Friday, July 21, 2006

Firebird and Cluster?

OCFS2 (version 2) was integrated into the Linux kernel version 2.6.16. It uses a distributed lock manager which resembles the OpenVMS DLM but is much simpler.

On VAX Clusters - a very specialized kind of network - copies of InterBase running on different nodes in the cluster could access a single database using the distributed lock manager to coordinate access. The open source distributed lock manager may reopen that kind of sharing.

In systems (Apollo was one) that supplied a network file system with reliable file locking, any database could be opened from an InterBase server running on any computer on the network. That server locked the file and caused all further requests for the file to go through it. Any file system that provides reliable file locking and some way to identify the computer that holds
the lock can provide that level of database file / server node independence.

It would be great if someone who have hardware and sufficient knowledge jump-in and help with this...

Tassie newspaper tames open source Firebird

by Rodney Gedda on Computerworld Australia:

Weeks praised Firebird's "super server" architecture, which is a "drop-in replacement" for MySQL and can do whatever MySQL can do "with its eyes closed".

The Examiner now has six different Firebird-based applications that are available to the public to which are connected about 300 companies - like automotive dealers and real estate agents - connect each day.

The applications are developed with the popular PHP scripting language and delivered by the Apache Web server on Linux, exactly like the LAMP (Linux, Apache, and Perl/Python/PHP) stack, but without MySQL. Firebird is also used on FreeBSD Unix and Windows Server.

"Our transaction throughput is pretty light, we might do about 20,000 transactions a day," Weeks said, adding the biggest database is about 16GB. "But maintenance is non-existent - it's a DBA-less database. Backups can be done on the fly, so there's no need to take it offline, and it comes with a simple level of replication built in."

Weeks has also tried developing with PostgreSQL, but it "used all the memory and crashed the server".

He describes PostgreSQL as more of a research database with more features than Firebird, but lacking its level of enterprise robustness.

"News happens 24 hours a day so we need it to go all day, every day," he said. "All development is done on a 166MHz Pentium machine with 64MB of RAM to force you to write good code."

Support is reliable, Weeks said. Firebird's community support is good in that "if you don't get an answer back in 10 minutes, it's a bad day".

Database models

Here is a site with dozens of database models to be downloaded. Thanks Fabio Alves for sending the link to

Why Can’t Database Tables Index Themselves?

Interesting article can be read here. Thanks for Fabio Alves for sending the link to

Firebird 2 - New book

Carlos H. Cantu's new book, Firebird 2, was released in Brazil, by Ciencia Moderna publisher. The preface (from Ann Harrison) and the summary can be downloaded here (in portuguese).

IBExpert Personal Edition download is now using new IBExpert Webforms Technology

From Holger Klemt:

Dear IBExpert User,

when you download free IBExpert Personal Edition, you have to use a new url:

HK-Software Download Center

On this url, you will see the first real life application created with
IBExpert Webforms, a new technology available in one of the next
IBExpert Versions.

With IBExpert Webforms you can create database based Webapplications
in a Delphi/C++ Builder comparable way. Just place your vcl components
in the integrated formdesigner, connect them with your tables or queries
as datasource, using the integrated object inspector, create your events
as stored procedures inside your firebird or interbase database.

There is also a downloadable pdf file that shows a screenshot.

The result is handled by a php script, that is used by the Apache
Webserver on windows, linux or any other Operating System, that supports
apache, php and firebird or interbase.

Your main advantage: you do not need any know how regarding java script,
html, ajax, php, etc. to create your database webapplication.
All operations are done inside your database and you just have to learn
some very simple extensions and rules based on your existing firebird
and interbase knowledge.

More details regarding IBExpert Webforms technology will come as soon
as we can publish a first public alpha version. Subscribers of your
newsletter will be informed as soon as it is available.

IMPORTANT: Bonus for adding your address in HK-Software Download Center:
All users who will enter their complete address on the right while
registering for IBExpert Personal Edition will be able to download
a free pdf Version of the IBExpert Book with about 680 pages.
All entries will be checked manually, so it will be only available
for correct address entries.

If you have no access to the pdf file within 2 working days, please
send an e-mail to with subject
“HK-Software Download Center: missing additional files for”
where must be replaced with your e-mail address.

The IBExpert Team

Any questions regarding IBExpert Webforms?
please use news://

The most Expert for InterBase and Firebird —
HK Software - Gerhard Stalling Str 47A - 26135 Oldenburg - Germany
Phone/Fax +49 700 IBEXPERT (42397378)

Time to vote for Firebird in EvansData!

EvansData opened a new survey related to open source software, and Firebird is listed in two questions:

Which Open Source databases do you use most often?

What database are you using on the platform for which MOST of your applications are targeted?

Let’s vote for Firebird! Click here and vote now!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FastMM 4.68

pierre_le_riche wrote:

"I have just uploaded FastMM 4.68. It contains a fix for a rare crash bug when the FulLDebugMode and RawStackTraces options are both enabled (thanks to Primoz Gabrijelcic for catching it).

There is also an enhancement that improves performance for 4+ CPU systems - the "NeverSleepOnThreadContention" option. (Thanks to Werner Bochtler and Markus Beth for their help with this.)

Currently the GetMem routine is very efficient at avoiding thread contention by switching to an alternate block handler when the requested block size is locked, but the FreeMem routine has no option but to wait if the block type to be freed is currently locked. The FreeMem routine puts the thread to sleep if it cannot free the block immediately, which works very well when the CPU has a lot of other work to do (i.e. the thread to CPU core ratio is high), but is not great when the CPU core would otherwise be idle. Unfortunately the sleep() call has a rather coarse granularity under Win32 and the thread may thus sleep longer than it needs to, wasting precious CPU cycles. This wastage is most apparent with quad CPU systems where the sleep() call has a higher probability of causing the CPU to go idle. In such cases it is better to put the CPU in a "busy waiting" loop so that it can continue the moment the block type is unlocked by another thread. This is what the "NeverSleepOnThreadContention" option does - but don't use it on anything less than a quad core CPU or performance nose dives.

Of course the best solution would be to avoid the thread contention completely. I am toying with the idea of adding the block to be freed to a "blocks to be freed" linked list in lock-free manner (if it cannot be freed immediately). It is then the responsibility of the next GetMem/FreeMem call to process this list and do the actual freeing. There are some issues to iron out, but this could solve this problem once and for all. The change is not a minor one, though, and this probably means FastMM5 is on the cards.

There are also some other feature requests than have been waiting in my inbox for quite a while: Better IDE integration (jump to the line in the source that caused the leak, etc.), better leak management (display a leak tree showing leak dependencies / related leaks instead of a simple list) and on-the-fly switching between debug and performance mode. There are many more, certainly enough to keep me busy for a long time to come!"

Firebird 2.0 Release Candidate 3

We are pleased to invite you to download your preferred binary kit for Firebird 2 Release Candidate 3. You are reminded that, though very close, this is still a field-testing release. Please check any problem areas you encountered in RC 2 and report to the Firebird-devel list without delay if something isn't working as you expect.

Weekly builds of FB ADO.NET Provider

Weekly builds of FB ADO.NET Provider (only) are available on .

C# compiler from MS .NET FW 2.0 is used, builds using Mono, etc. will come too.

Comments and request are welcome and can be send to

Firebird: Free alternative to MS Access, mySQL, SQL Server!

It’s time to vote/digg an firebird article on digg

INM VizionDB uses Firebird

INM VizionDB is the first database management tool designed to meet the needs of skilled programmers, creative individuals and everyone in between by combining leading-edge database technology and support for the creation of engaging interfaces within Macromedia Director.
Built on a solid foundation of renowned, industry-standard Firebird database technology, INM VizionDB supports SQL and additionally offers a Lingo API, familiar to Director developers.
Read more here.

Firebird Enterprise

Paul Beatch wrote on Firebird-General mailing list:
A Firebird user commissioned IBPhoenix to put together an accurate
report showing how capable Firebird was in the Enterprise and we interviwed some
very large users :-) I have asked to see if I can make that report publically available. [So here it is ]

Right click and save as…

Creating firebird users in delphi

Here is the google translation of the original article

How do we counteract this perception of Firebird being leaderless?

Paul Beach Response to Forrester’s article about Firebird

As with any Analyst report, the results tend to be utter garbage. No matter how often you explain things to them, if they aren’t going to listen, or understand you are on a loser. Nobody said the project was leaderless, because it isn’t - there is an admin team that look after it, but unlike other open source databases the project isn’t driven by a commercial company. Postgres and Firebird work in the same way by utilising a large community of followers.

At the same time the Analyst has ignored the people he spoke to who use Firebird and come to his own - wrong - conclusions.

The problem you have, is that to make money the report must sell, and therefore must
have “interesting” things to say. Alternatively (or as well) it must identify a
company that is better than all the rest, so hopefully that company will pay to
re-publish the report. Nobody on the Firebird project was likely to pay
Forrester big bucks to reprint :-)

Its interesting - a Firebird user commissioned IBPhoenix to put together an accurate
report showing how capable Firebird was in the Enterprise and we interviwed some
very large users :-) I have asked to see if I can make that report publically available.

In the interim, I can only suggest that people take the time to email Forrester and
suggest that the conclusions are wrong.


Firebird-Interbase Backup Scheduler 2.0.0

FIBS is a solid, lightweight and fast scheduler so as to meet most backup-tasks-needs. It uses firebird/interbase command line tool gbak.exe to backup safetly and mirrors it to any other disc or computer for extra protection against backup-disc crash.
Download here

Firebird Generators: Everything you wanted to know

This is a very nice article about Firebird generators: Firebird Generator Guide

Firebird on

You can write an review or vote for firebird on

Replication using IBExpert

The open source database server, Firebird, and its commercial partner, Borland InterBase, have long been established as a proven and stable platform for all sorts of database applications. Because of the common ancestry in the form of the InterBase 6 source code, many solutions can be implemented on both platforms without any problems. However Version 2 of the Firebird Server has recently set new standards, introducing many helpful functions that are unfortunately missing in InterBase 7.5.

However a replication facility is not included in either platform. This article illustrates how a replication can be created with the aid of IBExpert and ibeblock.

Download this article here.

Data Generator 2005 for InterBase/Firebird ver. 2.2 released

EMS Software Development company is pleased to announce Data Generator 2005 ver.2.2 - new version of the powerful utility for generating test data for Firebird and InterBase databases.

The opportunity to connect through SSH and HTTP tunnels has been added, new data generation options and speed improvements have been made in the latest program version.

You can download the latest version at:

Comment on “Firebird Database Server Penetration”

We’re using Firebird in small and big projects for years, both on Linux and Windows servers. One customer has over 80 databases all concurrently used ( by remote shops) and driven by one Firebird server instance. Worked flawlessly for months now. Scalability and performance are exellent.

Posted on Gadgetopia Comments area

Jim Starkey Speaks about Falcon

The July Boston MySQL Meetup’s topic is Falcon, the new storage engine for MySQL. Creator Jim Starkey will speak.


FirebirdClient v2.0 released

FirebirdClient v2.0 for Microsoft .NET 2.0 and mono is available for

Download information can be found here:

IBProvider [Beta]

This OLEDB provider is being updated to become more compatible with FB 2.0. From the news page:

  • Bug fixed
  • Firebird compatibility is improved
  • “DBMS Version” property now provide real Firebird server version: 0.9.4, 1.0, 1.5.x, 2.x
  • “IB Database Creation Date” property added (FB2)

Firebird Mandriva Corporate Server VMware virtual machine

Philippe Makowski wrote on Firebird-General:

Firebird Mandriva Corporate Server VMware virtual machine is ready

It is made with :

* Mandriva Corporate Server 4 beta 3
* Firebird 2 RC2 Classic Server
* Python and PHP drivers
* Flamerobin and IbWebadmin

password for root is mandriva
and the user is : ibphoenix
password ibphoenix

the free VMware Player :

Have good testing

New Firebird-Enterprise list

A new list has been created for those wishing to share their
experiences about deploying Firebird databases in big networked enterprises.


Open Source Impacts Overall Database Software Market

“In the open source world, we are always flattered when changes are attributed to open source,” said MySQL Chief Executive Officer Marten Mickos. “But the enormous price pressure and the desire among customers to get away from licensing fees is self-inflicted and not a result of open source. Open source just happens to be the perfect answer to the cry.” - Read more here.

“The InterBase and Firebird Developer Magazine” #4

“The InterBase and Firebird Developer Magazine” #4
is available for free download.
Please download it from one of the following locations:

You still can buy full electronic version (instant access to full PDF, including bonus article), USD$9.99/EUR9.99:

Paper version is available too: