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Actian (Pervasive)

Actian Zen Embedded Database (PSQL)

Embedded, Zero-Administration DBMS
Perfect for Packaged Business Applications

Zen Embedded Database (PSQL) is the most reliable, small-footprint, low-maintenance, high-performance database management system (DBMS) in the world. Zen Embedded Database (PSQL) combines NoSQL and relational access for the perfect blend of performance and standard access. Zero DBA design and fantastic backward compatibility mean that ISVs support costs are dramatically reduced.

Hybrid NoSQL/relational database for superfast transactions and standard SQL access.

Zero Administration
Set it and forget it – no DBA required – completely hidden from the end user.

Small Footprint
Requires 96 MB or less. Developer configurable installation to cherry-pick components, silent install and more.

What's New in Zen Embedded (PSQL) v13?
  • Client Reporting Engine - The new reporting engine provides a way to offload report workloads to a separate machine. The 64-bit Client Reporting Engine combines features from the relational engine and client cache engine to enable offloading SQL reporting jobs to reduce the impact on the server engine. The Client Reporting Engine is available as a separate install and it does not require a different license key. Download a trial from the table above.
  • New Btrieve C and C++ APIs - v13 has introduced a new Btrieve interface for C and C++ developers. The Btrieve 2 API offers a simplified, more intuitive alternative for sending the full set of Btrieve calls to the database engine. PSQL developers can make use of the performance and flexibility of the original Btrieve API. The SDK also comes with SWIG (Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator) files for Perl, PHP, and Python, enabling developers familiar with those languages to access Btrieve via the C and C++ libraries.
  • New Schema Export and Import in PCC - v13 has database level exporting of all your metadata to a SQL script. You can use these options to recreate an entire database, migrate to V2 metadata format for expanded security and longer database object names, and identify and troubleshoot metadata problems that may be causing performance or data access issues.
  • Updated Cache Management - There are two new command options for butil:
    • -cache - preloads pages for a file into cache
    • -purge - flushes all uneeded cached pages for a file
  • New SDKs - ADO.NET 4.3 (ADO.NET 4.0 has been deprecated in v13)

Comprehensive Integration and Data Management

Powerful and easy-to-use, our products deliver increased ROI … greater business flexibility and competitiveness … enhanced revenue opportunities … improved accountability for investments … and a lower total cost of ownership, helping to speed "time to value."

Built for Growing Organisations

Pervasive understands the diverse data requirements of growing organisations. That is why they offer comprehensive data infrastructure software built specifically for you and your customers, regardless of size or information needs.

Pervasive products are designed and built from the ground up to deliver flexible, value-based solutions that respect the specific budgetary and resource concerns of all organisations.

At the same time, Pervasive products offer enterprise-level functionality to help organisations quickly and fully integrate disparate systems and connect them to applications, data, people, and business partners.

Make Your Job Easier

Whether you are an IT developer looking for an integration project solution or an application developer seeking an embeddable solution, Pervasive offers a full range of versatile, software products:


Actian Zen Embedded Database (PSQL) v13 Competitive Advantages

PSQL provides a number of advantages over other products available on the market. Here are just a few:

  • Lowest total cost of ownership. An independent study conducted by Aberdeen Group concluded that no major database product can match PSQL's low total cost of ownership. How do we do it? See the next bullet.
  • No Database Administrator (DBA) required. You can look in the newspaper any day of the week and see classified ads for Oracle, Sybase, or SQL Server database administrators, with sky-high salaries. PSQL offers the unique Zero Database Administrator, or Z-DBA, architecture. Its easy-to-use tools, bulletproof installation, and set-it-and-forget-it simplicity make it the perfect workhorse for desktop, workgroup, and departmental applications.
  • Scalable from the desktop to the Web. PSQL is available in two editions: the Ultra-light Workgroup database engine supports single-user configurations up to small workgroup configurations. The Server engine comes with a six-user license and scales to hundreds of concurrent users, including intranet and extranet applications. Upgrading to another configuration requires no changes to the supported application, just plug and play with the new database engine.
  • Cross-platform support. Unlike some competitors, PSQL does not lock you in to a single platform. PSQL databases are binary-compatible and supported across Microsoft Windows and several varieties of Linux. No matter where your data is or where it is going to be, PSQL is there for you.
  • Big database features at a small price. PSQL offers full security, encryption, management and monitoring tools, and a host of other features you would expect to see in more expensive DBMS products.
  • Legendary stability and reliability. There's no doubt why the Windows desktop accounting market uses PSQL as the underlying database of choice. When you've got to manage important data, you go for the database engine that won't let you down.
  • Multiple access methods. Your application vendor can use the Btrieve API for blazing performance on bulk data operations, while offering the richness of ODBC, OLE-DB, pure Java, and JDBC interfaces for data reporting, security, analysis, and standard compatibility. No other database management system offers all these access methods.


Transactional (Direct Data) Access or Relational Access

PSQL offers an architecture that is totally unique in the database management market. Our product allows you to access the exact same data through the MicroKernel Engine and through the Relational Engine.

The transactional database engine, called the MicroKernel Engine, interacts directly with the data and does not require a fixed schema to access it. It uses a key-value associative array to store and access the data. Calls to the MicroKernel Engine are made programmatically with Btrieve API rather than through a query language, and so PSQL does not have to parse the request. This places the MicroKernel Engine in the category of NoSQL databases. Low-level API calls and memory caching of data reduce the time required to manipulate data.

The second database engine, the Relational Engine, operates in a manner similar to other relational database engines, that is, through the support of Structured Query Language queries. The Relational Engine parses SQL queries and sends them to the MicroKernel Engine to run.


The PSQL MicroKernel Engine

The PSQL MicroKernel Engine offers easy installation, uncomplicated maintenance, and high levels of performance and reliability. PSQL provides a foundation on which you can run transactional applications or migrate to a relational database system.


PSQL's MicroKernel Engine through the Btrieve API has been the data management system of choice for tens of thousands of applications around the world for more than 25 years now. In the highly competitive accounting software market – where reliability and performance are paramount – many of the top 10 vendors choose PSQL. Many application developers choose PSQL for its speed, data integrity, easy scalability, and low maintenance costs.

  • Speed. The MicroKernel Engine is capable of subsecond response rates, even when building multigigabyte databases for hundreds of users. The engine achieves these high speeds through features such as internal indexing algorithms that cache pages for fast data retrieval and updates, and automatic index balancing to maintain fast data access, even as your files grow.
  • Data Integrity. The MicroKernel Engine guarantees data integrity through rich transaction processing support, referential integrity controls, and automatic file recovery. In the event of a server or system failure, logging features and roll forward utilities allow you to recover data up to your last completed transaction.
  • Scalability. Many client-server database applications begin on the desktop and scale with corporate growth. PSQL provides easy scalability from workstation to large client-server environments.
  • Low Cost. The low support costs experienced by PSQL developers translate into low maintenance costs realised by PSQL application end users. PSQL eliminates the need for sustained database administration through automatic data recovery functions and easy-to-use utilities.

The PSQL Relational Engine

The PSQL Relational Engine offers easy installation, uncomplicated maintenance, and high levels of performance and reliability.


Many relational database application developers choose PSQL because it provides scalability, maintenance-free operation, and a small memory footprint:

  • Standard Interface. SQL and ODBC provide a well-known and standardized foundation upon which to build useful applications.
  • Speed. PSQL offers direct ODBC access to the database engine. Many competitive products use a translation layer to translate ODBC calls to proprietary "native" relational API calls that then access the database engine. In contrast, the PSQL ODBC driver calls the database engine directly, without translating ODBC calls to a proprietary relational API.
  • Scalability. PSQL allows you to scale applications from single-user to large client-server environments without changing the application or the database.
  • Maintenance-Free Operation. PSQL is simple to install and use. It requires no extensive setup or ongoing performance tuning by a database administrator.
  • Small Memory Footprint. PSQL has a limited footprint, requiring only a small amount of memory.


For more information, contact MicroWay by phone on 1300 553 313 or email



Actian Zen Embedded Database (PSQL) Editions

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Workgroup

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Workgroup is designed to support single-user or small workgroup installations.

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Workgroup offers the same level of reliability and features as PSQL Server. The only differences lie in networking and performance in mid- and large-size environments.

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Workgroup offers a flexible approach to accessing data on remote servers in a variety of small network configurations. If you have data files on a remote file system with no database engine present, you can configure Zen Enterprise Workgroup so that a particular engine is always used to access the remote data, or you can set it up so that the first engine to access the files acts as a server for those files until there are no more requests for data. After this point, the next engine to access the files then owns them while requests are coming in.

A Zen Enterprise (PSQL) license cannot be installed on more than one machine. Your user count license refers to the number of client connections allowed to that engine, not to the number of machines to which you are allowed to install the Zen Enterprise engine. In a Workgroup environment, every machine that will access Zen Enterprise data should have a Workgroup engine installed.

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Server and Vx Server

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Server and Vx Server are designed to support up to many hundreds of concurrent network users when installed on the required hardware. They are capable of supporting Web, corporate, departmental, and other client-server or web-based applications where reliability and performance are critical.

Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Server and Vx Server differ in that Vx Server supports capacity-based licenses for service bureau, software as a service, or other multiplexed environments, while Zen Enterprise (PSQL) Server supports licenses for enduser client-server applications. No additional license is required for use with hypervisor features such as live migration, failover, fault tolerance (FT), high availability (HA), and disaster recovery.

Zen Edge (IoT) Server

1-10 Users

Reduced footprint for Raspbian and Windows IoT Core. Ideal embedded solution for IoT developers working with low cost commodity hardware like Raspberry Pi and other single board computers.


For more information, contact MicroWay by phone on 1300 553 313 or email



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