Dear FrontBase User:

As some of you may have noticed, we have released FrontBase 2.20. This release was mainly for the Mac OS X platform and it was released in conjunction with the MacWorld trade show (Jan. 9-12). We have since released 2.20 for all supported platforms.

IMPORTANT: We have recently discovered that databases created with earlier versions of FrontBase will need to be converted to the 2.20 version. You can easily do this by first exporting the database via the WRITE ALL statement, create a new database and then import the exported database. This procedure is described in the User's Guide which can be downloaded from, upper right hand corner of the home page. If you run into any problem using 2.20, please do not hesitate to contact

2.20 is otherwise mainly a maintenance release with a number of bugs fixed and with a number of new features implemented:

Command line options for FrontBase: -v, --version

If the FrontBase server is started with one of the options, it will print out the version information and then terminate.

Command line options for FBExec: -v, --version

If the FBExec is started with one of the options, it will print out the version information and then terminate.

2001 problem with the licenses

If FrontBase was running without a valid license string, it would complain saying that the license had expired. The workaround for pre 2.20 versions is to install a proper license string.

Zero length user names are no longer allowed

Previously the FrontBase server would allow a zero length user name (authorization id).

sql92: EXECUTE changed to SCRIPT

The sql92 command line tool can execute SQL statements from a file. The command was previously EXECUTE, but has now been changed to SCRIPT, in order to avoid a clash with the EXECUTE SQL statement (for executing a prepared statement).

CAST is now allowed in DEFAULT expressions

The SQL 92 standard only allows static and a very limited number of values as part of a DEFAULT expression (in e.g. column definitions). It is not allowed to use the CAST function in DEFAULT expressions: CAST(<default option> AS <datatype>)

EOF adaptor

The EOF adaptor has been changed to better utilize the relationship information (FOREIGN KEY constraints etc.) stored in a database.

Perl/DBD interface

The Perl/DBD interface has been updated to work with the libFBCAccess.a style.


The PHP4 driver has been updated so it builds on Mac OS X Server and Mac OS X Public Beta.

Accepting connections on all ethernet interfaces

The FrontBase server and the FBExec now accept connections on all ethernet interfaces on the given computer.

Fixed bugs - a brief description

Certain DELETE operations would fail after an ADD COLUMN.
In some cases, not all locked rows were unlocked.
Indivisible problems related to the SQL log feature.
ADD/DROP column didn't update an internal cached copy of the table.
An SQL statement that ended with a beginning quote of a string literal caused memory overwrite.
Certain database password checks could cause a deadlock.
More than 1,000 different prepared statements in a single transaction caused an error.
Several bugs related to PESSIMISTIC row level locking have been fixed.

If you want to upgrade from a previous 2.x version of FrontBase, you only need to download and install FrontBase 2.20 and then restart the computer.

If you have any problems whatsoever with FrontBase 2.20, feel free to ping us at Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Kind Regards

Geert B. Clemmensen