Subject MySQL vs. Firebird / Interbase
Author Jon Perez

Accdg to this, almost half of the current users of
MySQL migrated "downwards" from Oracle and SQL Server.
I say downwards because MySQL lacks a LOT of what is
considered standard SQL functionality and yet you
see people flocking to it in droves.

One big reason for this I believe is its much greater
ease of use versus MS SQL and Oracle. This especially
applies to webbacked databases where you usually do not
need the more high-end SQL features. Another contributing
factor to its popularity is that MySQL has been very
skillfully hyped/marketed whether deliberately or accidentally
(as a result of its Open Source nature). The way I see it,
the hype has concentrated on how fast MySQL supposedly is
(both in connections and queries) - this in fact was also
what drew me to it in the first place.

Now that I know more about databases, however, I find
that Firebird seems to offer a lot more than MySQL. It
has all the fundamental SQL features like triggers, stored
procedures, subqueries which sorely missing from MySQL
and yet has an equal or even smaller footprint than the
latter! Even more amazing, it has multi-versioning and
transaction isolation levels! It is also almost as easy
to deploy (it's more sophisticated user role management

For complex queries with lots of joins, MySQL's default
MyISAM tables will not deliver adequate performance and
that is why you must migrate to the somewhat more complex
InnoDB table handler. In this respect, Interbase/Firebird
is definitely no performance slouch and from the anecdotes
I've read on mailing lists and newsgroups (haven't read
any to the contrary), its stability and ability to handle
huge databases (in the tens to hundreds of GB in size) seems
to be proven.

The icing on the cake is that its licensing scheme is even
more liberal than MySQL and it runs on more platforms
(FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, etc...)!

So the question is, if all of this is true, why isn't
Firebird becoming more popular? Is it just a question
of time or a lack of evangelization?