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TurboIMAGE is one of several names used to refer to a database developed by Hewlett Packard and included with the HP3000 minicomputer. TurboIMAGE was also available on the HP250 minicomputer. Originally released under the name IMAGE/3000 in 1972, it was later known as TurboIMAGE, IMAGE/SQL, and TurboIMAGE/XL.

IMAGE is the primary reason that the HP3000 was a success. It is a reliable, simple, fast database for MPE. After about a decade of enhancements it was renamed TurboIMAGE, then TurboIMAGE/XL after the PA-RISC migration. Programs can access and update records using IMAGE intrinsics which was HP's name for the API used to access records. Today it is known as IMAGE/SQL because it includes an SQL (Structured Query Language) frontend and client-server support for PC accessors.


TurboIMAGE consists of several utilities along with an API (referred to as intrinsics by the HP documentation):

  • DBSCHEMA - Compile a source schema layout. The source layout describes the tables (known as SETS) and columns (known as FIELDS).
  • DBUTIL - Creates and performs maintenance functions on the database.
  • QUERY - Generalized query tool for accessing any TurboIMAGE database.

The following is a sample list of the API calls used for application development. These calls are supported by HP's compilers: COBOL, FORTRAN, BASIC, SPL, PASCAL and C.

  • DBFIND - Locates a record.
  • DBGET - Retrieves a record.
  • DBPUT - Adds a record.
  • DBUPDATE - Updates a record.
  • DBINFO - Provides information on the structure of the database.
  • DBOPEN - Opens the database with a specified password to provide access rights to the application.


The significant highlights of TurboIMAGE are:

  • TurboIMAGE was originally released as IMAGE/3000 around 1972 and was included free as part of the HP3000 and MPE operating system.
  • Several Fourth-generation programming language products (Powerhouse, Transact, Speedware, Protos) became available from third party vendors.
  • New capabilities were added including the increase of storage capacity and increase of several internal limitations such as the number of SETS allowed in a database. IMAGE/3000 was renamed TurboIMAGE due to these new capabilities.
  • HP provided a Third Party Interface (TPI) to DISC's OMNIDEX and Bradmark's SUPERDEX products.
  • HP announced the end of life for the HP3000 which included TurboIMAGE.
  • Marxmeier released Eloquence which is schema and API compatible with TurboIMAGE and allows TurboIMAGE applications to run on Windows and HPUX.
  • Stromasys released an HP3000 emulator allowing TurboIMAGE applications to be run on commodity hardware.

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