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04 October 2010, 13:34

Firebird 2.5 has improved user administration

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Firebird logo The Firebird project has released version 2.5 of its open source relational database management system, adding a number of behind the scenes modifications, with the developers concentrating on revamping the thread model. From a user point of view, the most obvious changes are the new SQL commands, including new user administration commands.

Firebird users can now use CREATE/ALTER/DROP USER (standard commends in other databases) to create, modify and delete users. However, it's still not possible to assign privileges with any kind of fine control – administrator or user are the only options. There are new commands for altering views, ALTER can now be applied to calculated columns and there is now a SIMILAR TO command which allows regular expressions to be used in WHERE clauses. Inspired by commercial role models such as Oracle, autonomous transactions have been added, which are started from within a transaction, but act independently of it – an exception in an autonomous transaction does not cause the parent transaction to be rolled back. Dynamic, parameterised SQL commands can be generated from strings in stored procedures.

A complete list of changes can be found in the release notes. Firebird 2.5 source code and 32 and 64-bit binaries for Windows and Linux are currently available, with executables for Mac OS X, Solaris and HP-UX to follow. For future versions, the developers are planning to focus on new authentication methods, better use of multi-core CPUs and stored procedures written in Java or C++. Firebird is licensed under the Initial Developer's Publice License (IDPL) and the InterBase Public License (IPL).


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