[plt-scheme] About Firebird/Interbase

From: Noel Welsh (noelwelsh at yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Jul 17 11:55:50 EDT 2002

Hi Brent,

Yes, it is the open source version of Interbase. 
Borland opened Interbase then pulled it back a while
later but not before a group of hackers (including the
original IB devs) had grabbed the source.

I'm using it for an internal timesheet project.  I
started using Scheme and decided I needed a DB.  One
of the guys here was keen to see how IB performed.  So
I downloaded it and decided to create a driver. 
(Could have used ODBC but I was a bit leery about the
setup involved)

I'm still an IB rookie but here is my take on:

- It's a real (ACID) DB so it already has one up on
MySQL ;-)
- It has a lot of 'high-performance' features:
  - multi-version concurrency
  - triggers
  - views
  - procedural query language (quite horrid, as per db
  - clustering (big plus)
  - replication
- It runs on everything, including Windows
- The SuperServer has a threaded model (cf Postgres'
forking model)
- Its well documented
- Its fast and easy to setup
- Maintenance seems to be minimal
- It is free software

Don't think it has any object-relational features. 
Nothing particularly supports Scheme but the C API is
easy enough to wrap.

It feels like a cleaner version of PostgrsQL (though I
don't have any recent experience with PostgreSQL).

I'm quite interested in doing a MySQL driver so I can
play around on SourceForge.  If that gets done we'd
have the three main free DBs covered by PLT Scheme.


PS: If you're making a commercial decision based on
this response I can provide more info when I have the
timesheets up and running.  Also the docs are online.

--- Brent Fulgham <brent.fulgham at xpsystems.com> wrote:
> This is an off-topic question, but how does this
> database compare to PostgreSQL or MySQL?
> I believe Firebird is based on the old Interbase
> product from Borland/Imprise, correct?  I'm not
> familiar with its particulars, but you obviously
> like something about it enough to write an interface
> for it!
> Does it support any object database features (like
> PostgreSQL) or provide any particularly
> scheme-friendly
> behavior?
> Thanks,
> -Brent

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