Subject Re: [firebird-support] Wha??????
Author Martijn Tonies
Hello Victor,

>> > I'm sure Firebird is not what I need. So can anyone here recommend
>> > what I DO need? I THOUGHT it was database software. Sorry, I must
>> > have been wrong.
>>What were you expecting? (this is a serious question)
>Since you've asked a serious question, I will give you a serious answer.

Good :)

>Now to your question. I am the proud owner of a computer that came with
>something called Microsoft Works. A "database" program is included with
>that. It has rows, it has columns, it has fields, and there is a very
>easy, straightforward way for you to set up those rows and columns and
>fields. I've played around with it a bit and realize it's much too basic
>for my needs. Nevertheless, what I was *expecting* was something more or
>less like that program, an interactive, intuitively designed, user friendly
>application intended for relatively modest, single-user, database
>management and query. But I needed something that could handle a larger
>dataset, with a more sophisticated and flexible query method. I also
>needed something that could import data from a text file, which is the
>format my data is presently in.

Well, this is where you're a bit wrong. Microsoft Works includes a
spreadsheet application: THAT has rows, columns fields etc...

A "database" is a collection of data in a particular format: information.

A DBMS (which is what Firebird is), is a "database management system".

That is, an application that handles the physical storage of data (for you)
in "tables" with "columns" and "rows". Beside the storage, it also offers
you a way to get the data (via SQL queries, for example) instead of having
to program that stuff yourself.

It offers more: integrity constraints, a server-side programming language
(to be used inside your database) and more...

Firebird, however, does not include a front end but the command line
tool "isql", which is short for "interactive sql" utility.

>Note that Firebird is described on this page simply as a "Relational
>Database." There is nothing on that web page explaining that the software
>is intended for developers only or that one would need years of training
>and experience to work with it. On the contrary, a "novice's guide" is
>available, which I looked through, and which proved to be just about as
>obtuse and unhelpful as anything else I've ever run across on this
>topic. However, I found nothing in this guide that warned me away from
>Firebird unless I were, indeed, NOT a novice. So I downloaded it. And spent
>the greater part of an afternoon poring over the "Quick Start Guide,"
>intended "as an introduction for the complete newcomer . . . " and trying
>to figure out what I could do with this program and what I should enter at
>the DOS-like prompt.

Well, it's a novice guide for people who understand database systems.

>I don't know what else to say, except to remind all you programmers out
>there that sometimes communicating with the outside world in a
>straightforward, jargon-free manner is just as important as turning out
>killer code.

To be honest, there's no point in getting "end users" to be familiar with
Firebird. Or at least, not the to level you're expecting...

I suggest you download OpenOffice or which includes "Base" ( I believe
it's called) which is a bit like Access.

Martijn Tonies
Database Workbench - tool for InterBase, Firebird, MySQL, NexusDB, Oracle &
MS SQL Server
Upscene Productions
My thoughts:
Database development questions? Check the forum!