Firebird 4 Released, Introduces New Data Types and Many Improvements

The Firebird 4 engine presents no radical changes in architecture or operation. Binary kits for Linux and Windows are available for download.

Firebird is an open-source, cross-platform SQL RDBMS (relational database management system) that supports Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and various Unix platforms.

The database forked from Borland’s open-source edition of InterBase in 2000, but since Firebird 1.5, the code has been largely rewritten.

The new Firebird 4 offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers.

Firebird server comes in two flavors:

  • Superserver – There is only one-page cache, and it is shared among all client connections.
  • Classic Server – Each client has its page cache and is connected to a dedicated process.

As you can see, the significant differences among them are the page cache and how the server handles the processes and threads executing your statements.

Both are fully mature and stable, and there is no reason to prefer one to the other categorically. Of course, you may have your specific considerations.

What’s New in Firebird 4

Firebird 4 introduces new data types and many improvements without radical changes in architecture or operation. The most important are:

  • Built-in logical replication.
  • Extended length of metadata identifiers (up to 63 characters).
  • New INT128 and DECFLOAT data types, longer precision for NUMERIC/DECIMAL data types.
  • Support for international time zones.
  • Configurable time-outs for connections and statements.
  • Pooling of external connections.
  • Batch operations in the API.
  • Built-in cryptographic functions.
  • New ODS (version 13) with new system and monitoring tables.
  • Maximum page size increased to 32KB.

You can refer to the release notes for the full list of changes. For those who plan to migrate to Firebird 4 from Firebird 2.5 or Firebird 3 there is an excellent Short Firebird Migration Guide.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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