Old school database retrieve

KuJaX

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
15,775
I was just at my insurance agents office and noticed that, although running Windows, the primary application he had open was something that looked like it came from the 80's. It was all text based (although he could click with a mouse if he had to) and he would just tab over to different things to put in criteria. For example, to search for my name, he went to the last name column, typed in my name, and then pressed some function key.

i've noticed these types of applications at airports, some electronics stores, etc. It is extremely quick and what seems to be very efficient database retrieval systems without the waiting and loading of php/mysql.

What is it?
 

Eva_Unit_0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
1,991
Usually they are just plain text stored in text files. Yes, they are pretty quick, but they are extremely simplistic and archaic. We use an old text-based invoicing/inventory system at my company and it just stores all data in text files with fixed-width columns. This means that data is not relational as it is in SQL. The fixed-width columns mean that there is a hard limit on the length of any particular string.

Because it is not at all relational, you can't really call it at "database." It's really just a huge text file with search scripts.

That said, these programs are fine for their purposes. We still use ours because it fills its needs just fine.
 

KuJaX

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
15,775
Usually they are just plain text stored in text files. Yes, they are pretty quick, but they are extremely simplistic and archaic. We use an old text-based invoicing/inventory system at my company and it just stores all data in text files with fixed-width columns. This means that data is not relational as it is in SQL. The fixed-width columns mean that there is a hard limit on the length of any particular string.

Because it is not at all relational, you can't really call it at "database." It's really just a huge text file with search scripts.

That said, these programs are fine for their purposes. We still use ours because it fills its needs just fine.


I am not so sure that it is text files. How could, for example, an insurance agent pull up my information? Sure, I went into the office that I setup the account, but I am sure if I went into another branch office that they will be able to bring up my information. You wouldnt think that a large insurance company is storing all of their data in text files on servers, rather than databases?

Also, the program your company uses, I assume it is custom made? Or is there some "standard" applications that do this?
 

k1pp3r

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 16, 2004
Messages
8,160
Could have been an old AS/400 box that has been around since the dawn of man lol
 

Eva_Unit_0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,991
I am not so sure that it is text files. How could, for example, an insurance agent pull up my information? Sure, I went into the office that I setup the account, but I am sure if I went into another branch office that they will be able to bring up my information. You wouldnt think that a large insurance company is storing all of their data in text files on servers, rather than databases?

Also, the program your company uses, I assume it is custom made? Or is there some "standard" applications that do this?

Ours is not custom-made, it's from a vendor. I doubt that it's a very common program, but it is a commercial product that anyone can purchase. And ours definitely uses text files. It's not so archaic that it can't be accessed from anywhere, though. It runs on one of our servers and any number of clients can connect to it to use it. We have a separate office about 60 miles away and we can use it from there via an ipsec tunnel to the main office.
 

Whatsisname

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 15, 2000
Messages
10,202
something doesn't need to be relational to be a "database".

Usually they are just plain text stored in text files. Yes, they are pretty quick, but they are extremely simplistic and archaic. We use an old text-based invoicing/inventory system at my company and it just stores all data in text files with fixed-width columns. This means that data is not relational as it is in SQL. The fixed-width columns mean that there is a hard limit on the length of any particular string.

Because it is not at all relational, you can't really call it at "database." It's really just a huge text file with search scripts.

That said, these programs are fine for their purposes. We still use ours because it fills its needs just fine.
 

Eva_Unit_0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
1,991
something doesn't need to be relational to be a "database".

Ok sure, I guess that's technically true. But when people talk about "databases" in the context of managing large amounts of data on computers, I think it's generally understood that they mean a relational database.
 
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