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    MySQL -vs- Firebird SQL


    Does anyone know the difference between these 2 databases? I'm particularly interested in features it has, performance and support by PHP. If I'm not mistaken one can connect to firebird by using the InterBase functions ?!?

    Thanks for any information/links/whatever!
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    Yes - you would use the ibase functions to connect to, insert and gather your results from PHP.

    As for the difference between the two, Firebird is extremely feature rich (mysql isn't even in the same ballpark). Switching from MySQL to Firebird is a big leap forward.

    This is the full set of docs in pdf format (10 or so megs): http://www.ibphoenix.com/downloads/60All.zip
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    Wouldn't some of those features slow down the queries for simple things? I mean maybe I am wrong... but even having the ability to add in triggers and other nice features like that, in theory, would at least slow down simple queries that were not even tied into triggers right? Maybe I am wrong on the select side but it seems on the insert or update side there would have to be some more things going on no?
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    Wouldn't some of those features slow down the queries for simple things?
    Well, only if you are using them. There are numerous advantages to having features as stored procedures, triggers and events available. To give you an example, I am currently working on a large application that will be compatible with three different databases (FB, PG, MySQL); the application needs to keep logs of all database INSERT and DELETE statements. MySQL forces me to do this on the application side, which in turn creates quite a bit of extra work:
    Code:
    /*------------------------------------
    Insert Data Into Table
    ------------------------------------*/
    "INSERT INTO products VALUES('','etc','etc','etc')";
    /*------------------------------------
    Insert Data Into Log Table
    ------------------------------------*/
    "INSERT INTO logs VALUES('the log data')";
    Whereas with db's that support triggers and such can fire off an event when the one INSERT statement (the first one above) is executed and thus execute the stored SQL code, effectively inserting the log record into the log table. BTW - sql code is faster than application code.

    So now my library files may look like this:
    Code:
    object.mysql_product_engine.rfile
    (1500 lines of application code)
    object.fb_product_engine.rfile
    (1000 lines of application code)
    object.pg_product_engine.rfile
    (1000 line of application code)
    For me, this creates a little problem; the code varies quite a bit and in the end; makes it harder for me to create my documentation files - example:

    Developer Docs - FB and PG Product Engines
    Developer Docs - MySQL Product Engine

    As opposed to:

    Developer Docs - Product Engines (would cover all three)

    ------------------------------------------

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    well in theory you could abstract all the database calls and just pass the database calls to a DB object which would then do the db stuff based on the database you are dealing with and if it is MySQL write out the insert and delete statements... but yes I see what you mean.

    I had read that just having the features would slow it down even if you did not use them which seems a little silly but at the same time not. I certainly agree, in your case here, that having triggers helps the developer a lot.

    Now I never actually tested any of this, I was just listening to what others have said. I have always used MySQL on PC type servers and Oracle on the boxes that cost 250k.
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    Originally posted by md_doc
    Wouldn't some of those features slow down the queries for simple things?
    ...but it seems on the insert or update side there would have to be some more things going on no?
    Q: Is the trigger doing an essential piece of work?
    A: Yes. Otherwise you wouldn't have coded it.

    Q: If the trigger doesn't do this essential work what does?
    A: The application does.

    The problem with the application handling the work done by the trigger is that this involves more roundtrip traffic across the network as the program does a series of discrete steps. Compare this to a single call across the network which fires off a series of server-side actions. The same amount of work is getting done but the trigger method is more efficient. You can also gain a performance benefit from the database server already having preparsed the trigger. The server will already know what the most efficient query plan is. If you allow the application to handle the trigger step via an SQL call, you can incur the overhead of the server having to parse the command and determine a query plan.

    Another advantage of triggers is that it prevents a user from bypassing business logic by using an ad-hoc query. If you do an insert from the command-line, the trigger and its logic gets run. If the trigger logic is in an application, then these steps don't get run by SQL commands outside the application.

    Stored procedures (SP's) offer many of the same benefits. I do a lot of fat client programming. If you keep your forms lightweight by putting the business logic server-side in an SP, you can change your business logic in one SP and every application gets it. If an application tries to submit bad data, the SP will raise an error that is returned to the client explaining what is wrong. You've made a "code change" without having to push X number of client applications out to workstations.

    Some people use SP's as an added layer of security. The DBA's don't give users or programmers access to the tables directly. They just give access to the SP's which forces the associated code to be run whenever the data is manipulated. You can also make your application code very portable using SP's. Even if SQL syntax is different in Oracle, DB2 and Firebird, as long as I put the SQL in a SP with the same name on each database, my application code doesn't have to change.

    The good thing about databases like Firebird is that I never have to use any of these features. But when certain problems arise, they're nice things to have in my toolbox.
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    Lol - I will now change my previous reply a little

    <me>Erasing last line of text in my last reply</me>

    <me>Writing the new line:
    Maybe Rycamor, Rod or dcaillouet (nick named dman) will bless us with there database knowledge and give us some better examples...
    </me>
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    Kudos to dcaillouet for a nice clear explanation.

    I will only add that there can be performance benefits to using stored procedures. There's not always a performance downside:

    Stored procedures are usually compiled, cached functions, so one SP can often perform a group of related queries faster than if you 1. begin a transaction, 2. execute your queries, and 3. commit the transaction. And, as dcaillouet mentioned, those queries are all happening in one environment, atomically, rather than travelling to the SQL system from the app environment. So, when performing a complex operation, you make one DB call from your application environment rather than 4 or five, for example.

    In fact, even if you just use a stored procedure to handle one query, that might be faster than a standard application SQL query, because the SQL query plan itself can be cached.

    Also, as to the question of database features, it's funny to me how often programmers immediately raise the red flag about performance. The amount of application code you save by having advanced logical features is amazing, once you get the hang of it. There are just some things that make so much more sense in a relational query mode. (not everything, I understand). For example views, procedures, CHECK constraints, and domains-- when you get the feel for these, you will be amazed at the coolness factor. These go a long, looooong way toward making a database management system feel more "object-oriented". Each of these allows for a powerful type of encapsulation, and even a sort of inheritance, if you learn to play with them. (And the future looks even better. With the more advanced RDBMS systems that www.thethirdmanifesto.com talks about, inheritance and abstract datatypes will be built into the system from the ground up).

    So don't view these features as "trade-offs to performance". View them as ways to accomplish more with less work. Programmer performance is worth far more than system performance ;-).
    The real n-tier system:

    FreeBSD -> PostgreSQL -> [any_language] -> Apache -> Mozilla/XUL

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    So, when performing a complex operation, you make one DB call from your application environment rather than 4 or five, for example.
    I went to an IBM developerWorks conference in New Orleans last month. One of the speakers was talking about a client of his that had a transaction with ~80 steps that needed to complete before it was finished. Ouch! Some people have pretty demanding requirements out there.

    Fortunately a lot of the systems I'm currently working on are fairly small (10's of gigs). On these I'm always willing to give up a few milliseconds of performance to have the constraints, checks, domains and other server-side objects that make database programming more robust.

    I like Firebird simply because it runs on all the platforms I program on and does everything I need really well. Also I find it easy to maintain. Fortunately for me, with release 8.1, DB2 has become a lot easier to work with. Still, I'd rather work with Firebird.
    Last edited by dcaillouet; May 23rd, 2003 at 12:00 AM.
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    Licencing


    Of cause the main advantage of Firebird is the lack of any Licencing considerations if you are using it comercially.

    I run local copies on all sites, and replicate from the master site, without having to worry
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    Let me add my two bits into this debate


    Comparing MySQL with Firebird is like comparing dBaseIII with Oracle...



    True MySQL offers great speed and has a wider market share, but it is suitable only for Web-Applications and single user applications...

    Let me compare the features

    MySQL Firebird
    ---------------------- --------------------
    SQL-92 compliance very small subset most of it
    Relational Integrity new in V4.0 Yes
    Stored Procedures No(plan for V 5.0) Yes
    Triggers No(plan for V 5.0) Yes




    As for Performance, MySQL will outperform Firebird on almost all tests on local machine......

    On a Network Server a properly designed Firebird Server will outperform MySQL on any Test and the network-Traffic generated by Mysql will be many times higher than Firebird

    So you decide the one you need according to your needs .....
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    Whoops!!!! I see this forum reformats my reply.. so the feature comparison is as follows


    MySQL
    ----------------------
    SQL-92 compliance ----- very small subset
    Relational Integrity ----- new in V4.0
    Stored Procedures ----- No(plan for V 5.0)
    Triggers ----- No(plan for V 5.0)



    Firebird
    ----------------------
    SQL-92 compliance ---- most of it
    Relational Integrity ---- Yes
    Stored Procedures ----- Yes
    Triggers ----- Yes
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    PostgreSQL
    ----------------------
    SQL-92 compliance ---- most of it
    Relational Integrity ---- Yes
    Stored Procedures ----- Yes
    Triggers ----- Yes

    What are differences between Firebird and PostgreSQL? Why are there many people still using MySQL? What is the criteria to select one amongst three of them?
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    Why are there many people still using MySQL?
    It is easy to use and setup. Its been around for a long time so there are a lot of open source projects that use it. Plenty of support available on the web. A lot of people don't need or can work around the features it is missing. Years ago it was faster than Postgresql and it ran on Windows as well as Linux so people favored it. These last two points are moot now.

    What are differences between Firebird and PostgreSQL?
    Not much. They both have a ton of features and either would be a good choice. There's subtle differences between a BMW and an Audi but they're both a better choice than a Hyundai. Same with Postgresql and Firebird vs. MySQL. Both databases have features that MySQL doesn't. This is an incomplete list:
    • Views
    • Triggers
    • Stored Procedures
    • Event managers to notify clients of database actions.
    • Column level constraints
    • User can create datatypes like "Money" or "PhoneNbr"
    In addition to these features, both have a few extra ones. Postgresql has things like inheritance and user definable index methods. Firebird has distributed two-phase commit where you can have a transaction across multiple servers. You can use Firebird as a local database file (like Access) to create desktop applications. There are other nuances, so these are just a couple of examples. Look at the following hyperlinks for more detail

    http://www.mysql.com/doc/en/Features.html
    http://www.postgresql.org/users-lounge/features.html
    http://firebird.sourceforge.net/inde...d=ib6_overview
    http://firebird.sourceforge.net/inde...b6_newfeatures
    http://firebird.sourceforge.net/inde...d=ib6_techspec

    What is the criteria to select one amongst three of them?
    I would choose either Firebird or Postgresql for any of the work I do. Both are great databases. I would favor them over MySQL because they can do everything MySQL does and more. They simply have more robust features. I chose Firebird because I found it easy to setup, administer and it was a nice fit with my Borland tools. Because Firebird 1.0 was based on Interbase 6.0, if I was going to try to convince someone to consider using FB, I would tell them to look at documents like this that emphasize the features of Interbase (this document is for the current version of 7.0 so some of the newest features may not be in Firebird 1.0. I haven't tested Firebird 1.5 yet, so I don't know all its new features):
    http://www.borland.com/interbase/pdf/ib7_feaben.pdf
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    Thanks a lot for detail explanation.

    I think I should fully test Firebird SQL and PostgreSQL as soon as possible so that I could persue my boss to change from MySQL.
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    One more hyperlink for you...

    If I wanted to convince someone to use Postgresql, I would send them to http://advocacy.postgresql.org/ and tell them to look at the Advantages and Case Studies hyperlinks.
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    One point that wasn't mentioned so far is, that php's support for mysql is more complete and sometimes more stable than the support for Firebird/Interbase.

    And I wouldn't agree that mysql compares to Firebird like a Hyundai to a BMW. It is more like a hammer and a srewdriver. One have to choose the right tool for a specific task.

    Lutz
    web based Firebird and InterBase administration: http://ibwebadmin.sf.net
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    Originally posted by irie
    ...php's support for mysql is more complete...
    And Interbase/Firebird has better support for data aware controls for developing fat clients which is the type of development I do. For me, the triggers, stored procedures, etc. are much more important than PHP support. For some developers, PHP support might be the ONLY important criteria.
    And I wouldn't agree that mysql compares to Firebird like a Hyundai to a BMW.
    That was a mistype. I meant to say a Daewoo. The main reason I prefer Firebird over MySQL is that I can do everything with Firebird that I can do with MySQL, but not vice versa. I used MySQL for years and got really good use out it. I can understand why people like it. But Postgresql and Firebird are more full-featured databases. I can do ALL my database development with Firebird while MySQL always leaves me wishing for more.
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    It seems in many aspects MySQL V. Firebird is really a matter of preference and application.
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  39. Introspective
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    Just to add another angle to the discussion, is anyone aware of any major corporations using Firebird as their core RDBMS? We all hear people rhapsodising about MySQL being used at Google and Yahoo - and I have to admit, that these comments improve my confidence in the product. What similar accolades does Firebird have to it's name? (or even Postgres for that matter)


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  41. Modding: Oracle MsSQL Firebird
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    To be honest I think that NO major corporation uses MySQL or Firebird or other OS db as their core db, with maybe SAPDB with SAP R/3 as an exception.
    That is land for Oracle or DB2 or Sybase or SQLServer or even old ISAM files and COBOL.
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    pabloj,

    Yahoo and Google use MySQL. Jeremy Zawody, who is the Yahoo MySQL guru keeps a very interestinb blog and writes a lot of great articles about his life with MySQL... I'm hoping to find some similar examples of Firebird being used 'on the coal face' by some really big sites/corporations.


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    Yes anyone that uses mysql at all should at least parse his blog every now and then to get some tips. He should also have a book coming out and I do not think you can get much bigger databases than what yahoo and google have to be honest. Google has over 150k systems running a year or a year and a half ago from what I remember reading and I am sure it has only grown more by now.
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    Does google use MySQL? I have never seen that anywhere.

    But as far as major corporations - lets not be mistaken, niether of the two are major corporations. Major corporations are GE, WalMart, Bechel, Time Warner, Sony, etc etc etc - which yahoo and google are extremely pale in comparison - even combined, they are still very pale in comparison.
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    Hehe - in short, as this puts it - google does not use mysql:
    "That's not to say that the index takes up a petabyte. We have several hundred copies of the index," said Marc Feltontions manager for Google. "Most of the servers are serving up some fraction of the index." The index is partitioned into individual segments, and queries are routed to the appropriate server based on which segment is likely to hold the answer.

    And while many big Web sites use RAID arrays or Storage Area Networks (SANs) to store data, Google simply uses massive amounts of conventional disk storage because it is faster, Felton said.
    Full article here -> http://www.internetweek.com/story/INW20010427S0010

    Also, yahoo only uses mysql throughout parts of there infastructure.
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    Come on... one of the main reasons MySql is so popular it is because it's easy to use. Doesn't mean it is better(than FireBird). MySql is like the Visual Basic of the DataBases world..both create bad habits *evil grin*
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    fetcher,

    I think you're thinking of Access


    christo
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    Originally posted by CHR15T0
    I'm hoping to find some similar examples of Firebird being used 'on the coal face' by some really big sites/corporations.
    Since Firebird 1.0 was just released in 2002, there aren't as many installations of it as other databases.
    Here's some Firebird examples:
    http://www.ibphoenix.com/a428.htm

    Firebird 1.0 was the same as Interbase 6.0. So a lot of the current Interbase installations could drop Firebird in with zero changes (companies that use the latest Interbase 7.0 version may experience some incompatabilities).
    Here's some Interbase examples:
    1800 SERVE 'EM
    AAM Systems
    City of New York
    Coors Distributing Company
    Data Systems Support
    Dyfed Health Authority
    First National Bank of Chicago
    Focus Group International Ltd
    Fred Deeley Imports / Harley-Davidson
    Health Technology
    Hoehne Group
    Institute of Oncology
    Lumley General Insurance
    National Semiconductor
    OK Industries
    Office Furniture USA
    PC Direct
    Premier Data Corporation
    Rh˘ne-Poulenc
    Sovereign Limited
    State of California, Department of Justice
    T. Rowe Price
    Telefˇnica
    Tempus Software, Inc.
    Tsumeb Corporation Ltd.
    U.K. Treasury
    U.S. Federal Highway Administration
    World.Net Services
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    christo:


    lol, no I'm not because I don't consider Access as a database
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    Originally posted by jpenn
    Hehe - in short, as this puts it - google does not use mysql:

    Full article here -> http://www.internetweek.com/story/INW20010427S0010

    Also, yahoo only uses mysql throughout parts of there infastructure.
    Google does use MySQL, just not for their main search. Obviously something like that is completely proprietary. Most large core products like that are all custom made. If they just used off the shelf products, then anyone could do them.

    Yahoo uses their own custom search (based off the Google engine), Oracle for somethings, and MySQL for the rest of the stuff. Keep in mind a "couple" things like Yahoo Finance entails 50+ servers running MySQL in a replicated environment, often doing 10k+ q/s combined.

    http://www.mysql.com/press/MySQL_userlist.pdf has a list of a few users of MySQL, which lists Google as well as many other large companies.
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    That article is a bit old... it was written back in 2001 so I am pretty sure you cannot compare what they used back then to what they use now.

    Also, from what I just read in linux magazine, Yahoo does not use oracle at but you cannot always believe what you read.
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    something nice about firebird on oracle groups (customer testimonials :) )


    No comment ...
    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=in...med.de&rnum=33
    eugene kim schrieb:
    > Candido Dessanti wrote:
    >
    >> Nothing is comparable with oracle
    >
    > hua..
    > as far as i know, postgresql is the best open source db..
    > (which is a lot smaller than oracle)
    >
    > has anyone have an idea when postgresql or other open source db
    > can catch up oracle?
    >
    > as linux did against other operating systems.
    >
    > thx

    Hi Eugene,

    there are a lot of good open source database systems available. For
    example, there is Firebird, a spin of coming from Interbase. Have a look
    at www.ibphoenix.com.

    In my last project (a production control system) i did a comparison
    between MS-SQL Server, Oracle 8.x and Interbase. We came to point, that
    Oracle was to expensive for this project (license fee for each processor
    on each cluster machine: round about 100,000.-$ license fee) and so we
    used Interbase (during the development process we switched to Firebird).
    There were a lot difficult of objectives to fulfill, e.g.:
    * 24h operation on 6 or 7 days a week
    * operation on a fail safe cluster system
    * about 25 millions of blobs per year
    * about 50 millions of records per year
    * 100% logging and archiving of all data

    Firebird is doing its job quite well and it is easy to understand and to
    program. But Oracle has a lot of advantages, too.

    The choice of the appropriate database system depends on your needs.
    It's a tool. Use the right tool to solve your problem and you will
    succeed. So start with the definition of your needs.
    Last edited by mariuz; June 23rd, 2003 at 09:46 AM.
    My home page: http://www.firebirdsql.org and work place :http://www.reea.net
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    Originally posted by fetcher
    Come on... one of the main reasons MySql is so popular it is because it's easy to use. Doesn't mean it is better(than FireBird). MySql is like the Visual Basic of the DataBases world..both create bad habits *evil grin*
    And who said Firebird is not easy to use ? The entry knowledge level is the same. You need to learn the same amount of commands plus the transaction control:
    • How to connect
    • begin transaction
    • select
    • Insert
    • update
    • delete
    • create table
    • commit or rollback

    With this you can quickly start programing your pages
  66. #34
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    juarezr:
    Well I don't think the entry level is the same but what I do know is that I've been using MySql for almost two years(and I have no complaints about it) but after I discovered Firebird I liked it from the beginning but it gave me a few headaches to put things to work nicely which was not the case with MySql 2 years ago.

    Anyway.... but now that someone has a free database with all the features Firebird has (most of them MySql has been postponing for a long time.....) why use something with less capabilities?
  68. #35
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    Originally posted by sadia
    Let me add my two bits into this debate

    Comparing MySQL with Firebird is like comparing dBaseIII with Oracle...

    True MySQL offers great speed and has a wider market share, but it is suitable only for Web-Applications and single user applications...

    Let me compare the features
    MySQL Firebird
    ---------------------- --------------------
    SQL-92 compliance very small subset most of it
    Relational Integrity new in V4.0 Yes
    Stored Procedures No(plan for V 5.0) Yes
    Triggers No(plan for V 5.0) Yes
    People here are writing about the easily visible features. But there are considerable advantages in Firebird internals comparing with MySQL.

    I could remember some:
    • Journaled writes to the database. If your server crash (the power plug) and the server is stopped in the middle of a transaction, Firebird quickly recovers to the last good state automagically. No need to reindex or restart the database.
    • Full ACID transactions. You start a transaction, make your changes, commit and you can no worry about another user modifying the same records (Atomic) and you can read several times the same record with the expected values (Consistent) and none user will affect your changes (Independent) and the result is always available to subsequent transactions (Durable)
    • Fast versioning of records with no need to maintain locks. Firebird dont use lock in tables or rows. Each user has a version with the expected values. So you can do your changes without affect another users.
    • Good Subselect support. select (select myname from another_table a where a.field = t.field) as another_field from table t where exists(select 1 from table2 t2 where t2.field = t.field) and value = (select max(value) from table3 t3 where t3.field = t.field). No need to explain.
    • High concurrency performance. Increase the user base and firebird dont will continue to run with good speed.
    • Low or no maintenance. I never had problems with the installed servers. The Firebird app was designed with this principle in mind.
    • Low resource usage. The same as mysql.
    • Two phase commit, Events, Generators, User defined Functions in libraries, Filters for blobs, Database Shadows, Single/Multi file database, Fast Backup/Restore.
    • Triggers and procedures support with decades of testing and maturing.

    And a good notice : Firebird 1.5 Release Candidate 3 is 20-50 faster than 1.0 and IB 6.0 for the most of applications.
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    Firebird 1.5


    Here is a list of new features and fixed bugs for the new upcoming Firebird 1.5.

    http://sourceforge.net/project/shown...ease_id=162930

    One can notice, Firebird becomes even better
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    Okay, I'm persueded.. It's time to give Firebird a try. However, I would like to trial it on a real database (quite a big one) with some real data. I have a fairly large MySQL database which I can use. Is there any way of easily porting the data over into Firebird?

    I guess this is quite an important issue, because any company serving live data and wanting to move from MySQL to Firebird would have to make the transition as quickly as possible. How is this done?



    christo
    This is me: http://chris.uk.com
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    Firebird - Tools and other info


    There is a free "datapump" that works with Interbase and Firebird: http://www.clevercomponents.com/prod...ibdatapump.asp

    I've never used it to pump data from MySQL, but I have used it to pump data from Access. It took me less than an hour to get my head round the tool and pump the data.

    Apart from the all the other benefits of using Firebird listed above, there is also the advantage of the huge number of tools (free and/or commercial) available. Many of these compare (favourably) with those offered by the big gun commercial dbs. I would say that Firebird is actually the most easily-managed of the high class databases, partly because of the great range of tools available.

    IBObjects is a free admin tool; my preference is for DBWorkbench (commercial, but with a 2 month evaluation period).

    To see the range of other tools available go to:
    http://www.ibphoenix.com/main.nfs?a=...bp_admin_tools

    This list is mostly for 'admin tools' but I suspect that the most commonly required tools will be listed here. For a full list of tools go to:
    http://www.ibphoenix.com/main.nfs?a=...ntrib_download

    Also, if the availability of paid support is an issue, IBPhoenix can provide this too:
    http://www.ibphoenix.com/main.nfs?a=...e=ibp_services

    I don't have any commercial involvement with IBPhoenix, and I have found that the level of support available on the yahoo group is more than adequate (these people are insightful, helpful and quick to respond - but please meet them half-way by reading the ample documentation and searching the group for previous answers to your questions):
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/firebird-support

    (If you do a search at groups.yahoo.com you will see there are many forums there for Firebird support and development).

    This is where you can find a useful collection of articles to understand Firebird:
    http://www.ibphoenix.com/main.nfs?a=...e=ibp_document

    And finally, there is documentation purchasing the IBPhonix cd. However, I have just been using the documentation set that was publicly released when Interbase 6.0 was originally open-sourced (very extensive - 10.4 mb zipped PDFs) :

    ftp://ftpc.inprise.com/pub/interbase...ib_b60_doc.zip

    I just checked that this url works - it does. It accepts anonymous ftp (user anonymous, password = your email address), but it only gives you 15 seconds to log in (so make sure you use a short email address!)

    I hope this is all useful orientation for anyone who wants to learn more about Firebird. I did a lengthy comparison of the open source databases about a year ago, and concluded that Firebird was the best option available.
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    Don't forget the free IBExpert Personal Edition

    http://www.h-k.de/index2.php?var_content=purchase

    (the url says purchase but the personal edition is 100% free)
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    Re: Firebird - Tools and other info


    IBObjects is a free admin tool;
    Not quite true. IBObjects is a great set of components for connecting to Firebird and Interbase, so good that it has been awarded Best Database Connectivity by readers of Delphi Informant for the three years that category has existed. And the components are distributed as trustware (if you participate to its development, use it for studies or non-profit or public organisation, then you don't have to pay and if you are starting development and haven't got any money, then payment can be postponed until after you sell your product), they are not free. IB_SQL, on the other hand, is freeware from www.ibobjects.com and can be used for administration.

    I hope this is all useful orientation for anyone who wants to learn more about Firebird. I did a lengthy comparison of the open source databases about a year ago, and concluded that Firebird was the best option available.
    How lucky I was simply to start working at a place where Interbase and IBObjects were already the chosen tools for development four years ago.
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