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Paradox vs Access

Posted on 1997-12-13
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Last Modified: 2012-11-16
Can anyone send a brief review comparing Paradox with Access (features, advantages, hidden feature, things I may not be aware of until the trial period for Access is over)?

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Steve Bousquin
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Question by:suobs
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by:suobs
ID: 1962333
re previous, the newest versions -- I bought access, may return for Paradox.
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Expert Comment

by:BigJ
ID: 1962334
Suobs,

For Borland's side of the story go to http://www.borland.com/paradox/p7matrix.html

For an independent point of view go to
http://www.fcw.com/pubs/gbb/0401/database.htm

See these PC Week articles:

http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/archive/1424/pcwk0027.html
http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/reviews/0616/16para.html

My personal preference is Access but it's not the best for multiusers.

Hope this helps.

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by:suobs
ID: 1962335
Hoping I can get a bit more detail . . .
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d4jaj1 earned 70 total points
ID: 1962336
I can give you a few points about both applications.  This message covers the more common versions of both applications - Access97 & Paradox 7.


Access
========
Advantages

* Single file for all components (forms, tables, queries, etc) - which allows easier transfer, maintenance and sharing of info.
* Query Interface is easier than Paradox.  Simply drag & drop fields is a simple design.  You can easily switch from SQL & regular query view at a click of a button.
* Integrated architecture (Visual Basic for Applications) allows you to write code for all other MS Office applications without learning new code  - and in most cases, even changing your code.
* Supports Hyperlinks in database fields, SQL queries into its data and can be - 'upscaled' to MS SQL database.
* Some Technical Support, although only two instances (you can purchase more)

Disadvantages
===============
*  Security is pretty dumb.  Passwords are stored in a file separate from the database files - and if Access can't find it - it creates a new one. (I can more in depth here). Furthermore, you cannot set field level security, e.g., SalaryField - only table level (there are ways to get around this though)
* Field validation isn't nearly as robust as Paradox, e.g., you'd have to write Visual Basic code to capitalize the first word in each sentence.
* Form design is cumbersome. - Especially when creating Sub-Forms.  I personally think this entire concept is silly.  If you want to create a display for a Detail table in a Master-Detail relationship - you have to create another form.  For each detail table, you'll need another Sub-form.  Using this sub-form routine - you won't be able to edit the Master form and the Sub-forms on the same page layout (you have to switch back an forth as if they were separate forms - which they are).  What a waste of resources.  This is one of the biggest reasons I don't use Access very often.
* Doesn't support too many data formats and the "Save as.." or "Export to HTML" doesn't work!  Don't even waste you time.


Paradox
========

Advantages

*  Pretty good security - in all ways.  Multi-user environments - with record locking, table level and field level. You can even set the permissions to None, Read Only or Update by field.
* Supports many more data formats than Access.
* Field formatting function called Picture Validation allows you to customize entries into the database, such as Caps for 1st letters, cities in the US, etc.  Every database has some form of field validation - but NONE of them have them to the flexibility of Paradox.
* Form design is a snap.  Add graphs, crosstabs, table frames, etc. with a click of a button.  NO SUB-FORMS!
* Allows you to 'Deliver' forms and reports - which means Paradox removes all code from the form/report which reduces size and eliminate anyone modifying the code in them.

Disadvantages
==============
* Distributing a Paradox application can be cumbersome. In Access, all files are in the MDB file, while in Paradox, Indexes, Referential Integrity, Queries, Forms, etc. are all separate files. Miss one file and your application won't work.
* Paradox Indexes have a nasty habit of getting corrupted.  Doesn't happen too often, but often enough to pack some sort of DB Repair utility.
* Query Interface isn't vary good (anymore). It was very good until Access came up there easier way of assign fields and relationships.  Switching between Query & SQL mode is really dumb - as these are two separate files.
* ObjectPal - while I think is definitely more robust than Access Basic, is Borland's (now Corel's) proprietary language.  Thus it isn't integrated with other applications - even Borland's Quattro Pro.  To build a customer application for a customer (DB, Spreadsheet, etc.), you'll have to know two languages OPAL and whatever else your programming in.
* Borland's notorious lack of support.  There isn't any unless you pay for it - although this isn't as big of issue as it used to be with the advent of the Internet.

**Note : I know Paradox 8 is out (from Corel - not Borland0, but from what I've seen, only the Query interface has totally changed (it looks more like Access now).  This particular report was done on P7 because there aren't too many people using P8 yet & it's not available everywhere.

So there's a 'brief' explanation of the two products.  I can get more in-depth, but I would need to know which areas are most important to you, e.g., I this for personal use or development, etc. and you would need to understand the more in depth you want this report - the more points it will warrant.  I will give you my opinion if you desire, but that's not what you asked for & I'm not sure of you specific needs.  Access is better in some cases, Paradox the others.  Any questions, please add a comment.

Good Luck!
Jay

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Expert Comment

by:BigJ
ID: 1962337
suobs,

You seem to want a lot for 50 points....
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Author Comment

by:suobs
ID: 1962338
Well, excuse me.  I got it, didn't I?  (I added 25 anyway . . .).
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Expert Comment

by:vohalloran
ID: 38606089
Paradox is dead.  Access is alive.
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