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    Exclamation firebird or postgresql ?


    both are fine dbs, but what's the advantage or disadvantage firebird has compared to postgresql?

    i'm now building an application, stored procedures are the base of the business logic. the app will be written in php running on windoes machine, the db will be placed on a windoes machine, too.

    i think firebird is the better choice. could you please give any advice? thank you
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  3. Modding: Oracle MsSQL Firebird
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    the db will be placed on a windoes machine
    go for Firebird, you won't be disappointed.
    PostgreSQL will have native windows support in the next stable version and the cygwin port is not as stable and perfomant as the *nix version.

    I've compared Firebird with MySQL (don't know PostgreSQL so well) and it is really better.
    Views, stored procs, triggers, UDF, very stable and fast, JDBC and ODBC drivers, a nice opensource frontend (Marathon), more liberal licencing, it lacks just full-text indexing and proper clustering even if a free replication tool is available.
    Last edited by pabloj; May 13th, 2004 at 10:44 AM.
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    Arrow PostgreSQL...?


    I was making this choise just a few days ago, and while nothing is yet certain, for now I am more for PostgreSQL, here're my reasons:

    1) Syntax - I come from Oracle (using it in work) and MySQL (always used it at home) and the syntax of PostgreSQL is much more close to these two.

    2) Documentation - I really disliked what I saw in Firebird world, regarding documentation. It is true that there's a lot of information about Interbase, but I saw nothing except some annoying PDFs. I might being picky here, but that was my first and second impression on that subject. Also the mere fact that Firebird keeps pushing me to interbase docs gives me rather a bad impression.

    3) Impression - PostgreSQL made an impression of a more adult product. It means their site looked much more responsive (with psgql lists, something that the Firebird site awfully lacks). Also, I found the products that I needed for free (as FULLTEXT search) only on PostgreSQL.

    However, I am noway going to advocate a DB that I'm just starting to use. Both DB seemed to have all I need and I did have a tough choise (especially as I am Windows), so eventually it all goes to your personal perferences. I am not going to argue with Firebird pro as I am PostgreSQL and Firebird newbie just offering from my experiences (and hopefully tips to improve).
    VitalyB
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  7. Modding: Oracle MsSQL Firebird
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    I agree with VitalyB that docs are not good and there is not the same wealth of tutorials available for MySQL and PostgreSQL (that's why I'm writing my own getting started guide), look at my sig for two useful ones in the meantime.
    I also agree that the site is not impressive at all (but is this a parameter of choice for a db? ).
    Ditto for full-text indexing.

    I don't agree for SQL syntax, of course plpgsql is more similar to plsql than Firebird's sp syntax.
    And I simply won't install an "uncertified" (if this word is appliable) cygwin port on my production system.
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    I have a slightly different opinion of Firebird's documentation. 1,983 pages of professionally written Interbase documentation that is 99% applicable to Firebird has been a great resource for me.

    I think Firebird is a very versatile database for the type of development I do. It works great on Windows and Linux. You can use it as a server or local database. It can be used as an embedded database. It has all the features I need and I like it a lot.

    Having said that, I can't think of any project that I've worked on in the last few years that couldn't have been handled nicely by any of the most popular open-source or commercial databases. Developers have so many good database choices these days, it's a lot like being told you can have a free Mercedes or BMW and then angsting about whether you're going to make the right choice. It's hard to go too far wrong.

    Unless one database offers a specific feature that you absolutely have to have and the other doesn't, I don't think you can make a bad choice. I'm not a Postgresql expert but I didn't have any problems getting Firebird installed and running on my Windows machine.
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    I also agree that the site is not impressive at all (but is this a parameter of choice for a db? ).
    A web site hints me about the commitment and the active work going on the Firebird project. When I see that the last news input was on "29-Feb-2004" it gives a bad impression. I am not saying that there's nothing goes on with Firebird, it might be fully developed right now, but how am I to know it? I did subscribe to some Firebird lists and got much better impression there.. But why did I had to do it to get some general information of what's going on? Not to mention the fact that the lists themselves are badly organized, but then it again, it is still because of the poor site structure.

    P.S And while we're on the subject of lists, why do PostgreSQL/Firebird teams use them at all?? Forums are much more useful.

    Also, I was reminded of two other issues that bothered me with Firebird:

    1) It seemed (from a simple Google query) that there's much less hosting for Firebird compared to PostgreSQL. Again, it is not an exact science and doesn't prove by itself nothing (e.g MySQL has more hosts than PostgreSQL and Firebird together).

    2) phpBB doesn't work with Firebird. Its next version (phpBB 2.2) promises to support it, but it seems it will them some time to release that version.

    And I simply won't install an "uncertified" (if this word is appliable) cygwin port on my production system.
    And there's no need. PostgreSQL are currently developing (as promised) a native windows port while, as you see, they hardly entered a beta stage yet (just finished ironing all the feautres to work this month really), their progress is updated quite often (every 10 days or so) and I feel more confident to trust them because of it (and again the website-impression subject). So it is still indeed in development, but it is no longer Cygwin (still might be a serious drawback for zjcboy).

    I really do wish best for Firebird team and I hope they will see what I say as advices. I am, again, not advocating PostgreSQL, however, since I did the same choise just a week ago (during a period of long considering), I feel I have useful things to say on this.
    VitalyB
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  13. Modding: Oracle MsSQL Firebird
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    I feel I have useful things to say on this.
    Nothing better than real experience!!!
    Forums are much more useful.
    You are right.
    PostgreSQL are currently developing (as promised) a native windows port
    I know, and I'm currently testing it, looks very nice, but it's early beta and I could not get it to run as a service (but maybe it's just me).
    A web site hints me about the commitment and the active work going on the Firebird project. When I see that the last news input was on "29-Feb-2004" it gives a bad impression.
    Again, I have to agree with you, www.ibphoenix.com (the site for commercial support of Firebird) is much more active and it's definitely a better place to look for infos, and I don't know if this is good or bad.

    dcaillouet, you wrote
    I can't think of any project that I've worked on in the last few years that couldn't have been handled nicely by any of the most popular open-source or commercial databases
    but I have a lot of projects that need views or sp and the most popular opensource db does not support them
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    Originally Posted by VitalyB
    A web site hints me about the commitment and the active work going on the Firebird project. When I see that the last news input was on "29-Feb-2004" it gives a bad impression.
    Over the last year the Firebird developers pushed real hard to get the 1.5 release finished. Up until a couple of months ago, the website changed on a regular basis to give updates on the activity. Now that the stable release is out the door, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people involved in the project have taken a well-deserved break or have moved on to work on the 2.0 version. But I agree that having a project page appear dormant for a couple of months might give a new user the wrong impression.

    A more accurate view of the activity around the project would be the Yahoo groups where the main supporters hangs out. With ~42,000 posts (over 4,000 since the 29th of Feb), this group is as active as the MySQL group is here. Personally, I prefer the format of these forums to the Yahoo list and wish they would start a forum like this. When they started the Firebird section at DevShed, I made an announcement about it in the Firebird list hoping more people would come over here but I only see a few that post in both places . The one thing I really like about the Firebird support list is that I've never had a question go unanswered and I've had direct emails with the developers and head honchos of the group. A very helpful and accessible bunch of people. It gives me a lot of confidence in the database knowing I can get that kind of detailed support from experts.

    Originally Posted by VitalyB
    It seemed (from a simple Google query) that there's much less hosting for Firebird compared to PostgreSQL.
    Firebird, while based on a mature commercial database that has been around for years, is still pretty new to a lot of people because it has only recently been open-sourced. I'm sure support will increase as more people use it. The same can be said for MySQL's MaxDB which supports stored procedures and views but hasn't even been mentioned in this thread as a viable option. That's why I commented in an earlier post about one database having a unique feature influencing the decision. If phpBB support (or some other product support) was important then it makes Postgresql the obvious better choice. Otherwise, I repeat my earlier assertion that both of them are excellent databases and I would use either one of them with confidence.
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    Ah, I see.

    Thank you all who answered my question in such a short time ( within only 24h . I'm new here and it is a really active forum. Wow, I'll stay here.

    After reading your posts carefully, I make up my mind to choose Firbird in the last second. My reason:

    The db has to be built within about 3 months on a windows machine. I really don't have enough time to wait for PostGreSQL to push out the stable windows version.

    The app will be written by myself. I don't need to think about support for firebird from other products, such as phpBB(in that case, I would choose Mysql, just because I can find Mysql hosts more commonly, and familar with mysql already).

    And I'm very pleased with the tidy package of firebird, a single file about 4mb, extremely neat! also, it's easy to set it up to work (nothing you actully need to do during installation, just click your mouse

    I'm fond of the ability to be versatile, too. I'm even a little excited when I got the idea that firebird could be fitted into lots of different types of work. that would help me avoid making any more choice like this when firebird could do the work properly. I think I'll go with the bird for the next development

    hey, VitalyB, I think the PDF doc for InterBase is fine. I was reading it these few days and found it really helpful. Why do you feel it annoying? and since firebird is very similar (say, 99%) to InterBase, it's all right for the firebird guys to ask you to refer to InterBase's doc. there's a relatively small group doing the docwork for firebird, so it would save a lot of time and effort to make the best use of existing doc. something wonderful isn't it?

    and yes, the site is not impressive, but the bird itself is

    by the way, I didn't see any obvious difference on the feature and speed between the two. Is there any?
    Last edited by zjcboy; May 14th, 2004 at 11:11 AM.
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  19. Big Endian
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    Originally Posted by zjcboy
    by the way, I didn't see any obvious difference on the feature and speed between the two. Is there any?
    I saw some statistics a while back (over a year ago) where someone compared Firebird 1.0 against some of the popular databases. Firebird had slower inserts than Postgresql but faster selects in this particular test. Both of them them were slower than MySQL ISAM but faster than Oracle. It was a mixed bag of results but all the results were respectable.

    The bottom line: I think it would be hard for a human to discern a difference between any of the databases especially for an individual user transaction. If I needed extremely high performance or was going to be hammering a database relentlessly, I would do a lot of stress testing before choosing the database/hardware/OS. But for "normal" workloads, the tuning of indexes, defragging of data, buying more RAM or higher speed drives goes a long way to improving performance problems on any chosen database.

    While a faster database is always a good thing, there are other features to look at. As long as a databases can give my users acceptable response times, it's these other features that usually help me choose which database I want to use.
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    Originally Posted by dcaillouet
    As long as a databases can give my users acceptable response times, it's these other features that usually help me choose which database I want to se.
    quite agree!

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