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Re: Comparing databases

From: Paul Ganainm <paulsnewsgroups(at)hotmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Comparing databases
Date: 2003-11-22 17:17:02
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Lists: pgsql-advocacy
xzilla(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net says...

Hi all,

I am very familiar with Interbase and Firebird. I have recently started 
looking at PostgreSQL, and I am currently reading extensively about it. 
I don't wish to start a flame war or anything, but some of the claims in 
this post are just downright wrong - it's a bit like PostgreSQLers 
giving out about M$ or Oracle or <insert vendor of choice> making false 
claims about Open Source software.

Interbase/Firebird is probably (at least as far as I can see) the 
closest to PostgreSQL in terms of other available databases, and while I 
have no objection whatsoever to anybody pointing out the benefits of 
PostgreSQL, I really feel that it shouldn't be done by telling 

> PostgreSQL 7.4 Pros:
> -- Extensible Architecture:  create your own types, aggregates,
> functions, operators, libraries.
> 73-> now allows ploymorphic functions
> vs-> oracle, db2, m$, mysql, firebird

Firebird offers functions and libraries and the ability to create your 
own types.

> -- 100% Open Source Community Controlled: contributions are not
> controlled by any single company, so your suggestions and patches are as
> good as anyone's.  
> 73-> two additional companies now sponsoring core members
> vs-> oracle, db2, m$, mysql, firebird

Firebird is fully Open Source. No flame wars about the particular 
licence please. MySQL is also Open Source - you may not like the fact 
that you have to pay for it if you use it in commercial apps, but it is 
Open Source.

> -- Many support options: you have a choice of numerous support vendors
> rather than being confined to one company.
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> oracle, db2, m$, mysql, firebird

There are a few (perhaps not as many as several) vendors who support 
> -- BSD-licensed: may be used for commercial applications without fees.
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> oracle, db2, m$, mysql, firebird

Oh dear - you most certainly *_can_* use Firebird for free in commerical 

> -- Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) ensures transaction
> integrity, better scalability
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> m$, mysql

It's a bit unfair to point at M$ here - locking and versioning each have 
their pros and cons.

> -- Database Programming: Support for functions and procedures in 11 or
> more programming languages.  Support for triggers, constraints, and
> Rules-based query rewriting.
> 73-> new pl lang (plr)
> vs-> db2, m$, mysql, firebird

In Firebird IIRC, you can write dll's or so's in any language you like, 
and use these as user defined functions.
> -- Responsive Community:  Mailing lists offer peer-to-peer assistance
> from major PostgreSQL contributors and advanced DBAs, often described as
> "better than commercial support."
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> oracle, db2, firebird

Here I really *_really_* have to object. The Firebird community has an 
excellent Community spirit, where those who contribute to the engine 
also help out end users.

> -- Scalability:  the MVCC system and other parts of our architecture
> make PostgreSQL scale very well across hundreds of concurrent read/write
> users.
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> m$, mysql, firebird

Firebird has the exact same architecture - they call it MGA or Multi-
Generational-Architecture, which is identical to MVCC in principal.
> -- Durability:  The PostgreSQL project is 16 years old, with years more 
> experience than most comparable databases, commercial or OSS. PostgreSQL
> has already survived the death of several supporting companies and will
> be around for a long time to come.
> 73-> n/a
> vs-> mysql, firebird

Again, this is misleading to say the least. Firebird is a fork of 
Borland's Interbase, which dates from 1981, so Firebird already has the 
keys to the house (21) whereas PostgreSQL has yet to have its first 
legal drink (18).

> Robert Treat


plinehan  x__AT__x  yahoo  x__DOT__x  com

C++ Builder 5 SP1, Interbase IBX 5.04 W2K Pro

Please do not top-post.

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