Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 138 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 1992 / PAGE 118

Paradox Engine. (program development software) (Evaluation)
by Peer Plaut

If you need to access Paradox data from applications written in other languages, this program solves your problem. A powerful tool for developers, Paradox Engine allows database programmers to develop software applications that use Paradox data tables and allows Paradox to interact with other Borland products and Windows 3.0 (if you have the Windows Software Development Kit).

Supported languages include Quattro Pro, SideKick 2.0, Object Vision, C (Turbo C++, Borland C++, turbo C 2.0, Borland C version 5.1 and 6.0), and just about any other programming language that can call a Dynamic Link Library (DLL). Needless to say, in order to fully utilize the Paradox Engine, you must have a working understanding of Paradox and the supported language you're using.

It also goes without saying that the Paradox Engine is not a substitute for Paradox or the Paradox Application Language (PAL) or any of the supported languages. It is designed solely as a tool that allows program developers to access the best functions of each of the supported languages and to develop the most efficient database possible, as quickly as possible.

If you're a PAL developer, you'll have little trouble learning Engine commands. There aren't that many, and they seem fairly close logically to PAL commands. For example, to create a table in PAL, you use the CREATE command (the same as in Paradox); in Engine you use PXTblCreate.

However, as a developer, the speed at which you'll be able to create an application using PAL, the Engine, and a supported language will be a direct result of your knowledge of the languages you use in the application. The Paradox Engine comes with a User's Guide, a Pascal Reference Guide, and a C Reference Guide (which has specific information relevant to each version of C supported by the Engine). These reference books also provide some sample applications to get you started.

Paradox Engine has two very important features that are necessary today. The first is that like Paradox and PAL, it uses Borlands' VROOMM (Virtual Runtime Object Oriented Memory Manager) technology. The second is that it supports multiuser environments.

VROOMM technology allows Paradox, PAL (version 3.5), and the Engine (version 2.0) to make the best use of the PC's memory. VROOMM does this by swapping small bits of code in and out of memory, thereby using less memory overall. This frees up the rest of the available memory for other parts of the application.

Network compatibility is one of the fastest-growing requirements of the PC market today. The most critical are-as of network operability are file, table, and record sharing. Like Paradox, the Engine allows for a sophisticated multiuser control such as single-record locking. Other third-party Engine products allow access from a network, but most can lock an entire table. This limits the number of users who can access the table to one at a time and ties up the database until the user exits the table.