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PRESS RELEASE ON dBASE IV
ASHTON-TATE INTRODUCES dBASE IV FOR MS-DOS AND OS/2 -- SUCCESSOR
TO THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE DATABASE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Major New Technology Platform Yields Highest-Performance Database
Management System Ever Designed for a Personal Computer
NEW YORK, Feb 17, 1988 -- Ashton-Tate Corp., (NASDAQ: TATE)
developer and marketer of the industry-standard dBASE family of
microcomputer database management software, today announced dBASE
IV. Designed for both OS/2- and MS-DOS-based personal computers,
dBASE IV represents a technology tour-de-force over its
predecessor dBASE III PLUS, the world's best-selling database
Developed by Ashton-Tate, dBASE IV features major enhancements to
the dBASE programming language, seamless integration of IBM
SAA-compatible Structured Query Language (SQL) and a completely
redesigned user interface -- including a new applications
generator -- that makes program development and data management
much simpler for non-programmers. dBASE IV includes a built-in,
automatic program compiler that is 10 times faster than dBASE III
PLUS. New automatic record and field locking capabilities
provide for easy networked multi-user operations.
At the same time, Ashton-Tate also announced the dBASE IV
Developer's Edition, touted as the complete dBASE IV programming
environment designed for use by applications developers and
"dBASE IV is the most fully featured, highest-performance
database management system (DBMS) ever designed for a personal
computer," said Edward M. Esber, Jr., chairman and chief
executive officer of Torrance, California-based Ashton-Tate.
"dBASE IV is the key to our workstation and workgroup DBMS
strategy," Esber said. "As the successor to dBASE III PLUS,
dBASE IV elevates that standard well into the realm of OS/2 and
minicomputer processing capabilities."
More than 2 million copies of dBASE have been sold since dBASE II
first appeared in 1981. In 1987, dBASE III PLUS captured more
than 60 percent of all PC DBMS sales.
"The leading-edge technology designed into dBASE IV makes it a
generational leap over any other PC database system. Its 400,000
lines of code were written entirely by Ashton-Tate programmers,"
said Roy E. Folk, executive vice president and general manager of
Ashton-Tate's Software Products Division.
"For the productivity user, dBASE IV sets new standards for ease
of use, power and performance. The new interface allows users to
perform tasks, even generate whole applications, without writing
any programs," Folk said. "The new dBASE IV Developer's Edition
provides a complete development, test and distribution
environment for single and multi-user applications. It even
includes an applications module for royalty-free distribution of
turn-key custom database application programs."
At the heart of dBASE IV's easy-to-use advanced technology is the
addition of a Control Center that delivers the power of dBASE to
non-programmers. The Control Center, which replaces the dBASE
Assistant interface, enables users to perform data entry, query
and report generation without writing programs. Users simply
specify the files, forms and tasks using a
"what-you-see-is-what-you-get" or WYSIWYG work surface. dBASE IV
automatically handles all programming. For advanced users, dBASE
IV still supports the familiar "dot prompt" command interface.
The Control Center consists of six on-screen graphic panels.
Each panel provides menu-driven access to file management,
database queries, forms creation, report generation, label design
and a complete applications generator.
For novice users and experienced programmers alike, dBASE IV's
new applications generator leverages valuable development time.
Users merely define tasks and the files to use. The applications
generator then ties them all together. Users can also add
pull-down and pop-up menus with the WYSIWYG menu editor. When
finished, dBASE IV generates all the program source code. The
"Quick Application" option gives novices a pre-defined
application in minutes. For advanced developers, a template
language is provided for sophisticated customization of complex
applications. All source code produced is available for analysis
With the new forms manager, users visually lay out data entry
forms with the Control Center's WYSIWYG work surface. The
full-screen editor allows users to design and modify forms with
advanced features such as pre- and post-processing for powerful
data entry validation and look-up capabilities. Later, forms are
called up by name for interactive and program usage.
The new query design system contains tools which help users
retrieve, organize, edit and display data. It features
Query-By-Example, or QBE, an easy-to-learn interactive query
system which automatically relates data from two or more
databases. By citing data example, the user tells the QBE system
what information to extract, but not how to extract it. QBE
displays "logical views" of data that appear on screen as if two
or more files had merged showing only the requested data. The
physical files remain unchanged.
The new report writer also uses the WYSIWYG work surface. It
incorporates a "band" concept allowing users to easily define
sophisticated groupings of data and easily generate reports.
These reports include simple columnar reports, complex multi-file
reports with rich page layout facilities and fonts, pre-printed
form reports and mail-merge reports.
Ashton-Tate has integrated IBM's SAA-compatible Structured Query
Language (SQL), a simple yet powerful English-like relational
database sub-language, into the dBASE programming language to
create dBASE/SQL. dBASE/SQL is the new programming language for
dBASE IV and will be an application programming interface for the
Ashton-Tate/Microsoft SQL/Server, the OS/2 workgroup database
server software announced last month.
With the dBASE/SQL programming language, users can create, modify
and query databases using SQL commands or traditional dBASE
commands. Users can interactively execute dBASE/SQL commands at
the dot prompt with the results displayed immediately after each
command. With dBASE/SQL, users create dBASE IV programs that
include SQL statements freely intermixed with dBASE statements.
dBASE IV features an automatic, built-in program compiler that
increases execution speeds to more than 10 times faster than
dBASE III PLUS. All "dot prompt" commands and dBASE IV
applications are automatically compiled when first run.
Ashton-Tate made 245 enhancements to its dBASE Language and
integrated SQL to create the new dBASE/SQL language. New
language extensions permit easy-to-use memory variables,
two-dimensional arrays, multi-child relational capabilities, data
validation, multiple display windows, support for international
dates, currencies and numeric formats and many new math,
financial and statistical functions.
Networking capabilities are significantly enhanced by dBASE IV.
Single-user dBASE III PLUS and dBASE IV programs will
automatically run as multi-user programs without modification.
Other multi-user enhancements include:
* automatic record and file locking when users attempt to access
the same information simultaneously;
* transaction processing with complete rollback and recovery to
prevent data loss during a system failure or record lockout;
* automatic screen refreshing which improves user concurrency by
updating common screens every time another user of the same
screen makes a change; and
* eight-layer password protection and data encryption.
All previous versions of dBASE III and dBASE III PLUS are fully
upward compatible with dBASE IV. All data and program files
supported by dBASE III PLUS can be used in dBASE IV without
modification in either DOS or OS/2 environments.
Conversions of dBASE II data and programs are also easy with a
file utility included with dBASE IV.
dBASE IV carries a suggested retail price of $795. The suggested
price of dBASE IV Developer's Edition is $1,295. Both products
will be sold through more than 6,000 authorized Ashton-Tate
retailers as well as the company's international and corporate
dBASE IV and dBASE IV Developer's Edition will be available by
July 31, 1988.
The regular upgrade price for any user of dBASE II, dBASE III or
dBASE III PLUS is $175. Users who purchase dBASE III PLUS
between now and July 31 can upgrade to dBASE IV for the special
price of $30. This results in at least a $70 savings over the
price of dBASE IV when it ships. dBASE III PLUS will continue to
be sold and supported by Ashton-Tate for customers with 512K
floppy disk-based machines.
In single-user mode, dBASE IV requires an IBM PC, PC/XT, PC/AT,
PC Convertible or all 100% compatible systems. It requires
either OS/2 1.0 or PC-DOS version 2.x or higher. Network systems
need PC-DOS 3.x or higher.
Minimum memory configuration to support dBASE IV is 640Kb for
dBASE IV under DOS. For OS/2 protected mode, users need a
minimum of 2Mb total memory.
Minimum disk storage requirements are one 5-1/4 inch 360Kb or one
3-1/2 inch floppy disk drive and one fixed drive.
dBASE IV supports IBM monographic or color graphics including
CGA, EGA and VGA. Most 80-column printers, including laser
printers, will operate with dBASE IV.
In network mode, all systems must have 640Kb minimum memory plus
one or more of the following network systems:
* Novell Netware/286 versions 2.01A;
* 3COM 3+ Share Software versions 1.01, 1.1 or 1.2;
* IBM PC LAN Program version 1.10, 1.2 or later including Token
Ring (NETBIOS version 1.0 or later);
* AT&T StarLAN version 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2;
* Ungermann-Bass Net/One PC version 15.2.
Based in Torrance, Calif., Ashton-Tate markets best-selling
microcomputer business applications software in six major
categories: database management systems, with industry-standard
dBASE III PLUS, dBASE III PLUS LAN Pack, dBASE IV, dBASE IV
Developer's Edition, dBASE IV LAN Pack, RapidFile and dBASE Mac;
business graphics with DRAW APPLAUSE, the MASTER GRAPHICS Series,
and the Ashton-Tate Graphics Service; word processing, with
MultiMate Advantage II and MultiMate Advantage II LAN; integrated
software, with Framework II; spreadsheet, with Full Impact; and
desktop publishing, with Byline. Ashton-Tate also markets a
comprehensive line of service and support programs for
individuals, corporations and government agencies.
# # # # #
(R) Ashton-Tate, dBASE, MultiMate and Framework are registered
trademarks of Ashton-Tate Corporation.
(tm) dBASE III PLUS, dBASE III PLUS LAN PACK, dBASE IV, dBASE IV
Developer's Edition, dBASE IV LAN PACK, RapidFile, dBASE Mac,
MultiMate Advantage II, MultiMate Advantage II LAN, Framework II,
FullWrite Professional, Full Impact, DRAW APPLAUSE, MASTER
GRAPHICS, Ashton-Tate Graphics Service and Byline are trademarks
of Ashton-Tate Corporation.
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