Product Review: VB ELF

Sunday Nov 17th 2002 by John Percival
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Finally, a product that allows users to type in natural language to access database records.

Why can't they make computers understand plain English? Have you ever shouted at your computer when it is not doing what you want it to do? If they can read our numberplates from space, why can't they make a program that understands questions?

Enter ELF Soft, the creators of Access ELF and VB ELF, your answers to everything (well almost!). The ELF series of software products provides a powerful Natural Language Interpreter, compatible with all Jet databases. After a quick analysis of the database, ELF will try to create a SQL query to answer your plain English question. In the tests that I did, the answers were quick and correct 99% of the time. I tried their demo questions and a few of my own, and was astounded by the results:


If they can read our numberplates from space, why can't they make a program that understands questions?

Which customers have placed fewer than 10 orders?
Which customers have ordered tofu but not Longlife tofu?
Show the average number of products sold by each employee sales representative

But why just stick with boring tables? ELF can also provide graphs:


Click for larger image

This graph is displaying the results of the question:
"graph the high, low and close for Microsoft on December 25 of each year"

VB ELF comes in several different flavours, the cheapest just including the OLE server, and the top-of-the-range one including source code. This means that you have full control over what you show the end-user and what your front-end looks like. Once you have the software, you can edit it and touch it up, then distribute it with your application for free: no royalties! Or maybe you would like to use it on your web server with VB Script: no problem! It can easily be integrated with your web site so that your end users can get the information that they want.

This software is a definite must if you are creating database application. It allows novice users to create SQL queries that you wouldn't have dreamed about in your worst nightmares! With up and coming support for hands-free voice operation and ADO/OLEDB, and free upgrades, you can be sure that it is future-proof.

Check out their website at:
http://www.elfsoft.com

Contact Details

Company : ELF Software
Product : VB Elf
Web site : http://www.elfsoft.com

Review from VBWorld

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