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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, is currently available on a range of enterprise systems including, BS2000, zVSE, zOS, Unix, Linux, and Microsoft Windows servers.[3] Historically, ADABAS is used in conjunction with Software AG's programming language NATURAL, so that many applications that use ADABAS as a database on the back-end are developed with Natural.

Technical information[edit]

ADABAS is an inverted list data base, with the following characteristics or terminology:

  • 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 to 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 is typically used in applications that require high volumes of data processing or in high transaction online analytical processing environments.[citation needed]

ADABAS access is normally via direct calls, which Natural and/or SQL Solutions perform under the covers. Much the same as Oracle Databases do.


  • Adabas SQL Gateway
  • Event Replicator for Adabas
  • Adabas Fastpath
  • Adabas Vista
  • Data Archiving for Adabas
  • Adabas Review

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]