in reply to DB connection sharing w/o DBI?

But this is one of those situations where installing a module that's not all perl is BAD.

You mention fork(), which suggests that you might not be in Win32. If you were, you could use either Win32::ODBC or Win32::OLE (to do db access through ADO). Both are part of the standard install (for ActiveState, at least).

Please say more about what environment you're working on, and what type of database you're trying to connect to.