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Firebird included in Ubuntu is a relational database management system offering many ANSI SQL-2003 features.

Firebird (sometimes erroneously called FirebirdSQL) is a relational database management system offering many ANSI SQL-2003 features.

It runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms. Started as a fork of Borland's open source release of InterBase, the Firebird codebase is maintained by the Firebird Project at SourceForge.

New code modules added to Firebird are licensed under the Initial Developer's Public License (IDPL). The original code released by Inprise (as Borland was then called) is licensed under the InterBase Public License 1.0. Both licenses are modified versions of the Mozilla Public License


Firebird 1.0 was essentially a bug-fixed version of the InterBase 6.0 open source edition with some minor new features. Development on the Firebird 2 codebase began with the porting of the Firebird 1.0 C code to C++, together with a major code-cleaning undertaking. Firebird 1.5 was the first release of the Firebird 2 codebase and as such a significant milestone for the developers and the whole project.

* Firebird 2.0 was released in 2006. The latest stable version is 2.0.3 which was released in September 2007.

* Firebird 2.1 went into beta testing in mid-2007 and is likely to be released soon.

* Firebird 3.0 will merge code from several codebases, including Firebird 2.1, Vulcan, and Fyracle. The schedule at [1] indicates an Alpha version for release in Q4 2008.

Around the 20th birthday of the InterBase/Firebird product line, original creator Jim Starkey recollected:

"September 4, 2004 is the 20th anniversary of what is now Firebird. I quit my job at DEC in August, took a three day end-of-summer holiday, and began work on September 4, 1984 in my new career as a software entrepreneur. As best as I can reconstruct, the first two files were cpre.c and cpre.h (C preprocessor), later changed to gpre.c and gpre.h. The files were created on a loaner DEC Pro/350, a PDP-11 personal computer that went exactly nowhere, running XENIX. Gpre was my first C program, XENIX was my first experience with Unix, and the Pro/350 was my very last (but not lamented) experience with PDP-11s."

More information on Firebird's history can be found on the InterBase/Firebird History pages.


* Full support of Stored Procedures and Triggers
* Full ACID compliant transactions
* Referential Integrity
* Multi Generational Architecture (sometimes called MVCC)
* Very small footprint
* Fully featured internal language for Stored Procedures and Triggers (PSQL)
* Support for External Functions (UDFs)
* Little or no need for specialized DBAs
* Almost no configuration needed - just install and start using
* Big community and lots of places where you can get free and good support
* Optional single file embedded version - great to create CDROM catalogs, single user or evaluation versions of applications
* Dozens of third party tools, including GUI administrative tools, replication tools, etc.
* Careful writes - fast recovery, no need for transaction logs
* Many ways to access your database: native/API, dbExpress drivers, ODBC, OLEDB, .Net provider, JDBC native type 4 driver, Python module, PHP, Perl, etc.
* Native support for all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, MacOS.
* Incremental Backups
* 64bits builds available
* Full cursor implementation in PSQL

The new Alpha version of ubuntu named Hardy Heron includes firebird 2.1.3 stable.


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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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