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 LinuxQuestions.org, in which Firebird placed a very close second to MySQL in Member Choice Awards for Best Database of the Year 2003.
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 SourceForge.net.
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.