Subject References for use as an embedded DB?
Author dancooperstock
I have an application used by over 2,000 charities and churches to
track their charitable donations, that is currently using Sybase SQL
Anywhere version 5.5 (now called Adaptive SQL Anywhere, or ASA). You
can see it at, in case you are

In my experience SQL Anywhere is absolutely rock solid - I've never
had a known case of database corruption, and my users, who are mostly
not too computer-literate, don't have to do any DB administration
ever, except for backups and of course the occasional restore, if
they are switching computers, or have to rebuild their hard disk, etc.

The one thing I really don't like about ASA is that the free version
I'm allowed to distribute doesn't allow me to use DDL, so I can't
modify the database format, for instance to add new fields, when I
put out new versions of the program. That's one very good reason for
considering using freeware / open source database software.

So, three questions:

1) Is Firebird similarly rock-solid enough for me to consider
replacing ASA with it? Does it similarly need no administration at
all once it's installed?

2) Is there any reason not to just use the embedded version of
Firebird, rather than a server version? Obviously, I'm running on
Windows. I want to keep the install program as small and
straightforward as possible.

N.B. The program is only intended to be single-user, though I guess
in theory I could let users who wanted it to be multi-user do their
own download of a server version of Firebird, as long as I had tested
it and made sure that concurrency issues were handled correctly, etc.

3) Is anyone else using the program in this way, as an embedded
database within another application that has a large number of non-
technical users? If so, could you comment on how it has worked out
for you? (You can email me directly to reply if you want, at

Thanks in advance.