Delphi XE2 Standard / Interbase

I've been using Delphi 5 on and off for little projects for years.  There are two things I've done often

* Write little DB apps using the BDE and Paradox
* Read from / write to Excel spreadsheets to manipulate data quickly and easily.

After moving to Win 7 x64 for my desktop, the BDE is a pain to use and Delphi 5 Professional is somewhat dated (13 years old makes it a dinosaur in IT).

I'm thinking about picking up Delphi XE2 Starter.

I only use Delphi as a hobbyist.  I've written a couple of freeware apps that I've shared with friends in the past and I like to know the following since I'm completely unfamiliar with what's changed in Delphi the last 13 years and have never used Interbase

1)  Is the Interbase DB Engine easy to redistribute? If I port my old DB app to Interbase is it easy for a friend to run an install and get the database configured ?

2) Does Delphi XE2 contain the components to allow an interface to Excel like Delphi 5 did?

Again, not interested in this as a commercial application platform, it's mostly for my personal use with a couple of friends who may still use the database app I wrote a decade ago, as well as being able to manipulate data stored in Excel.

Thanks
AddOnsIncAsked:
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Geert GruwezConnect With a Mentor Oracle dbaCommented:
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Geert GruwezOracle dbaCommented:
1)
there is not only interbase, but clientdataset, mssql express, oracle express
upon installing 2009/2010 embarcadero/codegear even installed blackfishsql (without asking)
and yes, BDE is still available ... it probably always will be ... sigh

2)
All those components are still there (and unicode now)
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Ephraim WangoyaCommented:
Not to mention Firebird which is closely related to Interbase
Small footprint and easy to distribute as well
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ThommyCommented:
For your DB apps I recommend using SQLite database.

It's a free, small, serverless and easy to use SQL database engine...
SQLite4Delphi at Sourceforge
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AddOnsIncAuthor Commented:
@Geert_Gruwez: I thought I saw on a blog somewhere that TClientDataSet wasn't in the Starter edition (even though the feature matrix says it is).  Can you confirm or deny?

Thanks
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Ephraim WangoyaCommented:
TClientDataset is pretty basic, I would assume its the kind of component that would be in a Starter edition
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Geert GruwezOracle dbaCommented:
it's basically a query tool for a file ...
i can't deny and can't confirm, i'm using 2010 and haven't installed xe yet
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Geert GruwezOracle dbaCommented:
your right, based on this video, looks like TClientDataset isn't included in the starter
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