What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use it?

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What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use it?

Postby andyclinton59 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:33 am

Accessing Non-Ffenics Data Sources via the Database Access Library (DAL)
Ffenics has always had impressive capabilities for accessing SQL based data sources with full
read/write capabilities. In Ffenics version 2, we have enhanced the capability to access nonFfenics
data through the addition of a new set of capabilities called the Database Access
Library (or DAL for short). The first library to be made available is the DataEase 5/6
Connector which enables a Ffenics developer to directly access DataEase data (in DataEase
for DOS versions 5.x, and DataEase for Windows 5.x and 6.x) from within the Ffenics
application. Uses of this are widespread and manifold, including:-
1. Providing a mechanism for synchronising data between a legacy DataEase
application and a Ffenics application.
2. Providing a mechanism for synchronising data between a legacy DataEase
application and a web-based application using MySQL.
3. Providing a way of enabling a controlled, incremental, migration to a new Ffenics
application from a legacy DataEase application, as opposed to a big-bang approach.
4. Using a Ffenics to report across legacy DataEase applications, which then enables
integration with Excel, Email etc.


I have download the trial but I can't find anywhere how to use this.

Can anyone please help as this is very interesting for us.
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby Graham Smith » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:13 pm

AFAIK, this is a new name for an old idea. Earlier versions of DfW had the ability to connect to DfD via drivers. This was termed interoperability and I was a big proponent of it. And it did work - sort of - just not very well.

I have no doubt that Pete had a particular reason for doing this, so I am possibly being short-sighted. But at this point in time, the only thing I can see the DfD drivers being used for is to get the data and table structure from a DfD database if you can't actually run DfD.
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby Hayley Mansfield » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:37 am

Hello Andy,

I have emailed you with questions so we can provide you with information for your specific needs :-)
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby andyclinton59 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:13 pm

Hayley Mansfield wrote:Hello Andy,

I have emailed you with questions so we can provide you with information for your specific needs :-)


Thanks for that but I don't think my needs are that specific so I wouldn't mind the information on here. As this is a new feature I am sure that there are many more that will benefit from this information.

If I can voice one "worry" it is the lack of specific information available on features and functions in both 1.x and 2.x.

In my mind it is not much of a point to develop a heap of new features if nobody know about them and when they find out about them can't get them working due to lack of information.

What I am asking about should be rather straight forward.

How do I use the DAL?
Where do I configure it?
Is it available in the Trial or do you need to buy the full version?
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby andyclinton59 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:18 pm

Graham Smith wrote:AFAIK, this is a new name for an old idea. Earlier versions of DfW had the ability to connect to DfD via drivers. This was termed interoperability and I was a big proponent of it. And it did work - sort of - just not very well.

I have no doubt that Pete had a particular reason for doing this, so I am possibly being short-sighted. But at this point in time, the only thing I can see the DfD drivers being used for is to get the data and table structure from a DfD database if you can't actually run DfD.


Thanks for the reply Graham.

We have a big DFD system that we have tried migrating many times but we always end up abandoning the migration for reason most users on here might be very familiar with.

We have tried to develop a replacement system and buy a standard system but nothing fit us as well as our old one so we always end up keeping it and now we no longer even look.

But it would be ideal if we could connect to it and read/write to it from something more modern. So I got quite excited when I read about this new feature but as I can't find it in the product or any proper documentation I am back to square point zero once again.
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby Pete Tabord » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:01 pm

The idea behind the DAL is to allow people to access a legacy system while developing a new one. It isn't intended as a migration aid. It can save you migrating all your historical data, however, as you will still be able to access it without running DFD (or DFW , for that matter).

It is completely different technology to the old 'interoperability', more like a SQL connect. For one thing, you only need to bring in the table or tables you wish to access, you are not tied to the structure of the legacy app.

We are only selling it face-to-face, not through the shop, so people can have a clear understanding of its features and limitations before buying. For the same reason we are not sending it out as a 'demo' - demos don't get anyone anywhere when we are dealing with complex systems.

I'm working on further libraries using this technology (the technology is called DRL - Direct Relational Library). It is embedded in Ultra and is one of the major differences between PRISM and Ultra. It enables us to access other non-SQL databases without going through SQL or ODBC,. The technology also provides a simplified non-SQL, non-ODBC API for anyone who wants to write software to access a Ffenics database as a provider. It will provide full concurrency control which was always a problem with third party software that tried to access our tables directly.
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Re: What is DAL (Database Access Library )and how do I use i

Postby Pete Tabord » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:05 pm

I should also reiterate that the DAL only works with DFD 5 and DFW 5/6. It doesn't support 4.x or 7.x . Due to the substantial file format differences 4.x would require the development of a separate library. Which would cost some thousands of pounds.
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