Borland International is joining the race to bring database access to the Internet with enhancements to its development tools. The company's Visual dBase Professional with Intranet Tools allows Xbase developers to connect dBase and other Xbase databases to Web servers. New features include Visual dBase class libraries and WebExperts that simplify development.
Although this release of Visual dBase Professional does not allow users to create their own database queries, by filling in a form, for example, Borland is developing a version of dBase, code-named Charlotte, that will give users the ability to generate custom queries from a browser. The company did not give expected delivery dates. The class libraries, called WebTools, are licensed from DeltaPoint and are dBase extensions that allow the language to take advantage of HTML and Common Gateway Interface.
"The extensions allow you to publish your databases on a Web server and provide some interactive access," said Terry Crow, software development manager for a major insurance company. "It's very easy to do."
Users will be able to access published databases with a Web browser. In the simplest deployment, users can access specific tables; alternatively, the developer can give users some prepackaged queries. The WebExpert utilities are wizards that walk developers through the process of building Web-enabled Xbase applications.
"The WebExperts are for developing simple applications," Crow said. "If you want to do something complicated, you need to use the object class libraries [WebTools]."
Although the software is designed to work with most Web servers, Crow said it seemed to be optimized for WebSite, a Web server from O'Reilly & Associates. Visual dBase Professional with Intranet Tools is currently available on Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 for $US495.