A directory of data access products for Delphi

Product: Advantage Database Server
Vendor: Sybase
Version: 10 Data Aware Controls: TDataSet
Web Site: http://www.sybase.com/products/databasemanagement/advantagedatabaseserver Support Delphi Vers: 6 7 2006 2007 2009 2010
Source Available: No Supports C++B Vers: 5 6 2006 2007 2009 2010

Description: Database management system that provides you with Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM) table-based and SQL-based data access.
Deployment: The server will automatically configure the number of worker threads when it starts up.
Modes of

Check indicates
primary intended
Local: Yes: Via Advantage Local Server or via Client/Server with client and server running on the same computer
Multiuser File Server: Yes: Via Client/Server or Local Server
Multiuser Client/Server: Yes: Client/Server available for Windows Server 2000/2003 64-bit/ 2008 32-Bit/ 2008 64-Bit, Windows XP/Vista 32-bit/Vista 64-bit/7, Linux 32-bit/Linux 64-bit and Netware 5.x and greater
Web Server: Yes: Internet Connector Licensing also available

Package(s) Available: Price:

Database/File Format Supported Native? Via Notes
Proprietary Yes .ADT (tables), .ADM (memos and binary), .ADI (compound index)
FoxPro-compatible Yes .DBF (tables), .FPT (memos and binary), .CDX (compound index)
CA-Clipper compatible Yes .DBF (tables), .DBT (memos and binary), .NTX (index)
Visual FoxPro 9 compatible Yes .DBF (tables), .CDX (index), .FPT (memos)

Third Party Tool Compatibility: Compatible?
(Delphi) Database Explorer Yes
Ace Reporter Yes
InfoPower Yes
Orpheus (TurboPower) Yes
QuickReports Yes
RAVE Reports Yes
ReportBuilder Pro Yes
Crystal Reports Yes
RR ReporWorks Yes

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

Advantage Database Server is a full-featured, easily embedded, client-server, relational database management system that provides you with Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM) table-based and SQL-based data access.
That Delphi’s database roots are well grounded in the navigational model is immediately obvious if you consider the TDataSet class, which is the base class for all data access components in Delphi. This class includes properties and methods for a variety of navigational operations. For example, for selecting indexes (IndexName), setting ranges (SetRange), finding records based on indexed values (FindKey, FindNearest), creating relational joins using indexes (MasterSource and MasterFields), and navigating records in index order (First, Next, Prior, MoveBy, and so forth).
While the benefits of SQL-based data access are well-known, navigational data access has its advantages as well. Specifically, the navigational model better suits the development of intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
For example, with a navigational interface, it is possible to display all of the records from a database table (or a query result set), and permit the user to navigate these records freely. This navigation may even include incremental search (always an end user favorite). And, these features are available whether the underlying table has a couple of hundred records, or millions.
By comparison, nearly all set-based databases, such as MS SQL Server and ORACLE, are not designed to provide navigational access. As a result, searching for a record in a result set means refining an underlying WHERE clause in a SQL query to reduce the resulting result set to a manageable size. The idea of opening a result set with millions of records and permitting a user to freely browse it is unthinkable.
Here is where the Advantage Database Server really shines. Not only is it a high-performance, low maintenance database server that supports optimized SQL queries, its index-based architecture permits it to provide data access options normally only found in a file-based database (such as Paradox, dBase, or MS Access), while providing all the benefits of a transaction-based remote database server.
There is another reason why Advantage is so popular with vertical market developers. In addition to the Advantage Database Server, Sybase iAnywhere publishes the Advantage Local Server (ALS), a free, file-server based, five-user database that sports an interface identical to ADS, providing a seamless upgrade path to ADS. For those customers for whom cost is an issue, you can deploy your applications using ALS. Later, if the needs of the customers grow, or they want the stability of a transaction supporting, remote database server, migrating can be as simple as installing ADS (and this installation takes less than five minutes in most cases).

Advantage Database benefits

  • Advantage is a full-featured database
  • Advantage comes in many flavors
  • An easy to use data architect
  • A Multitude of Data Access Options
  • Data dictionaries with database wide security
  • Stored procedures, user defined functions, and views
  • Support for constraints
  • Online full and incremental backup
  • Database replication
  • Triggers and notifications

BDE Alternatives Guide Comments:

Advantage can be used instead of the more commonly considered client/server databases: MS SQL Server, Oracle, etc. Advantage offers client/server performance and reliability at a very low price, compared with the big-name database servers. Also, it provides extremely easy scalability from single-user to client/server deployment.

I regularly receive feedback from satisfied Advantage users. Perhaps this is related to Advantage's intensive QA and regression test suite.

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