Actian Btrieve 12

NoSQL Embedded Database and Btrieve 6.15 Replacement for Windows 10

Get more out of your Btrieve API investment

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High performance NoSQL transactional database.

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Data Compatibility

File format and API compatible with Btrieve 6.15 and Zen V14.

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OS Compatibility

Support for the latest Windows OS platforms with compatibility back to Vista.

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API Upgrade Compatibility

Preserve your investment in the Btrieve API when you upgrade to Btrieve 12 and, better yet, easily translate that investment to Zen V14

Get the full power of Btrieve: Upgrade to Zen

Btrieve Architecture

What is Actian Btrieve?

Btrieve Architecture Diagram 23APR20

Transactional Data Access Using Btrieve:

  • Interacts directly with the data
  • Does not require fixed data schema
  • Uses key-value store to store and access the data
  • Calls MicroKernel Engine using the Btrieve API directly rather than using a query language – no parsing!
  • Low-level API calls and memory caching of data reduce the time required to manipulate data

Operational Benefits

  • Speed. Achieves sub-second response rates, even when building multi-gigabyte databases for hundreds of users
  • Data Integrity. Guarantees data integrity through rich transaction processing support, referential integrity controls, and automatic file recovery
  • Scalability. Many client/server database applications begin on the desktop and scale with corporate growth. Btrieve 12 provides easy scalability from workstation to large client/server environments
  • Low Cost. The low support costs experienced by Btrieve developers translate into low maintenance costs realized by Btrieve application end users

Developer Features

  • Speed. Achieves high speed response rates through features such as internal indexing algorithms that cache pages for fast data retrieval and updates, and automatic index balancing to maintain fast data access, even as your files grow
  • Data Integrity. In the event of a server or system failure, logging features and roll forward utilities allow you to recover data up to your last completed transaction
  • Low Cost. Btrieve 12 eliminates the need for sustained database administration through automatic data recovery functions and easy-to-use utilities


Btrieve 12 or Zen v14: Choosing the Right Product

Ask Yourself These Questions to Choose the Right Product: Choose Btrieve 12 Choose Zen v14
Do you need a new database for your Btrieve 6.15 application?  
Does your application need SQL access?  
Does your application use an API other than Btrieve?  
Does your application run on Windows IoT Core, Android, Linux, MacOS or iOS?  

Business Tested NoSQL Embeddable Database

Btrieve 12 is the newest iteration of the original which has been industry tested by many years and tens of thousands of installations in business critical applications requiring zero-DBA and OEM longevity.

NoSQL Transactional Data Access

Btrieve 12 uses key-value store to store and access the data. Calls to the Btrieve engine are made programmatically with Btrieve API rather than through the use of a query language; delivering very high performance transaction processing

Current Windows OS Support

Btrieve 12 runs on all prior Windows operating systems including Vista, Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 (recommended), Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016 (recommended) and 2019

Backwards Compatibility

Btrieve 12 is file format and API compatible with Btrieve 6.15. Btrieve 6.15 applications can run with no changes on Btrieve 12. No need to recompile code or rebuild file formats (unless you are writing to 5.x files)

New Features

Auto reconnect, Btrieve Control Center, improved concurrent file use, wire encryption, centralized logging, online help and documentation, and updated utilities are just a few of the new features in Btrieve 12. Check out the What’s New to learn more.

Simplified Settings

Btrieve 12 takes advantage of the increased capacity of modern operating systems and hardware by simplifying resource settings. Developers no longer need to micromanage the use of system resources

ISV Focused Licensing and Pricing

The Btrieve 12 Limited Distribution License makes it simple for ISVs to embed Btrieve 12 in their applications. The per 1,000 user pricing is surprisingly affordable means that building an application around Btrieve 12 adds very little cost, leaving a lot of room for ISV profit. For pricing information please send an email to

Btrieve 12 Limited Distribution License

Btrieve 12 is available for purchase only in the form of a Limited Distribution License (LDL), which allows the license holder to make and distribute copies of Btrieve 12 as part of their application.


Btrieve 12 LDL’s are for software developers (SV’s, OEM’s or large end users) who are building new applications or currently using Btrieve 6.15 and would like to migrate to a new Windows operating system.


The Btrieve 12 LDL entitles the license holder to distribute copies of Btrieve 12 with their application(s) in support of up to 1000 users. This can be 1000 single-user copies, 1 thousand-user copy or any combination in between.


Btrieve 12 Limited Distribution Licenses can be purchased either directly from Actian or from an Actian Distribution Partner.

Distributing Btrieve 12: Btrieve 12 LDL holders who plan to distribute copies of Btrieve 12 with their application must register the application(s) in the Btrieve 12 Catalog
The Btrieve 12 LDL does not allow distribution of Btrieve 12 as a standalone product – it must be combined with the LDL holder’s application.

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