In 2003 Loy Anderson and I wrote the first book focused exclusively on the Advantage Database Server. In that book, we tried to share our enthusiasm for this seemingly contradictory product. Advantage manages to be at the same time both sophisticated and simple, an unexpected combination in today's software industry.
From the input we have received from our readers, many share our enthusiasm. More than any other product on the market, Advantage appears to be "the people's database," providing developers with power and features without sacrificing ease-of-use.
I first become aware of Advantage in 1999, when the Advantage team was preparing the release of Advantage 6.0. That Advantage version was the first to introduce data dictionaries, along with many other features previously only found in much more complicated databases, including stored procedures, views, and role-based security.
Our previous book, Advantage Database Server: The Official Guide, covers Advantage 7.0, which introduced many additional features such as triggers, full text search, and SQL scripts. And now, this book that you are reading covers Advantage 8.1, which supports online backup, SQL persistent stored modules (PSMs), replication, user defined functions, and more.
I repeat this short history in part to share my amazement at the progress that Advantage has made over the years. With each release, Advantage has gained advanced features while keeping true to its promise of simplicity of use and maintenance.