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Firebird is a relational database offering many ANSI SQL-99 features. Firebird provides excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers.

Firebird server comes in three flavors: SuperServer, Classic and Embedded. You can start with SuperServer. Classic is recommended for use with SMP machines and some other specific situations. SuperServer shares its cache among the database connections and uses threads to handle each connection. Classic starts one independent server process for each connection made.

The software comes with a full set of command line utilities that allow users to create databases, retrieve database statistics, run SQL commands and scripts, perform backups and restores, and more. Alternatively, for users who prefer to use a GUI (Graphical User Interface) frontend, there are lots of options to choose from, including free ones.

Firebird is being used with many big databases and lots of connections. It has been used on production systems under a variety of names since 1981, making it a very mature and stable application.

 Firebird 2.5.4

Free to download


InterBase Public Licence, Initial Developer's Public Licence

Firebird Project


System Requirements
Hard disk space: 12-14 MB
RAM: 2-4MB

Documentation, User Manuals, FAQ, Firebird News, Yahoo Group, SourceForge Project Page, Mailing Lists, Tips and Tricks

Selected Reviews:

Features include:

  • Very small footprint
  • SuperClassic Architecture 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
  • Full support for stored procedures and triggers
  • Full ACID compliant transactions
  • Referential integrity
  • 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
  • Multi Generational Architecture (sometimes called MVCC)
  • Support for External Functions (UDFs)
  • Fully featured internal language for Stored Procedures and Triggers (PSQL)
  • Support for External Functions (UDFs)
  • SQL standards-compliant global termporary tables and common table expressions
  • Optional single file embedded version for creating CD-ROM catalogs, single user or evaluation versions of applications
  • Third party tools, including GUI administrative tools and replication tools
  • 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
  • Incremental backups
  • Full cursor implementation in PSQL
  • Autonomous transactions within PSQL modules (stored procedures, triggers, SQL blocks)
  • 64bit builds available
  • Monitoring tables
  • Connection and Transaction Triggers
  • Asynchronous cancellation of connections
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Last Updated Thursday, July 02 2015 @ 12:02 PM EDT

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