Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Interbase (IB) vs Firebird (FB): Differences and Similarities between Interbase and Firebird

Interbase (IB) vs Firebird (FB): Differences and Similarities between Interbase and Firebird

There are a lot of differences and similarities between Interbase and Firebird. I have tried to compare both Interbase and Firebird in my way (Interbase vs Firebird).

Interbase and Firebird are two different database servers. Firebird has originated from Interbase. After the release of Interbase 6.0 in 2000, developers moved away from Interbase and made first freeware and open-source version of Interbase and named it Firebird 1.0, made it available on SourceForge. Up to this point, all the features of Interbase and Firebird were same but after this different team started working on their products (Interbase and Firebird).

Following are the differences between Interbase and Firebird:

1. Firebird is freeware and open source while Interbase is commercial and  is currently developed and marketed by Embarcadero Technologies. So Firebird as being freeware and open source, the community members can change/modify anything in the source code and all other users of Firebird will be benefitted of that. 

2. Delphi supports officially only Interbase, however drivers probably work with basic functions and there are free and paid drivers and libraries available for Firebird. With Enterprise and Architect Editions of Delphi XE4, Firebird drivers are also supported. Delphi works well with Interbase using two different sets of access components. Interbase Express provides specific support for Interbase only. It does not support Firebird. Database Express, a more generic set of components for various databases, is also part of Delphi and supports both Interbase and Firebird. IBX is usually preferred over DBX for Delphi access to Interbase.

3. In Firebird, there is an embedded version so you don't need a real server - single user "server" is embedded into Delphi (Win) or Lazarus/FreePascal (Win/Lin) executable.

4. Interbase and Firebird DLLs: Usually we use gds32.dll to connect with interbase database server and fbclient.dll to connect with firebird server.

5. Latest Releases of Interbase and Firebird: 

InterBase XE is the latest version of Interbase which was released in 2010. Interbase XE new features include a 64 bit client and server, improved security, improved scalability, support for dynamic SQL in stored procedures, and optimized performance of large objects with stream methods.

Firebird 2.5.2 is the current stable version. New features included in this Firebird release are improved multithreading, regular expression syntax and the ability to query remote databases. The planned 3.0 release is expected to support stored procedures in languages such as Java and C++, and SQL window functions that restrict query results. An alpha version was released in August 2013.

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