Mini SQL 2.0
Release Version mSQL 2.0.1
Release Date 23 July 1997
Document Revision 2.0.1 v 1
The mSQL API section of this document covers the programming interface provided by mSQL. It is described in the native language of the API library, C. It is assumed that the reader has a good understanding of programming in the C language and that s/he is familiar with the basic functionality provided by the standard C library.
The Lite section of the manual documents the Lite programming language. The syntax and semantics of the Lite language are similar to those of the C language. A working knowledge of C will aid the reader in understanding the Lite language.
Integration of mSQL and the World Wide Web is covered
in the W3-mSQL section. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with
the WWW, HTML, CGI scripts and the operation of a web server (http daemon).
manual, parts of the text have been flagged with the symbol that appears
in the margin opposite this paragraph. Such pieces of text are viewed as
being important. The reader should ensure that paragraphs marked as important
are read even if the entire manual section is only being skimmed. Important
sections will include information such as areas in which mSQL may deviate
from other SQL implementations, or tips on improving the performance of
your database applications.
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Although mSQL uses the Structured Query Language (SQL) as its query language, it does not provide a complete implementation of the ANSI standard SQL. Several features of SQL that are found in more recent versions of the ANSI standard and in more sophisticated database systems are not provided by mSQL. The incorporation of such features would be in conflict with the basic concept of mSQL (i.e. a Mini database system) and would also increase the load and system requirements needed to run the software.
The philosophy of mSQL has been to provide a database management system capable of rapidly handling simple tasks. It has not been developed for use in critical financial environments (banking applications for example). The software is capable of performing the supported operations with exceptional speed whilst utilising very few system resources. Some database systems require high-end hardware platforms and vast quantities of memory before they can provide rapid access to stored data. mSQL has been designed to provide exceptional data access performance on "small hardware" platforms (such as PC class hardware). Because of these characteristics, mSQL is well suited to the vast majority of data management tasks.
Although the mSQL software distribution is made available over the Internet (and other mechanisms) it is not public domain software or FreeWare. mSQL is a commercial, supported software package developed by Hughes Technologies Pty Ltd in Australia. Use of this software in any commercial environment requires the purchase of a commercial use license from Hughes Technologies. Free licenses are provided to organisations such as Universities, schools and registered charities in an attempt to maintain the ethos of the original Internet. For more information on purchasing a license or determining whether you qualify for a free license, please see the Hughes Technologies World Wide Web site at http://Hughes.com.au/.
Development of mSQL and its associated tools is an ongoing project. Current releases of the mSQL package and applications that use mSQL are always available from the Hughes Technologies web site. If you require product support, a new version of the software, or some ideas about using mSQL then please visit our web site.
The database engine in mSQL 2.0 has been designed to handle large data sets and to provide consistent and rapid access to large data sets in the million record size. In doing so it has in no way compromised the outstanding performance shown by the 1.x engine in handling small data sets. The performance increase for large applications has been achieved by the incorporation of flexible and powerful indexing to the database as well as sophisticated query execution optimisation. To learn more about the new indexing capabilities provided by mSQL 2.0, please see the mSQL Query Language section of this manual.
One of the major applications of mSQL has been as a back-end database for World-Wide Web sites. With this fact in mind, mSQL 2.0 includes the new W3-mSQL www interface package. Using W3-mSQL, web based applications can be rapidly developed by embedding mSQL and other programmatic constructs directly into the HTML code. This removes the need to write a multitude of small CGI scripts for every web page with dynamic content.
Also included in the 2.0 distribution is the Lite scripting language. Lite is a stand-alone version of the language used by W3-mSQL. By including Lite in the distribution, a developer has a consistent language that s/he can use to develop stand-alone or web based applications that utilise mSQL. Further information about Lite and W3-mSQL is provided in the following sections of this manual. Further information on the new features in mSQL 2.0 can be found in Appendix A.