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Maintaining Superbase Applications


Superbase versions and revisions

Superbase has had one of the most interesting version and naming problems of any product that has been produced on the earth.
The first versions of Superbase for the Windows platform were Superbase 4 version 1.0, followed immediately by Superbase 4 version 1.1, then Superbase 4 version 1.11, then Superbase 4 version 1.2 and then Superbase 4 version 1.3 and Superbase 4 version 1.31. At the same time, they created a low-cost baby brother, known as Superbase 2 version 1.xxx which was essentially the same product, but without the ability to modify any written programs. (You could develop a program in Superbase 4 version 1.xxx and RUN it on Superbase 2 version 1.xxx)

Superbase 4 Version 1.0
This was the first product and is extremely rare. Only a handful of copies were released because as soon as they released it, there realized there was a serious problem with the registration system and immediately released the update called verson 1.01. It's reported that only less then 10 people ever had a production copy of version 1.0

Superbase 4 Version 1.01
This was really the first release of Superbase.

Superbase 4 Version 1.1
This version added additional programming features but was largely unchanged.

Superbase 4 Version 1.2
This version revised the menu structure slightly, added improvements in the manuals, and very exciting multimedia and image handling.

Superbase 4 Version 1.3
This version introduced a totally new network file locking system, patterened after the locking system in PARADOX, to handle multi-user concurrency issues. This was due to the fact that many people with previous versions were having problems with the way Superbase wrote into it's own header of the database tables, and eventually locked you out of even being able to get into your own data. Version 1.3 also introduced the external DIALOG editor tool, which allowed people to draw dialog boxes (in an effort to help overcome the limitations of Superbase's forms system)

Superbase 4 Version 1.31
This version introduced minor bug fixes to the substantial changes made in version 1.3

Superbase Version 2.0
This was the first version produced by SPC and was a radical change from the past (although it was designed to be as compatible as possible) The major changes are too numerous to mention, but this version allowed QuickBasic style of programming (procedures and functions), multiple detail blocks on the screen, advanced locking strategies, a graphical report designer, a Query By Example subsystem, and many other items. This version stayed the same for a period of time, although there were minor bug fixes and maintenance released, culminating in the final version which was Superbase version 2.01d. Note that SPC decided to drop the "4" designation from the product, and now simply used the name SUPERBASE as the name of the product and "2.xxx" as the version number.

Superbase 95 (Version 3.0)
Although SPC designed, developed, and created this product, they decided at the last minute to change the name (to Superbase 95) and also to tell everyone in the press that they were killing it. So they released it, (as build 331) but it was not selling. Superbase 95 was a complete rewrite of Superbase from the ground up with the design goal of adding multiple window (MDI) support that was long overdue, and separating the "engine" from the "user interface". There were many features in Superbase 95, although the underlying database engine had not changed really at all. Superbase 95 was originally released in November of 1993 as build 331, and then the Superbase Runtime System was released as a companion product as build 367 in March of 1994. A maintenance release (build 371) was released around November of 1994 and served as the final version until Superbase was again sold to new parents. Superbase was sold to Papatuo Holdings Ltd around April of 1995, but the maintenance release (build 371) remained the current version until approximately august of 1996, when Superbase 95 (build 379) was released, primary to support the German and UK markets.

Superbase ODBC (16 bit driver) version 1.0
After nearly 2 years of development and languishing, the Superbase ODBC driver was finished and released. This driver, developed by SIMBA Technologies (later renamed PageAhead software) allowed other applications to be able to get data into and out of Superbase SBF files. Although the 16 bit driver was released quietly, by this time, many people were using WEB server applications, and many people wanted a full 32 bit version of the Superbase driver, so that they could plug Superbase files into web servers such as Microsoft IIS. Although a 32 bit driver has been started and is in prototype form, it has yet to be released (as of January, 1998)

Superbase Version 3.2
Once again, in an effort to try to simplify things, Superbase Developers plc decided to drop the '95 designation from the name, and instead call the product Superbase version 3.2. In creating Superbase 3.2, SBDplc packed about 50 new features or enhancements, and about 50 "bug" fixes into the last version. In addition, because they wanted to make the product more valuable to developers who had longed for the ability to have better control of objects on forms, Superbase included an add-in product called SuperBoxes, which they licensed from GeoMetrix Data Systems in Canada, who had produced it. The GeoMetrix people had done what even the Superbase development team had failed to do: they added the ability ofr Superbase to host VBX controls (although most of the world had already moved to OCX controls - now called ActiveX - by now) and provided a way to add many objects onto a form that Superbase itself did not support.

Copyright 2003 Papatuo Holdings Ltd, Cambridge, UK. All rights reserved worldwide.
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