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Relational database management system for DOS originally released in 1981 as a distributed database system for sundry minicomputer platforms and was based based on the MISTRESS research project. The system was comprised of a core database engine, sundry RDBMS utility programs, a screen painter and report generator, a 4th generator programming language to generate applications with, an SQL emulator and interfaces to sundry programming languages, including C, FORTRAN-77 and Ada.

The DOS version was identical to the versions shipped for the bigger computers with the exception that it was only a single user program and had no networking abilities, while it could generate executables for DOS and be used as a DOS development system, it was actually intended as a development system for software to be deployed on multi-user or distributed UNIX, Digital VMS or Cray UNICOS systems and could generate programs to be run on these systems.

This made a hell of a lot of sense, a DOS workstation was not only much cheaper than an UNIX workstation, but it also allowed you to develop and test an application without having to be afraid of taking the rest of the system down if you did something stupid, which could be costly if the target system was a Cray supercomputer. It also allowed smaller developers to develop systems on a DOS computer that was later delivered on a multi-user system without having to fork out for such as system themselves.

The company appears to have stopped developing the DOS product with version 4.8 and started to play down the distributed aspects of the system and instead started to focus on getting the Empress product smaller and marketing it as an embedded database system.


  • Last known version: Empress RDBMS for DOS 4.8 - 1993, updates were issued until 1996

License and availability

  • Discontinued commercial software. Original RRP was 995 US$ in 1993.

Authors & Publisher

Ontario, Canada & Greenbelt, Maryland, USA