Firebird Frenzy Erupts

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-30 Print this article Print

After comparing what are commonly thought of as the two most common and most popular open-source databases—MySQL and PostgreSQL— Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas was floored by the amount of mail she received regarding her ill-advised o

After comparing what are commonly thought of as the two most common and most popular open-source databases—MySQL and PostgreSQL—I was floored by the amount of mail I received regarding my ill-advised omission of the hotly popular Firebird open-source database. It just goes to show: If a product is freely downloaded, yet unmarketed, it can be extremely popular and still escape journalists attention. The point is underscored by a recent poll in, in which Firebird placed a very close second to MySQL in Member Choice Awards for Best Database of the Year 2003.
Click here to read the MySQL vs. PostgreSQL comparison. If your enterprise is looking into which open-source database to try out, do your due diligence and add Firebird to the list of candidates. According to production users across the globe, Firebird has outstanding reliability, performance and concurrency, as well as robust support for stored procedures and triggers. Below are more details, along with one readers list of what he loves about Firebird. Firebird primer. Firebird is a relational database with ANSI SQL-92 features that runs on Linux, Windows and a mix of Unix platforms. Its an outgrowth of what was once Borlands InterBase database. The story of how a for-profit product with a loyal following became open-source is interesting, and you can check it out at One users list of Firebirds stellar attributes. Marco Menardi, a Delphi programmer, runs a small company that administers condominium buildings in Northern Italy. Hes developing an accounting program that hes selling around town and plans to release as free software, in the hope that the program will spread and hell make money from support. Next page: Firebirds features.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel