Firebird, i. e. Firebird SQL, is in IT the name of relational database implementation. It is multiplatform, which means, it runs on different Unix systems including Linus or even on MS Windows. Firebird originated in 2000 on the base of open source InterBase database, which was created by Borland company.

The usage of Firebird

Firebird is available for free, so we cannot count the users according to the number of licenses issued. Among the firms, which signed publicly to the usage of Firebird, belongs:

  • Broadview Software Ltd, which is a company, which supplies information and control systems and online services for media society.
  • Morfik P/L, which are developers and suppliers of WebOS for the production and maintenance of the interactive websites. They use Firebird for saving the web objects in Firebird meta-layer, which is system database. They also use Firebird for their user data.
  • Communicare Systems Pty Ltd, i. e. the Software supplier for the patient management and their medical records for the hospitals, clinics, medical practice and mobile medical units across Australia.
  • The Examiner, newspapers, where the Firebird takes care of highly available business, information, production and newspaper systems, which run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • American Navy uses Firebird in wide scale of managing and logistic systems.
  • Frontrange Solutions USA Inc. use Firebird as back-end of very scalable integrated CRM, which received significant awards and for the systems of service management and business systems “Goldmine”.
  • British Rail use Firebird for their timetables, orders, accounting and information systems for passengers of the national rail network.
  • Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH, i. e. the biggest media agency in Germany, which gives access the world services to newspapers, magazines, TVs and radios.
  • KIMData, for their business intelligence systems and data warehouses for the German hospice.
  • Municipal Library of Prague uses Firebird for more than twenty of their own apps. Five of them takes care of the common operation of the library, terminals for the public access in libraries and public internet access to the book collections.

Typical features of Firebird

  • Fully supported saved procedures and triggers.
  • ACID transaction with full compatibility.
  • Reference integrity.
  • MVCC multigeneration architecture.
  • Compact volume of server.
  • The support of UDF, i. e. external functions defined by user.
  • The opportunity to choose one-file database for the built-in versions for catalogues on DVD or one-user versions for the sample versions of applications.
  • Graphic administration tools and replication tools from third parties.
  • Wide scale of access methods: native API, dbExpress drivers, ODBC, OLEDB, .NET, JDBC driver, module for Python, PHP or Perl.
  • Incremental backup.
  • Full implementation of cursor for PSQL.

The advantages of using Firebird

  • Great documentation. Inside of the Firebird Documentation Project is comprehensive documentation.
  • Stability. The solution for the usage of Firebird show high level of stability.
  • Speed. In comparison to other databases is Firebird relatively fast.
  • Community. Even though there are fewer users of Firebird in comparison to other database systems, the community is relatively active.
  • The support throughout the platforms. Firebird contains options of different database styles for every one of the platforms.
  • Small size. Firebird does not take up too much of a space.
  • High speed of development.

Disadvantages of Firebird

  • Smaller user base. Community is smaller than by the other database solutions, which means, that there exists fewer articles and instructions.
  • Worse optimization.
  • Fewer libraries that are available.