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ADABAS (an acronym for Adaptable DAta BAse System[1]) is Software AG’s primary database management system.


Initially released in 1971[2] on IBM mainframe systems using DOS/360, OS/MFT or OS/MVT, ADABAS as of 2014 is available on a range of other systems including Unix (including Linux), and Microsoft Windows servers.[3] ADABAS has maintained its position as one of the world's fastest OLTP databases,[citation needed] offering 24x7 functioning, Parallel Sysplex support, real-time replication capability, SQL and XML access and other capabilities. Historically, ADABAS was used in conjunction with Software AG's programming language NATURAL, so that many legacy applications that use ADABAS as a database on the back-end are also developed with NATURAL as well.

Technical information[edit]

ADABAS is an inverted list database. It has been described[according to whom?][when?] as "Post-relational" but "Relational Like" in its characteristics. Some differences:

  • Files, not Tables as the major organizational unit
  • Records, not Rows as content unit within the organizational unit
  • Fields, not Columns as components of a content unit
  • No embedded SQL engine. SQL or another external query mechanism must be provided. SQL Access is provided by the ADABAS SQL Gateway. It provides ODBC, JDBC and OLE DB access to Adabas and enables SQL access Adabas using COBOL programs.
  • Search facilities may use indexed fields or non indexed fields or both.
  • Does not natively enforce referential integrity constraints, i.e. parent-child relations must be maintained by application code.
  • Supports two methods of denormalization: repeating groups in a record ("periodic groups"); and multiple value fields in a record ("multi-value fields").

ADABAS has proven to be very successful in providing efficient access to data and maintaining the integrity of the database.[citation needed] ADABAS is now widely used in applications that require very high volumes of data processing or in high transaction online analytical processing environments.[citation needed]

See also[edit]



  • Pratt, Philip J.; Adamski, Joseph J. (1987). DATABASE SYSTEMS: Management and Design. Boston: Boyd & Fraser Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87835-227-9. 

External links[edit]