A directory of data access products for Delphi


ASTA - A Smart Thin Architecture


ASTA Technology Group

Vendor’s Description (from Readme files, web site, etc.):

ASTA has been in development since 1997 after Delphi Chief Architect Chuck Jazdzewski visited the Boise Delphi User Group and told us about the new open TDataSet model in Delphi 3 along with the new borland sockets. Within 2 weeks we had AstaClientDataSets streaming across the Internet.

It took us 7 months then to develop ASTA 1.0 which was released in July of 1998 after a large beta. ASTA 2 was released in October 1999 adding server side components like the TAstaProvider and TAstaBusinessObjectsManager. ASTA 2.1 was released in February 2000 and reviewed by the Delphi Informant Magazine which later declared ASTA a runner up winner in the Best Database Connectivity Award for the year 2000.

ASTA 2.5 is a mature product with a very large feature set with a help file that is almost 1 meg in size, almost 100 tutorials and support for 25 different Delphi 3rd Party Database Components that can be used on ASTA servers. ASTA has users in over 60 countries world wide with thousands of ASTA application deployed world wide running over LANS, WANS and the Internet. ASTA has continued to be an N Tier innovator with new features like ASTA Middleware Triggers and Default Values and Provider Broadcasts.

ASTA Design Goals

  • Allow Database Developers to use their existing skills to develop N tier Applications so that existing applications could be quickly ported to ASTA using Client Side SQL

  • Allow Experienced N Tier developers to use their N Tier Skills in extending ASTA servers using advanced N Tier features

  • Build very scalable and easy to deploy servers and handle all Threading Issues internally so that Developers could concentrate on building applications

  • Allow Thin Client Applications that could be deployed with NO DLL’s and build in the ability to have client exe’s update themselves when new versions were registered on the server

  • Require only SQL Select statements so that all insert, update and delete SQL could be generated by ASTA components

  • Build an easy to use Messaging Layer so that Database Application Developers that had NO tcp/ip experience could easily stream any kind of data across the internet

  • Abstract the server side so that any Delphi 3rd Party Component could be easily plugged into an ASTA Server

With Internet connections getting faster, smarter, cheaper there will be a great need for ASTA type of applications and new Distributed Networks will spring up that will consist of connected and disconnected users, using devices beyond Windows clients requiring new tools and techniques to match the new landscape.

ASTA is ready for this challenge and has already developed clients for Palm and Win CE Devices, Java Clients including a JDBC Driver. In the works are Replication and Syncronization tools, Message Queue Technology, Delta Patch Technology, an ODBC Driver and an OLEDB provider so that VB and VC++ clients can be coded with ASTA. In July of 2000 ASTA was the only vendor at the Borland Conference in San Diego to show a native Linux version of their product where we previewed ASTA 3 for Linux and Windows using Borland’s Delphi For Linix Compiler (Kylix). When Borland releases Kylix ASTA 3 will be ready.

Information on the ASTA wireless / handheld capabilities is available at AstaWireless

An application can run WITHOUT any driver installation on the client:

  • No BDE
  • No ODBC
  • No database drivers
  • No DLLs
  • No COM, No DCOM
  • No client configuration headaches - Zero Admin, Zero Configuration
  • Nothing but your EXE!

ASTA delivers the following benefits:

  • Thin Client – full DB support in 1.0MB
  • Easy Installation
  • Local, Corporate or Global Reach
  • Internet-Ready
  • Easy Client Upgrades
  • Broad Database Support
  • Partition Business Code from Interface Code
  • Central Administration
  • Real Time Messaging Capabilities
  • Server Push
  • An Object Oriented foundation
  • Enables Flexible Design Options
  • Robust Performance
  • Leverages Open Technologies
  • Efficient Use of Bandwidth
  • Allows the Use of Inexpensive NetPCs
  • Flexible N-Tier Architecture
  • Simple to Support