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Ashton-Tate Tries Again

Ashton-Tate's new versions of dBASE for the Mac and PC will share the look and feel of the DOS command line environment and will be 100% data and program compatible with each other. This is a switch from Ashton-Tate's earlier release for the Macintosh (dBASE Mac) which featured a Mac-like user interface, but which did not have data compatibility with the PC version. The PC version of dBASE IV 1.1 should ship soon, but the Mac version won't be out until sometime this summer.

The Mac version will have some linking capabilities with Ashton-Tate's word processor and spreadsheet, FullWrite Professional and Full Impact, in such a way that once a link is established, when data is changed in dBASE, the change is reflected in FullWrite or Full Impact as well. While such linking will be welcome, it is unlikely to compete with the tightly integrated applications introduced by ACIUS recently. ACIUS's applications can all be controlled by the 4th Dimension programming language.

Character-based interfaces have fared poorly in the Mac software market and despite the (potential) power behind dBASE IV, Mac users may stay away until dBASE looks like a Mac program. Ashton-Tate is working on a version of dBASE which is compatible with the PC and will add a Macintosh interface, but according to Marc Matoza, senior product manager at Ashton-Tate, this version won't be ready until at least early 1991.

In 1989, Ashton-Tate had 43 percent of the PC database market, down from 57 percent in 1987.

Ashton-Tate -- 213/329-8000
Related articles:
MacWEEK -- 16-Apr-90, Vol. 4, #16, pg. 1