Sunday, February 27, 2005

The boon of FireBird for "Edge" development

Researcher finds strong uptick in open source DB use

The boon of FireBird for "Edge" development -- Aside from the traditional names of MySQL and PostgreSQL, Evans also found the FireBird open source databases making some inroads -- particularly in the "edge" sector of networking. Evans found FireBird is the most used database period for 'edge' applications, Microsoft Access is a close second (at 21 percent). In addition, MySQL and FireBird are locked in a virtual tie in the open source database space with each being used by just over half of database developers who use open source databases.

All these factors are providing the DBA/developer all sorts of "prime opportunities" to further push open source into the enterprise, McKendrick added:

"Right now, if a developer wants to put together some type of project, and can't get the CIO to authorize the funding, he can now simply download a free database and build an enterprise-caliber project based on this database," he said. In fact, McKendrick added, the increase in open source database capabilities is more than sufficient for most enterprise projects -- and won't get that developer in trouble.

Read more @ IT Manager's Journal

Jim Starkey's Thoughts on DDL

The original data definition mechanism was direct update of system
tables. This proved both scary and awkward, and a BLR-ish DYN layer was
added. When DSQL was extended to include SQL DDL, the DSQL, originally
in the client, later moved to the Y-valve, translated the SQL DLL into
dyn for interpretation. This means that for every new DDL clause we
invent, it must be added to DSQL, DYN, and the DYN interpreter.

Vulcan has move DSQL from the Y-valve to the engine. I think it's time
to stop translating SQL DDL into DYN and go directly to changes in the
internal metadata and system tables, gradually replacing much or most of
MET. This will relegate DYN to a legacy service that we can allow to
whither and die as the remaining parts of the tool set learn to express

If we can reach agreement on this process, I suggest that proposals to
extend SQL DDL be considered this light. Doing them in the current
architecture of either Firebird or Vulcan will require about twice as
much work to go through DYN than direct handling of SQL DDL, and
probably two thirds of it will be wasted in the long run. I would
rather see work invested in revising the internals to make extensions
easier and cleaner than spent on extensions that can only be considered
throwaways in an environment we know is life limited.


Jim Starkey
Netfrastructure, Inc.
978 526-1376

Where's My Delphi for .NET Compact Framework?

I want to write PDA apps using Delphi and the .NET Compact Framework. Yet Borland still doesn't support this. Why not?“

Read more @ Delphi Compiler Core

FastCode Awards

Borland is pleased to recognize John O'Harrow and Dennis Christensen as the top contributors to the Delphi FastCode Project in 2004. Each will receive a copy of Delphi 2005 Architect edition as a token of Borland's appreciation for their efforts and energy.

The FastCode Project sets up challenges for folks to write replacement routines for the Delphi RTL with better performance than the stock routines. When the results of these challenges significantly outpace the stock routines (and don't sacrifice hardware compatibility), we make an effort to incorporate the best routines into the core Delphi RTL. Delphi 2005 contains 3 or 4 RTL routines that were reoptimized by FastCode competitions.

Congratulations John and Dennis!

Firebird ADO.NET Data Provider 1.7 RC2

The Firebird ADO.NET Data Provider 1.7 Release Candidate 2 is available
for download.

* Download information can be found here:

* Release Notes can be found here:

CVS Tag: NP_17_RC2

InterBase/FireBird Manager V3.9

EMS announces the availability of InterBase/FireBird Manager V3.9 with full support for InterBase V7.5 and Firebird V1.5.

Open Source Database Market Share Breakdown

Evans Data revealed the results of a a study on open source databases. While the familiar names MySQL and PostgresSQL were in there, the biggest surprise may be that Firebird was nearly tied for the most used open source database.

Here are the rankings found in Evans' Database Development Survey 2005, Winter:

MySQL -- 53%
Firebird -- 52%
PostgresSQL -- 15%
Berkeley DB -- 4%
GNU SQL -- 3%
SAP DB -- 1%
Other -- 6%

Some survey respondents are using use more than one open source database, thus the total exceeds 100%.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Delphi 2005 Update 2 On The Way

In the Borland.public.delphi.non-technical newsgroup, Danny Thorpe posted this:

Update 2 is in the pipe moving towards production. It'll be going through regression testing for a couple of weeks yet. Hopefully nothing will explode and require a restart. Pipeline stalls really hurt the schedule.

interview with Danny Thorpe (Borland Chief Scientist)

Published interview with Danny Thorpe (Borland Chief Scientist) - on The Server Side

Borland Chief Scientist Danny Thorpe talks about the challenges of moving the Delphi language to .NET, working with Microsoft on the .NET Framework, and also gives his thoughts about what improvements he'd like to see in the .NET Framework.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Multiversion Concurrency Control Before InterBase?

From Craig Stuntz's Weblog:

Multiversion Concurrency Control In Computing Literature Before InterBase

Multiversion concurrency control is described in some detail 4.3 and 5.5 of this paper by Philip Bernstein and Nathan Goodman -- then employed by the Computer Corporation of America. [Note: An ACM Portal subscription is required to read the full text of the paper.] Bernstein and Goodman's paper cites a 1978 dissertation by D.P. Reed which quite clearly describes MVCC and claims it as an original work. Reed's paper is cited by 66 other authors, according to the Guide to Computing Literature, and Bernstein and Goodman's, 180 times.

Object lifetime in Firebird

From Jim Starkey:

Object lifetime is one of the two or three major strategic questions in
the merge between Firebird 2 and Vulcan. Almost all objects in Firebird
2 are deleted by pool deletion. To make this work, every resource
controlled by an object subject to delete-by-pool must also be pool
aware and allocated from the same pool. This makes writing object code
in Firebird difficult, time consuming, and fragile. It also makes
adoption of non-pool aware classes problematical at best. Vulcan still
has much of his code, but all new classes respect standard object
lifetime conventions, and none are "pool aware".

A question facing the project is whether or not we should accept object
oriented technology into our database implementation. If the answer is
yes, then I believe we must respect the integrity of objects and observe
individual object lifetime controls. This necessarily involves
rejection of the concept of delete-by-pool purposes other than
exceptional, localized mechanisms.

So where you and many other developers may say "of course, that's the
way objects work", in fact, that isn't the way Firebird 2 and
predecessors work.

I am arguing that post-merge object integrity be respected, a
pre-condition for adaptation of object technology. I am also arguing
that it is no longer necessary for all Firebird classes to be pool aware
and, in fact, most classes will not be. These questions seep into
almost every line of code in the prodct. I believe it better that we
resolve this question abstractly than as a debating point in the
general merge debate.

In my mind, the key technical questions around the merge are:

1. Object integrity (also known as delete-by-pool), including
obligatory pool awareness
2. The provider architecture
3. Object structured vs. flat configuration files
4. Thread synchronization primitives
5. The division of work between the Y-valve and the providers
6. Exception handling

Jim Starkey

>When you relate ancient computer history I always wonder:
>How old are you?
I was born in 1949. I started programming when I was about 15 at a
technical institute that offer a weekend course in Fortran for high
school kiddies. I designed my first language about a year later, a
simulated machine language, assembler, and job control language, in IBM
1620 assember. I converted it first to an IBM 7040 then the 360 (DOS),
all in assembler. During college I worked summers programming for a TV
rating company. After college (1973), I went to work for a company
building a database computer for the ARPAnet. A couple of years later I
went to DEC to write relational database system, or so I thought. After
a bait-and-switch, I worked on a conversion of IDMS to the PDP-11.
Escaping that, I wrote Datatrieve-11 for the PDP-11, then VAX
Datatrieve. I started and spun off the VAX Common Data Dictionary
(fellow is now a senior member of Microsoft SQLServer group) and the Rdb
project. When the latter ran into trouble, I started what eventually
became Rdb/ELN (ostensibly as an engine for a natural language query
system during a flirtation with AI), which kicked off the Great Database
War. I started Interbase in 1984. I have a wife Ann, who is a nice
person and thinks I should be one, too, a cat Perry and a Portuguese
Water Dog named Wyrly. Anything else you want to know?


Jim Starkey
Netfrastructure, Inc.
978 526-1376

Providing Database Encryption as a Scalable Enterprise Infrastructure Service - Protecting Against External and Internal Threats

As databases become networked in more complex multi-tiered applications, their vulnerability to external attack grows. We address scalability as a particularly vital problem and propose alternative solutions for data encryption as an enterprise IT infrastructure component. In this paper, we explore a new approach for data privacy and security in which a security administrator protecting privacy at the level of individual fields and records, and providing seamless mechanisms to create, store, and securely access databases.

Download the paper in PDF format here.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Delphi 1.0 shipped with a 16bit version of InterBase embodied in a dll (the first embedded version)

It brings back many memories, Delphi 1.0 shipped with a 16bit version of InterBase embodied in a dll (the first embedded version) and was freely deployable, the port was originally done by Jim Starkey.

KylixDriver version 3.1 released


CardBuilder: Urgent bug fix - Kylix IDE was hanged on a card component destruction while CardBuilder design window was existing (fixed-time improvements always do ill turn).

ETSoft Tenzor.Net

Thursday, February 17, 2005

IBExpert 2005.02.14

A new version of IBExpert (2005.02.14) is available.

FBCopy, a command-line tool that can copy data between Firebird tables and databases

Milan Babuskov announces the availability of FBCopy, a command-line tool that can copy data between Firebird tables and databases. This utility is available for Windows and Linux.

Nagios plugin for Firebird

Milan Babuskov of FBExport, announces the availability of a Nagios plugin for Firebird. Nagios is an open source host, service and network monitoring program that can monitor multiple servers for availability, hard disk usage, CPU load, etc. More details about Nagios can be found at

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Exclusive Interview with Anders Hejlsberg: Getting Reacquainted with the Father of C#

Between now and the last time we spoke, Borland has entered the .NET space. As an ex-Borland employee who is now one of the most revered .NET icons, what are your thoughts on this?

I'm very excited that they are doing that! It is the right thing for the Delphi community and .NET is the logical next place for all Windows development tools to go. I think it is a win-win situation.


SlashDot: Delphi Turns 10

"Today is Delphi's Tenth Birthday! The launch of Delphi 1.0 occurred on February 14th, 1995 at the Software Development '95 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Numerous links are commemorating the event, including a recorded interview with Zach Urlocker and Gary Whizin, members of the original management team. Zack's original Product Definintion document is here. An attendee at the original event reminisces about the launch."

TopStyle / FeedDemon: Behind the scenes

Nick Bradbury gives us an inside look on how he develops TopStyle and FeedDemon. Adam Stiles follows up Nick's post with an inside look at the NetCaptor development process.

Read more @

Monday, February 14, 2005

10 Years of Delphi

That's right, on February 14th, St. Valentines' Day, Delphi will become 10 years old. Delphi 1.0 was released to a standing room only crowd at the 1995 Software Developers Conference West. I remember cringing when Anders Hejlsberg demoed the exception handling capabilities by dereferencing a nil pointer. I had done all the work to map the hardware exceptions (via. the Windows 3.x toolhelp.dll) into language exceptions. Windows 3.x at the time had no OS supported exception mechanism. Remember all those “General Protection Fault” dialogs? brrrrr...

Read more @

Fyracle 0.8.5 released

Fyracle 0.8.5 released


- added ALTER TABLE ADD syntax
- added ALTER TABLE DROP syntax
- plsql compiler can now detect multiple script
errors in a single run
- fixed a problem with long table definitions
- fixed a problem with the TO_CHAR function
- fixed a bug in PL/SQL's handling of scaled integers

The windows 0.8.4 installers contained several 0.8.3
binaries. This has been fixed in 0.8.5

The "demo kit" has been renamed "fyracle runtime kit"
The "install kit" has been renamed "fyracle developer kit"


The new runtime install kits can be downloaded from:

The developer kit can be downloaded via:


The recommended upgrade procedure is to first
uninstall previous versions of Fyracle and only
then to install the new 0.8.5 release. Remember
to save your configuration files (firebird.conf
and aliases.conf) if you changed them!

The uninstaller has a start menu entry on Windows
and can be found at the top of the install
directory on Linux and Windows.


No change since 0.8.4 / 1 Feb 2005

IBExpert : new version

A new version of IBExpert (2005.02.12) is available.

Friday, February 11, 2005

kbmMW v. 2.50.00 news

kbmMW v. 2.50.00 Enterprise Edition Beta 2 rel 1 launched.
kbmMW v. 2.50.00 ProPlus Edition Beta 2 rel 1 launched.

TestParser UDF (FULL-TEXT search)

TextParser - collection of udf and procedures for organizing the "FULL-TEXT" search. Procedures and functions make it possible to parse blob-columns and to spread text for the words into the special tables. Then according to these tables it is possible to achieve a search for words in the text with the high speed.

KylixDriver version 3.0 release


GDD: Conforms to the latest Linux kernel 2.6.10. | Kernel regparm option support - new logic file produced.

DEMO: Support for ALTERA chipset PCI: diagnostic application sample that includes ALTERA-specific definitions.

KAL: TkdFrameworkAssistant complementary class added - better code allocation.

CardBuilder: Clear-all-resources-at-once ability.


KAL: kdPCINonBridge class - autoset first-found (bus, slot, func) vector in case if (0,0,0) is specified for VID, DID. | TkdInterrupt's OnHwInterrupt event property syntax changed - get required info simpler!

CardBuilder: Testing application code improvements.


KAL: Rare card destruction crash leaded by resource destructor – Fixed.

GDD: Memory range 0x00000000-0x00000000 (one-byte length) mapping trouble – Fixed.

Dozens of little bugs throughout KAL, GDD, CardBuilder fixed - very stable, thus 3.0.



KylixDriver is RAD Kylix-oriented and integrated software for PC hardware access. At the current stage of development this toolkit can be efficiently used for writing Linux device drivers for PCI specific hardware and broad range of other types of peripherals.

Why not to drive hardware directly from user applications? Why not to diagnose hardware resources right at Kylix design time and, at once, to create the driver skeleton for your device?

KylixDriver is a ready-made solution!

KylixDriver Outside Documentation on the Web is here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Embedded Firebird and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Feature Comparison

This is a basic comparison of embedded Firebird 1.5 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express. Remember that it compares the embedded version of Firebird which doesn't run as a separate service but is fully embedded in the application. I plan to come with a server-server comparison in some of the future posts.

To summarize: Embedded Firebird is a clear win when you need a fully embedded database that users are not aware of. The clear advantages of Embedded Firebird are:

  • Licensing. You can't beat Firebird's open-source license that allows use in commercial applications without any viral effect (i.e. no need to open your proprietary code). Any kind of a "free redistribution" license is just too far from that.
  • XCOPY Data Deployment. A Firebird database is a single file. Just copy it somewhere on disk and open it. Compress it and send it by e-mail. Use your own file extension and associate it with your application.
  • XCOPY Runtime Deployment. Not only the data but the runtime (which is a single DLL and optional supporting files) can be just copied to your application's directory.
  • Runtime size. Compare the SQL Express 36 MB download with the 2 MB Firebird runtime.
  • No performance limitations. With Firebird you can have a database of any size and open multiple connections without any penalty.
  • Real embedding. Users and administrators don't need to be aware that your application is using Embedded Firebird because it is only accessible from your application.

Read more @

Trolltech to Extend Dual Licensing to Qt for Windows

Qt cross-platform development software will be available under the open source GPL license for open source development and a commercial license for commercial development


Unofficial VisualCLX Patches

2005-02-07 Update: VisualCLX patches version 3.7

  • new z-order fix (Windows and Linux)
  • GDI-Handle/Pixmap usage reduction / new TImageList
  • new MDI patches
  • and many more.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Study: Few bugs in MySQL database

A source-code analysis of the MySQL database revealed few bugs compared with the number found in commercial code, testing company Coverity said Friday.

Unofficial VisualCLX Patches

2005-02-05: Update: New inprogress patches for version 3.7

  • new MDI patches
  • GDI-Handle/Pixmap usage reduction
  • and many more.

The patch 3.7 is still in progress. I meight change some already added patches without notification.
Update: QThemed 2.0.6
Fixed '4' instead of '>' under Linux in menu.

2005-02-04: Added: Qt 2.3.2 update Revision 1 by Zeljko
Qt 2.3.2-1 library update with Borland's patches and addition patches.

2005-02-03: Update: QThemed 2.0.5
Added package support. Programs can now use BPLs in combination with QThemed.
Update: New homepage
The old homepage is now replaced by a Wiki system.
Added: Thread call system
Execute a function in another thread's context.
Added: FastLinuxRTL
Speeds up the DBClient components and other AnsiString related bottle necks.

Test Driven Development: Programming by Intention

Have you ever had to work on a piece of code and found that it was hard to understand? Maybe the logic was convoluted, the identifiers meaningless, or worse, misleading. You say there was documentation? Was it readable? Did it make sense? Was it up to date with the code? Are you sure? How do you know? This chapter discusses programming by intention, a central idea in XP. It means making your intent clear when you write code.

"The market for open-source database software will explode this year."

In Investor's Business Daily Ken Spencer Brown quotes Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna saying "The market for open-source database software will explode this year." He sees annual sales rising to $1 billion by 2008, from $120 million now. "Most will come in support and service contracts." That's good, because you have to give away a fearsome number of free copies to create a billion dollar market.

"Firebird - I want this database!"

The lastest InfoExame magazine in Brazil includes an article called "Firebird - I want this database!". You can see the table of contents. "Firebird 1.5.2 bring features of powerful database systems, and it's free!"

Sun DB = Firebird ?

on firebird-generals

It seems that Sun is working on a database to be released with their own brand:

There also is a poll about what will Sun DB be based on and Firebird is one choices:

I personally think (if all this news are true) that it will be based on the same engine used by 2.0.


Linuxquestion - firebird only second in poll I'm sure we could have done better than that, given the low level of voting. There were nearer 2000 total votes last year. -- Lester Caine
I like the last reply in the forum and i agree with it:

"Firebird doesn't have to win ( post #88) I voted for Firebird, and would have liked to see it win. But it doesn't have to win. I remember 3 years ago when I started looking for an open source database to use on my sites - for weeks the only options that were on the horizon were MySQL, PostgreSQL and Berkeley. Then I came across a very lengthy discussion comparing MySQL and PostgreSQL, and there tucked in a few comments were references to Firebird. Then searched for information on InterBase (Firebird's closed source sibling). I downloaded and started to learn Firebird, and I was amazed that something this good was freely available.

Since then Firebird has gained far more visibility, partly because of polls like this. Whilst Postgres and MySql had books available to help new users understand the dbs, until 6 months ago Firebird did not have that. For any new user who was in my position trying to decide between these dbs, it would be £100 well spent to buy one book on each of these three dbs and look at how the dbs work using those books. Its a small investment considering how important it is to make the right decision from the beginning.

The important thing for me is not that Firebird wins these polls - it is that more people hear about it and get the chance to to use a database that in its history has often had features before PostgreSQL, DB2, and even Oracle. And just as MySQL and PostgreSQL are acquiring more features with every release, so is Firebird."

Firebird ADO.NET Data Provider 1.7 RC 1

The Firebird ADO.NET Data Provider 1.7 RC 1 is available for download.

* Download information can be found here:

* Release notes:

Release Candidate 1 ( 2005-02-05 )
------- --------- - - ---- -- -- -

Bug fixes (Please read the Changelog for details)

* Fixed problem with 0 lowerbound array fields on the embedded server

* Fixed problem with stored procedure calls on FbCommand.ExecuteScalar

* Fixed null Guid handling.

* Try to fix performance problem with array fields on selectable
statements when working agsint the standalone firebird server.

* Fixed problems with the new Design time support on Visual Studio 2003.

* Fixed incorrect mapping for binary blob fields to System.Array, now
it will be mapped to byte[]

* Fixed char values checkings by using the field character set
information for the check.

* Fixed some documentation comemnts that were incorrect.

* Improved comments removal on the FbScript class. (Andreas Sandner)

* Integrated the BinaryEncoding class for the octets character set
support (Contributed by Jim Beveridge)

* Added error information to the FbDataAdapter configuration wizard.

CVS Tag: NP_1_7_RC1

Friday, February 04, 2005

Introducing FireBird

Pablo Lerner has an article Introducing FireBird in the Universal Thread Magazine.


This article Intends to introduce a new tool that is an old one, at the same time. I'm talking about the Firebird database engine, which is new because the software is only four years old. Quite few people would trust their enterprise's data integrity to a product with such a short history, but the code from which Firebird was born four years ago is over twenty years old, and not many programs running today has such maturity.


Firebird V1.5.2 for Solaris (X86)

Firebird V1.5.2 Classic and Superserver for Solaris (X86) are available for download. Thanks to Konstantin Kuznetsov.

Firebird in IT Manager's journal

A second mention of Firebird in IT Manager's journal quotes Joe McKendrick, an analyst with Evans Data, "The success of FireBird and MySQL are strong indicators of the strength of the open source database market and of the greater open source movement as a whole. Operating with tighter budgets and fewer resources, a database administrator can safely and productively use an open source alternative where he would have had to traditionally rely on a commercial product."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Transaction Isolation Levels in Firebird


Every database operation in Firebird runs inside a transaction. The transactions have these features: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability (read more about ACID). Let's talk a bit about the isolation feature.
Isolation says that the transaction shouldn't interfere with other transactions. Achieving full isolation would mean serializing the transactions and that would slow down the database. Therefore there are four transaction isolation levels defined and every of them represents a different balance between isolation and performance:

  • Read uncommitted
  • Read committed
  • Repeatable read
  • Serializable

Firebird doesn't match the standard (SQL92) isolation levels exactly. The following table compares the isolation levels that are supported by Firebird ADO.NET with the SQL92 standard.

Firebird ADO.NET Provider IsolationLevel Firebird Isolation Level Corresponding SQL92 Isolation Level
IsolationLevel.ReadUncommitted READ COMMITTED
Read Committed
IsolationLevel.ReadCommitted (default) READ COMMITTED
Read Committed
IsolationLevel.RepeatableRead SNAPSHOT/CONCURRENCY Repeatable Read
IsolationLevel.Serializable SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY/CONSISTENCY Serializable

All transactions have these additional Firebird transaction options set:

  • WAIT - when using READ COMMITTED isolation level it waits for uncommitted
    transactions to finish before reading a row
  • READ WRITE - allows data modifications

You can use the predefined isolation levels by calling public FbTransaction BeginTransaction(IsolationLevel) or you can tune the transaction options more precisely by using this BeginTransaction overload: public FbTransaction BeginTransaction(FbTransactionOptions).


ANSI/ISO Read Uncommitted isolation level is not supported by Firebird. IsolationLevel.ReadUncommitted behaves like ReadCommitted but it returns the latest committed version of a rowand ignores any other (uncommitted) versions.
What it reads The latest committed version of a row and ignores any other (uncommitted) versions.
Dirty reads No
Phantom data Possible
Nonrepeatable reads Possible
Modification of data modified by other transactions since this transaction started No
Other transactions can modify data read by this transaction Yes
Suitable for Short transactions that modify data.


What it reads Waits for uncommitted transactions modifyinga row (to be either committed or rolled back).
Dirty reads No
Phantom data Possible
Nonrepeatable reads Possible
Modification of data modified by other transactions since this transaction started No
Other transactions can modify data read by this transaction Yes
Suitable for Short transactions that modify data.


What it reads When the transaction starts, a snapshot of the whole database is made. The transaction reads from that snapshot.
Dirty reads No
Phantom data No
Nonrepeatable reads Possible
Modification of data modified by other transactions since this transaction started No
Other transactions can modify data read by this transaction Yes
Suitable for Long transactions that require lots of reading and stable data view (reports).


What it reads When the transaction starts, a snapshot of the whole database is made. The transaction reads from that snapshot.
Dirty reads No
Phantom data No
Nonrepeatable reads Possible
Modification of data modified by other transactions since this transaction started No
Other transactions can modify data read by this transaction No. All tables that the transaction has read from are locked. Other transactions are prevented from writing to that tables.
Suitable for Long transactions that require exclusive access to a table.

Vulcan Overview document updated (again)

Vulcan Overview document is updated again. Download is available (.pdf). This document corrects a number of errors in the original.

Firebird Essencial

Carlos Cantu's new reference book Firebird Essencial focuses on practical solutions to common problems encountered by developers particularly Delphi developers. The book, written in Portuguese, is available in two formats: standard and signed. The signed version will be available for the next two months only. The slightly higher price includes a R$ 8,00 contribution to the Firebird Foundation.

Researcher finds strong uptick in open source DB use

Researcher finds strong uptick in open source DB use by Vance McCarthy on IT Managers Journal.

Firebird Leads Open Source Database Deployments

Firebird Leads Open Source Database Deployments, Says Survey, news item on Government Technology

Read more @

Linux is mission critical for Czechs

The Czech postal service is putting its faith in open source, by migrating a vital application onto SuSE Linux

Read more @,39020390,39186055,00.htm

Red Hat charging for the wrong distribution?

"Red Hat has really been grating my nerves as of late. Undocumented features that are advertised but unusable, recommended updates that are thoroughly broken, failure to update packages with high-impact problems, and a poor software packaging and distribution policy have me testing other distributions with a goal of taking my business elsewhere. "

Read more

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Vulcan Overview document

An updated Vulcan Overview document is now available (.pdf). This document corrects a number of errors in the original.

Ibm Brasil - Firebird on Zseries (mainframes) ?

Celio Costa Carvalho from Ibm Brasil asked on devel-list and Nickolay responded:

> I am trying to install Firebird in a zSeries machine (mainframe).
> When I issue the configure command I get :
> checking whether make sets $(MAKE)... yes checking build
> system type... s390-ibm-linux checking host system type...
> s390-ibm-linux checking target system type... s390-ibm-linux
> And when I enter a make command I get :
> g++ -I../src/include/gen -I../src/include -ggdb -O3 -march=i586
> -mcpu=i686 -fno-omit-frame-pointer -fno-builtin -DNDEBUG
> ../src/common/classes/alloc.cpp -o
> ../temp/libfbcommon/common/classes/alloc.o
> cc1plus: invalid option `arch=i586'
> cc1plus: invalid option `cpu=i686'
> Could you help me saying how I compile the Firebird in a
> zSeries or s390 machine ?
Firebird 2.0 has the framework for generic Linux builds of Firebird. Firebird 1.5 defaults to x86 build on Linux and this is what you see. It is cerainly possible to build 1.5.X on linux/ Anyways, if you are interested in getting Firebird to work on your platform I would recommend you to start with Firebird 2.0 codebase. You'll probably need to add a couple defines for your CPU architecture in a few places. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in producing this port and submitting patches for it. > Celio Costa Carvalho


"Firebird 1.5 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. And best of all: it's true Open Source, thus free of any license fees even for commercial use."
(source: Firebird Facts)

The first question that comes in mind for a Firebird new user is always "If Firebird is so good, why is its visibility so small in the database world?".

It has been a hot point for discussion around the Firebird Project for some time. We have a great developer team, we have a great documentation team, we have lots of volunteers doing a great job in support lists. We really don’t have a "Marketing Team".

Firebird does have a large group of users: Sourceforge downloads rolled over the million a long time ago. Mainly, they are software companies or independent software developers that are using Firebird in private software products. Typically, people who buy the products from them don’t really care about the database engine - they concentrate on the whole software solution and whether or not it works.

We could easily suppose that most end-users of Firebird don't know that they are using Firebird at all! If the product runs smoothly, without the need for a specialized DB Administrator, and it never gives you a problem, you tend not to give the database engine any thought.

Firebird is gaining a lot of ground as as a player in the database arena. We are a strong project delivering a strong product that competes directly with commercial leaders such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL. It’s not enough to be a great database engine, if the world know doesn't know about it.

We don’t have a Marketing Team, but we do have a lot of people interested in finding ways to spread the word about Firebird. The FirebirdSQL Foundation is helping to coordinate these interests into a positive marketing effort. Your help, as a Firebird user, can make a difference.

What is going on now to connect Firebird with "the market"? What can members do to keep one another and the public in touch with Firebird and the places it is to be seen?

Read more @

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fyracle 0.8.4 released

Fyracle 0.8.4 released


- Added JDBStudio for Fyracle to the Developer Kit
- Enhanced supported syntax for INSERT and UPDATE:
INSERT and UPDATE from a SELECT is now supported
- Enhanced supported functionality of TO_CHAR function
- Fixed a problem with the handling of line breaks
embedded in literal strings
- Numerous small bug fixes


The new demo installers can be downloaded from:

The Developer Kit can be downloaded via:


The recommended upgrade procedure is to first
uninstall previous versions of Fyracle and only
then to install the new 0.8.4 release. Remember
to save your configuration files (firebird.conf
and aliases.conf) if you changed them!

The uninstaller has a start menu entry on Windows
and can be found at the top of the install
directory on Linux and Windows.


The Compiere demo has been upgraded to 2.5.1g in
cooperation with Jotel. The files can be downloaded
from either the Janus or the Jotel site.