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Paradox VS Access Programming

  1. Paradox VS Access Programming

    Hello to anyone who can give me a suggestion.
    I am not a programmer and use databases on a lay level. I am currently
    trying to buy a software program for our cemetery association. I asked one
    company why I should choose his company over another one. One of his
    answers was as follows:

    "CIMS uses modern programming and database technologies - Microsoft Access
    and Microsoft Visual Basic. I believe Pontem uses Paradox which was
    popular in the 80's and early 90's, but not really used today. In years to
    come, it may be difficult to get your data out of Paradox, but I feel
    pretty confident that Microsoft Access will be around for a long time"

    Do you agree with his answer and should that be a reason not to purchase
    the software based on Paradox? We may or may not update to either
    companies new releases, it will depend on how well the current version of
    either program works for us. Once we get records into one of the systems
    we probably will use it on a limited basis.
    THANK YOU!

  2. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Peggy Budny wrote:

    > Do you agree with his answer and should that be a reason not
    > to purchase the software based on Paradox?


    That should not be a single reason, IMHO.

    MS Access is just as old as Paradox, and Jet is just as deprecated as the
    BDE. Both platforms offer their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Is the Pontem software a Paradox application (i.e., executes under Paradox
    or Paradox Runtime), or is it Paradox tables with a front end written in
    Delphi or C++ Builder? Huge difference.

    --
    Larry DiGiovanni
    Digico, Inc
    IT Consulting and Staffing Solutions
    www.digicoinc.com
    Check out www.thedbcommunity.com for Paradox resources



  3. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Peggy,

    Well, first you should find out whether Pontem really does use Paradox
    (presumably Paradox tables, and/or Paradox the software application). Lots
    of applications use Paradox tables, a subset of those use Paradox the
    application. You should also find out whether that's the only database
    they support (many will support multiple databases).

    Then you should decide which application best fits your business needs.

    You should get a technical expert to help you determine technical issues
    you'll face with each app - all apps have technical issues -
    software/hardware/network requirements, database support/maint/repair
    issues, etc. The best thing is to know these for all apps being seriously
    considered - only then can you compare support issues.

    The statement about not being able to get your data out is bunk. Just buy
    a copy of Paradox - it will export to most common format (delimited text,
    Excel (and other spreadsheets), etc.).

    That said, Paradox the application is at present in "maintenance mode" -
    meaning Corel are maintaining it only, not adding new features. There's no
    telling how long they'll maintain it or if/how well it will work with
    "Longhorn" (the next version of Windows - a couple years away, I think).
    Unless the app is developed in Paradox the application, this is only a
    concern as far as exporting the data is concerned.

    The BDE (the database engine used by Paradox, Delphi and similar
    development tools to access Paradox tables) is also in maintenance mode or
    has been deprecated, depending on who you talk to. Borland are
    recommending you not do NEW development with it. You may wish to discuss
    this with Pontem to see if they have migration plans or not (if they're
    aware of this issue and are planning a migration, it's not a concern;
    otherwise, there's the same risk as with Paradox the application - how long
    will Borland continue to maintain it and will it continue to work on new
    versions of Windows).

    If you know for sure that one uses MS Access (presumably as the
    application, not just the data format) and the other uses Paradox, then,
    depending on whether the application will every be networked and if so, how
    many users there will be, we can help you determine if that's an issue
    (generally, from what I've read, Paradox will support more network users
    than Access).

    In making your decision, I'd look at the company as well as the software -
    talk to references in detail - how are they at resolving problems, how well
    does the program work, how responsive are they (turn around time on
    problems), is either local, etc.

    Finally, while I wouldn't recommend the cutting edge, I would recommend
    staying within 1 version of current (I've found that doing otherwise can
    really limit your options when it comes time to change/update/upgrade).

    OK, really finally - we're much nicer than the Access people.

    Liz


    "Peggy Budny via DBMonster.com" wrote:
    >
    > Hello to anyone who can give me a suggestion.
    > I am not a programmer and use databases on a lay level. I am currently
    > trying to buy a software program for our cemetery association. I asked one
    > company why I should choose his company over another one. One of his
    > answers was as follows:
    >
    > "CIMS uses modern programming and database technologies - Microsoft Access
    > and Microsoft Visual Basic. I believe Pontem uses Paradox which was
    > popular in the 80's and early 90's, but not really used today. In years to
    > come, it may be difficult to get your data out of Paradox, but I feel
    > pretty confident that Microsoft Access will be around for a long time"
    >
    > Do you agree with his answer and should that be a reason not to purchase
    > the software based on Paradox? We may or may not update to either
    > companies new releases, it will depend on how well the current version of
    > either program works for us. Once we get records into one of the systems
    > we probably will use it on a limited basis.
    > THANK YOU!


  4. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Sorry to be such a dolt, You're speaking Greek toi me.
    The following is from Pontem's help program.


    The Pontem professional Cemetery Management program is ODBC Compliant.
    What this means is that the program utilizes a set of standards that allow
    other programs to access the database. For example, data can be extracted
    and used in other programs such as a GIS mapping program, or an Internet
    website. Because there are so many varied uses for the data stored in the
    Pontem Software, there is no "standard" export routine from within the
    program. You can, however use an ODBC driver to pick and choose what data
    you would like to retrieve and to define the format for your exported data.
    The following information pertains to third party products that will allow
    you to access and manipulate Pontem data:

    v Intersolv DataDirect ODBC Driver for Paradox

    This Intersolv software package allows any ODBC-enabled application to
    access Pontem Cemetery data. With this package, you can use any ODBC-
    compliant programming tool or database to create a conversion program for
    your data.

    More information about this Intersolv product is available at 800-876-3101,
    or on the World Wide Web at http://www.intersolv.com/datadirect

    This driver is available at programming software shops, including
    Provantage at 800-336-1166, or on the World Wide Web at

    http://www.provantage.com

    v Corel Paradox 8.0

    Corel makes a database package named "Paradox 8.0" that allows reading and
    writing Cemetery data in its native format. With this package, you can
    develop a program to convert your existing data.

    You can contact Corel directly at 800-772-6735, or on the World Wide Web at
    http://www.corel.com.

    Corel Paradox 8.0 is available at many retail stores, as well as Provantage
    (contact information listed above).

  5. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Peggy,

    If your concern is rather or not you will be able to extract your data at a
    later date so that you can migrate to another Cemetery application later on
    (if the need arises), then data stored in Paradox tables is a safe choice.

    Paradox Tables are a long time standard... there are several third party
    utilities that can be used to extract your data. It wouldn't be a bad idea
    to obtain one now rather then later. By obtaining a method to extract your
    data now, you will know that the utility software is functional with "your
    data" and on "your systems platform". This way, if the time ever comes
    where you need to extract your data, you can feel confident.

    Most data base type applications (like your Cemetery application)
    incorporate a method (natively) to export data. Apparently yours does not
    and is telling you to rely on ODBC drivers.

    While ODBC will allow you extract data, it can also allow you to ALTER data
    inside your Cemetery application. Altering data inside a database type
    application is NOT A WISE thing to do... it can create a negative impact on
    the accuracy of your reporting, and ruin your entire application. So if you
    do purchase the ODBC drivers, I'd recommend that you use it ONLY to extract
    data and never to alter data inside your application.

    Bottom line, Paradox is a long time standard that is in use by thousands of
    applications today... you should feel confident that the data will be
    extractable in the future.

    The only concern I would advice you about is that Paradox tables require the
    "Borland Database Engine" (BDE) in order to work. No one knows if the BDE
    will work under MS Windows next OS release (code named Longhorn). We here
    are being cautiously optimistic about it. Right now, Paradox tables and the
    BDE will work on any Windows PC from Windows 95 to Windows XP... we just
    don't know about Longhorn... But if Longhorn break Paradox, it will also
    break a lot of other legacy applications... so it wouldn't be a smart move
    on MS part (IMHO).



    --
    ....
    `..`..`-> rodney



  6. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    See inline.

    Liz


    "Peggy Budny via DBMonster.com" wrote:
    >
    > Sorry to be such a dolt, You're speaking Greek toi me.


    BDE is the database engine used to access Paradox tables; Jet is the
    database engine used to access MS Access tables. An engine is simply a
    utility used by a software program to communicate with a database.

    The important part is the bit in plain English: they're about the same age,
    both are "deprecated" (in maintenance mode, retired, not being developed).

    Delphi and C++ are programming languages. Paradox and MS Access (the
    applications) are development tools. They are also table formats.

    > v Intersolv DataDirect ODBC Driver for Paradox

    ....
    > v Corel Paradox 8.0


    OK, they're using Paradox tables, but not likely using Paradox the
    application. The current version of Paradox is 11 and any version from the
    32-bit version of 7 to 11 will allow you to access the tables.

    Do you have an IT staff or consultant (not the vendors) who can help you
    with your choice?

    Liz

  7. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Your information is helpful. No we don't have an IT staff. All of us in
    our cemetery association are over 50 and most over 70. Our association
    still use card catalogs for our records. I just wanted to get us into the
    21st century with our record keeping. I am their new secretary and the
    only one that will probably ever be accessing the files until I pass the
    postition on to younger blood. Once all of the records are input we will
    only be addding a few files each year. We are a very small cemetery that
    doesn't see much activity. We don't have perpetual care programs, just
    simple maintenance and burials. I think I've violated lots of posting
    rules and will probably be getting my account deactivated soon. Sorry for
    not be privy to all the message board etiquette. I think the info you've
    all given me has pretty much answered my questions. I will check to see
    how the Paradox using co, will be updating their systems for the long haul
    and most importantly getting references from users of both systems.

    --
    Message posted via http://www.dbmonster.com

  8. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Peggy,

    You've not broken any rules here - you've been very polite and that's
    about all we ask.

    I would ask the company using Access if they have a migration path too
    - like Larry said, its database engine is "retired" too - they might
    be using something newer (called MSDE) and they might not... Feel
    free to come back here and ask questions about what they tell you -
    we'll do our best (no guarantees, but we'll try).

    Best Regards,

    Liz


    "Peggy Budny via DBMonster.com" wrote:
    >
    > Your information is helpful. No we don't have an IT staff. All of us in
    > our cemetery association are over 50 and most over 70. Our association
    > still use card catalogs for our records. I just wanted to get us into the
    > 21st century with our record keeping. I am their new secretary and the
    > only one that will probably ever be accessing the files until I pass the
    > postition on to younger blood. Once all of the records are input we will
    > only be addding a few files each year. We are a very small cemetery that
    > doesn't see much activity. We don't have perpetual care programs, just
    > simple maintenance and burials. I think I've violated lots of posting
    > rules and will probably be getting my account deactivated soon. Sorry for
    > not be privy to all the message board etiquette. I think the info you've
    > all given me has pretty much answered my questions. I will check to see
    > how the Paradox using co, will be updating their systems for the long haul
    > and most importantly getting references from users of both systems.
    >
    > --
    > Message posted via http://www.dbmonster.com



  9. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    "Peggy Budny via DBMonster.com" wrote:

    > v Intersolv DataDirect ODBC Driver for Paradox
    > v Corel Paradox 8.0


    please note one other thing towards your decision.. not "paradox related", but
    "product related".. if that blurb you posted is current, these people have been
    out of business for a *long* time.. that blurb was "current" in 1998.. support
    is always an important consideration..


    --
    Steven Green - Waldorf Maryland USA

    Diamond Software Group
    http://www.diamondsg.com/main.htm
    Paradox Support & Sales - Corel CTech Paradox
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Diamond Sports Gems
    http://www.diamondsg.com/gemsmain.htm
    Trading Cards and other Sports Memorabilia
    ---------------------------------------------------



  10. Re: Paradox VS Access Programming

    Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I appreciate your time and
    will be looking into all of the answers you have given me. Have an awesome
    weekend, year, life and as my boss'dad say "MAKE it a good day!"

    --
    Message posted via http://www.dbmonster.com

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