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   ► KBDesktop Data...Paradox & Ob...Tool Basics   Print This     
Paradox Tool Basics:
The Future of Paradox Blog
Posted 17 years ago on 10/5/2005 and updated 3/16/2019
Take Away:

If you have an existing Paradox system you can keep using it but you'll need to skip the Vista operating system and either stick with Windows XP or move to Windows 7. Because better tools exist, you may very well want to put a plan together now for converting to another development tool or at least understand what the future is likely to hold. If you're a power-user or researcher working with data, stick with Paradox.

 A blog topic from mprestwood's Blog


[Updated 9/25/2009 to include Windows 7 information. Latest changes in red.]


The following are my opinions, post your comments and questions BLOG style at the bottom of this page.

Do you have an existing Paradox for Windows application? Are you curious about the future of Paradox? Should you maintain your Paradox applications or convert them? Perhaps you like Paradox and wish to stay as long as possible with it or, for financial reasons, need to delay converting as long as possible.

First the short answer...

Corel is still actively selling Paradox as part of the WordPerfect Office Suite Pro Edition. In fact, they have recently, February 2009, have released a patch for Vista. However, Paradox is currently in maintenance mode and the current version of Paradox is version 11 even though the WordPerfect Office Suite is up to version 14 (A.K.A X4). Paradox 10 and 11 have problems with Vista but run fine on XP and on Wincows 7, (one of the Windows 7 goals was to fix compatibility issues).

  • Existing Business DB Applications -- You can keep using Paradox so long as you are willing to either stick with Paradox 9 with XP/Vista/7 or Paradox 9/10/11 with Windows XP/7 and skip Vista (the Vista patch for Paraox 11 is currently having mixed results).  This is true especially when development funds are limited. Large corporations with good development funds have options. The Paradox on Vista problems have been resolved by Microsoft with the release of Windows 7. Bottom line is Vista was a bad OS. This really was a Microsoft problem. After all, Paradox 9, 10 and 11 run fine on XP and Windows 7.
    Note: The file server storing your data doesn't matter and even MS Server 2008 works just fine.
  • New Business DB Applications -- If you're thinking about starting a new application in Paradox, make sure you are using the right tool. Paradox is a good solution and we do still recommend it for certain situations. If you wish to discuss Paradox as a solution for you, call me at 916-726-5675 x205 and I'll be happy to discuss a specific project with you. 
  • Existing Commercial Applications -- Migrate from Paradox to a general development tool ASAP. Although it's possible to develop a commercial application in a desktop database, you are in the wrong development environment. This, of course, is just my opinion and in the past my company has developed and marketed several commercial Paradox applications and helped many clients do the same. However, because of deployment issues, it was always the wrong tool even when Paradox was king of Windows development back in the 1994/95 era. This advice applies to all desktop databases including MS Access.
  • New Commercial Applications -- A desktop database is the wrong tool. Develop it in something else. My preference is Delphi for native code Windows applications and VB.Net, C#, or Delphi Prism for .Net framework applications.
  • Webify Your Data -- Meaning surface your existing Paradox application in some form on the internet. This is a bit of a tougher question. For saving snapshot data, Paradox is great. You can easily save tables, queries, and reports as static HTML pages. However, for dynamic data, I firmly believe you should NOT use Paradox for this task. You can and we can help but you should seriously consider using a better tool. If you're a developer, this is a perfect opportunity to learn ASP or ASP.Net to surface the data
  • Current Power-Users -- If you know Paradox well, you can keep going for as long as you want -- just avoid Vista (use XP or Win 7).
  • Professional Paradox Developers -- If you develop in ObjectPAL, you can keep going for as long as you want but you should consider adding another desktop database or general development tool to your skill-set. Microsoft Access is a good alternative to Paradox and does support some OOP features. Refer to my ObjectPAL and Access VBA Cross Reference Guide to compare the two languages.
  • New Users -- If you're just getting started with Paradox, you may want to consider another desktop database such as Microsoft Access. You can use Paradox but be aware that Paradox is in maintenance mode so certain part of the program can  be frustrating. For example, to import data from the latest tools, you have to first save the data as an older version then import. The ONLY exception I can think of is if you have a Paradox expert that will expedite your learning of Paradox. Under that scenario, there is great value in having someone help you quickly master "any product" and Corel is still selling Paradox and it runs fine on Windows XP and Windows 7 (skip Vista). My company Prestwood Software always maintains 4 or 5 Paradox developers. Check out our Development Account for hourly one-on-one help.

That's it, the bottom line. The above are my current recommendations based on the current situation. If and when the situation changes, I will update this article.

Now the long answer...

The long answer is primarily for ObjectPAL developers and those curious about the details behind my conclusions above. If you're a business owner or manager, you probably don't need to read the rest.

First a statement about Paradox. Here at Prestwood Software we love Paradox. It is a great desktop database. For many computer users, it's a great way to get control of your data beyond using a spreadsheet. We understand that large companies spend millions each year on software development and it's difficult for Paradox (or any desktop database) to compete in that market. We still believe there is a market for Paradox with small businesses/entrepreneurs, power-users within large corporations, power-user hobbyists, researchers working with data, etc. Prestwood Software, and the Paradox developer community, can aid those businesses and users and help them get control over their data, and add needed features such as new tables, fields, forms, and reports.

However, Paradox is not our first choice for developing new database applications for large companies. Our first choice for Windows business desktop applications is Visual Studio.Net. If the target platform is the Win32 API, then Delphi for Win32 is our first choice. For example, Delphi is still our first choice for commercial programs for Windows. If the target is something else like web browsers, our first choice is a more appropriate development environment like ASP, ASP.Net, or PHP to MySQL. If the target needs to be cross platform, we usually either make it a web-based application (the browser is the target) or we develop it in Java.

State of the Union

Now back to Paradox...

Starting with version 8, Corel took over...

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More Info

KB Post:  BDE Best Practices: Safely Use Paradox Tables
KB Post:  Can I install Paradox 10 or 11+ on Windows 7? Vista?
KB Post:  Install Paradox 9 on Windows 7, or even Vista!
FAQ:  Paradox 14 Is Paradox 11 SP2

Linked Message Board Threads

 Latest Future for Paradox in Paradox Setup, Vista, etc. MB Topic (4 replies)
 Does Paradox have a future? in Paradox Setup, Vista, etc. MB Topic (3 replies)
 comparison between Pardox and Access in Paradox Setup, Vista, etc. MB Topic (5 replies)

Blog Entries!

 Contribute to this open topic blog!
Latest Comment
Comment 32 of 32

I know that many years have passed, but I think it‘s good to add here a thing: Paradox 10 and 11 (in its various versions) do run very well within Windows 10, and PDX it still a very solid desktop DB, and with the powerful machines of today, and the big bandwith we have in our LANs today, Paradox is BLINDINGLY FAST.

That is to say that even if today I make most of my programming with web technologies such as PHP and MySQL and CouchDB, every time I get back to writing some code in Paradox to support my long standing clients who still use my PDX applications, I always feel a refreshing surge of power.

PDX still works great, and on modern hardware is immensely fast.

Posted 38 months ago

Comment 31 of 32

Hi HWCom, Do you want to stick with a desktop database? If so, MS Access is still around. For me and my company, after Paradox, we went to Delphi, then DotNet desktop apps. Since about 2012 we stick with DotNet Web apps using C#, MS-SQL, and entity framework using an MVC architecture.

Posted 50 months ago

Comment 30 of 32

I see Paradox is still part of WP X5... Any idea if there has been any improvements?

Posted 11 years ago

Comment 29 of 32

Thanks for the FreeWheel link. Worked great in Paradox 9 on my Windows 7 U&ltimate 64bit!

Posted 11 years ago

Comment 28 of 32

A small freeware application makes the ObjectPal Editor respond to mouse wheel:

Just so that you can mention it in your wish list!

Posted 11 years ago

Comment 27 of 32

I've been testing a Runtime 9 (SP3) PDE installation on a stock , bottom-of-the-line Win7 64 home premium laptop. The install includes a third party ocx as well as a couple of command line exe files.  

It's all working fine, so far.   No special install procedures required. Win 7 does the (x86)redirection for you. There may not be a need for XP emulation and the special *virtual machine* processor that's required.    


Posted 12 years ago

Comment 26 of 32

Hi Henk,

Welcome back!

Regarding the life of Paradox, I'm very hopefull about Paradox working well with Windows 7. Our early tests show that. Also, Microsoft announced recently that Windows 7 will have an "XP Mode" specifically for XP generation software products. It'll be interesting to fully test Paradox on Windows 7 as well as on Windows 7 in XP Mode. Windows 7 is likely to be a solid platform in fairly common usage through 2015 which would make my prediction accurate. Plus the focus on "compatibility" sets up the next version of Windows after Windows 7. All good news for those that wish to continue running Paradox.

Also, the bottom line is that a major software maker (Corel) is still actively selling Paradox right now! Yes, my hope is that they will do more with it. Yes, the recently released a Vista patch, and although that's good, there are some minor features they could add fairly easily. Also, I wish they would sell it by itself.

Posted 13 years ago

Comment 25 of 32

Hi Mike,

Quite some time I was active on this forum, but I still work with Paradox.

I use it for my client administration and it still fulfills the needs of my office.

I hope your expectation about the time of life of Parasdox is correct. It would be great to keep on using the database and to add and renew it.


Henk Tadema


The Netherlands

Posted 13 years ago

Comment 24 of 32

Yes, it's an ERP

invoices, inventory management, accounting, production, etc.. etc..
Posted 13 years ago

Comment 23 of 32

Wow, huge applications. Congrats. Is the one with over 100 installations a commercial application?

Posted 13 years ago

Comment 22 of 32

I have 2 big application in Paradox

One of 260 forms, 110 reports, 8 libraries, 150.000 lines of code, only 1 installation

The other of 804 forms, 445 reports, 15 libraries, 440.000 lines, more then 100 installations, and I should install it more and more and more...

Posted 13 years ago

Comment 21 of 32

Yesterday I updated this article to include a "short answer" that first gives my opinion of the bottom line for Paradox right now. Thanks to Steven Green of Diamond Software Group for helping me clear my mind and communicate effectively. My long answer is very detailed so a short answer at the top was very needed.

Posted 14 years ago

Comment 20 of 32


Wow. Perfectly said. Cool I think you and I 100% agree. Your slight twists on what I said contributes greatly to this blog. Thanks. I hope others will post their feelings, thoughts, and experiences even if they disagree.

Posted 14 years ago

Comment 19 of 32

I am also a believer in the mantra 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and although there may be serious issues down the track for Paradox applications, I believe it is likely that Paradox, used in interactive mode, is likely to survive Microsoft's operating system developments over the next few years. The Vista problems indicate that I may be wrong but, in my case, these haven't been serious, so I hope not. I have encountered two problems - the error on exiting, which is irritating but does not affect processing, and an inability of Paradox 10 under Vista to directly import images using 'Paste From' - but you can get round that by loading the images into a program like Photoimpact and just using the clipboard to copy them. And I have discovered one significant advantage of Vista - my reports no longer hang when they are printing. Furthermore, I have one or two small applications that I wrote using Borland's 'Turbo Basic' back in the 1980s and they're running perfectly well under Vista! They don't look wonderful but why learn a new language and re-write them when they work? So if DOS applications are still contributing to my business twenty years on why can't Paradox be doing the same in 2020?

I've been advised to look at things like Filemaker and Access but I have invested thousands of hours into Paradox and have over 100,000 records in my business' database table. And everything works. So why change? The fact is that Paradox, straight out of the box, is a fantastic application for small and micro businessess that don't have the time, money or resources to do software development. Create a table, start keying data, write some queries and reports and Paradox can be making a useful contribution to your business within minutes. The only people who don't seem to realise this are Corel Corporation. All they need to do is iron out the Vista bugs, release it as a stand-alone product, market it at a reasonable price and they would sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Incidentally, my upgrade path through Corel may be interesting. I paid full retail for the product when Ansa launched it in the mid-eighties. I did get a couple of versions behind so I paid full retail a second time when I bought it through Borland. When XP was launched I realised I needed Version 10 - I very nearly needed a detective agency to find out who was selling the product and eventually discovered that Corel had hidden it away inside Word Perfect. When I contacted Corel here in Australia they told me I need to pay full retail for a third time and buy the complete Word Perfect suite to get my upgrade. They eventually relented and gave me an upgrade price but, of course, I ended up with all of Word Perfect when I only wanted the database. I have been a Lotus 1-2-3 and Wordpro user for years and as Microsoft bundle Office with Vista, I now have THREE word processors, spreadsheets and databases available to me although I only want one of each. I know this slightly off the subject but if Corel made the components of Word Perfect, particularly Paradox, available separately, I'm sure their sales would increase.

It seems to me that Corel are slightly embarrassed by Paradox, presumably because although it has a powerful programming language built it, it is not - as I understand it - the best tool for application development. That being the case, they should market the product to it's strengths. It is probably the best interactive database available and, as I said earlier, could be marketed strongly and successfully to small business as an interactive tool. Even in interactive mode, it has powerful filtering, sorting and querying abilities and it can easily create text files for export to the net.

Posted 14 years ago

Comment 18 of 32

Yes, my opinion is that you don't need to upgrade. And, yes, my GENERAL opinion is that you should upgrade to the latest version in order to keep it running even longer. However, Paradox 10 and 11 (and 11 SP2) have issues with Vista and there isn't much difference between Paradox 10 and versions above. However, Corel has stated in the past that they intend to provide good compatibility with Vista so one could predict that version 11+ will be around longer than 9 or 10. However, the current state of the union is that Paradox 9 plays better with Vista than 11+.

A few have complained that 11+ have a different set of problems than 10 but I think it's worth while to explore upgrading especially considering Corel's stated position they will make it Vista compatible. However, even Paradox 9 runs well on Vista once you get past a few minor inconveniences and many Paradox developers are recommending staying in Paradox 9.

I think the bottom line for now is that if you know you need good Vista compatibility now, then stick with Paradox 9.

Posted 14 years ago

Comment 17 of 32

I am running PDOX 10 on a network with four PC's.  All four have Windows XP OS.  One is a server.  I started with a DOS version and have upgraded a couple of times.  I have had good luck with it and want to continue running it.  I have accumulated a mountain of important data.  If I am hearing you I don't need to upgrade to a later version.  Just keep running  it as long as I can.  Would upgrading to the latest version increase my chances of extending it's life?


Posted 14 years ago

Comment 16 of 32
For Montana ... Exiting Pdox11 in Vista still yields "Paradox for Windows Desktop has stopped working." Annoyingly it doesn't remember working directory, etc. next session. Other than that, things seem to work OK.
Posted 15 years ago

Comment 15 of 32

I recently updated my personal notebook to Vista and installed Paradox 9. Vista didn't like the BDE config file and Paradox net dir defaulting to C:\ but once I changed those, Paradox 9 started right up!

Montana: I haven't seen the error you mentioned yet, but I'll install other versions of Paradox soon and see if it pops up. It is always possible that maybe my configuration with MS updates "skips" this error, not sure. Yes, I have read all the posts on the newsgroups and I do understand others are running into this issue but I am an optimist!

Posted 15 years ago

Comment 14 of 32

I keep hearing of a dialog box that comes up when exiting Paradox, saying the application died.  Not the actual language, but I got the idea that users could become concerned.


Anyone have any luck taming that monster? 

Posted 15 years ago

Comment 13 of 32

Paradox for Windows is as safe as any other desktop database. I would recommend Microsoft Access as an alternative desktop database, except I keep hearing rumors it will be discontinued or replaced by another product. Desktop databases are a special category for me. I like having it in my toolbox. In the 80s and 90s, a desktop database was as common as a word processor, graphics program, and spreadsheet. Now, desktop databases are a bit more of a specialty tool.

My recommendation is to stick with Paradox as your desktop database and learn another type of tool for building robust business databases such as Visual Studio.Net. Anyway, just my two cents. My Two Cents

Posted 15 years ago

Comment 12 of 32

Hi Bodo:

This is actually a tough question because you are using a desktop database so sticking with Paradox or moving to another desktop database MUST be part of the discussion. Since you know Paradox, I would stick with Paradox. At least for now. By the way, Corel will be releasing a patch that will make Paradox 11 and above fully compliant with Windows Vista. At least that's what their website says.

More Info - Paradox for Windows on Vista

However, we really should discuss one more topic, for creating Windows database applications there are a lot of choices. For me, I like to develop in both desktop databases like Corel Paradox and Microsoft Access as well as full GUI development environments like Borland Delphi, Visual Basic, and Microsoft Visual Studio.Net. So, if you are open to stepping up to the next level, I really like Microsoft Visual Studio.Net and that would be a good tool to learn in addition to a desktop database like Paradox.

Posted 15 years ago

Comment 11 of 32

Q. I presume that you would have a recommendation for the next set of languages that we will need to learn. Dan mentioned that perhaps .net framework may be the way to go.

Dan is correct. Once you decide to migrate from Paradox, DotNet is a good choice. The migration of Windows computers has gone from DOS, to Win16, to Win32, and I predict will go next to native DotNet (currently DotNet runs on top of Win32). So, you'll want to choose either a desktop database that runs in true DotNet or a development environment that builds true DotNet applications. Currently, both VisualStudio.Net and Delphi for .Net create true DotNet applications.

Posted 16 years ago

Comment 10 of 32

Corel has released Corel WorkPerfect Office X3 Professional Edition which does include Paradox. It is still only available if you buy the professional edition of WP Office and that's frustrating. You can go to and buy MS Access 2003 for $196.87 right now!

However, it is nice to see Paradox still shipping in a current and popular commercial software package. I understand that Corel is trying to leverage the full value of the WP Office suite and Paradox does add tremendous value to it.

Although some people refer to this version of Paradox as Paradox 13 or Paradox X3, the About Paradox dialog clearly indicates this is release 11 with Paradox service pack 2 applied. In other words, Paradox 11 with SP2 applied gets you to which is the EXACT same version that ships with WPO 12/X2 Pro and WPO 13/X3 Pro. If and when Corel adds new features is when the version number for Paradox will change. If they simply kept changing the version number with no new features, then you would have to resave and/or re-deliver your Paradox app with each new version. This, of course, doesn't make sense if there are no new features.

Posted 16 years ago

Comment 9 of 32
When I first heard about Sybase acquiring ADS, I too had thoughts like that. However, after talking with my friends at ADS, I feel comfortable saying that ADS is better off now because Sybase has considerably more money than ADS had. As for importing Paradox data to SQL server, you can use any of the Paradox ODBC drivers to move the data or even Paradox for Windows itself which can connect both to your Paradox data and SQL Server.
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 8 of 32
I've been trying Delphi 2006 and really like it but I'm concerned about it's future, I don't want to find myself working with an obsolete program again in 5-10 years. I upgraded to 2005 and find it's a much better product than 2003 especially when working with databases, I think this is probably the way I'm going to go. I have also been playing with Advantage ADS and really like it, it takes no effort to set up and works flawlessly. My only concern is again obsolescence, being recently acquired by Sybase I'm wondering if it's future is headed up or is doomed to become another Corel type acquisition. Now I'm working with Sql Server, I don't like the headache of administration but I feel more secure with it's future. My current struggle with Sql Server is how to import Paradox data into Sql Server databases, I have tried different options but I don't get complete imports. Do you have any suggestions on importing Paradox into Sql Server 2005? or any comments on using Sql Server or where I can get a good crystal ball. Thanks Perrin
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 7 of 32
VS.Net using VB.Net or C# target the .Net framework and Delphi for Win32 targets the Win32 API. Both VB.Net and C# are developed to DotNet's Common Language Standard/Specification (CLS). So, there's very little difference between VB.Net and C# other than syntax and a few syntax related features. C# was developed by Anders who also developed Delphi. He essentially got to start over and do it again which has lead to a very rich VS.Net development environment. C# is really close to Delphi (at least it feels more like Delphi than VB.Net does) but using C++ like syntax. If you go with VS.Net whether you choose C# or VB.Net doesn't really matter, the environment really feels like Delphi. I hope that helps!!! Bottom line is that in our shop we code equally in Delphi, C#, and VB.Net. What we usually talk about is target platform, maintainability, what languages do developers in our clients IT know, etc.
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 6 of 32
I was refering to as in a component of not VB, how do you feel compares to Delphi?
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 5 of 32

Between VB and Delphi, I would clearly choose Delphi. However, as a third option, I think you should consider VS.Net (either VB.Net or C#). VB.Net is NOT VB. In fact, C# is closer to Delphi then VB is to VB.Net. So, bottom line, VB is out.

Posted 16 years ago

Comment 4 of 32
Thanks for the info, I'll look into dbiSAM, I just discovered Advantage and it looks very promising. I have an extensive business application that I started writing back with an early DOS version of Paradox, it operates on a win2k server in our offices and on a peer to peer network as a point of sale program in my retail store. I'm now looking toward the future and I know Paradox is not it. I'm trying to figure out what platform to use that won't become obsolete or outdated by the time I finish my re-write. I don't necessarily need SQL, I use mySql on my website and Paradox ties into it well with odbc for order processing and updating. I'm also trying to decide what to use for the front end, Delphi or or ??. Delphi is probably the better program (I'm not crazy about but I have concerns about the future of Delphi.
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 3 of 32
Yes, lot's of experience with other databases including Advantage Database Server (ADS), dbiSAM, MS SQL, Interbase, Desktop Database, etc. In fact, we are a certified ADS partner. With all that said, it depends on your need. If you need an embedded database, Advantage or dbiSAM will work great. We keep waffling between the two. Our current slight preference is for dbiSAM because of the better licensing scheme (cheaper for our clients). If you need a SQL server, we use and recommend promarily MS SQL, Oracle, and Interbase.
Posted 16 years ago

Comment 2 of 32
You mention that you primairly develop with Delphi but what do you use as a database? I have an application developed with Paradox and I'm looking for an alternative. Do you have any experience with Advantage Database Server?
Posted 16 years ago

First Comment
Comment 1 of 32
Hi, I am a developer from germany. I develope paradox applications since Version 3 for Dos was aviable. At this time I use Paradox 9 Dev. edition for programming and most of my apps were running with Paradox 11 runtime. I've written a lot of projects. Great projects with combination of MS-SQL-server. My question: Is where any other product aviable, safe for the future and easy to use and understand such as paradox do. please forgive my bad english. Best reguards, Bodo Oepen# Germany
Posted 16 years ago
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Blog Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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