In the last chapter, we examined Delphi's support for database programming, using local files (particularly using the ClientDataSet component, or MyBase) in most of the examples but not focusing on any specific database technology. This chapter moves on to the use of SQL server databases, focusing on client/server development with the BDE and the new dbExpress technology. A single chapter cannot cover this complex topic in detail, so I'll introduce it from the perspective of the Delphi developer and add some tips and hints.
For the examples I'll use InterBase, because this Borland RDBMS (relational database management system), or SQL server, is included in the Professional and higher editions of Delphi; in addition, it is a free and open-source server (although not in all of its versions, as discussed later). I'll discuss InterBase from the Delphi perspective, without delving into its internal architecture. A lot of the information presented also applies to other SQL servers, so even if you've decided not to use InterBase, you may still find it valuable.