Our company needs to port the data out of a relational database to a CD-ROM and build an application (in Delphi) on top of that database. It should be possible to run this application from the CD-ROM. My question is first of all which database we can use: Paradox, MS-Access, others? Do there exist some porting tools (ETL?)? Are there special attention points?
There are potentially thousands of attention points, but without having a much better idea of what you are doing and how you are going about doing it, I can't really say what they might be!
The process of extracting the data from the database should be relatively straightforward. The simplest way to approach this is probably to write a small Delphi application that will connect to the relational database and extract the data that your application will need into whatever format is convenient. For the purpose of this discussion, let's assume that you want to use Paradox tables.
Write a simple Delphi application that will construct the appropriate queries and run them against the relational database. As rows are returned (as part of the result set) to the Delphi application, it can simply write those rows to a Paradox table.
There should be little or no problem writing a Delphi application to run from a CD-ROM. The Delphi Professional package should contain everything you need to write an application like this. Keep in mind that you will probably want to stake out a bit of hard disk for your program to store information on, or create some registry keys you can use for this purpose. A program that remembers nothing about its previous usage quickly becomes a real drag to use in this day and age!
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