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TOPIC: DBF Client/Server

DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5514

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hello,

during the Italian meeting Robert had asked for what we would like to have after the release of all promised X# features, and one request was for a DBF Client/Server.

Advantage Database Server seems to be in maintenance mode only, and I was not able to contact the ApolloDB people. Therefore it seems to be space for a new product: a DBF client/server.

In the meantime I have compiled a short wishlist for this:
  • installation-free, installable with xcopy
  • drop-in replacement for DBFCDX (ADS has some incompatibilities, so the applications need to be adapted)
  • server based indexing
  • server based filtering
  • the possbility to add user defined functions to indexes, providing a X# DLL with them on the server
  • a status application that shows open files and connected users, together with an API to be used in client applications
  • a different license model: buy once, deploy many for 5/10 user installations, and per-installation base for larger installations

And there are some nice-to-have features, maybe for a later version:
  • an SQL interface
  • an ADO.NET client for other .NET languages
  • crypted communication between server and client
  • possibility to run without active share

Such a project needs to be funded, so to have it realized we need some sponsors and of course some ideas what would be needed and what would be nice to have.

IMHO such a product is important for at least two reasons:
- to maintain large DBF based VO applications (there are some very big out in world - impossible to migrate to SQL)
- and to have a totally maintenance free database with positional/sequential access like DBFs for small applications in peer-to-peer networks (I have many customers like that with 2-3 PCs)

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
Meran, South Tyrol, Italy
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5515

  FFF's Avatar FFF Away Posts: 577
Wolfgang,
to add my .2 and reverse view:
I'd like a DBF replacement, which "looks" and behaves like a DBServer. If in the backend that is really a "dbf" is IMHO not really relevant.
So, one might consider building a DBServer-like Front which sits upon a Postgres backend.
Why? Because i presume this will be easier/cheaper/faster to implement, than re-invent a 100% reliable database-machine from scratch.
YMMV, of course...

Karl

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5516

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Karl,

of course that would be another option, but IMHO it would be too much work to implement a DBF-like behavior to a SQL database - the positional/navigational approach is too different from the SQL approach.

And I suspect many, many DBF applications rely heavily on some of these aspects.

For sure, a SQL based, but DBF compatible RDD or dataserver would help a lot on the migration. but it can never be a drop in replacement when the tables go bigger and are to large to fit in memory.

For a DBF client/server the work should not be too much because the development team can base it on the currently development RDD - so most of the database access code should be already there.

I have heard of some very large DBF applications that are nearly impossible to migrate to SQL, so I don't think this is only an issue for me.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5517

  lumberjack's Avatar lumberjack Offline Posts: 465
Hi Karl/Wolfgang/Everybody else,

FFF wrote: I'd like a DBF replacement, which "looks" and behaves like a DBServer. If in the backend that is really a "dbf" is IMHO not really relevant.
So, one might consider building a DBServer-like Front which sits upon a Postgres backend.

I would like to comment here to all:
What you discussed is what I call xdbServer, which I am working on when having free time.
I took it one step further, I can SQL to TXT, SDF, CSV, INI, DBF, PostgreSQL, RDBMS with it. The missing part at the moment is to DB<Command> to any of the above, but I am close....
Regards,
______________________
Johan Nel
George, South Africa

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5518

  ic2's Avatar ic2 Offline Posts: 497
Hello Wolfgang,

That would all be very interesting. I already wrote earlier that I don't consider ADS in maintenance mode but more in "no mode". Forum is closed, nobody at SAP knows anything about ADS and the only relation I still seem to have with SAP is that send me spam about their products. As if I want to do business with SAP...

Apart from that I consider it impossible to both build X# and a dbf dbserver system. For us it would only be usable when it can also process SQL statements. And other ADS users do maybe require ADT support or stored procedures. So if everyone is waiting to commit until a fully ADS compatible dbf client/server is ready it may make the mission very difficult I fear. Because until then, I am forced to keep using ADS, however much I want to throw this all away.

Dick

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5520

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Dick,

if you already have ADS, keep it.
I don't see this as ADS replacement, but as alternative for current DBFCDX installations.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
Meran, South Tyrol, Italy
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5521

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Dick,

that I consider it impossible to both build X# and a dbf dbserver system


The development of this product could eventually only start when all steps from the 2018 roadmap are finished. That means a working RDD, full runtime, WinForms based GUI classes, Ado.NET based SQL classes and the Xporter for the VO class libraries.
So this would be a project for 2019....

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5525

  mhsabado's Avatar mhsabado Offline Posts: 4
HI,

Maybe you can get an idea from this link:

www.kresin.ru/en/letodb.html

Here's a fork version with more advance features:

github.com/elchs/LetoDBf


Regards,
Mario

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5528

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Mario,

that looks interesting - in fact it seems to be a similar thing as we would like to have in X#.

Personally I would prefer an X# solution: 64 bit, and written in .NET

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
Meran, South Tyrol, Italy
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5530

  mhsabado's Avatar mhsabado Offline Posts: 4
Hi Wolfgang,

Yes of course, an X# implementation will definitely be interesting.

Regards,
Mario

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5531

  rjpajaron's Avatar rjpajaron Offline Posts: 191
Just an input:

How about make this an open source project, same as X#?

If we charge for license fees, it will basically shut so many doors as PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB to name a few are all free.

However, for a support, it will take X# model for support and update to subscribers.

Just a thought....
--

Rene Pajaron

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5532

  rjpajaron's Avatar rjpajaron Offline Posts: 191

FFF wrote: Wolfgang,
to add my .2 and reverse view:
I'd like a DBF replacement, which "looks" and behaves like a DBServer. If in the backend that is really a "dbf" is IMHO not really relevant.
So, one might consider building a DBServer-like Front which sits upon a Postgres backend.
Why? Because i presume this will be easier/cheaper/faster to implement, than re-invent a 100% reliable database-machine from scratch.
YMMV, of course...

Karl


This one get my attention: 100% because our cloud and mobile apps are on PostgreSQL but with Devart dotConnect for PostgreSQL.

But how about adding MySQL support also. Because Italians are mostly on that one too!
--

Rene Pajaron

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5533

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Rene,

How about make this an open source project, same as X#?


in an ideal world, this would work. But I have my doubts that there are enough sponsors to keep the project free.

I'm willing to be one of the sponsors, but since my company is small (we are 4 people, 2 of them working with VO/X#) we cannot afford to large amounts.

But maybe, when the X# project is working, Robert will make his estimations, and then we will see if there is enough to start the project. It is a small market, and I see no big company sponsoring such a project like PostgreSQL or others (even MySQL is not more free, but part of Oracle and has lost much of its open source feeling).

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5534

  rjpajaron's Avatar rjpajaron Offline Posts: 191

wriedmann wrote: Hi Rene,

How about make this an open source project, same as X#?


in an ideal world, this would work. But I have my doubts that there are enough sponsors to keep the project free.

I'm willing to be one of the sponsors, but since my company is small (we are 4 people, 2 of them working with VO/X#) we cannot afford to large amounts.

But maybe, when the X# project is working, Robert will make his estimations, and then we will see if there is enough to start the project. It is a small market, and I see no big company sponsoring such a project like PostgreSQL or others (even MySQL is not more free, but part of Oracle and has lost much of its open source feeling).

Wolfgang



Hi Wolfgang,


My opinion:

Know the demand. Yes, there is. Me included.

Best guess estimates that are willing to support it. Most of all, I already cemented my path towards to PostgreSQL and I will not stop a dime; however, I can afford to have 2 runtimes: ADS/XBase and PostgreSQL. Two for different market. Right now I have the two in perfect synergy.

So, it is best part of FOX program. With standard or free edition available to 3 to 5 users, unlimited to those who subscribe to it. I would like to see this as something I can pass on to my client but it must be affordable (a relative term).

Next is: is there an existing codebase to start this on? Will start from zero with X# as the primary dev language?

Volunteers?


We have long way to get to realization, but I will supporter on this development if ever this one come to fruition, ADS users must be its primary target market. Hence, ADS functionality must be the benchmark at Version 1.0

My .02 cents.

Regards,

Rene
--

Rene Pajaron

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5535

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Rene,

the codebase of course will be there: the X# RDD (when it is finished).

Practically the RDD code has to be separated in two parts: the server part with the physical access to the files, indexing, filtering, and the client part to link to the application. In the middle there should be some TCP-IP communication.

I have not the time and not the knowledge to work on such a project, therefore it should be made by people that have both - and people that therefore gets money for this.

Having a SQL interface for sure is a heavy job and cannot be part of the first versions, and therefore it cannot replace ADS.
Personally I don't see such a project as competitor to ADS - ADS has a very long story, and a large functionality, and IMHO it has no sense to build things like the DataDictionary or ADS/ADT support into a X# DBF server.

I see such a product as a replacement for plain DBFCDX, maybe with some enhancements like Unicode support, special blob files or other functionality we need.
And what IMHO is absolut critical: it must be maintenance free.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5536

  rjpajaron's Avatar rjpajaron Offline Posts: 191
Hi Wolfgang,

On ADS replacement, I am based it on my use case scenario.


My apps will continue to work even without ADS, except the hidden and secured access where the exact location of dbf files are completely hidden and unshared to users. Only ADS see it. This is the only thing DBFCDX cannot do, of course, ADS added more such client/server and other stuff that are obviously should be there in day one.

I am not using ADS with SQL syntax, except when using Data Architect.

I have read a lot that people are doing some stuff client/server stuff with DBF. Maybe, this is the start where people start pooling talents and me will just contribute funds same way we did with Fox program.

To make it future proof, it must work in some ways in mobile platform. I see some need for that too.

--

Rene
--

Rene Pajaron

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 1 week ago #5537

  rjpajaron's Avatar rjpajaron Offline Posts: 191
One more thing.

Good thing about this type of project development is that no one is waiting. It means, developer can focus on making sure product works as planned on day one at version 1.0.

All are already happy with ADS and other free/paid rdbms with years of proven use.
But some, including myself, still believes that there is a need for dbf simplicity, same way that we SQLite in our mobile apps because PostgreSQL is not possible to be hosted on a mobile platform.
--

Rene Pajaron

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 2 days ago #5574

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hello,

I have now analyzed my own DBF applications if they could be moved to an SQL database using an adapted dataserver, but most of them would not.
There are only small issues with standard browser and edit windows - these can be fixed with not too much effort.
The biggest problem are reports and elaborations that rely on sequential data access and that would need a complete rewrite.

This makes a DBF Server for me a very important tool, and I can understand a friend that wrote: "for me a DBF server has a similar importance than the migration to X#. If DBF becomes unusable some day, the X# migration is useless for me".

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Riedmann
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DBF Client/Server 11 months 2 days ago #5575

  FFF's Avatar FFF Away Posts: 577

wriedmann wrote: The biggest problem are reports and elaborations that rely on sequential data access and that would need a complete rewrite.

Wolfgang,
I suppose, "sequential" means not "raw order", but you'll certainly have a index-based access you skip through until your index-expression evaluates to false? This should IMHO be solvable from a sql-viewpoint.
But probably i have no clue, as usual ;)
Have a nice sunday evening!

Karl

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DBF Client/Server 11 months 2 days ago #5576

  wriedmann's Avatar Topic Author wriedmann Away Posts: 1573
Hi Karl,

I suppose, "sequential" means not "raw order", but you'll certainly have a index-based access you skip through until your index-expression evaluates to false?


yes, I'm using the orders.

And of course this is solvable, but not without rewriting the code.

Wolfgang
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