Firebird: Free and Open Source Database Server
Firebird is a free and open source relational database offering many ANSI SQL standard features that runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and a variety of Unix platforms. Firebird offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers. Firebird technology has been in use for 20 years, which makes it a very mature and stable product. Following is the list of features which Firebird provides:
1. Free and Open Source
Firebird is free like a bird. No fees for download, registration, licensing or deployment, even you distribute Firebird as part of your commercial software package. Anyone can build a custom version of Firebird, as long as the modifications are made available, under the same IDPL licensing, for others to use and build on.
Firebird's development depends on voluntary funding by people who benefit from using it. Funding options range from donations, through Firebird Foundation memberships to sponsorship commitments.
2. Firebird Supported Platforms
Firebird 2.5 runs on Windows (32- and 64-bit), various Linux versions (32- and 64- bit), Solaris (Sparc and Intel), HP-UX (PA-Risc) and MacOS X. Main development is done on Windows and Linux, so new releases are usually offered first for these platforms, followed by other platforms after a few weeks.
3. Firebird Architecutres and Versions
Firebird comes in a number of flavors: Classic, SuperClassic, SuperServer and Embedded. Latest release of Firebird are:
Firebird 3.0 is available only for testing and not for production environment. Firebird 2.5 is the stable release.
4. Firebird Database Connectivity
Firebird is supported by numerous database connectivity options:
Delphi/C++ Builder drivers (Embarcadero Delphi/C++ Builder IDEs include dbExpress drivers to work with Firebird.)
FreePascal & Lazarus
PHP for Firebird
5. Firebird Administration Tools
Firebird comes with a number of powerful command-line tools to administer the database, but does not include a GUI interface. Fortunately, third-party GUI administration tools are available.
6. Firebird Codebase
Work on porting the codebase from C to C++ began in 2000. On 23 February 2004, Firebird 1.5 was released, which was the first stable release of the new codebase.
7. Firebird Documentation
The Firebird Project supplies users, developers and administrators with various kinds of documentation, from Quick Start guides to expert-level articles devoted to various aspects of Firebird.
There are a lot of papers, FAQs and articles that you may want to check in the Firebird main site. Also, you can check if your country has a localized community site or discussion list, so you can get support in your native language.
All this information can be found digging around in the Firebird main site. Also, check www.firebirdnews.org to get up to date with the most recent news related to Firebird.
8. Firebird Community Support
Firebird has large community around the world, where people will be glad to help newbies and experienced developers to get answers for almost all tricky questions.