Subject Re: [firebird-support] Total Newbie Question:Can Firebird Provide a FileMaker Pro-Like GUI Environment?
Author Helen Borrie
At 04:09 a.m. 24/05/2013, tatihulot wrote:
>I just discovered Firebird early this morning, and have spent a portion of today researching it. There is one question I have about it.
>I'm not 100% if there is a graphic user interface or not. I've seen screen shots that look like GUI, but I'm not sure if I'd have to add a GUI myself, or if it's built into the program.

Firebird is a database management system, not a file manager. Specifically, it manages relational databases. It doesn't come with any GUI...for one thing, it is cross-platform, while a GUI is platform-specific.

That said, there are several GUI management toolboxes out there, some free, some not. I guess only you know whether they would serve your needs or not, by testing some of them. A good place to start looking for links to them is at

>What I am trying to do is find an open source alternative to FileMaker Pro. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that program; I'm just trying to find something open source like it.

Firebird is certainly open source and it is free in the "free beer" sense too. If you are not familiar with relational database concepts, you might be in for a bit of a learning curve...not least in the need to get acquainted with the SQL language.

>Can Firebird emulate FileMaker?

That question is too broad to answer. It depends entirely on what you are using Filemaker for, that you want to "emulate".

> If so, how do I access the GUI? I need a database with drop down menus, radio buttons, check boxes, and conditional formatting. Will Firebird provide this?

As mentioned before, no. That is not what Firebird is. Developers write client applications, in all sorts of programming languages. These applications use an application programming interface (API) to connect to the Firebird server, requesting an attachment to a database (or more than one). The same server can be managing multiple databases simultaneously. The data that return to the client are sets of results from queries.

Possibly Firebird isn't what you are looking for. Have you looked at the Libre Office Database component?

Helen Borrie, Support Consultant, IBPhoenix (Pacific)
Author of "The Firebird Book" and "The Firebird Book Second Edition"