BDE and Database Desktop Locking Protocol (TI3160)

 Intended Audience

  This information will be of benefit to anyone considering
 designing a database application using Delphi and the BDE.


  A basic knowledge or interest in Paradox locking protocols

 and table formats.


  To give users a better understanding of the table locking


 Table and field types and features supported

  Each major release of Paradox has implemented improvements

  to  table structures since version 2.0.  All Paradox table

  types from Paradox 1.0 through Paradox 3.5 are compatible

  with each other.

  Paradox 4.0 adds a new data type to the table format: Binary

  Large Objects, commonly known as BLObs and new types of

  Secondary Indices.  Paradox 4.0 supports two types of BLOb

  fields: Memo, and BLOb.  Versions of Paradox prior to 4.0,

  or the Engine prior to 3.0, cannot read, write, or create

  this new table format.  If you attempt to read or write a

  Paradox 4.0 table type in an earlier version of Paradox,

  it will return an error that the table is password protected.

  Paradox 5.0 added several new data types to the table format:

  Long Integer, Time, TimeStamp, Logical, Autoincrement, BCD,

  Bytes.  Paradox 7.0 added a descending secondary index.

  Any table created or modified to include any of these newer

  features will default to the respective table level. The

  default table type created using the Database Desktop and the

  BDE (Borland Database Engine) is a Paradox 4.0.  Although the

  default can be changed in the BDE configuration utility or

  the Database desktop configuration utility to default to

  Paradox 3, 4, 5 and 7 for the BDE.

  Paradox 4.0 can read, write, and create Paradox table types that

  are compatible with Paradox 1.0 through Paradox 4.0.  So a table

  created in Paradox 1.0 is compatible with Paradox 4.0.  A table

  created in Engine 1.0 or 2.0 can be read by or written to by

  Paradox 4.0.

  Paradox and the Engine do not change the table type when reading

  or writing.  The table type is only changed when a  Restructure is

  performed on the table.

 Paradox Locking Protocols

  There are two different Paradox locking protocols: the protocol

  introduced with Paradox 2.0 and the protocol introduced with

  Paradox 4.0.  These two protocols are not compatible with each

  other.  The locking protocol has no bearing on which type of

  table a program can work with.  There are a few programs that can

  support either locking protocol; however, these programs can only

  support one protocol at a time.  We will only focus on the 4.0

  locking protocol.

 Database Desktop/ Paradox 4.0 Locking Protocol

  The Paradox 4.0 locking protocol is the only protocol available

  for Paradox 4.0 and the IDAPI Engine.   The designation "Paradox 4.0

  locking protocol" represents this style of locking.

 Directory Locks

  Paradox 4.0 places a locking file, PDOXUSRS.LCK, in each

  directory where tables are being accessed.  This locking file

  regulates concurrent access to files in the directory.  The lock

  file references PDOXUSRS.NET, so every user must map to

  the data directory the same way.  It also places an exclusive

  PARADOX.LCK file in the directory as well.  It does this to

  prevent versions of Paradox or the Engine using the older

  locking system from inadvertently accessing tables.

 Working/Shareable Directories

  When Paradox or Database Desktop needs to access tables in a

  directory, they place a "Shareable" PDOXUSRS.LCK file in that

  directory and an "Exclusive" PARADOX.LCK file in that directory.

  This designation means that other Paradox 4.0 users can access

  tables in that directory.  The exclusive PARADOX.LCK file is

  placed in this directory to keep the older, incompatible locking

  protocol from putting data at risk.  In Paradox, this is known as

  a "Working" directory.

 Private/Exclusive Directories

  Paradox and Database Desktop also need a directory to store

  temporary files, such as the Answer table from a query.  When

  Paradox or Paradox Runtime start, they also place an "Exclusive"

  PDOXUSRS.LCK file in a directory and an "Exclusive" PARADOX.LCK

  file in the same directory, designating that directory as the

  location for temporary files.  This designation means that other

  Paradox users cannot access tables in that directory.  In Paradox

  this is known as a "Private" directory.

 Table Locks

  Paradox 4.0 places each table lock in the directory locking file:

  PDOXUSRS.LCK.  It no longer uses the separate table lock file of

  previous versions.  For example, if three users are viewing the

  CUSTOMER.DB table and one user is restructuring the ORDERS.DB

  table, the PDOXUSRS.LCK file will have a shareable lock listed

  for each of those three users who are viewing the CUSTOMER.DB

  table, and an exclusive lock on ORDERS.DB for the user who is

  restructuring that table.

 Paradox 4.0 Locking Protocol Concurrency

  In a multi-user environment, the Paradox 4.0 locking protocol

  maintains concurrency, the simultaneous use of applications,

  through the PDOXUSRS.NET file.  All users who want to share

  Paradox tables must map to the same PDOXUSRS.NET file in the

  same way using the same path, but not necessarily the same

  drive letter.  Paradox places a PDOXUSRS.LCK and an exclusive

  PARADOX.LCK file in each directory where tables are being

  accessed preventing previous versions of Paradox from accessing

  files in the same directory.  Each user who wants to share tables

  in that directory must map that directory the same way using

  the same drive letter and path.  Paradox then places all of the

  locking information for that table in the PDOXUSRS.LCK file,

  reducing the number of files needed.

 Network Control File

  The Paradox network control file, PDOXUSRS.NET, serves as the

  reference point for all lock files created by Paradox.  The

  net file contains the users currently using the BDE and which

  table they're accessing.  Each lock file references the network

  control file and contains information regarding the locks on the

  table and by which user, so each user must map to the same

  network control file in the same way, but not necessarily with

  the same drive letter.

  For example, if you are using volume DATA on server SERVER_1 and

  the network control file is in the directory \PDOXDATA each user

  must map \\SERVER_1\DATA:\PDOXDATA the same way, however, each

  user should, but is not required to use the same drive letter.

  If the network you are using does not have volumes, then DATA

  would be a directory off the root of SERVER_1.

  If you are mapping \\SERVER_1\DATA to the root of drive P: then

  each Paradox system would specify the location of PARADOX.NET as

  P:\PDOXDATA\.  However, other users could map \\SERVER_1\DATA to

  the root of drive O: and specify O:\PDOXDATA\ as the location of

  the network control file.

 Configuring 16 bit Database Engine / IDAPI.CFG

  The Database Engine configuration file holds the network specific

  information and the list of database aliases, as well as other

  information. You can configure IDAPI using the Database Engine

  configuration program, BDECFG.EXE, to  set the location of the

  network control file. Also add, delete, modify database aliases

  including which driver or type of alias used and whether IDAPI

  will share local tables with other programs using the Paradox

  4.0 locking protocol as well as some other specifics regarding the

  tables and how data is displayed.

 Local Settings 16 bit

  The WIN.INI file holds the locations of the IDAPI.CFG file, the

  Database Desktop "Working" directory, and the Database Desktop

  "Private" directory.  You can use any text editor to change these

  designations in the WIN.INI file.  The location of the IDAPI.CFG

  file is CONFIGFILE=<full drive, path, and file name> or

  CONFIGFILE01=<full drive, path, and file NAME> in the [IDAPI]


  The locations of the Database Desktop "Working" and "Private"

  directories are in the [DBD] group as WORKDIR=<full drive and

  directory>, and PRIVDIR=<full drive and directory>.

 Configuring 32 bit Database Engine / IDAPI32.CFG

  The BDE configuration file holds the same information as the

  Database Engine configuration file.  Use the BDE Configuration,

  BDECFG32.EXE, to configure IDAPI32.CFG.  Optionally you can store

  the information in the registry or in both the registry and


 Local Settings 32 bit

  The registry holds the locations of the IDAPI32.CFG, the "Working"

  directory, and the "Private" directory.  The location of the

  IDAPI32.CFG file is stored in

  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Borland\Database Engine.

  The value CONFIGFILE01 holds the data containing <full drive, path,

  and file name>.

  The location of the BDE "Working" and "Private" directories are

  stored in

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Borland\DBD\7.0\Configuration\WorkDir and


  respectively. Each directory default value stores the data containing

  <Full drive and directory>.

 Accessing a Paradox Table

  The BDE will first try to access the PDOXUSRS.NET file.

  If a PDOXUSRS.NET file is not found, Paradox will create a

  new PDOXUSRS.NET file and continue with the startup procedure.

  If the PDOXUSRS.NET file is found but the owner of this net file

  used a different path, i.e. mapped to the server differently, an

  exception of "Multiple net files in use" will be raised and the BDE

  will shutdown. After the net is successfully opened an exclusive

  lock, PARADOX.LCK, is placed in the temporary, private, directory.

  If it fails to place the lock the BDE will shut down.  This can fail

  if some other user has an exclusive lock in this directory or the

  lock files are using different net files. After it secures a

  directory for private use it will place a shareable PARADOX.LCK in

  the working directory and now Initialization is complete.

The information above has been extracted from the "Inprise Web Site" with permission from Inprise Australia
DISCLAIMER: You have the right to use this technical information subject to the terms of the No-Nonsense License Statement that you received with the Inprise product to which this information pertains.