Borland Database Engine

Definition of Borland Database Engine

The Borland Database Engine (BDE) is a software technology developed by Borland, a software company, to provide a shared interface for database access in Windows-based applications. It allows software developers to connect their applications to different databases, such as Paradox, dBASE, Microsoft Access, and others, through a unified interface. The BDE technology has been deprecated and replaced with more modern database systems, but it remains a legacy component in some older applications.


The phonetics of the keyword “Borland Database Engine” are as follows:Borland: /ˈbɔr.lənd/Database: /ˈdeɪ.tə.beɪs/Engine: /ˈɛn.dʒɪn/Putting it all together, you get: /ˈbɔr.lənd ˈdeɪ.tə.beɪs ˈɛn.dʒɪn/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Borland Database Engine (BDE) is a middleware software that allows developers to interact with a variety of databases such as Paradox and dBASE, providing a unified interface for various database systems.
  2. BDE has been discontinued and has been replaced by newer technologies, such as ADO, OLE DB, or FireDAC. Although some applications may still rely on BDE, it is generally recommended to migrate to newer, better-supported data access technologies.
  3. Despite its deprecated status, BDE is still available for developers who need it. It can be found in older development software packages like Delphi and C++Builder, and there are third-party tools and libraries available for continued compatibility and support.

Importance of Borland Database Engine

The Borland Database Engine (BDE) is an important technology term because it refers to a widely-used software database engine developed by Borland International Inc. (now Embarcadero Technologies) for managing data access in Windows applications.

BDE was a core component of Borland’s software development tools, including Delphi and C++ Builder, providing seamless and efficient integration between applications and databases.

This facilitated smoother and quicker communication between software and various databases like dBase, Paradox, Access, and Oracle.

BDE’s versatile functionality, ease of use, and flexibility contributed to its widespread adoption in the cultivation of database applications, making it a significant player in the technology landscape of its time.


The Borland Database Engine (BDE) is a powerful library that facilitates the development and management of database applications by providing a seamless connection between the application and multiple databases. The primary purpose of BDE is to offer developers and end-users a unified interface to access and manipulate various databases such as dBASE, Paradox, InterBase, and others.

By ensuring compatibility with different database types, BDE allows both programmers and users to work across a wide range of database management systems, significantly simplifying the process of building and managing applications compatible with multiple data sources. BDE is especially useful in situations where applications need to handle data from different database formats while maintaining high levels of performance.

Its architecture not only relieves developers from having to write complex and time-consuming database code, but also allows users to query, insert, update, and delete records smoothly across different databases. This flexibility and convenience make BDE a valuable tool in the software development field, particularly for those working on projects that involve the integration of multiple data sources or the creation of custom database-driven applications.

Examples of Borland Database Engine

Inventory Management Applications: BDE was used in several inventory management applications for businesses to track, manage, and analyze inventory levels, orders, and deliveries. BDE provided seamless connectivity to various databases, allowing these applications to store and retrieve inventory data efficiently.

Financial Management Applications: Many financial management applications, such as accounting or banking software, relied on BDE to manage their data storage and retrieval. This facilitated the smooth functioning of tasks like financial reporting, transaction processing, and cash flow management.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: CRM systems used BDE to access and manage customer data stored in databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and others. BDE provided developers with a fast and easy way to create applications focused on improving customer service, sales, and marketing efforts.

Borland Database Engine FAQ

What is Borland Database Engine?

Borland Database Engine (BDE) is a Windows-based software database engine developed by Borland that provides access to various databases such as dBase, Paradox, and Microsoft Access among others. It enables developers to create, edit, and manage databases seamlessly through a graphical user interface.

How do I install Borland Database Engine?

Installing BDE is quite simple: download the installer from the official website or any trusted source, then run the installer and follow the onscreen instructions. Once the installation is complete, you may need to configure the BDE Administrator to meet your specific requirements.

What programming languages support Borland Database Engine?

Borland Database Engine is primarily designed for use with Borland’s programming languages like Delphi and C++Builder. However, you can also use BDE with other programming languages that support the Component Object Model (COM) using the BDE API or third-party components.

Are there any alternatives to Borland Database Engine?

Yes, there are several alternatives to BDE, including FireDAC, ADO, and dbExpress among others. These alternative database engines offer similar functionality and can be used in conjunction with various programming languages and databases.

How do I resolve common Borland Database Engine errors?

Common BDE errors may be related to configuration, corrupted files, or incompatibilities with other software. To resolve these issues, you can try the following steps:
1. Ensure that you have the latest BDE version installed.
2. Check your BDE configuration settings using the BDE Administrator and make necessary changes.
3. Verify that your database and application files are not corrupted.
4. Perform a system scan for malware or conflicts with other software.
5. If all else fails, consider reinstalling BDE or contacting Borland support for further assistance.

Related Technology Terms

  • Database Management System (DBMS)
  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Data Access Objects (DAO)
  • Object-relational mapping (ORM)
  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms