Getting my feet wet

Rejoinging the Software AG community after a long hiatus. My experience was primarily Nat2 under CICS with Adabas 5. I am trying to understand what that same stack looks like now - starting simple. Not thinking about distributed computing, or cloud computing, etc.

It seems I should start with some education (!) and also installing NaturalOne CE on my Windows 10 desktop. My understanding is that this package also installs the underlying DBMS. I had forgotten how quirky some SAG documentation can be. I am running into trouble just trying to get NaturalOne CE installed.

I download according to the instructions, but not much information comes along with that. After I unzip (I created a sub-directory - should I have unzipped to just c;?) and try the setup command, it fails saying the it cant find the file StartInstallation.bat. I scanned my PC in File explorer and there is a file with this name. I think I may have just answered my own question.

I am going to unzip to just c:\ and install to same. But feel free to advise, and give me any other getting started information you think I need. Thanks.

Hi Joseph, welcome back to the community!

There have been some language enhancements since Nat2, and some Adabas enhancements since ver 5. Hard to come up with a list off the top of my head, but everything is backwards compatible. No major changes like going from Nat 1 report mode to Nat 2 structured mode. At least you now have access to an archive of Natural and Adabas documentation via the Developers Community.

Your “stack” will depend on your site, mainframe or Unix/Linux/Windows. CICS or Complete still around on mainframes. With the introduction of NaturalONE, the Natural Development Server gets added into the mix. The CE version for Natural 8.3.5 is put together to operate in “standalone mode” on a PC, so a Natural runtime module is provided for executing Natural programs on the PC. No server options are included with the CE version.

Here’s a link to a thread related to an installation problem similar to yours.

If you are installing on your work desktop, you may need to get help from IT support for authorization to install on your machine.

Good luck,


If you’re looking to dust off your Natural and Adabas skills, install the Natural for Windows CE. (I believe it bundles the Adabas for WIndows CE). This is a pure Natural environment, with all its benefits. And no distractions.

Once you have hit your stride, install the Natural ONE CE. It’s all about wrapping Natural in Eclipse to allow a move to DevOps. With all its bells and whistles, it’s just an IDE rather than a full Natural implementation, so you can’t run your Natural programs via a batch script, for example. I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to learn Natural or Adabas. With Natural ONE, you spend most of your time learning Eclipse. You should know Natural before you go there.


Ralph makes a good point, Natural for Windows CE is somewhat easier to work with than NaturalONE, and it does include Adabas in the install package. It uses Windows-style editing for source code changes, and the control buttons like Check, Save, Stow, Run and Execute are clear and work like the mainframe PF keys did. Source code changes in NaturalONE always seem to take me an extra button click, on tiny non-descript icons on a menu bar, and 2 levels down in a right-click context menu to execute a test.

So, depending on how rusty your Natural/Adabas is, and whether you already have Eclipse experience, and whether you know if your work place is moving its development environment to NaturalONE as the green screen editor is phased out with Natural 9.1, it’s up to you which learning curve to jump on.

Just keep in mind that you can’t install both versions on the same machine at the same time very easily. They both default to the same install directory, C:/Natural-CE. You can only change the drive letter during install, so if you have a C: and D: drive, you might get both of them installed together.

Also, if you install Natural CE first and then want to change to NaturalONE CE, Natural CE has proved difficult to uninstall. The uninstall script seems to always leave ADABAS files behind and a lot of Software AG registry entries that have to be manually removed. And you can’t install NaturalONE CE until all traces of the former installation are removed. It can be done, but it took me several tries with regedit before I got them all.

Good luck,

I think coming up to speed on the aspects of Natural (the language) before worrying about a new IDE sounds right. IDE’s are great but it’s nice to know if errors you encounter are syntax or logic related, and not a function of how you are using the IDE. My Natural skills are rusty, but my programming skills are not.

I assume that changes to Adabas reveal themselves as changes in Natural. If not, the changes would mostly likely be performance or management related? And when did we stop using all caps for Adabas?

Thanks George and thanks Ralph. I think I will try to install Natural CE tomorrow. Thank you for clarifying the distinction.

I apologize in advance if this reply shows up in the wrong place. I looked for a button or function to reply to your replies. No luck. I was only able to reply to my own original post. Quirkiness abounds.


Often it will take time for the Natural developers to catch up with Adabas enhancements, but with the current CE’s they are synchronized.

  • Many features have been added since Adabas v5. And Natural underwent a massive rewrite with v4. (e.g. 1G alpha/binary variables)
  • Adabas LUW (that is, Linux, Unix, Windows) has features not available on the mainframe and vice versa.

There are a few members of the Community who bristle at the mixed-case Adabas.