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Migrate and run DataFlex applications with Oracle, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL &  MariaDB.


Stuck in Crystal XI?  Upgrade and use the latest versions of Crystal Reports with DataFlex applications. 


Convert from transactional ISAM data engines to  PostgreSQL, Oracle and MS SQL Server


Quickly build multi-protocol web services with the same API. Supports JSON-RPC, REST, SOAP,  Thrift, and gRPC.

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Why Mertech?
Give NEW life to your application!

Migrate your  Btrieve, Actian Pervasive.SQL database 

Learn how to migrate legacy software and modernize applications quickly and easily with a solution that lets your application using Btrieve and P.SQL databases to work with SQL with minimal code changes.


bullet hero icon  Introduction

bullet hero icon  Five reasons you need to modernize your Database

bullet hero icon  Common migration scenarios

bullet hero icon  Your options - all or nothing

bullet hero icon  Three tips for choosing the right strategy

bullet hero icon  Consider BTR2SQL - easy migration, low risk, and lower cost 

bullet hero icon  The benefits of BTR2SQL

bullet hero icon  Results

bullet hero icon  Get started



You’ve probably heard the saying “stick to what you know.” But what are you missing out on by using outdated databases that don’t meet the demands of today’s data-intensive business climate?

Many independent software vendors (ISVs) and corporate end-users still use legacy applications developed in COBOL, Magic, and other programming languages, which use database systems like DataFlex, Btrieve, and Pervasive SQL.

These systems use the Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM), as opposed to the relational method employed by newer databases. Between the stability, familiarity, and speed of such data storage/retrieval services – not to mention the extensive code rewrites such a move can entail – it’s not surprising that some companies aren’t eager to migrate their data.

However, with the increasing need for security and data integrity (plus tighter integration with newer applications), companies using legacy applications and database systems will have to modernize to meet the demands of their customers and users.

These demands not only put such companies at a competitive disadvantage, but they also raise risks and make it harder to recover in the case of data loss and code corruption. To make matters even more difficult, Btrieve has increased its licensing costs, adding to the pain for businesses that have yet to adapt.

With security, reliability, and scalability increasingly becoming concerns that ISAMs can’t address, you need a solution that provides the ability to maintain data integrity and implement business rules enterprise-wide – without having to make drastic changes to your application or starting over from scratch.

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5 Reasons You Need to Modernize Your Database

If you’re still using Btrieve or another Pervasive SQL system, you’ve probably already thought about making the switch to a more mainstream database. As you’re weighing your options, however, your business is facing serious technical risks and competitive disadvantages.

Again, keep in mind that these concerns aren’t just specific to Btrieve – if you’re using any of these legacy applications or database systems, you’re either already aware of their disadvantages or looking to be proactive:



As a legacy database system, Btrieve won’t work with most industry-standard integrations. This not only limits the applications you’re able to build, it also limits your client base. Many organizations won’t even consider buying an application not based on a mainstream SQL database.

As systems handle more and different types of data, the ability to implement business rules enterprise-wide has become increasingly important. If you’re still using an ISAM-style database, expect increased resistance from prospective and current customers alike as time goes on.

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As programmers move on, Btrieve’s lack of brand recognition leaves you at a competitive disadvantage. Continuing to use a database that many developers consider outdated restricts your access to new applications and limits your talent pool of developers.

Keep in mind that companies aren’t simply following trends – as legacy applications fade away, continuing to use them makes it harder to create new tools and harder to recover from potential problems.


Btrieve’s expertise base is steadily shrinking, making it difficult to find people who speak its language and harder to troubleshoot issues.

If you’re still using a Btrieve or Pervasive SQL system, you immediately face the dilemma of working with developers who are less up-to-date on more mainstream systems. And it bears repeating that cutting yourself off from the latest generation of developers also means cutting yourself off from business prospects.


Lacking encryption or data-masking abilities, systems that run on Btrieve are at high risk for security breaches and noncompliance. Moreover, with fewer and fewer developers fluent in Btrieve, what happens in the case of a problem with your data?

The European Union recently implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to enforce standards for data collection and storage. The regulations also put into place fines of up to $22 million USD for noncompliance. Now more than ever, companies must be proactive about security to avoid these steep consequences.

Unlike SQL databases, ISAMs like Btrieve allow direct access to data via the operating system’s file manager, making unauthorized access a constant possibility. And while a SQL conversion can be costly, ISAM database failure can cost far more in time, resources, and money than simply being proactive about such a scenario.


The costs of a potential database failure don’t take into account expenses related to licensing costs. As fewer companies use Btrieve, its licensing fees have steadily gone up in an attempt to offset the decline in popularity.

For instance, while the base licensing fees for a Pervasive SQL v7 50-user system cost $2,500, the most recent version of the same product (Actian Zen v14) cost $7,430. This increasing overhead hurts your bottom line while adding little value.


The costs of a potential database failure don’t take into account expenses related to licensing costs. As fewer companies use Btrieve, its licensing fees have steadily gone up in an attempt to offset the decline in popularity.

With customers increasingly willing to work only with the latest database systems and programming languages, continuing to use a legacy application is an immediate red flag for potential leads. Creating new business starts with staying competitive.

Ensuring that you're using an up-to-date system also gives you the opportunity to reassure current customers that you're taking proactive steps toward innovation. Customer data will be more secure, and they'll benefit from new tools you'll be able to program thanks to your improved integration with modern technologies.


Common Migration Scenarios

Virtually any business that manages data or makes use of web applications can benefit from modernizing their outdated system to a more mainstream database. However, two scenarios are particularly common in today’s climate.

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Reworking your system in its entirety is a long, complicated, and costly process that can involve rewriting thousands of lines of code.

Rewriting your system to use a more mainstream database is difficult and time-consuming even for the most experienced developers. Moreover, the process inevitably introduces the possibility of errors, which can further exacerbate costs and timelines.

For instance, estimating that a typical programmer can write 25 to 30 lines of production-quality code in a day, a 1,000-line code rewrites alone could easily mean a full 40-hour workweek dedicated to rewriting – not to mention the costs of employing a coding architect and undergoing extensive testing.

This option also has serious drawbacks for your customers. Beyond the possibility of something going wrong with their data, full conversions necessitate an “on-off” approach. Needing to ensure your new system is ready before you completely turn off the old one creates an adoption delay – an in-between period in which you’ll need to support both systems.


Faced with the daunting prospect of full migration, it’s understandable that developers and end-users alike might want to avoid costly rewrites and stick to their current system. However, remaining with a less mainstream database also means limited integration with other systems and a slower pace of innovation.

With your competitors able to offer superior compatibility and security, and the expertise base for your database shrinking, your business will be fighting a losing battle against both competitors and the clock.

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3 Tips for Choosing the Right Strategy

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Your solution will be most efficient and cost-effective if you’re able to use as much existing code as possible within your SQL-based relational databases. The same goes for existing applications, which you shouldn’t have to wait to continue using or to develop further.

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While using Btrieve guarantees incurring considerable licensing fees, Microsoft and Oracle both provide free versions of their SQL databases. This means there’s no need to go all-in with a large financial investment from the start.

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Moving to a mainstream database doesn’t just earn you brand recognition. Microsoft and Oracle, which together have an 80% market share, both have the capital to invest in their product. That leaves open more possibilities for creating new applications or enhancing old ones.

Consider BTR2SQL: Easy migration,  low risk and lower cost! 

You need an option that brings all the complexities of a modern database to that same decades-old Btrieve/P.SQL system – a “middle way” between all-or-nothing solutions. With Mertech’s BTR2SQL migration tool, your codebase stays the same – not only do you eliminate the need for code rewrites, but it all takes less than five minutes.

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Ensure you have up-to-date DDF Files (or create them) with BTR2SQL’s pre-migration tools.

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Use the BTR2SQL migration tool to make the database SQL-readable.

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Deploy Mertech’s powerful DLL in place of your Btrieve DLL to easily run your old system in SQL.

Benefits of BTR2SQL

Benefits to enterprise users 

Group 689  Fast and Easy Migration:

Btrieve-based applications are operable with SQL and Btrieve concurrently, which means no rewriting, no “code freezes,” and no disruption to your customer’s database access.

Group 687  Data Consolidation:

The scalability that SQL offers means no more correlating data across multiple databases – all your Btrieve files can now exist on a single corporate-wide database.

Group 688  Faster Reporting:

Access to SQL-based tools means access to better reporting and analytic services, a crucial aspect of today’s business climate.

Group 685  Heightened Compatibility:

Access data from other applications and gain access to new features for your customers.

Group 686  Lower Costs:

Users can continue to use familiar applications and explore new ones with no retaining costs and minimal added expenses.

Benefits for software vendors 

Group 685  Cut Down Timelines:

Run existing applications on SQL immediately without costly processes for code rewrites, testing, and deployment. Even better, you don’t have to retrain your programmers.

Group 687  Access New Business:

Gain the flexibility to continue supporting Btrieve-based applications while offering solutions for both Btrieve and SQL-based databases.

Group 688  Speed and Reliability:

Mertech’s high-performance drivers ensure that all translated functions are optimized to work with a SQL-based backend, and you gain access to SQL-based tools as well.


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