Subject Re: [ib-support] FireBird
Author Rick Fincher
Hi Tim,

You don't ask for much do you! :-)

I'm not quite certain what you mean by #1 under "lightweight" below. Are
you looking for something that runs a daemon that starts the database when a
request is made to the database's port?

That's the only way I can see to get around having the database server
running if you want to serve data to a remote java app. That would be very
cumbersome for more than a few hits a day.

If you mean to run a java app that uses the database on the same system and
you want to start the database from within the app, that should be no

Firebird is SQL 92 compliant, other folks on here can tell you about any
caveats to that (all databases have caveats to that).

As for Java compatibility, the pure Java JCA-JDBC driver available for
Firebird on the SourceForge site is very good. A new version with lots of
updates will be posted soon, so be sure to get the new one, or download the
daily snapshot and build it.

The Mac has a Java problem in that Apple didn't support anything beyond Java
1.1.x in MacOS 9. To get JDK 1.2 or higher (Java 2) you have to use OS X.
Interclient should work on the older Macs.

The installation is non-trivial for anything that uses TCP/IP because of the
security issues involved. Installing Firebird is fairly straight forward
but it does require that your OS be set up to listen to port 3050, and
possibly 3060 if you use Interclient.

If you want to be able to have 1 program and one data file that you can drop
on a system and it works, that's going to be difficult. You can try
InstantDB or one of the other written-in-java sql databases, but most of
them don't have full SQL 92 functionality. Most of them are slow too.

Regarding the data file format, it differs from OS to OS but is a simple
file. There are various ways to migrate your data file to to the Mac if you
don't initially create it there. All the tables, data, and metadata are in
one file.

If you can give a few more details about how you want your users to access
this database I could give you more specific answers.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Romano" <tim@...>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 1:14 PM
Subject: [ib-support] FireBird

> I am looking for a lightweight, sql-compatible, java-compatible database
> port a dotnet app to the Macintosh platform, since many of my potential
> users are Mac fanatics. The application is a full-text search program
> against a corpus of early medieval texts (see for
> details if you're interested in this sort of thing.)
> FireBird has been recommended to me as a possiblity, and I'd like to get
> more details on what is involved in installing FB onto a Macintosh.
> By "lighweight", I mean:
> (1) the database engine does not have to run as a background service on
> deployment PC
> (2) the db will allow me to ship a pre-built data structure contained in a
> few files that can live in the same folder; there will be no need to
> the database as part of the installation and no need to go looking in many
> places for pieces of the installed package
> (3) I won't have to write an installation program but can tell the user to
> copy the files to a folder and away they go...
> By SQL compatible I mean that the database understands the full range of
> ANSI SQL -92 syntax.
> Does FB meet my personal definition of lightweight and SQL compatibility?
> Thanks for the info!
> Tim