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Seeking assistance with Advantage Database Systems

Apr 05 at 07:21 PM

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Hello,

I am doing some consulting work for a company that purchased software, which in turn is powered by Advantage Database Server. The software company that wrote the software is unable to provide us with support to export the data from the database. They are also the primary license holders for ADS. The database tables are encrypted via ADS's built-in encryption format. I have located the data dictionary decryption key, which resides within the software's executable itself - about 640 bits long (does that sound right?)

Given that nobody seems to support ADS anymore, and that the software company is unwilling to let us extract the data that belongs to the customer, what methods are available to help us decrypt and extract the data? I have tried Advantage Data Architect, but it doesn't support any decryption methods, key or not.

Looking for any help that could be provided.

Thanks!

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2 Answers

Michael Loop
Apr 05 at 07:37 PM
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SAP still supports Advantage Database Server, but you will need a support plan to open incidents.

Can you tell us which version of Advantage is being used?

Are they using RC4 or AES ("strong") encryption?

At a minimum, you will need a user login as well as a database password to access the data. If the databases are strongly encrypted, you will need a certificate. All of these values can be entered in the connection properties in Advantage Data Architect.

See http://devzone.advantagedatabase.com/dz/webhelp/Advantage12/index.html for the Advantage 12 help files or http://devzone.advantagedatabase.com/dz/content.aspx?key=1 for earlier versions.

Regards,

Mike Loop
Senior Product Support Engineer
SAP Product Support

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Correction: you only need the certificate if you wish to use encrypted communications. The database password should be enough if you only want to export the data.

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Adrian Lauf Apr 09 at 02:33 AM
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Mike,

Thank you so much for your answer. I really appreciate your message, despite that we do not have a service contract regarding ADS. As I had mentioned earlier, the license agreement belongs to another company that passes it on as an end-user product. The company in question is Syntec, and they have already mentioned that they would not assist us in opening up the database to extract the customer's information.

I highly doubt that the database is strongly encrypted, based on Syntec's history, so RC4 is the most likely candidate. I've since looked more into Advantage Architect, and can see how to connect to a local data dictionary. I'll have to dive deeper into Syntec's software to find the login ID. Again, I understand that we don't have a support contract with SAP, so I appreciate everything you're written so far. One more question: Syntec's software mentions a "Data Dictionary Password" in their executable, followed by a 640-bit sequence prior to the next text string field. I'm guessing that this might be related to the key. It's in hex format. Is there any ASCII-armored version of RC4 that is used in ADS for RC4 encryption? I assume that I won't be able to simply enter hexadecimal pieces of the key in to ADS Architect, and the ASCII-formatted version seems to be all garbled, so no help there.

Thanks again for all your assistance in helping us to emancipate the customer's data!

Best,

-Adrian

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You are correct, the 640-bit sequence will not work as a password. Most likely this is the password hashed with a key belonging to the software developer.

Beyond telling you the components of an encrypted system, I can't help you bypass the encryption. If there is a question about the ownership of the data or IP, it is a legal matter that needs to be worked out between your customer and the developer.

Regards,

Mike Loop
Senior Product Support Engineer
SAP Product Support

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