||Firebird Foundation Incorporated
||Jul 10, 2005
||Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows ME, Windows 7, Windows 2008, Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Unix, Mac OS X, Linux
BumperSoft Editor's Review Status:
Publisher's Description of Firebird
" A powerful, lightweight, full-featured SQL database engine. "
- From Firebird Foundation Incorporated
Firebird is a full-featured SQL database engine. It is powerful, yet lightweight, with minimal configuration and administration needs. It's easily scalable from single-user, single-database usage up to company-wide enterprise purposes. A single Firebird server can handle multiple independent databases, each with multiple client connections.
Firebird is a relational database offering many ANSI SQL standard features that runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms. Firebird offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers. It has been used in production systems, under a variety of names, since 1981.
Firebird comes with a full set of command line utilities that allow you to create databases, retrieve database statistics, run SQL commands and scripts, perform backups and restores, etc.
Does Firebird work on 64bit systems?
Yes, since version 1.5. Firebird 2.0 runs on 64bit Linux only, and 2.1 works on 64bit Windows and Linux. Even if your platform is not supported, you can always run 32bit version of Firebird on 64bit operating system.
Why is Firebird not as popular as MySQL?
As you probably learned, Firebird is more mature, has more features, doesn't cost a dime and sure looks more enterprise ready. How come not so many people have heard about it?
The reasons are simple:
1. Firebird doesn't have a unique commercial entity that drives the development and earns money from it. There are companies, but none of them profit from selling Firebird licenses (as Firebird is completely free). They sell support, but the turnaround is much less.
Therefore, there is nobody to push the money into marketing and create a hype around the project. Similar problem plagues other open source projects like Postgres for example.
2. At the time of web server and web application boom, Firebird wasn't ready to be a web server database backend. As demand for data storage grew, people were demanding something easier and faster than Perl-parsed flat textual files. MySQL was simply in the right place at the right time. Soon, each ISP had PHP and MySQL support and the LAMP platform was conceded. As it often happens, those first on a new market quickly take it over, and it's really hard for others to take that marketshare away.
Firebird's Major Features
* Full support of Stored Procedures and Triggers
* Full ACID compliant transactions
* Referential Integrity
* Multi Generational Architecture
* Very small footprint
* Fully featured internal language for Stored Procedures and Triggers (PSQL)
* Support for External Functions (UDFs)
* Little or no need for specialized DBAs
* Almost no configuration needed - just install and start using!
* Big community and lots of places where you can get free and good support
* Optional single file embedded version - great to create CDROM catalogs, single user or evaluation versions of applications
* Dozens of third party tools, including GUI administrative tools, replication tools, etc.
* Careful writes - fast recovery, no need for transaction logs!
* Many ways to access your database: native/API, dbExpress drivers, ODBC, OLEDB, .Net provider, JDBC native type 4 driver, Python module, PHP, Perl, etc.
* Native support for all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, MacOS, HP-UX and FreeBSD.
* Incremental Backups
* 64bits builds available
* Full cursor implementation in PSQL
* Monitoring tables
* Connection and Transaction Triggers
* Temporary Tables
* TraceAPI - know what happens in your server
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