Today I dabbled a bit with the Firebird SQL Server. It was created from Interbase so the fundamentals are strong. A little confusing in the beginning but I worked it out. The command line sucks though but it is just for a couple of times. Rest a cake ride.

Step one:-

Obtain the package from Firebirdsql.org.

Step two:-

Install with the GUI Installer. There are two engines, choose the super server. It is the future. You may use it as a service or as an ordinary application. As I am testing it out, I chose the application. On a deployment scene I would use it as a service.

Step three:-

Open the install directory and go to the bin folder in command mode.

(in windows) C:\Program Files\Firebird\Firebird_2_1\bin>

Now a bit of command mode setup :-

  1. Open GSEC by typing  C:\Program Files\Firebird\Firebird_2_1\bin>gsec -user sysdba -password masterkey
  2. Change password at GSEC prompt  GSEC> modify sysdba -pw manager
  3. Create a user for regular use. I am using scott and tiger deliberately because of the familiarity of Oracle users to this login. GSEC> add scott -pw tiger -fname Scott -lname Urman
  4. Then quit GSEC  GSEC> quit

Now the painful command operations are over. Let’s turn graphical. There are many good graphical utilities but FlameRobin is a good free and Open-Source tool. It shines well for learning purposes. For expert Query generation you need to obtain commercial tools. However for my case, I code SQL by hand and the editor has colored code highlighting and intelligence. This is a big help.

Step four :-

Go to http://www.flamerobin.org/ and download the installer. It is quite small like firebird and installs in a jiffy.

Step five :-

  1. Open FlameRobin Database Admin and create a new database by right clicking localhost and select Create New Database.

    Creating scottdb

  2. Give any display name. I gave scottdb.
  3. Enter a valid database path where the *.gdb file will be created. I created a scott.gdb in my home directory.
  4. Feed scott and tiger as name and password.
  5. I selected UTF8 as the charset. You may choose other.
  6. Select SQL dialect as 3 if not already selected.
  7. Press Create.
  8. The database will be created and icon would appear under localhost.

    FlameRobin with db created

  9. Double click the icon. The tree would open. I got 40 system tables with it. The other tables in the pic are created by me.

    FlameRobin with db tree expanded

Step six :-

No default table is there to experiment. So we need to create it. Right click on the tables and select Create New.

SQL Editor

The editor with a CREATE TABLE template would appear. Change it and Run by pressing the play arrow. The output / error will be available in the statistics window.

Enter some data to experiment with it.

Run a select Query. The output will be displayed in data tab. Multiple select queries are not permitted. For all non-queries, multiple semicolon delimited DDL, DML and DCL and be written.

The tool is quite impressive. Find some interesting dialogs here:-

Some Interesting dialogs

That’s all. I am yet to experiment on the software development arena. Once done, I will be writing about it. Till then Happy Experimenting.

— Manik.

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