem of storing and working with day to day business data in a more economical and easier to use fashion. However it is more frequent to see spreadsheets used where you should be using a database and not the other way around.

Relational database systems

SQL interface relational database systems

Other relational database systems

Relational database systems that are neither primarily xBase nor SQL systems, note that some of the systems below may offer some sort of compatibility with either of those two standards and may therefore appear both here and on the xBase/SQL pages or even in all three places.

Hierarchical databases

  • Raima Database - Commercial - Discontinued

Flat file databases for OS/2

  • AceFile - Announced as available for OS/2 but possibly never shipped. - Windows version later sold by Lotus in bundles.
  • IBM Works - Discontinued but shipped free with eComStation and all versions of OS/2 Warp and later.
  • Symantec Q&A

Embeddable databases

  • SQLite - Open source - Current.
  • ST-Open - Assembly coded in-memory database - Open source

Other database systems

  • Business Basic - BB has built in ISAM like facilities.
  • COBOL - ISAM or VSAM facilities built in.

Database utilities

  • DB-Fill Commercial - Discontinued - Creates database files for testing purposes.
  • SQLite Browser - Create and edit SQLite files - Open source - Current.

Database front end development systems

Publications

Vintage EDM/2 database articles

Fernando Lozano

DOS databases

Note that DOS flat file and free form databases are in most cases not worth investigating since they are in general even less powerful than the one shipped free with BonusPak as part of IBM Works. They are included in the listing here for completeness sake, however.

Relational Databases
Name Last Version Programming Language Runtime Support DBCS or Unicode Macro language NLS Licence
Advanced Pick/DOS Commercial
Alpha 4 8 No Paid No Keyboard oriented Commercial
Borland Paradox 4.5 PAL Free No Keyboard only FR, DE Commercial
Condor No No No Commercial
DAC-Easy Base No No Commercial
DataEase 5.5 DQL Commercial
DataFLEX Commercial
DataPerfect 2.6y No No No Former commercial, now freeware
EasyBase 11.4 Limited Runtime No Former shareware, now freeware
Enable/OA Commercial
Empress 4.8 Yes Yes No Commercial
FoxBASE 1.21 xBase Paid No No - Commercial
FoxPro 2.6b xBase Paid No No Commercial
nanoBase Release 1997 xBase Free No No Open source
pcVerse Commercial
VP-Info xBase Yes No No Commercial
Vulcan (Emerald Bay) xBase like No Commercial
Flat File Databases
Name Last Version Programming Language Runtime Support DBCS or Unicode Macro language NLS Licence
Symantec F&A 4.0 DE Commercial
Symantec Q&A 4.0 Commercial
RapidFile 1.2 FR Commercial

WinOS/2 databases

Note that WinOS/2 flat file databases are in most cases not worth investigating since they are in general even less powerful than the one shipped free with BonusPak as part of IBM Works. They are included in the listing here for completeness sake, however.

Relational Databases
Name Last Version Programming Language Runtime Support MBCS Macro Language NLS License
Alpha 5 xBasic Paid Commercial
Borland Paradox 5.0 PAL Free Keyboard only DE Commercial
CA Visual Objects 1.0 xBase Yes Keyboard only Commercial
DataEase Commercial
Microsoft Access 2.0 Basic Free Keyboard only DE, ES, FR, IT, PT Commercial
Microsoft FoxPro 2.6 DE Commercial
pcVerse Commercial
Flat File Databases
Name Last Version Programming Language Runtime Support MBCS Macro Language NLS License
AceFile 2.0 None No Keyboard only Commercial
ButtonFile None No Keyboard only Originally commercial, now freeware

Java databases

Most java databased are intended to be used from inside other Java programs, typically using the JDBC mechanism although some support the Java EE database API as well, they can however be used as backends for PM programs, etc. All Java based databases support Unicode and through that mechanism DBCS on an OS/2 system.

Name Type Last Version Programming language Java EE API Macro Language NLS License Status
Apache Derby Relational No Yes No Open source Current

Publications

  • Andreas Heuer, Gunter Saake: Datenbanken — Konzepte und Sprachen - ITP 1995, ISBN 3929821311