Encrypting Tables

Description

Alpha Anywhere allows you to encrypt tables so that people who do not know the password cannot read them.

This is particularly important because Alpha Anywhere uses a very common file format for its data, the .DBF format, which many programs can read. Once you have encrypted a table, other programs cannot read it. After a table has been encrypted, it is displayed in the Control Panel with a lock on the icon. In addition, if the decryption key has not been set, a question mark is displayed on the icon, indicating that Alpha Anywhere cannot read the table yet.

  • Icon for an encrypted table. Alpha Anywhere can read the table because the decryption key has been set.

  • Icon for missing key for an encrypted table. Alpha Anywhere cannot read the table because the decryption key has not yet been set.

While Alpha Anywhere does provide the low level Xbasic commands described below to encrypt and decrypt tables, this is not the typical way in which encryption is used. It is more common to encrypt tables using the user interface commands. You can access the encryption feature once a Master Password has been set for the database (which is done using the Tools > Security command when the Control Panel has focus). Once the Master Password for the database has been set, you can use the Tools > Encrypt/Decrypt tables command to encrypt or decrypt tables. The Master Password is used as the encryption key for all tables. You would only use the Xbasic methods described below if you want to have more control over the encryption and decryption of tables than Alpha Anywhere's built in security features offer.

 Warning

Alpha Anywhere's DBF encryption is not sufficient for military, government, health care, financial, or other data needing to be protected to FIPS, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS standards. If you need this level of encryption, use a SQL database (or an Active-Link Table against a SQL database) and encrypt the sensitive fields with AES or another approved encryption standard.

Alpha Anywhere provides several functions to encrypt and decrypt tables.

See Also