Subject ** NOT ** Re: [firebird-support] Firebird upgrade advise
Author Helen Borrie
Rita Liotta wrote:

> I don't know what happened, but this isn't my question.

What happened is that you replied to a thread that was on a different
subject - it is called "hijacking". You should have started a new

> What I asked was
> if there was any way I can access and sort the attached file without
> having Firebird installed.

There is no "attached file". This list does not accept attachments.

> I am not a Firebird user. I simply have an
> ...fdb file that I would like to alphabetize.

Your Firebird file contains a relational database built with the
Firebird engine. A database is not a list of things that could be
"alphabetized". It is very different from a spreadsheet, being
entirely abstract, not human-readable, and managed by the Relational
Database Management System (RDBMS) which, in this case, is Firebird.

Data are extracted from this abstract system using a formal query
language called SQL. One uses SQL queries to define the properties of
sets of data for extraction as sets of rows made up of one or more
columns (a.k.a. fields). "Alphabetization" of an output set, for
example, can be requested using an ORDER BY clause on an alphanumeric
column (field) in an underlying table.

> I don't have Firebird, just
> the file. The fdb is from an entirely different app.

If one understands the structure of a relational database and knows
Firebird's SQL language, one can use a tool to connect to a database
and query one or more tables in various ways -- but not, however,
without the client application or tool connecting to the database
through the Firebird engine. There are various client tools out there
through which you can run queries and do stuff with the output; some
will even enable you to compose a query interactively. See Some tools can
even cross the boundaries of different database engines, making it
possible, e.g., to read a Firebird database from a MSAccess client,
through an ODBC driver layer.

Ultimately, though, some sort of driver connects to the Firebird API and
the Firebird API manages the connection of the database to the
Firebird engine. There is no workaround to avoid having the Firebird
engine in some form at the back end.


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