Powerflex and SQL

Products to Support SQL and ODBC

If you need to use SQL with Powerflex applications or Powerflex and Powerflex-compatible data, you'll want to find out more about our new products designed specifically to support SQL. One of these will be right for you.

What is SQL? What is ODBC?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. Invented by IBM in the early 1970s, SQL is both an interactive query language and a database programming language for manipulating data stored in a relational database. It includes statements for retrieving and modifying data, managing data tables, and for general programming.

ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity. It is the Windows programming interface for SQL, the means by which SQL commands in a program are submitted to a database and results retrieved. ODBC is widely used by programming languages and end-user tools as a standardised way to retrieve or manipulate data in the Windows environment.

How Can I Use SQL/ODBC and Powerflex?

Depending on the product, you can choose to:


PFXodbc is intended for developers who need to allow non-PFXplus applications to access PFXplus and compatible data, or who wish to use the power of SQL to manipulate this data. It is also suitable for end-users who wish to retrieve data using ODBC-enabled query and reporting tools.

PFXodbc is a fully-fledged ODBC 3.5 product providing other applications with access to data stored in PFXplus and compatible database files. It works by installing an ODBC driver that contains the same powerful file access routines as in the PFXplus runtime and PFX C-lib. The ODBC driver is then invoked by the ODBC driver manager in the Windows Control Panel to configure a data source (DSN) that allows access to any set of PFXplus data files. Now any application that uses ODBC to access data is able to select this DSN and access the data in the PFXplus database files.

See the PFXodbc page for more details.

PFXplus SQL Direct

PFXplus SQL Direct is primarily for experienced application developers who wish to have their PFXplus applications exchange data with other applications. It is supplied as a replacement for the PFXplus PFLN runtime.

It allows PFXplus applications to get access to ODBC data. PFXplus applications using this product can connect to and execute queries on any ODBC data source, and retrieve results for further processing by the application.

For more details on PFXplus generally, see the PFXplus page.

PFXplus Mark 5 Support

PFXplus SQL Mark 5 Support allows a PFXplus application to have its entire database set up on a relational database management system (RDBMS). The application will require little or no coding change, as all the existing database statements such as OPEN, FIND, SAVE and DELETE work as normal.

The Mark 5 SQL runtime includes SQL Direct, and, like SQL Direct, is supplied as a replacement for the PFXplus PFLN runtime.

A Mark 5 (SQL) database application takes advantage of powerful features of the database manager such as transaction logging and rollback, guaranteed integrity, security and scalability. It allows the application to be integrated seamlessly with other applications using the same database manager.

PFXplus SQL Mark 5 Support is primarily designed for developers with larger customers who have a definite need to store their data on a particular database system, and who have the skills required to set it up and manage it. Hardware requirements tend to be higher, particularly at the server end, but performance on high-end equipment is outstanding.

For more details on PFXplus generally, see the PFXplus page.

PFXplus SQL Option

Developers who want to write programs that incorporate SQL will need the SQL Option, which is an add-on to the PFXplus 32-bit Individual Developer's Edition.

The 32-bit SQL Option includes a 5-user Mark 5 SQL runtime for development and testing. This adds the ability to store PFXplus and compatible data as SQL tables (Mark 5 Support), as well as to execute SQL queries within a PFXplus application (SQL Direct).

When the PFXplus application is ready for deployment, the developer may purchase either a Mark 5 SQL end-user runtime or an SQL Direct end-user runtime. Note that the Mark 5 SQL runtime includes SQL Direct, but not vice-versa.

If PFXplus and compatible data files have been stored as SQL tables, then the Mark 5 runtime is required, regardless of whether or not SQL queries have been incorporated into the source code.

If the only use of SQL has been to incorporate SQL queries in the PFXplus source code, then an SQL Direct runtime can be used.

For more details on PFXplus generally, see the PFXplus page. The PFXplus SQL Option is available free to members of the Powerflex VAR Program.