The Firebird 4 engine presents no radical changes in architecture or operation. Binary kits for Linux, Windows, and Android platforms (both 32-bit and 64-bit) are immediately available for download.
Firebird is an open-source cross-platform SQL RDBMS (relational database management system) which supports Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS and a variety of 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 own page cache and is connected to a dedicated process.
As you can see, the great differences among them are the page cache and the way the server handles the processes and threads that execute your statements. Both are fully mature and stable and there is no reason to categorically prefer one to the other. Of course you may have your own 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.
In conclusion, for those who plan to migrate to Firebird 4 from Firebird 2.5 or Firebird 3 there is an excellent Short Firebird Migration Guide.