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SQL: Convert dbase to sql

Hi:
After a little primer on SQL from Todd Farmer, I am wondering how software vendors convert a dbase database into SQl.  I work with the dbf's and mix them with Access but when this fellow was demonstrating his software, I asked how he accessed the dbf's.  He said they convert it to SQL.  

So, my questions are:
1.) How can one convert dbf to sql on a (almost) live basis?  I know White Town Software sells a converter but can it be done on the fly, instantly?
2.) Does the (1) conversion and the (2) querying occur sequentially in that order?

from the "Educating Charlie Project",

Charlie
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cepes
Asked:
cepes
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1 Solution
 
mistaeverlyCommented:
I'm not sure I entirely understand your question.  Dbase is a database, while SQL is a language.
I guess the question is, what are you trying to do with the "SQL" once you get it out of dbase?
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david_levineCommented:
SQL is a language. Some folks also refer to MySQL or MS SQL Server as "SQL". Not sure what you are looking to convert. Best guess I can make is either to move from a dbase/Access database to a more high powered MySQL or SQL Server database, or you're looking to make an application less dependent on a specific database and more generic so it works with many databases on the backend.

Typically, in order to gain database independence, you either need to code SQL for each database you want your application to support, or use the most generic form of SQL to do insert, select, update and delete statements. The latter normally prevents you from taking advantage of any database specific features/functionality.
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cepesAuthor Commented:
david_levine:
Sorry, I'm botching up the terminology.  I guess what the vendor I spoke to was doing was converting the dbase database to a SQL Server database.

Does that type of conversion take a lot of mapping?  I assume wonce the conversion method is set, the conversion can be done on a timed basis.

I'm nearing the end of my question!!!

Thanks

Charlie
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david_levineCommented:
Depends what is in dBase. If it's just the tables, then it's not a huge effort. If it's an application built in dBase, that is much more of an effort.
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cepesAuthor Commented:
David:
It's just tables.  
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david_levineCommented:
There are tools to do it though I haven't yet found a free one. Most are commercial products with a free trial which limits the number of what can be converted. For example, there's http://www.convert-in.com/dbf2sql.htm or http://www.easyfrom.net/ and I'm sure others. Depending on the size of the tables and amount of data, it might just be quicker/cheaper to do it from scratch.
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