Firebird (database server)

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Firebird (database server)
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{{Primary sources|date=December 2012}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2013}}

| latest preview version = 4.0 Beta 1TITLE = FIREBIRD 4.0 BETA 1 RELEASE IS AVAILABLE FOR TESTING DATE = 2019-02-20 ACCESSDATE = 2019-02-20, | programming language = C++| operating system = Cross-platform| platform = | size = | language = | status = | genre = RDBMS| license = IPL,}}}}Firebird is an open-source SQL relational database management system that "runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS and several Unix platforms".WEB, Firebird: A powerful, cross platform, SQL database system,weblink SourceForge, SourceForge Media, LLC, 2 May 2018, 25 April 2018, The database forked from Borland's open source edition of InterBase in 2000, but since Firebird 1.5 the code has been largely rewritten.WEB,weblink Firebird 1.5.5 Release Notes, 29 September 2009, Firebird 1.5.5 General Notes for rewriting it from C to C++ language


Within a week of the InterBase 6.0 source being released by Borland on 25 July 2000,NEWS, Inprise/Borland Introduces InterBase 6.0 Now Free and Open Source on Linux, Windows, and Solaris, 16 July 2000,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 6 December 2004, 29 January 2009, yes, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Inprise/Borland Introduces Interbase 6.0 Now Free and Open Source on Linux, 29 January 2009, Linux Today, the Firebird project was created on SourceForge.WEB,weblink Firebird History, 14 March 2014, WEB,weblink What's happening to InterBase, 14 March 2014, Borland User Group, Paul Reeves, 2, Firebird 1.0 was released for Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X on 11 March 2002,WEB,weblink IBPhoenix Community News Archive, 29 January 2009, 11 March 2000, with ports to Solaris, FreeBSD 4, HP-UX following over the next two months.WEB,weblink IBPhoenix Community News Archive, 11 April 2000, 29 January 2009, Work on porting the codebase from C to C++ began in 2000. On 23 February 2004, Firebird 1.5 was released,NEWS,weblink Firebird Relational Database 1.5 Final Out, 31 January 2009, Slashdot, 23 February 2004, which was the first stable release of the new codebase. Version 1.5 featured an improved query optimizer, SQL-92 conditional expressions, savepoints and support for explicit locking.WEB,weblink Firebird 1.5.6 Release Notes, Helen Borrie, 10 June 2012, Firebird Project, 5 October 2009, Firebird 2.0 was released on 12 November 2006,WEB,weblink Firebird 2.0 Final Release Launches in Prague, Dmitry Yemanov, 5 February 2009, adding support for 64-bit architectures, tables nested in FROM clauses, and programmable lock timeouts in blocking transactions.WEB,weblink Firebird 2.0.7 Release Notes, Helen Borrie, 5 April 2012, 10 June 2012, The previous stable release was version 2.1.6, which added new features including procedural triggers, recursive queries, and support for MERGE statements.WEB,weblink Firebird 2.1 Release Notes, Helen Borrie, 20 July 2014, 20 July 2014, Firebird 2.5 introduced new features like improved multithreading, regular expression syntax and the ability to query remote databases.WEB,weblink Firebird 2.5.5 Release Notes, Helen Borrie, 19 November 2015, 19 November 2015, The most recent stable version is Firebird 3.0, released 19 April 2016, with focus in performance and security. A major re-architecture of the code allowed total support to SMP machines when using the SuperServer version.Through the Google Summer of Code 2013 work has begun on integrating Firebird as a replacement for HSQLDB in LibreOffice.WEB,weblink Firebird Embedded and LibreOffice is the killer combination to scale from a single file application to a client/server approach, 14 Feb 2012, mariuz,, 8 July 2013, WEB,weblink 8 July 2013, GSOC 2013: LibreOffice Firebird SQL Connector, 28 May 2013, ahunt,

Mozilla Firefox name conflict

In April 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced a rename of its web browser from Phoenix to Firebird after a trademark dispute with Phoenix Technologies.WEB,weblink Phoenix and Minotaur to be renamed Firebird and Thunderbird, April 14, 2003, January 29, 2016, MozillaZine, MozillaZine, Dotzler, Asa, This decision caused concern within the Firebird database project due to the assumption that users and Internet search engines would be confused by a database and a web browser both using the name Firebird.{{citation |url =weblink|title = Mozilla browser becomes Firebird|archiveurl =weblink" title="">weblink|archivedate = 2003-04-23|accessdate = 2016-01-29|deadurl = yes|publisher = IBPhoenix}}WEB,weblink Firebird Database Project Admin Ann Harrison Interviewed, April 21, 2003, January 29, 2016, MozillaZine, MozillaZine, Bishop, Alex, The Mozilla developers issued a statement,WEB,weblink mozilla branding, April 25, 2003, January 31, 2016, The Mozilla Organization,weblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2003, yes, making clear that their software package was called "Mozilla Firebird", not "Firebird".WEB,weblink Mozilla's Firebird gets wings clipped, May 7, 2003, January 29, 2016, CNET, CBS Interactive, Festa, Paul, WEB,weblink Christopher Blizzard of speaks on the Firebird naming conflict, May 14, 2003, January 29, 2016, MozillaZine, MozillaZine, Bishop, Alex, The statement also said that the Mozilla Firebird name was a project codename.The dispute was resolved on February 9, 2004, when Mozilla changed the name of its browser to Mozilla Firefox, thus ending the conflict.WEB,weblink Mozilla holds 'fire' in naming fight, Paul Festa, February 9, 2004, CNET, CBS Interactive, January 29, 2016, WEB,weblink Mozilla Firebird Renamed Firefox, Version 0.8 Released, February 9, 2004, January 29, 2016, MozillaZine, MozillaZine, WEB,weblink Mozilla Firefox - Brand Name Frequently Asked Questions, January 29, 2016,, Mozilla Foundation,

Main features

  • Full support for stored procedures and triggersWEB,weblink Get to know Firebird in 2 minutes,
  • Full ACID compliant transactions
  • Referential integrity
  • Multi Generational Architecture (sometimes called MVCC)WEB,weblink A not-so-very technical discussion of Multi Version Concurrency Control, 21 November 2011, Roman Rokytskyy,
  • Support for External Functions (UDFs)
  • SQL activity can send asynchronous notification events to clients
  • Third-party tools, including GUI administrative tools and replication tools
  • Careful writes - fast recovery, no need for transaction logs
  • Many access methods: native/API, dbExpress/FireDACWEB,weblink Connect to Firebird (FireDAC), FireDAC drivers, ODBC, OLE DB, .NET provider, JDBC native type 4 driver, Python moduleweblink PHP, Perl
  • Incremental backups
  • Full cursor implementation in PSQL

Storage and index technology

The Multi-Generational Architecture (MGA)

Firebird inherited the storage architecture of Interbase. To ensure the ACID properties of transactions, the database engine keeps different versions of each record changed by the active users in the database. When the transactions are committed, the last version of every changed record is marked as the definitive. If transactions are rolled back, the database engine keeps the mark on the original record versions, leaving them untouched.WEB,weblink Multi-generational architecture (MGA) and record versioning, HK-Software, 14 July 2011, As a result, Firebird disk writes are very reduced compared to databases that use the traditional transaction log architecture.WEB,weblink Interview with Jim Starkey from InterBase World, Marina Novikova, InterBase World, 14 July 2011, Writing transactions does not prevent reading and vice versa, because each one sees its own version of the database.WEB,weblink What is Multi Generational Architecture (MGA)?, The Firebird FAQ, 14 July 2011, The tradeoff is that some maintenance (“sweeping”) is required from time to time to clean up old record versions and free disk space.WEB,weblink Database Housekeeping And Garbage Collection, The Firebird Project, 14 July 2011, The multi-generational architecture ensures that OLTP and DSS/OLAP operations can be run simultaneously without the delays caused by locking mechanisms found in other products.WEB,weblink What is Multi Generational Architecture (MGA)?, The Firebird FAQ, 14 July 2011,


Firebird makes all indices of the database behave like well-tuned “clustered indexes” used by other architectures. Firebird index buckets aren’t subject to two-phase locking, and boolean “and” and “or” operations can be performed on intermediate bitmaps at a negligible cost, eliminating the need for the optimizer to choose between alternative indexes.WEB,weblink Interview with Jim Starkey from InterBase World, Marina Novikova, InterBase World, 14 July 2011,


  • Firebird SuperServer has a single daemon/server for all client connections, multithreaded with shared cache
  • Firebird SuperClassic also has a single daemon/server for all client connections, multithreaded with separate caches
  • Firebird Classic uses inetd to run one copy of the server per client connection, recommended for SMP systems but might have event-notification issues if access is via a firewall
  • Firebird Embedded for creating CD-ROM catalogs, single user or evaluation versions of applications


The Firebird database engine and its modules are released under an open-source license, the Initial Developer's Public License (IDPL), a variant of the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 1.1. It does not require the developer to open the products using Firebird or even custom-derivatives made from its source code, but if the developer chooses to do so, then some terms and conditions should be honored. The IDPL allows the developer to make proprietary, closed-source applications that use Firebird or are based on it.WEB,weblink Firebird: Initial Developer's Public License Version 1.0, Firebird Project, 13 July 2011,

Connectivity APIs

Low-level Firebird Native API, Services API and embedded SQL

The Firebird native API is used directly or indirectly by applications or middleware that connect to a Firebird database. It is implemented in the client library, fbclient.dll, on Windows systems, and in on Unix ones.WEB,weblink The Firebird client library, The Firebird Project, 14 July 2011, The Services API is a special function set for accessing and controlling service administration tasks such as user management, backup/restore and statistics gathering.Embedded SQL is a technique that simplifies the development of C/C++ and COBOL Firebird applications, by using a preprocessor called gpre, which allows the embedding of SQL statements directly into the source code of the host language.WEB,weblink Application development, The Firebird Project, 14 July 2011,


  • 2007. SourceForge Community Choice Award: Best Project for enterprise, Best user support.WEB,weblink 2007 Community Choice Awards Winners,, 13 July 2011,
  • 2009. SourceForge Community Choice Award: Best Project for enterprise. Finalist on Best Project and Best Project for Government.WEB,weblink 2009 CCA: Winners,, 13 July 2011,

See also



External links

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