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Thread: DBF vs. SQL

  1. #1
    Real Name
    Mike Tankle
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default DBF vs. SQL

    I'm an old dBASE programmer and I remember many a corrupt DBF file. I also have read about problems in a multi-user environment using auto-increment of the id/key field. I'm also concerned about the need to have end-users re-index, pack, compress, etc native files.

    Given these concerns, I'm thinking about using MSoft SQL Express or MySQL as a backend right from the start. Will Alpha's active-link processing affect multi-user record adding problems? The application I'm working on will initially be desktop-based but may migrate to a web-based application in a later release.

    I have used MS SQL Server 2000 on other projects and I have heard good things about MySQL.

    I would like to hear some comments on:

    1) Use of Alpha's native filing system vs. a SQL backend; and

    2) MSoft SQL vs. MySQL as far as installation, compatibility, support, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member kthibeault1965's Avatar
    Real Name
    Keven Thibeault
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Boston Mass USA

    Default Re: DBF vs. SQL

    We have not experienced corruption of dbf files, but know this is quite common for some networks. We have however had had trouble with index corruption. As a rule, we develop almost exclusively in MySQL, unless our clients request otherwise.

    MySQL is a great option for most web applications, and if you have the people bandwidth to support it (there is no customer service # to call for help when you get into trouble) and you are good a accessing help on the net, you should give it a try. SQL Server is a more mature platform however, with a company to back up the product. If you already have it installed in your company, and have people with specific experience in this db, then it is worth it to use this.

    The performance difference is negligible on smaller databases.

    Scripts you write in xbasic to work with dbf tables, will have to be modified to work on any sql back end, so keep this in mind if you want to start with dbf and migrate later to sql.

    This is not a trivial matter, so try to plan to be future proof.
    Logical Design
    Keven Thibeault
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Dwell in possibility

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Real Name
    Alan Buchholz
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Delavan, Wisconsin

    Default Re: DBF vs. SQL

    Quote Originally Posted by MTankle View Post
    I'm an old dBASE programmer and I remember many a corrupt DBF file.
    In the world of Windows 98 and prior, the OS was unstable and since the dbase system is a file based system rather than a request based, there were too many instances of corruption.

    In the XP world and beyond, those issues have minimized to a point of being a faint memory. (pun intended)

    So if your machine is stable and the network in stable, you'll have few problems with dbfs.

    And there is no guarantee with another relational database that there will be no problems. I've had Oracle databases get corrupted and un-fixable - leaving the only option to restore and re-key.
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

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