Subject Re: [firebird-support] Wha??????
Author Helen Borrie
At 08:12 AM 27/05/2006, you wrote:
>I really don't know what to say. Maybe I'm in the wrong place? I'll
>try not to be offensive, but it will be difficult.
>I have data. I need a place to store my data and I need some way to
>query that data. That's IT. When I downloaded Firebird I was
>expecting to find something I could use for the above purpose.
>Instead, it seems as though I've joined some sort of cult?

Not yet. :-) The "cult" is database application developers: people
who write applications that store and retrieve data to and from databases

>Sorry, I'm not interested in rituals, just being able to work with a computer
>program in the usual way.

Your "usual way" very much depends on what you use computer programs
for. I suspect you are an end-user, not a developer.

>I have no server. Just a computer.

A server is a program that runs on a computer and provides a
service. A database server is a program that provides the service of
processing database access requests from clients. A client is an
application program that is designed to send an receive database requests.

Firebird consists of a server and an application programming
interface (API). The API is presented as a run-time library commonly
called "the client library" or just "the Firebird client". Database
application programs pass their requests and get their results by
loading this client and calling functions in its API.

> I have data. A fair amount. I
>activate the software I've downloaded. And I get a prompt looking very
>much like a DOS prompt. And I have no idea what I'm supposed to enter
>there -- or why in the year 2006 I am seeing such a prompt.

If it looks like a DOS prompt, then it's a DOS prompt. Firebird
comes with a command line query called isql (isql.exe in Firebird's
...\bin folder). It doesn't come with any graphical administration
programs. However, there are dozens of these available, written by
database application developers (some free, some not) and everyone
has his/her own preference. You can explore the offerings at this portal:

>I'm sure Firebird is not what I need.

It does sound as though you need an application program for storing
your data. Possibly an admin tool will suffice, if all you ever want
to do is enter data through an interactive interface and look at it
from time to time.

>So can anyone here recommend what I DO need?

First, some notion of what you want to do with a
database. Application developers call this "requirements". After
that, if you decide that Firebird has the technical capabilities you
need, you would either write the application program you need, look
for a software product that does what you need, with a Firebird
back-end, or commission an application developer to write your application.

>I THOUGHT it was database software. Sorry, I must have been wrong.

You were right that it is database software. You were wrong in
thinking that it is database APPLICATION software.

What you could do is work out a set of requirements, subscribe to the
Firebird-tools or Firebird-general list and ask whether anyone has
such application software available.

You might like to download and read the (PDF) Firebird Quick Start
Guide from the website - right-click on the link near the top of the
side menu at and choose Save
Target... You will need Acrobat Reader.