No MSSQL or MySQL back ends?

ODBC Connectivity, ELFs , Windows API etc.

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No MSSQL or MySQL back ends?

Postby LeeDrake » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:32 pm

I'm assuming that ffenics is a standalone shared database product, rather than one that allows you to build on top of a proven client/server platform?
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Postby Pete Tabord » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:48 pm

Ffenics isn't client server, thank goodness.

You can use ODBC or OLEDB to hook up to client server databases if you've the need but Ff is NOT, repeat NOT a tool for developing client server apps. Sapphire's Net Plus is more suited to that job.

At Database City while we are committed to the relational model of data we don't see that the theory implies a client/server implementation at all, and we don't see our future as heading in that direction. Ffenics itself uses a distributed processing model, and we have future developments outlined that I have no intention of discussing until we are a couple of years nearer the realisation :)

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Postby LeeDrake » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:47 pm

Pete Tabord wrote:Ffenics isn't client server, thank goodness.

You can use ODBC or OLEDB to hook up to client server databases if you've the need but Ff is NOT, repeat NOT a tool for developing client server apps. Sapphire's Net Plus is more suited to that job.

At Database City while we are committed to the relational model of data we don't see that the theory implies a client/server implementation at all, and we don't see our future as heading in that direction. Ffenics itself uses a distributed processing model, and we have future developments outlined that I have no intention of discussing until we are a couple of years nearer the realisation :)

Regards


I don't want to get into a flame war with you over any of this - but I'm truly curious as to why you believe that Client/Server is inherently Non-Relational. CJ Date doesn't say anything about how the data is stored or delivered (and what he did say was mostly based on Dbase in the very early dos and cpm years :) ). Why do you claim that one precludes the other?

The biggest downsides I saw to C/S systems were:
1) You need a server. Well for more than about 8 users anyways. Since that's all that can connect to a vista or xp machine directly this is true of any db - shared or not.
2) You need server software. In the current world MS SQL is free for up to 10 users, including all sorts of add-ons like views, full text indexes, web reporting, etc. MySQL is free period. Compared to app development costs - SQL is a drop in any serious database's budget.

What's inherent about a C/S database vs a shared database that makes the shared database better?

Cheers,
Lee
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Postby Pete Tabord » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:11 pm

Hi Lee

I didn't say a client server database couldn't be relational, I was just pointing out that a relational database doesn't have to be client server. So no need for a war :)

Actually, you can connect any number of machines you like (well, up to a hundred or so) to a Win2k or XP pro machine and share files, but that's a detail.

No, I simply think that with the enormous (and typically hardly used) computing power that's sitting on everyone's desk (indeed, in most people's pockets) distributed processing is the way to go for the future. As opposed to packing more and more gubbins in a single centralised machine, even if it is backed up, duplicated, mirrored, hot swappable, blah de blah.

This is somewhat by the by, as the people we hope will buy Ff typically aren't looking at a client/server/SQL solution anyway. Maybe if after a few years they decide you're right for larger systems and I'm wrong they'll come to you, but at least with Ff they can get themselves into the game.

Regards
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Postby Madis Meinberg » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:45 pm

Pete: "No, I simply think that with the enormous (and typically hardly used) computing power that's sitting on everyone's desk (indeed, in most people's pockets) distributed processing is the way to go for the future."

The actual problem with that idle/unused capacity seems to be IMO the "pipeline" (LAN infrastructure).

With all laptops and WiFi adapters coming along - when will an average user of Ff have a GB-lan?

OTOH you can install OracleXE on some of your PCs, know nothing about installing webservers or SQL-servers and have a runnable app in your browser in less than some hours.
In Oracle's case you do need to know SQL - I admit.

What I want to say here is that users already today do really not need to know the meaning of words "client/server", "SQL", "webserver" to make use of these technologies - they just want it "to install itself somewhere and just run".
For these users Ff could provide additional value as an SQL frontend without them actually being aware that they are using "client/server" setup.
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Postby Pete Tabord » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:58 pm

Hi Madis

Why do they need Oracle when Ff does it transparently?

Did you see how many CD's the last version of Oracle came on? Lets keep it simple, chaps. You don't _need_ all this lumber, it's only FUD spread by the big companies. All a database user is concerned with is solving a problem, and databases really are very simple. It takes longer to install MS's redistributable than it does Ffenics, and yet we are a full featured database (albeit with an unfashionable architecture).

LAN's are thousands of times faster than they used to be, and over the next few years , if other vendors are going to deliver on their promises of live television, streaming videos to all, etc , network bandwidths are going to increase way beyond what we could tie up with a little bit of data processing :)

Regards
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Postby Trina Tabord » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:09 pm

Hi All,

Just to explain , we do have ODBC and OLE DB links that will plug in seamlessly to any data source that has these capabilities ( and that of course includes MYSQL, MSSQL , Oracle , Access etc) . You can also set up and publish this data to live web pages in minutes rather than hours . We have a customer that has linked to Oracle Financials and has both web and windows users running the same forms , all without the need of a "techie" .

What we are not producing here is a client server development tool - we leave table definition , design etc to the tools that are designed for this.

We give the power to the non-technical user to create Forms, Aspects and Reports in a windows and/or web environment quickly and easily.


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Postby Madis Meinberg » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:02 pm

Pete,

"Why do they need Oracle when Ff does it transparently?"

The most common reason the fact that data in a database is more and more used by third-party systems (intelligent housing software, equipment tracing and controlling software, scheduling software etc. etc. etc.).
Most of these third-party products can cope with ODBC data sources, hardly you can find one that copes with Ff database format.

"Did you see how many CD's the last version of Oracle came on? " -> I would bet one "none" :wink: but rather a DVD but I cannot see any relevance.
IIRC XE is less than a CD and free (like MySQL, Postgre, ...), it gets itself installed and it is ready to go.

Fortunately Trina writes that front-ending ODBC datasources is in Ff profile so a post like:

How can one figure out why data in certain ODBC-tables is displayed just fine and why for certain tables in the same database an error message "no tables and columns found" is displayed?

is appropriate in Ff forum.
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Postby Trina Tabord » Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:34 pm

Hi Madis,

What back end engine are you using when you get this error ?

Do you get the same error if you attach via OLE DB?

Trina


Madis Meinberg wrote:Pete,

How can one figure out why data in certain ODBC-tables is displayed just fine and why for certain tables in the same database an error message "no tables and columns found" is displayed?

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Postby Madis Meinberg » Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:32 pm

"What back end engine are you using when you get this error ?"

Sybase ASA.

"Do you get the same error if you attach via OLE DB?"

I don't use OLE DB anywhere so I cannot respond to that.
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Postby Barry » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:32 am

Can I use ffenics as a front end to access a remote MySQL or MSSQL database? If so, please explain how.

By front end, I wish to have either a web page or a local form with fields so that a user can either add, search, edit or delete existing records on the backend database.

No, I am not looking to design any tables and/or fields with ffenics on the backend database. Those are already in place, I just wish to be able to access them.
Thank you

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Postby Pete Tabord » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:54 am

Hi Barry

Yes, of course. You can link to anything that has an OLEDB provider or ODBC driver. Doesn't necessarily have to be a SQL server.

There are a couple of issues to bear in mind - exactly which data types are supported depends both on Ffenics and the third party driver, and occasionally names legal on the data source may not be usable by Ffenics.

If you want web access (which of course will give full live add/update/delete/search) you create a form over the remote table and publish the form using Web Elements.

Regards
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Postby tasos » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:48 pm

Barry
A commend from a developer’s point of view.
Pete’s analysis can be implemented very successfully.
At UCLH we have established numerous links over Oracle databases.
Once an OLE DB link is a) Defined and b) Registered in Ffenics, Aspects can be created over SQL table entities.

Ff will then allow full functionality of Ff including Reports and DQLs.
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