Subject Re: [ib-support] IB free x IB paid
Author Paul Beach
> a) free version of Interbase 6.01
> b) paid version of Interbase 6.01
> c) free version of Firebird
> correct?

Correct, and this is how it works. If anybody wishes to correct me, please
fell free.

There is the original free version of InterBase 6.01 (security patches
applied) that is freely downloadable as a binary executable from Borland.
This ws QA'd and tested, regardless of what Borland say.

There is also a nightly build of Borland's InterBase that you can get from
This is not QA'd or tested, and is meant to include the latest "public"
changes to the InterBase source tree that may have been committed by the
Borland InterBase Engineers.

There is a paid version of Borland InterBase 6.01 with the re-addition of
the pre 6.0 Open Source Licensing Scheme. You buy the server and then you
buy additional user licenses as you need them. The current difference
between this and the original open source version - is effectively the
Licensing Module. Although the paid for version includes an ODBC driver,
latest version of InterClient/Server and IBReplicator. Borland have argued
that although they will continue to maintain the two code bases for
InterBase Open Source and "Paid For", the "Paid For" version may get
enhancements that might not make it into the free nightly download binary.
Oh and this "Paid For" version has been thoroughly QA'd and tested. Although
I suspect Claudio has an opinion on that. Since most of the Bugs that were
in the original Open Source version, still seem to exist in the "Paid For"

Now - Firebird. Firebird is free to download and deploy re. the original
intentions of the InterBase Public License. There are no licensing charges
at all associated with Firebird. Firebird is based on the original 6.0 Open
Source code release. However, within Firebird a number of major bugs have
been fixed, and more are being fixed all the time. Firebird at release 1.0
will have some new major functionality. All of this is available at no
Firebird represents the spirit of Open Source that was originally envisaged
when InterBase was made Open Source. You can choose to download nightly
builds, snapshots, that are built on the latest source code (at your own
risk:-), or marked builds that have been tested at a specific point e.g.
0.9.4, and 0.9.5
Firebird is also available on more platforms, in more build variants
(Classic & SuperServer).

If you want to have support services. You can get them from IBPhoenix. But
you don't have to.

> So how stable is Firebird when compared to Interbase. Naturally they
> the same code base but are they headed in different directions because
> are being managed differently. I apologize if this confusion is taking up
> peoples' time.

If you are counting bugs that have been fixed, Firebird is stabler :-).
Regardless of the different directions that each is heading in they both
share the same mechanisms for communication. It is Firebirds goal to
maintain binary compatibility with InterBase.

Hope this helps.

Paul Beach
Main Tel (UK):+44 (0) 1844 354465
Mobile: (UK): +44 (0) 7764 188603