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Shadow Lord
February 17th, 2016, 01:00 PM
Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone knows of a simple to use DB program that can run across DOS to Win 7? I know, tall order there.

At the bare minimum I would like something where the DB was searchable/viewable from older OSes while hosting can be on a modern server, say Win2K8. My plan is to to catalog parts, items, books, etc. that I have and then being able to search for stuff from any system I have including my vintage ones.

Are there SQL clients for DOS, OS/2, Win3.x, etc. that would work (even if somewhat) w/ a current MySQL installation for example? Anyone else attempted to do something like this before? Thanks.

krebizfan
February 17th, 2016, 01:22 PM
A few years ago, I would have suggested FoxPro which runs on the OSes you list and has a SQL interface (even in the DOS version). Unfortunately, the Windows version stopped being supported in 2010 and the last DOS version was from 1994.

I haven't kept track of what the earliest ODBC client is that works with a current MySQL so I don't know how far back you can go. A DBase derived back end would be available to many more systems since just about every database development system included a DBase compatibility layer.

Shadow Lord
February 17th, 2016, 01:42 PM
A few years ago, I would have suggested FoxPro which runs on the OSes you list and has a SQL interface (even in the DOS version). Unfortunately, the Windows version stopped being supported in 2010 and the last DOS version was from 1994.

I haven't kept track of what the earliest ODBC client is that works with a current MySQL so I don't know how far back you can go. A DBase derived back end would be available to many more systems since just about every database development system included a DBase compatibility layer.

krebizfan,

Interestingly enough I looked at VFP right before I posted the question. To be honest I am starting from ground zero on this and I have no experience with one program or backend vs. another. Since I would have to learn as I go I have no problem going with a DBase back end vs. MySQL. Any recommendations on that front?

Also what about Q&A? I understand it is continued to be "supported" in modern systems via the Sesame Database.

krebizfan
February 17th, 2016, 03:07 PM
Haven't used Sesame so I can't advise about it.

SQL databases are complex requiring design of all the tables and data types. Good for data integrity and large numbers of users but lots of setup work. DBase and related databases use a simpler method with each DBF file roughly equating to a SQL table. Good for a couple of users on very limited systems. Q&A was similar to DBase but with its own data format.

The programming front end can be a source of endless conflict. Many (DBase, FoxPro, MS Access, Paradox, even tools for programming languages) have a similar paint by numbers design to lay out data entry windows with each on screen field matching one column for a table. More advanced features can require programming and there are lot of differences in the programming design which makes it hard to recommend one.

FoxPro and Visual FoxPro retain a lot compatibility between DOS and Windows versions making it easier to develop a similar interface to all clients.

MS Access is surprisingly simple and uses Visual Basic as the basis of its programming language but is Windows only.

I have not used either DBase or Paradox in about 20 years. Both have changed owners several times and still seem to have active development.

glitch
February 17th, 2016, 05:35 PM
Is the goal to be able to use a central DB from a number of clients? If so, I'd consider writing something with a frontend accessible to the clients, and a backend in whatever's convenient. For example, you could easily write a *NIX console application and talk to it from DOS via Telnet or SSH session (wouldn't even have to write a Telnet interface -- just Telnet to a user account on the box and run the frontend).

Just to keep things simple, if it were me, I'd probably write it as a small web application. Write compliant HTML and don't use JavaScript and you can connect to it with Lynx/Bobcat/whatever on DOS machines (or Telnet/SSH to a *NIX machine running a text-only browser). You could then use old browsers on old systems, but still program in a modern language/framework with connectivity to a modern SQL database. The major benefit here is you write the UI once, and don't have to write platform-specific clients.

paul.brett
February 18th, 2016, 01:40 AM
How about just simple .CSV files (Comma Separated Value) for the tables, and use a convenient front-end on each system to access/update them?

Agent Orange
February 18th, 2016, 06:44 AM
Shadow Lord - check you PM - seems there may be a some kind of a notification problem with the recent VCF switch.

Shadow Lord
February 18th, 2016, 07:21 AM
Is the goal to be able to use a central DB from a number of clients? If so, I'd consider writing something with a frontend accessible to the clients, and a backend in whatever's convenient. For example, you could easily write a *NIX console application and talk to it from DOS via Telnet or SSH session (wouldn't even have to write a Telnet interface -- just Telnet to a user account on the box and run the frontend).

glitch,

The goal is to keep it as simple and uniform as possible. I do not need concurrent access from multiple clients. If it exists great. If not no problem. I basically want to catalog my HW, SW, manuals, etc. and make it as simple as possible to search from any of my system. It would be nice if I could have a consistent interface across multiple OS versions and types (DOS, Win, OS/2, Linux, OS * for the Macs). That is why I was thinking something like SQL - it is an old and well established standard with clients across all type of systems. But as I am going from ground zero w/ no investment in SW or learning I am open to using and learning any tool that may prove to be more expedient.

Using an intermediary system is definitely possible - one could even just telnet into it and go from there. Problem for me is that I do not have any Linux servers - so adds another layer of complexity. Although, if I do go this route I could just use my PC Weasel 2000 and my RS232 to LAN hub and directly telnet into the server.

Shadow Lord
February 18th, 2016, 07:24 AM
How about just simple .CSV files (Comma Separated Value) for the tables, and use a convenient front-end on each system to access/update them?


That is basically where I am right now w/ Excel files (I could export them into CSV). I wanted something a bit more powerful/flexible (i.e. having large comment fields that are easily readable, maybe attaching a scan or link to a file, etc.)

Shadow Lord
February 18th, 2016, 07:34 AM
Shadow Lord - check you PM - seems there may be a some kind of a notification problem with the recent VCF switch.

Agent Orange,

Thanks for following up. I got your PM unfortunately I did not have a chance to respond until this morning. I sent you a response. Thanks again.

clh333
February 29th, 2016, 02:32 AM
Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone knows of a simple to use DB program that can run across DOS to Win 7?

Is your intention to run in a client / server architecture, with clients on networked machines running anything from DOS to Win7? Or is you intention to have one standard database "type" with multiple instances installed on multiple machines, Dos to Win7? The former is possible, the latter is very difficult to achieve without exporting and importing delineated (e.g. CSV) files.

Both MS SQL Server and Borland Interbase date back to the DOS days and have command-line clients that can access instances of a server, hosted presumably on a "modern" OS like Win7, although the clients may not be able to use all of the latest features of the newest releases of the server. Borland dropped Interbase around 2000 and it forked into Firebird, which is in the public domain and still being supported by an open-source community.

-CH-

Shadow Lord
February 29th, 2016, 08:33 PM
Is your intention to run in a client / server architecture, with clients on networked machines running anything from DOS to Win7? Or is you intention to have one standard database "type" with multiple instances installed on multiple machines, Dos to Win7? The former is possible, the latter is very difficult to achieve without exporting and importing delineated (e.g. CSV) files.

The former. Basically, I want to be able to access the same info regardless of the machine I am using. If I have to give up certain newer features with older clients that is perfectly fine. Honestly, I don't need any whiz bang features. I want to be able to enter and search text data (e.g. title of SW, version number, number of disks, etc. etc.), have images show up in the record, and have the ability to link files in w/ viewers (for example clicking on a field would run a viewer and open up the PDF file) in that order. The first is the most important, the second would be very nice but I can live with it if it is only available on some platforms (say windows clients only), and the third is cool but I can leave it out completely.

Currently I am playing with a database that does the first but I am not committed to anything yet.

Plasma
March 1st, 2016, 02:12 AM
Use SQL and roll your own HTTP frontend with Apache/PHP. You can use Arachne or Lynx to access it from DOS.

wilsoncd35
March 6th, 2016, 06:22 PM
Consider using cygwin on your Windows 7 or another late version of Windows that is hosting your database. Install the sshd (server daemon) from cygwin. A Google search will reveal some DOS ssh client solutions. I can help coach you through this setup privately or on another dedicated thread. cygwin/sshd is just a few steps and easier than it may appear on the surface. If the client supports it then you can also configure your log in without a password (private/public key pair).

From your DOS, and possibly Win3.x systems, you shell to your server and manage your data from the shell client. Consider sqlite. Mysql will do too. Use your SELECT and INSERT statements but you could also write some search_ver(...), and other procedures as shortcuts. Again, I can help you with this under another thread or private. You *might* be stuck with shell from your earlier machines. As you get in later versions, Win9x?, start using ODBC driver to sqlite or mysql that will help give you the Excel, OpenOffice, or other GUI "viewers" that you may be looking for.

Note on cygwin+ssh.. If you're not familiar with the bash/*nix like shell, you can still use the cmd.exe shell of Windows. Also note that cygwin/telnet is available too. If you're not concerned with the security of the connection or it is challenging from a DOS or other early machine.

Good luck,
Charlie