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Chapter 7. Linking, Importing, and Expor... > In the Real World—Microsoft Giveth a...

In the Real World—Microsoft Giveth and Microsoft Taketh Away

Despite issues with Microsoft bundling no-additional-charge features in Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000, there's still no such thing as a free lunch when you upgrade to Access 2000. Long-standing dBASE and Paradox import, export, and linking features have disappeared in Access 2000, and even Microsoft's Visual FoxPro gets slighted by losing its ISAM driver and .dbf export capability. If you need to work with linked dBASE or Paradox tables and don't want to spring for a BDE license, you're stuck with using earlier versions of Access.

A plausible explanation for disappearing desktop database file compatibility is that Access dominates the market, and virtually everyone who needed to migrate from xBase and Paradox tables already has done so in an earlier version of Access. There's no question that dBASE and its clones, Paradox, and other competing desktop database platforms (with the significant exception of FileMaker Pro) linger in a state of semi-suspended animation. Developers with a substantial investment in xBase or Paradox Application Language (PAL) are loathe to climb the VBA, Java, or C++ learning curve; thus xBase and PAL programmers constitute a continuing, if shrinking, upgrade market for Inprise/Borland and Microsoft. It's probably safe to say that few, if any, newcomers choose the current version of dBASE, Visual FoxPro, or Paradox as their introductory database design and development learning tool.


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