The Firebird database system is open source and can run in a variety of operating systems, including Windows, UNIX, and Linux. The system origin is linked to Borland’s InterBase 2000. Beginning with Firebird 1.5, however, the system has been rewritten several times.


As the system is always being updated, its features are always subject to change and revision. However, some of the key elements in the current versions include full support for stored procedures and triggers, implementation of cursors in PSQL and incremental backups.

Firebird also has plenty of access methods: they include Perl, PHP, Python module, JDBC native type 4 driver, OLEDB, ODBC, native/API and dbExpress drivers.

The Firebird database system also has rapid recovery. It also eliminates the need for transaction logs. The system also provides support for 3rd party utilities including replication and GUI administrative tools.

There is also support for External Functions (UDFs) and has very little footprint. Other features are full ACID compliant transactions, support for stored procedures and referential integrity.

What is Included in the System Kit

The kits have the binaries for the server command line utilities and the client library. The kit also has the release notes. The notes contain data concerning the release. Particularly important are the user documentation.

The point release notes are also included. These files are in PDF format and will require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Readme notes contain other vital information such as how scripts work and how to do client installs. The SQL reference documents pertain to the program implementation of the SQL.

Historical Background

The Firebird project started in August 2000 and was made at SourceForge. The initial release, Firebird 1.0, was made for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows in 2002.

It had ports into HP-UX, FreeBSD 4 and Solaris. Development on the codebase porting was in 2000. Firebird 1.4 came out in February 2004. It was the initial stable version of the codebase. Features of Firebird 1.5 include explicit clocking and SQL-92 conditional expressions.

The present stable version is 2.1.3. Among the features in the system are SQL:2003 MERGE statements support, recursive queries and procedural triggers. Firebird 2.5 is still being developed.

The Firebird database system is continuously being revised.

The latest version will have the ability to query remote databases, regular expression syntax and multithreading. Future versions will also have support for SQL window functions, C++ and Java. The final version of Beta 2 will come out at the end of 2010.