Paradox 4.5. (relational data base) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by J. Blake Lambert
As much of the market begins to shift to Windows for database management, Borland continues to support those who prefer to do database management under DOS. The company didn't abandon its DOS release when it released Paradox for Windows, and DOS users who've been using previous versions will find Paradox 4.5 worth the upgrade fee. Any DOS user who needs a relational database will find it worth looking into.
Paradox makes creating and modifying databases simple. It lets you view your data as tables, forms, and even graphs. Improved mouse support in this release makes it easier than ever to change table column widths, place and resize fields in reports and forms, and move around in the database using scroll bars.
Paradox 4.5 has two user interface modes, full-screen and standard. In the latter, you can display your data in 80 x 43 or 50 lines (EGA or VGA resolution, respectively), and with ten popular video cards, you can use an information-packed 132 x 43 display mode. This makes working with large records faster and simpler.
Getting information into and out of Paradox is effortless, and there are plenty of options for ensuring data integrity. Paradox can import and export Quattro, Quattro Pro, 1-2-3, Symphony, dBASE, PFS:File, Reflex, VisiCalc, and delimited ASCII files.
Paradox uses query-by-example to provide information. Just check the columns you want to appear in an answer table and enter an example of the data you'd like to see (such as MS in the State column).
Paradox lets you record keystroke macros as editable scripts for subsequent playback. You can chain several together; add them to the Utilities, Report, or Forms menu; or include them in database applications.
Application Workshop lets nonprogrammers create database applications. You create menus and then tell Application Workshop what each menu item should do (play a script, display a table, and so on). Application Workshop actually writes the program code for you.
Version 4.5 adds a new windowed debugger and over 40 new commands to the already robust PAL programming language. Twenty-six existing commands are enhanced, including WAIT, which has 19 new triggers.
Paradox is also available in an excellent Windows version (which can share data with the DOS version). It's a similar but separate product with its own programming language. Paradox for DOS runs fine as a DOS application under Windows.
Paradox is a great product. It's easy to start out with, powerful enough to stay with, and network-ready. Version 4.5 takes a solid product and makes it even better. If you're still using DOS, check it out.
J. BLAKE LAMBERT