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GNU is Not Unix

Inprise Considering Open Sourcing InterBase 132

Keith Russell writes "Caught this news blurb on ZDNet. Apparently, attrition has taken its toll at on Interbase's top levels, and Inprise is seriously considering open source as an alternative to pulling the plug. A likely possibility, given their recent enthusiasm for Linux. This could be a Good Thing. I'd rather see "end of life" software opened than hoarded. "
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Inprise Considering Open Sourcing InterBase

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  • Make your judgements to who I sent it to, Me I just sent it to the top role of people, those are the admin staff.

    Also, Accounts like y2k are redirects to important people, and email floats around the office. Now maybe you delete email but you seem to be smarter that the average yoggie or you wouldn't be on slapdash.
  • Stored procedures are really nice, but if you need transactions you can't develop a robust appliation with out them. You can develop an appliation without stored procedures, it's just more painful.
  • No, they did not go back.

    It is still Inprise, then Borland. Borland is in the back, Inprise is in the front.
  • It's not worthless at all, InterBase is quite nice. It's just hard to compete these days. As I mentioned in a previous post, most of their problems are marketing not technical.
  • Eeek!

    *Please* don't send email to these addresses.

    I guarantee you, the "other contacts" won't care: with one exception they're all drop-boxes designed for a specific purpose; mailing them would be as annoying as mass-mailing "" about wanting a job working for slashdot.

    The few addresses up there that lead to real people are not people who will have the power to influence upper management in any event: again, you'll merely succeed in irritating innocent bystanders.

    Post here, or otherwise communicate through normal channels; don't send mail to random Borland e-mail addresses.

    --Robert West
    Delphi R&D
  • >Can Interbase possibly compete against Oracle8? >Um... doubtfully.

    Have you priced Oracle lately. Here is what they quoted me. 160/ user plus 20/MGHZ to put my database on the internet. I have a 500 Mz server and that is $10,000 to publish my oracle database on the internet. God forbid I put in another processor.
  • Ask oracle how much it costs to put tie an oracle server to the internet. For me they quoted $10K.
  • Linux isn't exactly without open source databases. Postgres is the one that comes to my mind immediately, but there are others. However, I suspect that we (Linux users/programmers) would be thrilled to see an open source solution that was palatable to the corporate world as well. An open source database engine, with supporting language interfaces, available for multiple platforms, with a company selling support contracts for it could be just the ticket. Inprise would get the benefit of a lot of open source development effort. They are still the best positioned company to provide the support. Linux would get a mature, commercially accepted database engine. Done right, this could be a big win.
  • Well, I've used Interbase on and off for a good few years, and v5.0 intensively over the last year. It's always been a doddle to administrate, requires almost no resources, and has _never_ lost any data. It dies maybe once every 3 months, but always with a full recovery.
    Open sourcing InterBase is effectively giving it away. InterBase requires no "after sales support" for Inprise (I agree with the previous poster about the name - Borland _is_ better :)
    So, although it might not make any money _yet_ with a little patience (and with the targeting of Linux as a new OS platform to develop for), Borland may well kill Access with it. Add a pretty front end; there you have a fully featured DB back end to put any GUI on. And I find it a crying shame that neither Delphi or C++ Builder haven't penetrated the markets yet. Delphi is a piece of piss to use, (surely, ALL programmers play with Pascal at some point), and compiles code with an execution speed that makes VB programmers cream themselves. If you've ever used C++ Builder and MS VC++, well, you already know what I'm talking about... DRAG AND DROP, Bill!!! And what the fuck is all that message pump nonsense about? Sheesh. In a test for a pretty basic GUI and simple database (10 tables), here's what I got:
    Delphi / Interbase - 8.5 hours.
    C++ Builder / Interbase - 10 hours (I got distracted and wrote a whole load of thread classes so all DB activity is done in the background. Then included it into the Delphi version. Try doing that between VC++ and Visual Basic...)
    MSVC++ / SQL Server - 16 hours

    And I think I have relatively even spread of skills with all the above.
    Anyway, don't hold your breath for source code for InterBase.
  • It's interesting that Inprise (which, IMHO, is not nearly as good a name as Borland was) is considering open-sourcing at least one of its products.
    This being on the heels of a Linux version of JBuilder, one can only hope for the best!

  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @06:09AM (#1436034) Homepage
    I can see this making since for Inprise (okay, I still think of them as Borland) on a lot of levels.

    First, let's face it: InterBase has never been a wildly successful product. From what I can tell (as a Inprise outsider) the only people who bought it were people who were already firmly entrenched in the Borland development environments.

    It seems to me that Borland's real cash cow has always been their development tools. Open sourcing Interbase could lead to it being more widely used, which could sell a /lot/ more development tools. Especially in the Linux environment.

    Second, this would firmly entrench Borland in the Linux world. I think that the past few years and the (ridiculous) success enjoyed by Visual Basic have made it clear that it is going to very difficult for Borland to compete on Microsoft operating systems.

    There hope of radical success (as opposed to the kind of mediocre success they've been enjoying for a while) is to become the premier provider of Linux tools. And I think they know it.

    All in all, this could be very cool.

    Also, let me comment that, from what I've seen, Interbase is a very cool product that has never gotten the recognition it deserves. The big advantage over MySQL is that it has full transaction support. Sorry guys: but there are some applications where you just need transactions.

  • by dr_labrat ( 15478 ) <> on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @06:11AM (#1436035) Homepage
    If a company considers that a software package is no longer "profitable", opensourcing should be considered a way of generating advertising at the very least.

    Look at all the companies recently who have benefitted greatly in terms of good PR by opensourcing their stuff.

    However, this does not necessarily mean that opensourcing software is *always* going to be good PR.

    Look at the recent Quake1 debacle.

    What should have been (and Is still, in my opinion) a fantastic move has been perverted by whiners complaining that the release of the code has resulted in "iffy clients" or that the Graphix were not released with it.

    I think opensourcing should be done in conjunction with the open source community:

    Ask if anyone will support it.
    Explain exactly what it is you are intending to do.

    Don't expect adulation and worship.

  • This looks good... It's encouraging to see companies that traditionally have had nothing to do with the community/movement considering open source alternatives.

    Inprise used to be Borland, which was a favorite of MS-DOS/Windows programmers everywhere. As we all know, companies that devote themselves almost exclusively to MS-based products have traditionally been far from the open source mindset, as open source has traditionally been associated with Linux et al.

    I like it when those traditions are abandoned. The software industry is teeming with neophobes.
  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @08:03AM (#1436039) Homepage
    Ah, a "scorched earth" strategy.

    Russia used this militarily to destroy both French and German armies; they performed strategic retreats when "outgunned," destroying crops and other infrastructure so that when the Russian winter set in, opponents were overextended, and despite "winning the battle," wound up losing the war.

    This obviously came at the cost of considerable Russian destruction, and with Inprise, the cost is that of not getting revenues from license sales, whilst the immediate benefit is that this may injure sales of competing DB vendors.

    The open question is of how this affects already-free DBs like MySQL [] and PostgreSQL.

    Effects on them are severalfold, and some are dependent on what license Inprise comes up with:

    • Regardless of the license, it should be useful to have source code access as this can allow folks to see an implementation of transaction locking, stored procedures, SQL-CLI, ODBC, as well as the data storage mechanis, which may be quite useful when they try to add such functionality to other DBMS systems even if there is no reuse of code.
    • If the license is sufficiently compatible, it may prove possible to integrate code one way or another either into "OpenInterBase" or into one of the other DBMSes.
    Note that the folks likely to get particularly injured by this are the second/third tier companies selling licenses to things like:
    • Altera
    • SOLID SQL Server
    • OpenIngres
    • Mimer
    • Faircom
    • Raima
    • Yard
    • Empress
    whilst people will still likely be prepared to "pay the bucks" to move up to "Tier 1" DBMSes like Sybase/Oracle/Informix/DB2
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I tried products from oracle, interbase, sql anywhere, and informix. Interbase best fit my usage model due to the optimistic model (does not lock records, instead it runs multiple copies at different transaction levels). Also it was one fo the few that I could get true commercial support for that runs linux, which gained it brownie points. Then I picked borland tools as they matched up with the database fairly well...however borlands "native" driver via bde sucks and is now gone and replace by ibx (which is based on opensource drivers). Also Jason Wartons native software is also good, but overly complicated to use, and works with other compilers.
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @08:22AM (#1436042)
    In the software world, it appears that often only the commercial leader is really profitable. For all the also-rans, open sourcing is a good alternative for the creator of the software and benefits everybody (except the frontrunner).

    Another, similar route to open source software is through research projects that, for one reason or another, aren't commercialized; the research code is released and often becomes an important open source/free software system.

    We should be happy about that: much (if not most) open source and free software started out that way.

    Because so much free software starts out as commercial or research projects that, I think it's important to think about how to encourage development and research organizations to build it in such a way that the transition to free software will be easy. That means that such organizations should find it easy to use existing free software libraries, build on open APIs with free implementations, and should not feel the need to rely on proprietary libraries (which would make freeing the software later much harder).

    One thing that I think is very important is to use licenses like LGPL or BSD (as opposed to GPL or QPL) for important libraries. Research and development organizations will not use software if that means making a strong commitment early on to open sourcing their software later or face uncertain expenses later. Both GPL and QPL, unfortunately, impose such uncertainties and limit options. If there is no unencumbered free or open source software, they will pick the best and most affordable proprietary libraries to build on.

    The LGPL and BSD licenses, on the other hand, allow development and research organizations to keep their options open for what to do with their code. When infrastructure libraries (standard libraries, networking, gui, etc.) are released under those licenses, research and development organizations can use them, and when they decide to release their software as "free software", it will be so much more useful to the free software community than if it had been based on proprietary libraries or APIs.

    For similar considerations, I think it's also important to get as much free software infrastructure on Windows. If companies start programming to free software APIs on Windows (and they have to cover the Windows market), when they go open source, their software will be much more useful to the free software community. So, the more unencumbered networking, database, and GUI libraries we can get onto Windows, the better.

    So, keep that in mind when thinking about policies and licenses. While the idea that all free software is created by altruistic volunteers is appealing (and a significant amount of free software is), the reality is that a lot of free software is created by companies and donated if the software turned out not to be a winner in the market or is otherwise not commercializable. Making the life of those companies easier and allowing them to develop code that interoperates well with other free software is a win for everybody.

  • I'd love it if companies were legally required to release the source of any product that's been discontinued--including in the event of the demise of the company.

    It's hard to imagine how you would make this stick legally: it's easy for a company to claim "no really, it's not discontinued, we still have 1/10th of a developer working on this, it'll be done in 5 or 6 years." Then there's all the issues with intellectual property rights entangled in the source. I wonder, though, if you could craft a law along the lines of the Freedom of Information Act, requiring source code to be released at a certain point in time. (It'd be the Freedom of Source Code Act--FOSCA) It would give interested parties a basis to sue the holder of the code for release. This would work in particular in situations where a company gets acquired and one of its products is squelched by the new owners.

    Alternatively, it might be possible to accomplish this with a culture shift: if developers regularly required as part of their employment contracts a clause that the product code be released under certain circumstances. We can all think of tons of cases where developers labored for years on supercool a product, only to have the startup go under and the code disappear into a legal black hole.
  • All of the stuff that Borland has completly done away with, such as Turbo Prolog, Turbo Basic, and Turbo Modula (for z80-based CP/M systems) reverted back to the original authors. Philippe Kahn, Borland's founder, made his fortune and his company by licensing and distibuting other's people's software. So, when things went bad, he simply dropped them.

    Turbo Basic became PowerBasic from PowerBasic
    Turbo Prolog became Visual Prolog from PDC (
    Turbo Modula became JPI Modula. The x86 port became TopSpeed Modula-2. TopSpeed was later sold to Clarion, and now their compilers are only available with the Clarion 4GL products.

    Of course, dBase became visual with Visual dBase 5.5, which was a good idea, but incredibly buggy and unstable. And the native compiler cost extra. Supposedly 7.0 is good, but it's pretty much lost the end user DB wars to Access.

    I for one would like to see and OSS Turbo Pascal for Unix. That thing had the fastest compiler I've ever seen! Add a nifty IDE and good online help, and you've got a winner. (Yeah, I know there's Free Pascal and GPC, but still...)

  • See []

    According to the company history: []

    Prolog Development Center (PDC) was founded in 1984 with the development of a Prolog compiler - later to be known as Turbo Prolog, PDC Prolog and now Visual Prolog as its main activity. Since then PDC has established itself as a world leader in the development of Prolog and related products.

    Today, PDC consists of an R&D and a consultancy division. The R&D Division is concerned with the development of the Visual Prolog compiler together with new methodologies and development tools.

    Borland might be an evidence against the common contention that "Microsoft is the company that never produces anything, but merely buys out products from other companies that are creative," as many of Borland's products were not natively produced, but rather resold on behalf of other componies.

    By the way, that was Ashton Tate that used to own the dBase trademark...

    As for integration with DBM variants, [] I see little importance to that. InterBase is a relational database [] (or at least, as relational as they come), as opposed to merely being a data store. The value would be in sharing code between InterBase and PostgreSQL [] or MySQL, [] or maybe using InterBase as a "data store" for persistent data in KDE [] or GNOME. []

  • Not true,yet.

    They have stopped officially shunning the name "Borland". The Development Tools division is called Borland, the enterprise division is called Inprise, the company's official name is Inprise, the stock ticker is INPR, and that's how it's going to stay for a while because Dale Fuller isn't stupid enough to spend the umpteen million dollars it takes to change a company's name on something so silly.

    We'll probably see a lot more Linux activity from the Borland part than the Inprise part -- at least at first.

    A few of the people in the enterprise devision used to think that the Dev. Tools. division was obsolete, since the enterprise customers paid so much more money per sale than the puny little developers. Of course, we all know that developers are the wizards of the computer world, and an army of wizards is not to be trifled with.

  • Have you priced Oracle lately. Here is what they quoted me.

    It has nothing to do with price. For large enterprise databases, price isn't an issue. For smaller applications where Interbase would be used, Oracle would be a huge overkill.

    A pickup truck can't haul as much as an 18 wheeler, but if you just have a desk to haul, an 18 wheeler isn't needed. Likewise, if you do have enough stuff to haul to need an 18 wheeler, the cost of the truck probably isn't going to be a problem.

  • Excellent point.

    I might add that a code base, even if it is not used in a profitable product, still has a certain book value. This keeps most companies from releasing their code to the public; they don't want to take the book loss (on the other hand, profitable companies might want to do this with their unprofitable product lines; it would cause a book loss which would reduce their profit and hence their corporate taxes). The code existing in the old product can be reworked into a new one - even if that possibility is very slim.

    This may seem contrarian, but the GPL has some significant benefits for a corporation releasing its code to the public. The corporation retains control of the original codebase, and can spin it into a new product without adverse repercussions. The corporation infects the released code with a viral license, and prevents it from being used in a competing product. These are not minor advantages; they may make the difference between releasing and not.

    We should promote more of this practical and pragmatic thinking among software corporations. :) What better way to keep one's product lines alive? It was a revolutionary act when Netscape did it to Navigator (which it never made a profit on; NN was a dog in every sense of the word); now, it's no longer farsighted. It just makes sense.

  • I think that the license issue is more important than you have indicated. If the GPL, or LGPL, is used, then it may have about the results you indicated. If, a BSD-like license is used, then there will be a proliferation of proprietary databases.

    If some new custom license is used the code will probably be ignored. There are getting to be just too many licenses these days, and increasingly folk will develop around them rather than put up with YAPL (Yet Another Proprietary License). Certainly this expresses my feelings.

  • A better strategy to encourage is to open up the code from the start, and help build a userbase while the code is young.

    Yes, but when the Interbase code was still young, "Open Source" wasn't something that was heard of. You want them to not open source now, just because the concept wasn't around when the product began?

    Open sourcing older programs is a good idea. Companies have no experience in Open Source development. By starting with a product that you can't "lose" with, it gives companies a feel for how to best work with the Open Source community with their flagship products.

  • version 3.0 [] of their C/C++ compiler? i love that compiler :)


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Um I don't know about the army will have to ask the orginal developer Grotton Systems or perhaps the second owner Ashton Tate that one. But I do know this. It uses a optimistic non-locking scheme. It does not lock records, it instead makes 20 or so back copies (or I guess journals) of each transaction apposed to locking. It starts in about 1/2 second on a 20G database, and only starts the manager when it is accessed the first time in unix and as no perceivable startup delay (it runs from inetd) and self sweeps and maintains itself. Also it backs up very quickly and restores fast too, and can restore hot as long as no one is hitting the database at that instant. Does that answer your questions?
  • Yeah, Open Sourcing did wonders for Netscape. They're now, oh what word am I trying to think of.. hmmm... GONE?

    Open sourcing the browser had nothing to do with being bought by AOL. AOL would have bought Netscape no matter what they did.

  • whilst people will still likely be prepared to "pay the bucks" to move up to "Tier 1" DBMSes like Sybase/Oracle/Informix/DB2

    Why would open sourcing Interbase cause people "willing to pay" to move up to the tier 1 vendors? If they aren't willing to pay now, then why would they be willing to pay later? I think they'd continue using what they use now, if anything.

  • Certainly licensing is important; I just don't think it's worth discussing in too much detail until further details come out.

    Lots of paradoxical effects are possible; the fact that PostgreSQL uses a BSD-like license means that it may be easier to do code integration between it and Interbase, as compared to GPLed MySQL, where the somewhat "infectious" nature of the license may discourage attempts to integrate code.

    I certainly agree that YAPOPL (Yet Another Pseudo-Open Proprietary License) would discourage development efforts, but suggest that the relative merits/implications of GPL versus BSDL are quite nonintuitive and nonobvious.

  • They don't junk it because they still need it.

    They have an extremely expensive Delphi Client/Server edition whose major claim to fame is the database stuff with Interbase being an integral part.

    Borland/Inprise/WhateverTheyAreCalledThisWeek just don't want to foot the bill for continued InterBase development while still selling Delphi C/S.

  • Okay... Who is going to work on it ? eh... when Mozilla went open source we all rejoiced.. "Yeah.. wer'e saved".. but how many of us were willing to wade through all of that code, then devote any of our precious spare time to working on it.. ?? About a handfull. (That's not to say that mozilla isn't going to work, just not at the speed that Linux does)

    I love the whole open source development model, but it doesn't always work. You can't always save a product is in trouble by going open source.

    I just thank God I dumped all of my Inprise stock. What a trip that was...
  • The point I was trying to make was that the "Tier 1" DBMS vendors are unlikely to be seriously injured by InterBase becoming "free."

    Those that want 24x7 support contracts and the likes for big SMP boxes with big RAID arrays aren't going to be much more attracted to InterBase because it becomes free than they were before when it wasn't.

    In contrast, those that were price-sensitive, and went with SOLID/ Altera/ ... may seriously consider trying out Interbase as an even less expensive alternative that doesn't tie them to proprietary licensing.

    The company most likely to lose from this is SOLID. They got pretty seriously "flamed" a while back due to a change in licensing strategy; they used to sell individual licenses for around $200-$300, but have moved to selling groups of licenses so that the minimum price granularity is rather higher, more like $10K.

    That is a market rather more vulnerable to Interbase's "scorched earth" strategy...

  • by Dacta ( 24628 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @12:38PM (#1436064)

    Just to make it clear this rumor does have some basis in fact:

    Anders Ohlsson (Borland) posted this message to a BBS on Wednesday evening:

    "It seems that the resignations of a few InterBase managers has caused a shit storm (excuse my French ). InterBase is not dead, and it's not going to be killed. We will continue to sell InterBase. It makes us money. We will continue to support InterBase, and honor all old and new contracts. We have to (legally and morally). We will continue to maintain and develop InterBase. We will make sure that InterBase continues to live a long, good, and prosperous life. Any sane company would. As any business we are always looking at what makes sense. Open source InterBase? Possibly. No guarantees, but anything is possible. However, you can rest assured that we are not about to leave any customers (old or new) hanging. More details are in the works. It may take some time, since it's during the holiday season. But it's coming

    From The "Save Interbase" Website []

    Anders Ohlsson is a farily well known Borland Developer.

  • I'd like to nominate two other products: the Brief editor and the Sprint word processor. Both were very, very customizable--Brief had a clean C-style macro language (as well as a LISPy one) and good OS integration, and Sprint could be hacked into acting like just about any (text-based mid-1980s) word processor you wanted it to. I'd love to see what either could do in a flat-memory environment.

    IMHO I think that open-sourcing dead products is a very good thing if you can do it without your lawyers screaming at you about potential loss of trade secrets, even ten-year-old ones now outside your revenue stream. It's good publicity and good community relations, and it actually does make the world a better place.


  • Having Interbase open-source and free would do a lot of damage to MSDE (Microsoft Data Engine - basically a cut down, local version of SQL Server 7), too.

    I know a number of companies that have moved from using Local Interbase to MSDE, because you can deploy MSDE for free if you buy a MS Office developer pack. That compares to $160 per seat for less than 100 or $40 for more than 100 (here in Australia, last I heard)

    Interbase is great for app like this, because it is small (fits on 3 or 4 floppies) and doesn't need an administrator.

  • Exactly... If you need Oracle, you NEED Oracle... If your application doesn't require it, you're just throwing away your cash. They compete in COMPLETELY different areas of the market.

    Just like somewhere once i saw a checklist comparison of MySQL vs. Oracle. The most pointless waste of time i'd ever stumbled across. Yeah you can say MySQL supports this and that that Oracle may not support, or maybe it's faster when dealing with 25MB files, but you'd better not be buying Oracle to deal with said file.

    I liked your analogy there... But let's make that desk into a 13" TV... :)
  • There was a company a while back that made a VB clone on the net. It was called something like Euphoria. They gave the program away for free and were going to make money on services. They weren't too successful and then they were bought out by a company who shelved their product.

    If anybody remembers who they were, and what the story was, I'd appreciate it if they could post it.

    I always thought this product was an ideal candidate for open sourcing. If we could find them maybe we could convince them.


  • But is Oracle worth the price for most applications? In my experience, it is not.

    In most applications, the quality of database design and code manipulating the data have more to do with the robustness of the application that the dbms does.

  • Knowing a couple shops that had some pretty large applications built on DBase, I can tell you that that they are happier that the product is on "the backbenches of the Internet" and is maintained by a knoweldgable group of consultants and developers.

    It might be a legacy market (and one that doesn't interest Open Source developers), but that doesn't mean it is irrelevant or not profitable. Lookit IBM -- they do quite a bit of business on non-sexy legacy systems.
  • Actually, I don't know about FTP, but certain addresses like postmaster are reserved by the RFC for administrative issues.

    Be a good nerd and follow the RFCs!
  • They may also be looking to save money. If Inprise can save money by getting open source developers to take over some or all of the load for new development and support for InterBase, it may be a win for them. A penny saved is a penny earned.

    That was my first thought. Just think, now they can avoid all those Y2K-hungry lawyers looking to get bug fixes ... just say "it's open source, you can fix it yourself and get lots of free on-line help" and problem solved.

    And, as you also point out, this will cause more of us to think of buying Borland/Inprise development tools first, before we consider other ones. After all, even if it's proprietary today, it will be GPL tomorrow ...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The original codebase of InterBase was from the VMS version of Rdb. If you look at the source code of InterBase, you will see many functions started with Rdb$... And the original author of InterBase was an ex-employee of DEC. Doh! How do I know? I used to work on it.
  • Shouldn't that be:

    Thanks for contributing the requisite uniformed Windows/NT user's perspective!

  • Read my post. Did I say anything about Oracle being "better"? I'm talking real world here. I have NEVER seen a InterBase database used on a production system. I have seen well over 50 Oracle database used for mission critical applications. InterBase may be a great database but the facts are
    - Inprise is losing money on it.
    - People are using Oracle instead.
    - Open sourcing Interbase is a "Good Thing"

    Where is the FUD in this?
  • Netscape was faltering because of lousy marketing, which had nothing to do with opensourcing the browser. Remember, Netscape didn't make much money off of the browser (it was free, except for that one slipup where they tried to charge for it...a big mistake when your competitor costs $0). Most of their cash came from their server and related products.
  • Interbase is MUCH slower than Oracle, and in some circumstances is slower than Access. I've actually had to WORK with it in a commercial environment for 12 months, I didn't just read the documentation. It also has size limitations which make it very restrictive in a medium size enterprise and useless if you need large amounts of data (e.g. big companies, banks, etc.) If you want to keep more than about 2G of info in your DB (and this is more common than you might think in the real world), Interbase is not the best choice.

    Oracle IMHO are even worse than Microsoft when it comes to pricing structure, aggressive marketing, and FUD, and they make incredibly awful development products (Designer/Developer 2000) but they do have a good RDBMS. I don't believe what Oracle or MS say, but I don't believe Inprise's hype about Interbase either, though it seems that perhaps you do.

  • Very cool, thanks :)
  • The point I was trying to make was that the "Tier 1" DBMS vendors are unlikely to be seriously injured by InterBase becoming "free."

    Ah. That's better. You are right, they won't be affected.

    In contrast, those that were price-sensitive, and went with SOLID/ Altera/ ... may seriously consider trying out Interbase as an even less expensive alternative that doesn't tie them to proprietary licensing.

    Yes, which is good for Inprise. It will force the competitors to compete differently though. But it's not the end of the world for them.

  • Is it possible for Inprise to donate the source code and the copyrights etc to a non-profit organization (ie. like GNU or Debian). Would this then make it Tax deductable. Presumably after this open source friendly group held the rights, the source code would be released under GPL or something.

    If this were possible, I bet it would open the flood gates of companies dumping abandoned software into the free community provided they got a tax writeoff....

    --John Cavanaugh
  • And even Visual dBASE isn't a Borland product anymore.

    They sold it off to a bunch of dBASE consultants bent on building the "next big database company".

    These are the three places where old software goes:

    * it is junked

    * it becomes open source

    * or is relegated to the backbenches of the Internet (see Superbase [], dBASE [] or, gasp, Framework []

  • But is Oracle worth the price for most applications? In my experience, it is not.

    What are "most" applications? Most of your applications? Most of my applications? You are right, Oracle isn't worth the price for most applications. So why would you use it? Oracle doesn't *want* you to use their database for most applications. That's why other databases like MySQL and Interbase exist.

    For use as a database to track orders for a a company that does $1 million dollars a year in sales, Oracle would be a poor choice. But for a company that does $100 billion dollars a year in sales, Oracle is probably a very good price.

    Don't think that 18 wheelers are a wasted product just because all your move around is a 13" TV. Be content with a pickup if that meets your needs.

  • agreed, go here instead,
  • Just think, now they can avoid all those Y2K-hungry lawyers looking to get bug fixes

    Well, lawyers don't want bug fixes, they want big legal fees... :-) But in all reality, it is probably too late to avoid the Y2K vulture lawyers if InterBase has any Y2K problems. At any rate, if it isn't too late, they had better hurry up, because Y2K is only TWO days away! :-)

  • I think this could be more helpful to the open source movment, even if Interbase does not get opened up. The question IT managers need to ask themselves is what happens if the product my buisness depends on is discontinued. While Interbase is not one of the leading database plateforms it is used by many people, and a year ago no one was worried about it going away. With how quickly things moved now, the product you buisness depends on could get dumped in a relativly short time frame. With open source this is not a problem, but with closed souce it is a very big problem. This has been a problem for smaller software projects, but this is could effect a lot of buisnesses. Now standardizing on a closed souce product is even more a risk, look at the difference six months make. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for some PHBs. The potential dumping of Interbase should cause IT managers to seriously consider open sourced software. If the open sourced project is dumped, ie. no one mantians it anymore, you at least have the option of hiring someone to maintiain it until you can find a replacement.
  • I've used interbase, and it is an excelent product.

    It and it's predecessor (DEC RDB) in my opinion are better than most of the big names by a mile.

    I was really shocked when got to try other relational databases. Interbase developed the blob stuff and has had transactions and row level locking in it from the start. The other notables, Oracle Ingress, Sybase and Informix were all latecomers to this (Im not sure if Ingress actually has it yet (and it was renamed OpenRoad/OpenIngress or something by Computer Associates)

    Interbase was also beautifly simple to use, and virtually required no DBA, even for rather large data sets (couple of million rows). The constant tinkering and adjusting required by a full time DBA for the other big names, DBA time is a real hidden killer that is often the real cause for DB down time.

    Oracle now owns DEC RDB (now called Oracle RDB) and are porting it to other platforms (either NT or Unix) although it is seperate from their other Oracle SQL product.

    A good strong "commercial strength" relational database with an open source philosophy would be a nice accompanyment to a linux system.

    Postgres and MySQL (although MySQL is not transactional) are pretty damn good and are filling this role fairly quickly.

    I think that Borland could give a real kickstart to interbase by making it opensource and closely associating it with linux.

    And I for one would relish the oportunity to work with it again.

  • Maybe you are right if you are losing 300 million a year like amazon and can afford to pay the million or so to oracle (I imagine they have a lot of Mz over there). But for me and millions of small business owners this is completely out of the question. The vast majority of the businesses in this country employ less then a 100 people and it's this market that MS targets so successfully with Access and then MSQL. Although Linux has Postgresql which is competent if not easy to use and set up it severely lacks an Access like tool. Most businesses start with Access and grow into MSQL.
  • Nice to see there is someone else besides myself seeing through the crap. Interbase is profitable, they may drop it on certain platforms, but not WinNT or Linux. Too many developers are using/deploying it. Personally I hope the ex-employees get sued for breach of contract. My email box was overflowing with various FUD/Interbase crap. Had to setup a custom filter in Outlook to send it to the trash.
  • Just because someone can no longer make a profitable business out of something doesn't mean that it has no value.

    I think this is a fine thing. Capitalism has a lot of virtues, but a big downside is that a lot of effort is wasted that has nothing to do with the quality of the effort. Setting it free creates an opportunity to extract some value out of that wasted effort.

  • As someone who's just beginning SQL programming on Linux I'd like to know what's wrong with postgresql. It has transactions...its' open source, and it has a JDBC driver. I'll probably test using EJB's with it..but even if I don't go the EJB route I'll use it from servlets...It's even included in the Linux Mandrake release I'm using. Dorwin
  • Everyone would drop MySQL and PostgreSQL in a second to use a commercial industrial strength DB with transaction support like Inprise's InterBase. I certainly would. InterBase is a joy to use - it requires next to no tuning at all. Point and click setup and it runs and runs and runs. It also has 100% java jdbc support.
  • Personally, I wish Borland would OSS their long dead Prolog compiler. Considering how long it has been dead, it seems safe to say that it is just being needlessly hoarded for the 75+ year copyright period. As far as I can tell, no company is ever going to try to buy the rights away from them and it will never reappear as a commerical product. There doesn't seem to be any reason why they shouldn't OSS their Prolog work and tons of free PR reasons why they should.

    As far as Interbase goes, it should be interesting to see if they will actually provide Interbase under anything that could truely be considered an open source license. Their ever increasing business relations with Sun might rub off and result in Interbase appearing under an Inprise "community" license. It also seem pritty stupid to have spent so much money on Ashintate (sp?) to get the dBase name for building up the Interbase name and then let it rot as a commerical product. But if it becomes available under a license that will allow intergration with gdbm or Berkeley DB [] then I'm definately all for it.

  • I hate to tell you this, but Borland/Imprise can't open source the old Turbo Prolog because it isn't theirs anymore. It was bought (licensed?) from another company, then returned to that company when Borland was done with it. I believe it's now known as PDC Prolog, and has a distinctly un-Borland like price tag.

  • The only other option for Inprise is to mothball it. How can Interbase compete with Oracle? If you had a choice to use InterBase or Oracle which would you choose? Now if they open source it there may be a huge amout of utilities developed for it which would make it more popular. I wonder what kind of license they would use. If it is a true "Open Source" license then it may hurt MySQL or PostgreSQL.
  • I never found official documentation about this, but someone told me that InterBase was very quick to journal itself, and avoid all loss of data.

    This was because it was developped as a solution for the army, and they needed a product that booted very quickly because when a tank fired, it caused an electro-static burst that rebooted all the tank's computers.

    Can anyone confirm this? If this is true, this could lead to a new kind of embedded Linux systems or other types of systems that must boot quicly.
  • Here are some contacts, I encourge a nice letter, and possible a copy of the GPL.

    Sales Reps: [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto]

    Other Contacts: [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto] [mailto]

    Be nice, a good letter will give you extra Karma points, and send a copy of the GPL in a second email.

    /. Effect with GPL everywhere will cause them to really think hard.

  • Do you really think that spamming a Y2K address or the HR department (resume) or the FTP admin will have any endearing effect?

    Should we call the /. effect now the effect?

    Don't you think that select, well-reasoned emails to a TARGETED address will have a much more positive effect than spamming. Is spamming for an - allegedly - good cause (OSS) *not* spamming? Hey, I'll spam you tomorrow and ask you to donate a quid to your favourite charity. Feel better now?

    Really, a *brilliant* idea.
  • >Oracle IMHO are even worse than Microsoft when it comes to pricing structure, aggressive marketing, and FUD,

    Oracle, like Apple or Microsoft is no one's friend. They are a big company, bent on making money.

    At least the price sheet (70% discounts for large or to price out the other guys) for Oracle has been published by the NY Times, so we all know what they are willing to discount/how much they make.
  • I've been a long time Interbase/Delphi developer, and have been appalled at the amount of crap flying around. Here are few things to think about.

    1. Inprise is a public company. They can't respond to rumors without it being considered official. So they are doing the right thing and waiting to make an official public announcement.

    2. Interbase is profitable, not on all platforms, but it is profitable. Inprise sucks at marketing it, but they still manage to make money anyway.

    I can see Inprise discontinuing development for platforms they aren't making any money on, but not on the others. That would make more sense than anything.

    Since there was obviously some political things going on inside Borland (this also happened a couple of years ago, when some excellent talent left the company) the ex-employees probably don't have a real clue as to what is actually going to happen.

    Lastly, Interbase hasn't gotten this much publicity in it's entire life,heh heheh... I think someone at Borland must be jumping for joy.
  • You're answering a point I wasn't making...

    Sure there are applications where you need Oracle or Informix (FWIW, Informix generally kicks Oracle's butt IMNSHO). However, as you conceed they are few and far between.

    Way too many people have a blind, knee-jerk loyalty to a particular RDBMS that leads them to waste a lot of money. Consider, for example, Medic Computer Systems (, a company I am intimately familiar with.

    One of their products uses Informix -- and requires 10 times the hardware resources it would need if it used Interbase.

  • What will happen: whoever looks at it will find out the code is a huge pile of crud, it will take an year or so to start looking like something, during this time the decision of opening up will be questioned a lot of times, yadda yadda. Of course, if the code has any value at all, in 2 or 3 years we will have a real killer database. (sigh) Don't people realize the difference between Opening up vs. developing openly []?
  • You cannot be serious! Either you are deliberately trying to trash the product and/or you write extremely poor code.

    Oracle is certainly the leader for performance, especially when talking about *huge* databases, that is not in doubt.

    But Interbase is still in the same *league* with Oracle and all other real RDBMS products. As example, a fully tuned MSSQL7 system will slightly outperform IB for selects (better optimization, IB *can* use further improvement here), but for heavy transaction uses, IB blows away MSSQL with faster inserts/updates/deletes and, because of optimistic locking, can outperform in selects too in many of these kinds of situations.

    Your comment about the 2 gig limit confirms you didn't read even the basic material for managing IB, 2 gig is indeed the limit *per file* and this is to accommodate Windows (since IB is multiplatform) however, a single IB database can consist of up to 65535 physical files. That works out to 1.3421568e+14 (which I believe is 134 terabytes). Of course at this limit, I'm sure performance *would* be horrendous, but I don't think that is a valid concern for the vast majority of applications.
  • Sounds nice in theory, but it would never work in real life.

    Here's why: every piece of software has tons of third-party code in there that is not discontinued, and the authors of this code wouldn't be too happy to have the fruits of their labour released into the free software world. Think graphics libaries, C++ template libraries, database toolboxes etc. that make up significant parts of modern applications.

    In many cases this third-party code is either interweaved with the to-be-opensourced code or is not even identical anymore to the original third-party code because generations of developers made small modifications.

    Not to even talk about the impossibility to buy, let alone "get for free", older versions of some third-party toolboxes or libraries that just happen to be still used by the software because no one ever bothered to upgrade to a newer library.

    [[ Having some trouble posting. Have the Feds already busted Slashdot? ]]

  • I thought it was under some semi-free Licence where you had to pay licence-fees for non-Linux platforms.

    Has this changed? I seem to remember something about GPLing an old version of MySQL. Is this what happened?

  • I doubt you could make it legally required, but the important thing is to understand is that there is virtually no morally defensible reason not to open-source discontinued products. If you have promoted a product and promised to support it but found it economically unwise to continue, the least you can do for those who believed you is to allow them to continue to use it.

    Perhaps the best way to handle it would be to come up with a code of programming conduct (The Code of Coding?) which would require that certain minimum standards be met. Then companies could announce their adherence to the code.

    I suspect in fairly short order any company which did not adhere to the code would find it difficult to sell to large corporations. How could anybody justify purchase of very expensive software from a company that was not willing to say, "If we discontinue the product, we will not leave you in the lurch"? Especially if rivals were advertising their guarantees?

    My suggestions for the Code:
    1. All source code will be:
      • immediately released under the GPL, Artistic License, or similar license; or
      • available immediately if we ever discontinue support for the product; or
      • available as open source one year after any bankruptcy (excluding reorganizational) if none of the creditors agrees to support it in exchange for acquiring the rights to it.
    2. all APIs for all programs will be published from the start.
    3. file formats for all customer data will be fully documented or under the control of an independent standards body (like XML, SGML or HTML).

    The only reason I can see for not adhering to item 1. above would be -- let's just say for the sake of argument -- you had stolen the source code for an operating system, made a few hundred billion off it, and were sure the release of the code would expose you as a felon.

    Please note that I am not a lawyer and am sure the above is intended only as an idea, not as the proposed wording for an actual legally-binding document.
  • I for one would like to see and OSS Turbo Pascal for Unix. That thing had the fastest compiler I've ever seen! Add a nifty IDE and good online help, and you've got a winner. (Yeah, I know there's Free Pascal and GPC, but still...)

    Apparently, Borland will port their Delphi IDE to Linux (probably not OSS, though), which is the environment around Object Pascal, which was what Turbo Pascal mutated into.

    Turbo Pascal 1.0, 3.0 and 5.5 are available free from, and should run under any DOS emulation on Linux. :-)

  • Interbase is a good database. It is small, highly portable and quick.

    The Client/Server version is roughly comparable to SQL Server 7 in performace and features - maybe it won't quite outscale Oracle, but for anything smaller than that it is pretty nice. (IMHO)

    There is a "Local" version, too. I know quite a lot of people who have sold apps using that (Maybe I hang out with too many Delphi people, but still)

    The list of platforms it comes for isn't bad, either:

    • NT
    • Linux
    • Novel
    • SCO
    • Solaris
    • HPUX
    • AIX

    It's not missing any features, either - unlike MySQL.

  • He was asking on the Mers mailing list about what people would think.

    (David Intersimone is Borland's developer relations manager, or something like that)

    John Kaster sure hasn't ruled it out on the News Groups, either.

  • $800 here (I've been told). What's that... 5 Interbase licences?
  • when some excellent talent left the company

    Read: Were agressively head-hunted by Microsoft (cfr. J++, made by a former Borlandie if memory serves). At least that were the reports around the time.

  • I'll work on it. I'm a database developer and administrator at a 400-employee firm, and our database is Interbase. Technically, it's unbeatable. We are not looking at another Netscape fiasco here (unless Inprise screws it up somehow). Navigator was practically unworkable. Before they even released the source, everyone knew it would stink, just because of how poorly Navigator performed. Interbase is not like this. The _only_ thing wrong with Interbase is a lack of awareness/marketing/mindshare. And I can tell you that it scales flawlessly to at least tens of gigabytes and four-way SMP (though not on Linux). I can't comment on nutty mainframe-like setups, but if I had the money and time, I'd love to see a two- or four-CPU server, with a gig or so dataset, running performance and stability comparisons between Interbase and anything else in the world. Open sourcing Interbase would give me a bigger woody than anything else that's happened this year or is likely to next year.

  • Hey, hold on a minute, there. Remember how Netscape performed before they open sourced it? On my machine, it crashed multiple times a day. It felt like a race to see if you could get the answer to your question (or whatever) before the browser died. We all knew, well before the source was ever made public, that it was a pig.

    Interbase is not like that. Interbase is one of the best-running, bug-free, and robust pieces of software I've ever worked with, at least from a "black box" perspective. I'd love to see the source, and I'd give you long odds indeed against it turning out to be a "pile of crud."

  • You're answering a point I wasn't making...

    I think I was...

    One of their products uses Informix -- and requires 10 times the hardware resources it would need if it used Interbase.

    Didn't I say, "Why use an 18 wheeler to move a 13" TV?" I'm not justifying using a product that wasn't designed for what you are using it for. And Oracle certainly wasn't designed for workgroup type applications.

  • Ok, say Im FTP admin dude, and I get this email about how it would be cool to GPL our database...I say wtf, this isn't FTP admin stuff, but It does look important, umm I will fowared it to

    So now boss has it, says hmm, sends it across hall to IT management. Do this about 3-5 time per email and there will be some poo on the walls.
  • InterBase is fast, it consumes VERY little resources, and even I can maintain it. Oracle? Horror! Hog! Do you believe what Oracle and Microsoft say? I don't. I prefer to go to the producer - - and look at the documentation. Oh, and how about actually trying stuff before spreading FUD? It's amazing - plenty of people in the Linux world complains that Microsoft is spreading FUD about Linux. One would assume that the same people don't spread FUD about themselves.
  • If this is a serious question, and not a troll, you should a) become familiar with SQL and b) compare the feature set of MySQL and inprise. MySQL is good for a lot of things, but it is a full SQL implementation.
  • I'd keep pressing


    You spam. You know it. And that's the worst part of it.

    There will be ZERO forwarding. But you will have found a new enemy who is forced to sift through that spam that you inflict on him.

    Congratulations if that is the way you try to convince and make friends.

    Well, let's see - where is that spamming software that I had. I'll see how you like that treatment - heheh (of course I won't)

    Man, turn on your BRAIN.
  • Can Interbase possibly compete against Oracle8? Um... doubtfully.

    And on another point... Inprise is presumably looking to make money. Your vote doesn't earn them dollars... a pledge to purchase their commercial development tools would help, maybe.
  • This is just a random thought... wouldn't it be better if we had more different open-source DBs, each of which has a different strength? MySQL is very efficient and optimized for speed, but like you said, it doesn't have transactions, which makes things tough in situations where you *need* transactions.

    Maybe we should have different DBs, all geared for a particular area, eg., speed (mySQL), reliability (Oracle? with the rollback stuff), etc.. Then we'll be able to pick the one that meets our need the most without having a huge DB that is slowed down or bloated because it wants to be all things to all men.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    have been on the mers list for a couple of years, and I have watched and helped discuss the rumors as of late. I develop applications with interbase for use in-house at our trucking company and we are thinking about marketing it, so the demise rumor at first concerned me. However, the rumors were started by the ex-employees...disgruntled I would imagine, so they are to be taken with a large grain of salt. We all finally decided after a statement by Inprise's CEO that is was either going to be open sourced or futher developed as it always has been with the likely-hood being the second not the first, and the thread about the demise crap has finally subsided, and now the rumor gets rekindled buy good old month later ZDNET. Frankly the interbase developers are tired of hearing it as a whole I think.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @07:40AM (#1436134)
    Have you looked into PostgreSQL? How does it compare to Interbase?
  • Anonymous Coward wrote:
    Open source interbase? Which product? Interbase is just a cs/database. Inprise dont own it.
    Yes they do.

    They got it (back when they were still called Borland) by buying Ashton-Tate, which was perhaps better known for its dBase product. A couple of years ago they spun it off into its own company, InterBase Corp, ironically coming full circle; it had been a separate company (founded by ex-Digital employees IIRC) before A-T bought it, too.

    But InterBase Corp is still a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inprise; so yes, they do own it.

    I know the CEO of IB has basically gone crazy tho :).
    I wouldn't know about that. (But I do suspect you're exaggerating.)

    They have been beta testing IB v6.0 for ages and suddenly he wants to pull the plug for no reason so all the top ppl at IB left.
    I also suspect this is a distortion or over-simplification. For one thing, last I heard, not all the "top ppl at IB left". (Why would that "crazy" CEO leave, for instance, if he's the one driving the others away?)

    Interbase is a high end client/server database...
    Yup; a competitor to Oracle and DB/2 and MS SQL Sewer and so on. Except for some reason they often call themselves an "embedded" database server (what's that, really -- I thought "embedded" means chips in elevators, and so on?), and perhaps because of that they're often not seen as being as "high end" as other client/server database systems like Oracle and DB/2.

    as far as I know Inprise has been given licences to distro it with Delphi..
    Given themselves, rather.

    but Delphi only contains a 5 user licences in the c/s delphi.
    Well of course; that's only sound business reasoning. Sure, they could "give themselves" -- that is, give Delphi customers -- an unlimited redistribution license, but why would they? A five-user license is amply good enough for development work; and if you want to deploy your work on IB, they want you to buy the licenses for your end users (or your end users to buy them for themselves).

    I don't think IBM gives away unlimited DB/2 licenses with their VisualAge programming systems either...

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • ...handicapped friends, "that's not entirely true". :-)

    Martin K writes:
    They have an extremely expensive Delphi Client/Server edition whose major claim to fame is the database stuff with Interbase being an integral part.
    Delphi C/S is expensive, yes, but I'm not sure if you could justifiedly call it "extremely" expensive.

    Be that as it may; where you're more wrong is in the "Interbase being an integral part" claim. Technically, Interbase is (or was up to and including Delphi 4) no more "integral" to Delphi than were/are Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL Sewer, Informix, or DB/2. Basically, all you got was SQL Links; BDE-native plug-in drivers for these databases. (Disregarding the MIDAS and Web stuff for the moment, as not everybody uses that.)

    And they provided a development-use-only licensed copy of InterBase for you to work with, yes. But the intent of that could just as well be for developing applications that are then deployed on some other RDBMS, as to deploy on InterBase.

    As of Delphi 5, they've integrated a set of "InterBase Express" components into Delphi -- from the Professional edition and upwards. But these are just a set of plug-in VCL components; there are other such free- and share-ware VCL collections (this is what IBX started as!) to connect to other RDBMSes, and if you use them, those RDBMSes are just as "integral" to your Delphi set-up as InterBase is. Heck, given that there is also a set of "ADO Express" components, you could just as well say that MS SQL Sewer is "integral" to Delphi...

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • An AC asks:
    From a corporate perspective, how many of you think that this could really be a profitable move for Inprise?
    I think it could be. I'm not sure how much of this is wishful hinking, though; I'm sure hoping it would.

    Will it drive more development tools sales, realistically?
    Yes, this is what I'm hoping for. As I said in another post, Interbase isn't "integral" to Borland development tools (in the sense that they wouldn't work without it) -- but it is "integrated", in the sense that it works much better with them than without them... (Now let's just hope not too many notice that this goes equally for many other databases! :-)

    Would it build up a good support/services business?
    Though I'd like to think so, I'm not so sure: As others have pointed out, InterBase just plain works too well to need much in the way of direct DBA support... But sure, combined InterBase / Delphi support might become more of an issue than it is now.

    Will this make you more likely to see Inprise as a major Linux player?
    Well, not me -- I'm a Borland fan, so I'm already hoping for that. But I'm hoping it will have this effect on others...

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • toriver writes:
    [Quoting shadrack]
    when some excellent talent left the company
    Read: Were agressively head-hunted by Microsoft
    Read: Were agressively, and possibly illegaly, head-hunted by Microsoft...

    (cfr. J++, made by a former Borlandie if memory serves).
    You're thinking of Anders Hejlsberg, the man behind Turbo Pascal and Delphi. But no, I think "J++" was already released when he was poached by, eh, Brad Silverberg IIRC. Now, this "COOL" thingy, on the other hand...

    At least that were the reports around the time.
    I think my account is closer to the reports (and speculations) at the time.

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • MySql and PostgreSQL have no open-source win32 implementations.

    That means that you can only deploy to Linux, and that you cannot even realistically demo your application on an ordinary win32 laptop, and then scale from there, with linux workhorses serving the real-life request load coming from win32 desktops.

    If there's anything that should be able to scale, it is databases, because cutting the load among different database servers can be very hard. (Don't tell me that a middle tier will mediate. Ha ha)

    If Interbase is truly open-sourced (freedom to copy it by any means), it will make inroads into the MySql/PostgreSQL realms very fast.
  • Imprise certainly has it's strengths and size is one of them. It will be the prefered db in the upcoming embedded revolution. Second Rate is pretty strong words. The features it lacks, will be implemented shortly. GPL has the way of doing those things;-) The only thing that is second rate is your opinion on this wonderful news.
  • Why not just one database that's kick-ass.... ANd then just enable or disble features as you need them... It'd suck to build a DB and then realize you need features from another db, and then have to redo all your core-logic...

    And Oracle is far far far from Opensource.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interbase has a superb stored procedure capability. Much better than Oracle, Sybase or [wait for it...] DB2. This is more important than transactions for developing robust applications. Trust me on this.
  • Most products fail because of marketing, not because they're bad. I don't give a damn about marketing, I'll use any good product that fits my needs. InterBase is a really good product and I'd welcome it to OpenSource.
  • And on another point... Inprise is presumably looking to make money.

    They may also be looking to save money. If Inprise can save money by getting open source developers to take over some or all of the load for new development and support for InterBase, it may be a win for them. A penny saved is a penny earned.

    Your vote doesn't earn them dollars...

    Perhaps not directly, but it does get them publicity, developer and user mindshare, and perhaps sales of other commercial products. Perhaps even sales of commercial or shrinkwrap boxed versions into some sites.

    a pledge to purchase their commercial development tools would help, maybe.

    If people are using their database, presumably they will be more likely to buy their development tools, especially if they offer features in their development tools that make it easier to develop for InterBase.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong