RE: Your favorite BDE alternative?
I joined the company I am currently working for three years ago. MsAccess databases were managed with the BDE. Since we ship our application to thousands of locations, the key was (and is still is) stability. The program must run flawlessly and must also install flawlessly. The BDE was failing both (especially the latter) requirements.
Since we had discovered that BDE + ODBC was more stable than BDE + native MsAccess drivers, we went for ODBC. For a while, we tried ODBC98, which was new at the time. It was immature and had several bugs.
Whe then set our choice to ODBC Express. We had a few problems that were easily solved (closing and reopening the whole database from time to time gave more stability to our application). But ODBC has its limits. What really annoyed us was the fact that ODBC cannot support both real and currency types and ODBC Express people decided to go with real.
Then came Delphi 5. Since we have the Enterprise version, we tried ADO Express and we are quite pleased with it. Every stability problems we encountered so far were related to new versions of MDAC (these would affect ODBC as well). They were solved by either applying a patch to ADO Express, or by changing some of the components parameters.