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Adabas is Software AG’s enterprise database management system that was designed for reliability, high performance, scalability and low total cost of ownership.

Adabas is primarily known for its transaction processing speed under very high and unpredictable workloads. In a test at IBM Poughkeepsie in late 2012, Adabas benchmarked over 1 million commands per second.[1]

Developed to handle shortcomings of RDBMs with the 3rd normal form, Adabas makes it possible to store multiple data relationships in the same table, thus there are no data redundancies, such as found in relational database systems. Adabas provides diverse functionality, including support for any type of data structure and data access and replication features to participate in data warehouse, business intelligence and big data environments. There is no standard SQL engine built into Adabas but, since 2004, the Adabas SQL Gateway was introduced (through a recently acquired company, CONNX) to handle the SQL shortcoming.[2]


Initially released by Software AG in 1971[3] 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.[4] Historically, Adabas is frequently 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.[5] In 2016, Software AG announced that Adabas & Natural would continue to be supported through the year 2050 and beyond.[6]

Main features[edit]

Easy administration

Simple administration and all-inclusive utilities for straight forward administration with minimal staff


Well known for reliability and failover protection.


Has a reputation for handling a very high volume of data and supports IBM Cluster Services.


Capable of processing 1+ million Adabas commands per second on mainframe systems.


Cyphering is available for both data at rest and data in motion.  A number of different measures are available.

Disaster recovery

Adabas-to-Adabas replication is available for real-time “hot standby” disaster recovery.

Multi-platform support

Adabas runs on mainframe (e.g., z/OS®, z/VSE®, BS2000/OS®) or LUW platforms. Adabas is easily migrated from the mainframe to z/Linux and LUW platforms while still maintaining high performance capabilities.

Add-on Products[edit]

  • Adabas SQL Gateway - Enables real-time access to Adabas data from desktop, Microsoft® .NET and Java® applications by supporting standard SQL, Web service and REST interfaces.
  • Event Replicator for Adabas -An event-publishing tool that enables real-time data replication to multiple target systems (e.g., Adabas, RDBMSs and messaging systems).
  • Adabas Fastpath - Automatically caches frequently accessed records in a memory space to reduce CPU usage and optimize performance.
  • Adabas Vista - Allows very large Adabas files to be separated into multiple, smaller physical files for performance purposes, with no changes to the application.
  • Data Archiving for Adabas - Provides an automated and secure way to store, search and recall archived data.  
  • Adabas Review - Monitors the performance of applications executing within Adabas environments.  

Adabas Data Model[edit]

Adabas is an acronym for Adaptable Data Base System[7] (originally written in all caps, today only the initial cap is used for the product name)

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

  • Works with tables (referred to as files) and rows (referred to as records) as the major organizational unit
  • Columns (referred to as fields), as components of a content unit
  • No embedded SQL engine. 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.

Example of Natural program running against Adabas[edit]


                AND   CITY          = 'BOSTON' THRU 'NEW YORK'

                BUT NOT               'CHAPEL HILL'

                SORTED BY NAME

                WHERE SALARY     < 28000




Output of Program: 

NAME                 FIRST-NAME         CITY                 ANNUAL SALARY 

------------------- -------------------- -------------------- ---------------------                                                                        

BAKER                PAULINE             DERBY                  4450

JONES                MARTHA             KALAMAZOO        21000

JONES                KEVIN                 DERBY                  7000  

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  2. ^ "CONNX for Adabas | CONNX Solutions". Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Adabas continues to play a vital role for installed base". Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Adabas & Natural Database Management System - Software AG". Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Fourth-generation programming language". Wikipedia. 2017-08-30. 
  6. ^ "Software AG Announces New “Adabas & Natural 2050” Agenda". Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  7. ^ Pratt & Adamski 1987, p. 471


  • 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]