FairCom databases: Smaller footprint, lower licensing costs

What's a developer to do when a high-performance - but very small - database is needed for a project? FairCom believes that its c-treeACE family of navigational databases can be the solution.

Randal Hoff, FairCom's VP of Engineering Services, stopped by to introduce his company and its c-treeACE family of database products. The company has been around since 1979 and its products are in use by 43 percent of the Fortune 100.

The company is proud that it offered what it calls a "NoSQL" database long before it was cool. The company focuses on providing tools to developers needing an engineering solution that includes a compact, high performance, reliable data store.


Often, relational database offered by companies such as IBM, Microsoft or Oracle offer unneeded features and functions for the job at hand.

c-treeACE comes in a number of flavors including one focused on updating established COBOL and Btrieve applications, a database engine for new development, and a compact version for client or embedded applications. The company also offers a replication product for the implementation of high availability/redundant database solutions.

The version for established COBOL and Btrieve applications is designed to be a drop-in replacement allowing these applications to work side-by-side with newer applications and still share the same data.


I often suggest that Kusnetzky Goup clients take the time to really understand the needs of their applications and only then select a database to support them.  This often is a new thought to those brought up thinking that relational databases are the only answer when high performance, robust solutions are needed.

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When we examine the needs of their applications together, it often becomes apparent that a relational database offered by companies such as IBM, Microsoft or Oracle offer unneeded features and functions for the job at hand. This means that they often are too large, require too much memory and storage, and are too costly.

Small footprint

FairCom is one of the few companies that I've spoken with that has focused its attention on offering a product that targets applications requiring a small footprint and lower software licensing costs.

The company's database technology can be accessed using a number of different approaches ranging from an indexed-sequential file system to a full SQL-standard database. What's interesting is that applications based upon different database access methods can share data and interact with one another. This, in my view, would make a transition from an older, established application to something newly built much easier — and reduce or eliminate the possibility of data loss.

I have spent a bit of time learning more about the company's products and suggest you do the same.