Firebird Case Studies Catalog

To support Firebird Project and MindTheBird!, we'll re-print their message here:

Hello All Firebirders!

Today we start very important activity  - building Firebird Case Studies catalog.


Case study is an example of real-world implementation of certain product. Case study should be very specific and describe
1) technical details (database size, # of users, transactions load),
2) type of business (ERP, hospital automations, CD catalogs, web-sites
examples, etc) and
3) business value – license costs economy, performance increasing, etc.


People are looking for templates in all areas of the life.
There are hundreds of “sitting ducks” Firebird deployments, which are very good in all terms – database sizes, # of users, high ROI for business, etc, etc.

We need to go for them and build the collection of case studies at www.firebirdsql.org web-site to clearly demonstrate to the world the actual value of Firebird deployments.

This is very important for Firebird Project future development and its recognition in IT world. Let's expose the power of Firebird to everybody, and for this we need participation of each Firebird developer!


Yes, you can!
Firebird needs case studies and stories of all types - so regardless of what software you create - for bakery automation or to navigate space ships - create and submit your case study.
Every EXE-file or web-site which uses Firebird is important for Firebird project, if it does useful things. It will take only 1-2 hours and it will help Firebird a lot!


Download Firebird Case Study Guide and Template www.mindthebird.com/docs/firebird_case_study_template.doc

You will go through several steps that are described in this template and then fill out the necessary text sections, attach appropriate graphics and write several quotes.  We estimate time to create case
study in 1-1.5 hour.

Only case studies in English are accepted, but if you have Case Study in several languages, it will be good addition.

If you have several good examples of Firebird usage, create several Case Studies for each.

The result will be submitted to Firebird Project Marketing and a professional designer will create the final case study document in PDF format.


Every submitted case study will be considered by MindTheBird Team and Firebird Project Marketing and, if it will be considered as a good and complete description of the real-world project or existing packaged
software, it will be included into Firebird Case Studies Catalog at firebirdsql.org, which will run in Q1 of 2011.
First 20 Case Studies will have prizes from the list www.mindthebird.com/benefits.html and, of course, they will be specially listed at minthebird.com and, later, at firebirdsql.org.


Send your questions to case(at)mindthebird.com


Vacations' corruptions

Every year we have numerous corruption requests after vacations. Unattended computer systems can reach their implementation limits or encounter hidden problems, like lack of space, HDD bad blocks, automatic updates, etc.
Firebird is a software too, and it has "popular" reasons to stop working while administrator enjoys roasted turkey.
Before vacations and after them we recommend to check the free space on HDD with database and HDD on backups, check the transaction markers state (gstat -h) for the gaps and limits and, if possible, perform full backup/restore cycle (with gbak -b/gbak -r).
These simple actions can save your database from "vacations' corruptions".


Firebird Performance Testing - presentation is available

Please take a look at presentation from Firebird Performance Testing webinar.
If you have any questions regarding tests, please feel free to ask them via email


Firebird Day'2010 in France

October 1, 2010 - Firebird Day took place in Paris, France.
31 attendees and speakers:
Conference is ready to start

 Philippe Makowski (is launching Firebird 2.5, so photo is too light :))

 Henri Gourvest (progdigy.com) :
Unicode, UIB, FB2.5 specifities in UIB

Paul Reeves (IBPhoenix), Philippe Makowski and unknown person, preparing for the next session  (Firebird and PHP)

Some moment of the conference

Almost all people were until the end of conference - probably, presentations were good!


3d Russian Firebird Conference: Photos

September 29, 2010 - 3d Russian Firebird Conference. 114 people attended. Here are some photos

Philippe Makowski and Dmitry Yemanov - coffee before sessions.

 Sessions will start soon.

Philippe and Dmitry.

 Kirill Sinitsin from Ansoft, Phillipe Makowski and Dmitry Yemanov

Opening of conference

Phillipe's talk

 Alexey Kovyazin, Alex Peshkoff, Vlad Khorsun and Phillipe Makowski
Dmitry Yemanov started his presentation

Alexey Kovyazin's presentation
 Room is full

Embarcadero session about Delphi

Alex Peshkoff's presentation

Another Embarcadero presentation

Unique photo: Firebird and InterBase at the sofa: Dmitry Yemanov and Christine Normile

Presentation about www.lensart.ru

Round table in the end of conference - from left to the right - Dmitry Yemanov, Alexey Kovyazin, Christine Normile, Vlad Khorsun, Philippe Makowski.

Alex Peshkoff, Vlad Khorsun, Philippe Makowski, Alexey Kovyazin


Firebird 2.5 Introduces New Audit Features and Improved Scalability

October 4, 2010. The Firebird Project today announces Firebird 2.5, the fifth and newest major release of its open source relational database management system. Enhancements in this new release are pitched at better serving the needs of businesses of any scale, from embedded device to enterprise resource planning solutions.

Philippe Makowski, President of the non-profit Firebird Foundation observes that the Firebird 2.5 release is a very important step in Firebird's 10th anniversary year, not just for the Firebird Project but for the whole open-source world, too.

"Today businesses all around the world are looking for mature, cost-effective solutions and Firebird 2.5 offers them a solution that is truly powerful and truly free", he noted.

The mix of high performance, small footprint, supreme scalability, silent and simple installation and royalty-free deployment make Firebird a highly attractive choice for all types of software developers and vendors. Firebird deployments are well established around the globe, serving data to hundreds of thousands of business systems with hundreds of users and databases exceeding 300GB.

Known Firebird installations number more than 2,000 each day, according to download statistics.

"Many of our customers have Firebird databases with sizes from 200GB to 400GB and they keep growing", said Stewart Spink, CTO of Watermark Software. "The performance improvements in Firebird 2.5 will ensure that their future demands will be satisfied completely."

Alexander Shaposhnikov, CIO of medical distributor Profitmed predicts that Firebird 2.5 will support the growth of Profitmed's business. "Currently we have a 65Gb database and 250 active users working 24x7. We intend to double both the size of the database and the number of users in two years and we have chosen Firebird 2.5 for this business-critical task."

Firebird binaries are distributed for a variety of system and hardware platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, HP-UX and more. Firebird runs on on x86, x64, PowerPC, Sparc and other hardware platforms, providing an easy migration mechanism between these diverse platforms.

The V.2.5 release binaries ship for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux, with MacOSX x86 to follow. Other POSIX platform builds are likely to appear before the year is out, in response to demand.
New features of Firebird 2.5

* New SuperClassic Architecture Firebird 2.5 introduces a new architecture, tagged "SuperClassic", to gain better leverage from multi-core and multi-CPU hardware environments and improve resource usage for systems with large numbers of users and huge databases.

* Audit System audit tracing and user trace sessions via the Services API enable nearly real-time monitoring and analysis of everything going on in a database

* Cross-database queries Firebird 2.5 opens the way for Firebird database instances to query one another and to exchange information

* Enhanced user management User management becomes accessible and flexible through SQL requests submitted from user databases

* Other features include autonomous transactions within PSQL modules (stored procedures, triggers, SQL blocks), support for regular expressions as arguments in SQL using the SIMILAR TO predicate, asynchronous cancellation of connections, enhancements of monitoring capabilities and much more.

Paul Beach, President and CEO of IBPhoenix, an organisation that offers professional services and contributes to Firebird development, considers the new security features and the impressive scaling capability of Firebird 2.5 will be welcomed by many existing Firebird users.

"In particular, it will help those in the finance and health industries to meet the growing requirements of their businesses", he notes, "especially in pushing the limits of performance."

David Wilder, CTO of Bas-X, welcomed the Firebird 2.5 release for its improved useability and flexibility. "It will enable our customers to turn over more transactions and run more concurrent users on the same hardware," he said.

Pricing and Availability

Firebird 2.5 is an open source database system that is available free of charge for any kind of usage, be it commercial, educational, non-profit or simply for private use. Both binary packages and the complete source code can be downloaded at no cost through the Firebird Project website for immediate installation. No registration or activation is required.

About the Firebird Foundation

The Firebird Foundation is a non-profit organization with the goal to support the development and growth of the Firebird relational database system. The Foundation was incorporated in 2002 and is currently supported by more than 300 active members, several of whom are also cash sponsors. It also accepts and manages donations of cash and resources from persons and organisations that are not regular members. The Foundation redistributes these funds as grants to some of the key workers in the Firebird Project. The Firebird Project has no other source of income.


Oracle Worst Practices

It seems that database design problems are very common and do not depend on used database platform - every new generation of developers each 4-5 years repeats the same mistakes...
The presentation below is recommended for every database developer, regardless of the database being used.
My favourite slide is about "How many tables do you really need? - Four at most!" :-))

Oracle Database Worst Practices


The need for backups

I've read the post at http://successfulsoftware.net about 10 things which non-technical users do not understand.  During our work with Firebird database recoveries we interact mostly with people considered as IT professionals - developers and system administrators, but we can confirm the absolute truth of the following words regarding backups:

8. The need for backups

Every few days I get an email from someone who has lost all their data because they had a major hardware problem and no backups on a separate device. Sometimes this is because they don’t even realize the data is stored on their computer. You can mention the need for back-ups in your documentation and/or in the software, but it is unlikely to make much difference. History shows that this is a lesson most people have to learn the hard way (techies included). Mentioning it doesn’t hurt though and it might help to defuse an angry users if you point it out to them after the event.

Consider this post as a small reminder that your Firebird database should have backups, and they should be done in the right way.


How to increase Firebird backup and restore speed (up to 30%)

It seems that many Firebird developers and administrators are not aware about switch -se[rvice] for gbak.exe
The origin of this switch is in the fact that code for backup and restore can be invoked in Firebird twice - first as explicit external application (i.e., through gbak.exe) and, second, as a Services API call.

Backup/restore through Services is faster than usual approach  - due to the bypassing of interprocess communication and, probably, due to some IO optimizations.

To use Services instead of regular gbak.exe you need to add switch -se to the gbak command:

gbak -se service_mgr -b -g ...

Try to run backup with your database with and without switch -se[rvice] and compare results. In our experience switch -se can increase backup and restore speed up to 30%.
Btw, our FBdataGuard uses Services API to run backup and restore, and many users find it faster than general gbak.exe. Now you know that it's not the magic  - just good knowledge of Firebird and its internals.


InterBase 2009 installer - say hello to Windows 3.1 again

It seems that InterBase development suffers from the lack of resources. Recently I downloaded InterBase 2009 Developer Edition in order to install it at new workstation, with intention to look at corrupted database from customer, started to install it and saw this dialog:

Someone new it IT could not not even recognize where is this dialog from... it's from Windows 3.1. Installation is the first experience that new users have from InterBase and what they see? Old-styled dialogs indicate the level of attention from company to its product.
On other hand, localized and fast (and much smaller) Firebird installer at Windows looks much better and give very positive user experience, because opens source developers create products for own use too, not for the abstract customers.
Also, CodeGear in the installation location - IB2009 was published in August 2008, when Embarcadero already bought virtual CodeGear division from Borland, and there were at least 3 service packs and 1 hotfix after that.
It seems that there is nobody in Embarcadero who is responsible for the renovation of InterBase installer.

After this blog-post Sriram Balasubramanian from Embarcadero contacted us and commented on branding issue:

Thank you for the report. InterBase 2009 branding and name specifications were set before the Embarcadero purchase timeline for CodeGear. Thus the name still reflects C:/CodeGear/interbase/

Since the installer does not get branding/naming changes in Service Pack releases, it still (unfortunately) reflects no change.

We have already made the branding changes in an upcoming release of InterBase,

If there are other installer specific input that you'd like to suggest, please post your comments to
http://forums.embarcadero.com and/or log a case in Quality Central for InterBase (at http://qc.embarcadero.com).


Best wishes,
Sriram Balasubramanian
Embarcadero Technologies


3d Russian Firebird Conference

3d Russian Firebird Conference will take place in Moscow, September
29, 2010. The conference will be devoted to the Firebird new versions
and to best practices in maintenance and development, with special
focus on big Firebird databases.

Special speakers at conference: Phillipe Makowski, President of
Firebird Foundation, Firebird developers team: Dmitry Yemanov, Vlad
Khorsun and Alex Peshkoff.
Registration (in Russian): http://ibase.ru/conf2010/


Free FBDataGuard for Firebird Developer Day participants

At FDD'2010 Dmitry Kuzmenko has presented 2 presentations - the is one about approach to maintain big databases (50-400Gb) in the right way and the second is about restore speed tests.
Among other thing Dmitry said that any participant who will send email request to dataguard at ib-aid.com till 20-JUL-2010, will get this tool's 1 year license for free.
We just finished to process 108 requests and sent them all (check antispam folder if you did not get it).

So, it is interesting to see that approximately 20% of attendees can think about right database maintenance and how to avoid corruption. Other 80% are welcome to our recovery service.


7th Firebird Developers Days: Visit IBSurgeon's presentations

17th of July, Piracicaba, Brazil: The 7th Firebird Developers Day will take place in the UNIMEP university theatre. This is undoubtedly the biggest worlwide event devoted to Firebird - more that 600 people, dozen of speakers and lot of interest.
As you may knows, Brazil is the N1 country in terms of number of Firebird users (following with Germany, Russia and USA), and Firebird is the number 1 database in Brazil too.
This will be 4th time IBSurgeon sponsors and presents at FDD. This year Dmitry Kuzmenko will speak about big Firebird databases (you may remember that recently we did test with 1Terabyte Firebird database) and about speed of test restores.
Also at this event IBSurgeon will announce some serious changes in licensing policy, intended to encourage people to treat Firebird databases in more careful way.
We will follow the results of conference and post updates here.


The 1st Firebird Conference in Ukraine

At April 23, 2010, the first Firebird Conference in Ukraine took place. There were 90 people live and (average) 40 people online at this conference.
This is the first conference from the series of 10 events devoted to the 10th anniversary, it was organized by Grossbe (Ukrainian vendor of Firebird-based open-source ERP).

 IBSurgeon was the sponsor of this conference, our CEO Dmitry Kuzmenko has presented MindTheBird! to the audience and also spoke about protection against database corruptions and overall approach for the right maintenance of important Firebird databases using general techniques and new version of IBSurgeon's Firebird DataGuard product.

Firebird Core Developers Dmitry Yemanov, Vlad Khorsun and Alex Peshkoff presented the new features of Firebird, deep dive presentations devoted to the SQL enhancements, security improvements and other hot topics.
Definitely it was a great success for Firebird which confirmed the strong position of this true open source DBMS in Ukraine. We are sure that next year we'll meet again with Ukrainian Firebird developers and continue our success evolution with Firebird.

Below you can see several pictures from the Firebird Conference in Ukraine.


MindTheBird: How You Can Help Firebird 2.5 To Launch

Why IBSurgeon supports Firebird?

Recently we have joined MindTheBird Campaign, and it's a good time to explain our attitude to Firebird.

As you know, currently there are lot of big and small companies involved in open source support and development. Some big companies (like IBM or Oracle) use open-source as mass destruction weapon against competitors, and also split development and/or testing and (definitely!) marketing costs with open-source community.

Some companies (like majority of Firebird Foundation members) support open source because they rely on them as part of their business - as platform or in other way.

And I doubt that there is company that supports open source project as complete charity, without intention to use its code in this or that way. If you know such company - please refer to it, I'm interested to know.

For IBSurgeon the answer for the question "why you support Firebird" is pretty obvious. Our main business is related with database recovery. Our statistics for last 8 years shows that there is a pretty stable ratio between overall Firebird users and databases crashes. There were some peaks related with pre-release bugs but the baseline is rather stable and has slow growth tendency.

If we will exclude peaks we can see for sure that corruptions are mostly caused by lack of administration and hardware failures. This is the part of nature - people make mistakes, hardware is being broken. So ratio is pretty predictable and will be predictable as human nature and hardware will be at the current level.

So we can consider the whole Firebird user base as potential customers which will be converted to recovery solution consumers and, for serious enterprises, to consumers of our protection tools and services.

Last years we saw amazing growth of Firebird, both in terms of users and in terms of installations (official Firebird installer for Windows has optional URL to notify Google Analytics about fresh install, and it shows more than 2000 Firebird installations every day and it grows over time!).

So we see the great potential of Firebird growth, because proprietary databases have serious issues due to the increasing open-source adoption and, of course, due to tough economics.


MindTheBird! is started

You may notice a nice banner at the left side of our blog with the "MindTheBird!" slogan.
It means that MindTheBird! campaign goes public.

MindTheBird! is a Firebird community activation campaign to support Firebird 2.5 Launch.

Firebird 2.5 release is very important event for Firebird, but we can turn it into even more valuable thing and use upcoming release of new version to gain attention from IT world.

Join MindTheBird now: download MindTheBird materials and put Firebird 2.5 banner or embed presentation like you see below.

 With this very small help from each Firebirder it's possible to gain significant attention from the other world.

Now it is time to make the world to mind the bird!


Evans Data Corp. included Firebird into survey, devoted to development tools

At last, analysts in Evans Data have noticed the one of the largest open source databases - Firebird.

Considering the fact that MySQL is almost dead (and never was true open source database, especially for ISVs who wanted to bundle their apps with database engine), I would say that Firebird and PostgreSQL are the only open source databases of choice (and in my experience Firebird is much more suitable for bundling with Windows apps ).

It took only 10 years, and we now see Firebird as a choice in Evans Data Corp. survey:


I encourage all Firebird users and developers who use Firebird participate in this survey (it's open and free) and mark Firebird as their choice. It is very important for recognition of Firebird for newbie developers, journalists and other influencers.