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Suites for the Sweet: WordPerfect Office 2000 - page 4

Moving a Long-Established Suite to Linux

  • May 18, 2000
  • By Brian Proffitt

Databases frighten me. Deeply. So it takes a pretty good app to even get me to start using them. Paradox, one of the oldest commercial relational databases around, gets a big nod for stability and speed in this new release. Its design tools, though, leave something to be desired for database newbies like me.

I am told that the Visual Database designer in this version of Paradox is nothing new and long-time Paradox users will be very familiar with this functionality. That's good, because it confused the heck out of me.

Which is not to say this application is a bad one. On the contrary, even a neophyte like myself can recognize the strengths of Paradox 9, in particular its sample databases that you can use to start your own. I found these samples to be pretty robust in quality and easy to use.

Where Paradox really shines is in its reporting. MS Access and SQL users will be familiar with Crystal Reports, which spits out basically non-editable data that is good just for sending to your printer. Paradox's reporting blows this away be enabling you to produce reports in WordPerfect, Rich Text Format, or even Microsoft Word formats. This is an incredible tool and makes formatting data reports in truly creative ways very easy.

Another thing I noted was the speed of the application. I loaded up a collection databases with a lot of dummy data and then ran some queries as I went along. I noticed very little slow down as the data tables got bigger.

If you need to design a new database, I suggest you skip the Visual Database Designer until you're proficient at Paradox, and opt to use the quick design tools. Each tool targets specific database component: tables, forms, reports, charts, and (a new one for me) Crosstab reports.

Paradox can import data from a variety of tabular sources, including, MS users will be happy to note, Excel spreadsheets.

If you like working with databases, you should like going back to one of the old classics. New users will definitely have to ramp up to this one.


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