Writing Database Applications

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You can create advanced database applications using tools to connect to SQL servers and databases such as Oracle, Sybase, InterBase, MySQL, MS-SQL, Informix, PostgreSQL, and DB2 while providing transparent data sharing between applications.

The Tool palette includes many components for accessing databases and representing the information they contain. The database components are grouped according to the data access mechanism and function.

Database pages on the Tool palette:

Palette page Contents


Components that use the Borland Database Engine (BDE), a large API for interacting with databases. The BDE supports the broadest range of functions and comes with the most supporting utilities including Database Desktop and Database Explorer . See Using the Borland Database Engine for details.

Please Note: The Borland Database Engine (BDE) has been deprecated, so it will not be enhanced. For instance, BDE will never have Unicode support. You should not undertake new development with BDE. Consider migrating your existing database applications from BDE to dbExpress.


Components that use ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), developed by Microsoft, to access database information. Many ADO drivers are available for connecting to different database servers. ADO-based components let you integrate your application into an ADO-based environment. See Working with ADO Components for details.


Components that use dbExpress to access database information. dbExpress drivers provide fast access to databases but need to be used with TClientDataSet and TDataSetProvider to perform updates. See Using dbExpress Datasets for details.


Components that access InterBase databases directly, without going through a separate engine layer.

Data Access

Components that can be used with any data access mechanism such as TClientDataSet and TDataSetProvider. See Using Client Datasets - Overview for information about client datasets. See Using Provider Components for information about providers.

Data Controls

Data-aware controls that can access information from a data source. See Using Data Controls for details.

When designing a database application, you must decide which data access mechanism to use. Each data access mechanism differs in its range of functional support, the ease of deployment, and the availability of drivers to support different database servers.

Refer to Designing Database Applications - Overview for details on what type of database support is available and considerations when designing database client applications and application servers.

Note: Not all editions of Delphi include database support.

Note Not all editions of C++Builder include database support.


See Also