Subject IBODatabase DatabaseName Alias Problem

when I set the (tIBODatabase) DatabaseName property
= //server\c:\ibserver\salessql\sales.gdb
I connect fine.

When I set the propery to its alias name = sales.gdb and I try to
connect, I get error 'unavailiable database'. This is the alias name
if I look at the database under IBConsole (with the file used showing
underneath (as used above).

If I cant use an alias name, what should I do when starting an app.
Look at an ini fiel to assign the database path perhaps?
I cant hardcode the path for this app.