Could you conceptually explain how Faircom C-Tree Engine ISAM works?

Eduardo Fuerte
Eduardo Fuerte used Ask the Experts™
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Hi Experts

Could you conceptually explain how Faircom C-Tree Engine ISAM works?

It's not clear to me if it's a relational database or a set of indexed files.

I'm installing an ERP that uses MSSQLServer database in conjunction with Faircom C-Tree and is not clear the role of it on that context.

Thanks in advance.
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Commented:
C-Tree is technically a set of indexed files.  However, it does offer a SQL component that can access these just like any other relational database.  Essentially, most databases work in a very similar way -- there is a low-level kernel (or microkernel) database engine that handles the physical file system storage, and a higher level presentation of API's that offer access to the data.   Some databases, like like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, expose ONLY the SQL interface, which provides a single access point, allowing the database development company the ability to handle the low-level components as they see fit, including making changes and the like.  This abstraction simplifies system management, though it can also mean less control.  Other environments, like C-Tree and Btrieve (now part of Actian PSQL) can provide a high-level SQL interface, but they ALSO provide direct, native access to the low-level microkernel via an API call, offering substantial advantages in the area of performance and flexibility.  

I, too, would be confused about why you would need BOTH MSSQL and C-Tree for the same environment.  If I had to guess, I would postulate that the developer is in the process of migrating their system from one database to another, and just haven't quite finished migrating all applications and components yet.  In that case, I suspect that when they finish the migration, one of these may eventually go away.
I will say at once that I had zero experience with faircom, but due to curiosity induced by this question, did some reading.
1. Faircom is a database product, an alternative to sql server; it's one of the few "No-SQL" databases.
2. The current product is called C-TreeAce, so if if your ERP does not mention "Ace", it probably means that they are using not the latest version of it.
3. Faircom's literature says that they are "worldwide leader in database server technology". According to https://db-engines.com/en/system/c-treeACE, they proudly have rank #207 in database products overall, out of 344.

Most likely, your Microsiga is using Faircom for some ancient historical reasons. Probably not a good sign.
Eduardo FuerteDeveloper and Analyst

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Commented:
Hi

Bill
Thank you for the master explanation.

Vadim
Thank you for your contribution, too. Yes, the ERP is TOTVS (early known as Microsiga)

Much clear now.

After some use I concluded the use of Faircom C-tree is strategical, avoiding that Data-Dictionaries, configurations and so on stays at MSSQLServer tables, opened to the comon users. So to make configurations on ERP: create new tables and indexes/ new helps / new menus/ new customized features and so on C-tree is used.
When the ERP starts it checks all the new features configured by using C-tree tables and apply the correspondent changes at MSSQLServer datatable.
Amazingly when I first start the ERP the tables (maybe the default versions) are created. Elsewhere was informed all the ERP operation get faster when Faicom C-tree server is running to get the configurations also. So, without c-tree, where configurations are made the ERP couldn't be customized.
I see at the ERP instalation that Btrieve was probably used in the past since an old version is present.
Eduardo FuerteDeveloper and Analyst

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Commented:
Thank you for the guidance!
Eduardo FuerteDeveloper and Analyst

Author

Commented:
Hi Bill

Could you check this question also, based on your previous reply?

I'm really interested in how it's done.

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