PostgreSQL vs. Interbase 
Author Message
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Hi there.

I'm currently in serious research on what database to use for a B2B site
which is expected to hold millions of records. I have in so far considered
two open source databases - Interbase and PostgreSQL. With this in mind, I'm
sending this email to both the PostgreSQL and Interbase mailing lists and
also on PHP's. I would appreciate what ever information you can provide.
Thanks :)

My inquiry:

Please discuss as to your point of view the advantage of PostgreSQL over
Interbase and/or vise versa. I'm considering three (3) important points

1.  Speed
2.  Data Reliability
3.  Portability

Your messages will be greatly appreciated.

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Fri, 24 Oct 2003 20:00:26 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Hi there.

I'm currently in serious research on what database to use for a B2B site
which is expected to hold millions of records. I have in so far considered
two open source databases - Interbase and PostgreSQL. With this in mind, I'm
sending this email to both the PostgreSQL and Interbase mailing lists and
also on PHP's. I would appreciate what ever information you can provide.
Thanks :)

My inquiry:

Please discuss as to your point of view the advantage of PostgreSQL over
Interbase and/or vise versa. I'm considering three (3) important points

1.  Speed
2.  Data Reliability
3.  Portability

Your messages will be greatly appreciated.

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Fri, 24 Oct 2003 22:57:41 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase
Hi Arnold,

By reputation PostgreSQL scales better, and the newest release 7.1.1
(released yesterday) is the strongest version of it yet.

Not honestly sure about Interbase though.  It's got a decent reputation,
and apparently is fairly fully featured too.  Some people feel it's
ex-commercial history is a strong point, others seem to feel it's
ex-commercial history means it couldn't compete in that arena.

Some things I know for sure are :

- The PostgreSQL community is very strong, with very knowledgable and
helpful people in it.
- There is very strong support from the PostgreSQL mailing lists
- If you need commercial support, there are a number of organisations
available to provide it, and in good depth, and in a number of countries
- PostgreSQL has a very wide range of platform support
- The PostgreSQL documentation is quite decent as of the 7.1+ releases
- PostgreSQL is known to scale very well under load, especially when
compared to other Open Source databases
- 7.1+  (7.1, 7.1.1) is fully ACID compliant
- Lots of articles, reviews, utilities, tools, installation guides,
tips, etc are available for PostgreSQL around the Net
- PostgreSQL itself is very fully featured, compliant with a lot of the
SQL92 and SQL99 specs, it's Object-Relational, not just Relational too

These are some of the strong points I can think of, there are lots
more.  Not sure about Interbase, and I've also heard something about
Sybase have some terms and conditions for free deployment in some
situations.  Might be worth trying them too.

If it's any help, there also a summary feature list which may be of use
in comparisons at :
http://postgresql.planetmirror.com/features.html

It was recently written and updated by Joel Burton and Peter Eisentraut,
two very active and  knowledgable PostgreSQL guys, so it's definitely
not out-of-date or anything.

:-)

Regards and best wishes,

Justin Clift

Quote:

> Hi there.

> I'm currently in serious research on what database to use for a B2B site
> which is expected to hold millions of records. I have in so far considered
> two open source databases - Interbase and PostgreSQL. With this in mind, I'm
> sending this email to both the PostgreSQL and Interbase mailing lists and
> also on PHP's. I would appreciate what ever information you can provide.
> Thanks :)

> My inquiry:

> Please discuss as to your point of view the advantage of PostgreSQL over
> Interbase and/or vise versa. I'm considering three (3) important points

> 1.  Speed
> 2.  Data Reliability
> 3.  Portability

> Your messages will be greatly appreciated.

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> TIP 5: Have you checked our extensive FAQ?

> http://www.postgresql.org/users-lounge/docs/faq.html

--
"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those
who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the
first group; there was less competition there."
     - Indira Gandhi

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Fri, 24 Oct 2003 23:16:54 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Quote:

> I'm currently in serious research on what database to use for a B2B site
> which is expected to hold millions of records. I have in so far considered
> two open source databases - Interbase and PostgreSQL. With this in mind, I'm
> sending this email to both the PostgreSQL and Interbase mailing lists and
> also on PHP's. I would appreciate what ever information you can provide.
> Thanks :)

> My inquiry:

> Please discuss as to your point of view the advantage of PostgreSQL over
> Interbase and/or vise versa. I'm considering three (3) important points

> 1.  Speed
> 2.  Data Reliability
> 3.  Portability

I don't have tons of experience w/Interbase, but have used it in a few
projects. I'm quite experienced w/PostgreSQL.

Interbase is, overall, a *very nice* database system. It supports a slew
of features, like triggers, procedures, user-defined functions,
transactions, etc. So does PostgreSQL.

The differences, largely, as I see them, are:

PostgreSQL:

 * stable community of Open Source users and wonderful mailing list
support
 * commercial support from GreatBridge, Postgresql, Inc., and others
 * excellent procedural language support: you can code triggers,
functions, etc., in pl/pgsql (an Oracle pl/sql-alike language), perl,
python, tcl, ruby, and sql.
 * established and proven on Unix/Linux machines
 * no stored procedures ( != functions, above, as stored procedures return
recordsets.) There are views, which provide about 90% of the features of a
stored procedure.
 * Windows NT/2000 version is less supported and doesn't appear to be
widely used.
 * has client programs, such as psql, pgAdmin, and pgaccess, that can be
used to administer the server, but the best of these tools aren't as
polished as Interbase's.

Interbase:

 * newer to Open Source, dreadful history of company support for Open
Source, and therefore, consequently, a somewhat fractured community (see
the confusion between the ibphoenix, firebird, and 'offical' interbase
sites for a sense of the confusion.)
 * commercial support from borland, and support for open source versions
from companies like ibphoenix, though they're a bit newer to the support
game.
 * stored procedures that return recordsets
 * user defined functions can only be written in C, unlike PostgreSQL's
many options
 * lacks CASE..WHEN..END, NULLIF, COALESCE, and other conditional SQL
statements. This makes some things quite a pain.
 * Windows NT/2000 version looks well-supported and widely used.
 * Linux version is a fairly new.
 * IBConsole, Interbase's configuration program, is very polished, and
easy to use.

I don't have any data on performance comparisons between the two,
sorry. PostgreSQL has demonstrated excellent performance in recent
benchmarks; I have less knowledge of Interbase.

Both have seemed reliable to me, and both have supported million-record,
high-availabiilty databases.

Portability is more tricky: PostgreSQL runs under a trillion operating
systems, all of them POSIX/Unix/Linux-y, and runs under NT/2000 with
Cygwin, a portability library. Interbase (IIRC) runs under Linux,
Solaris/SPARC and 95/98/NT/2000. There are sources available for
Interbase, but I haven't heard that anyone is using it under more {*filter*}
Unices, or the whole family BSDs. (Of course, I haven't been listening to
hard, either, so it's possible that people are.)

In our shop, we apply the following rule:

 * Does it _have_ to run under Windows? If so, slap the client. Does it
_still_ have to run under Windows? If so, use Interbase.
 * Otherwise, use PostgreSQL.

(we only work w/nonprofits, so we don't have the first question: do they
want to pay lots and lots and lots and lots of money? If so, use Oracle)

HTH,
--

Director of Information Systems, Support Center of Washington

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Sat, 25 Oct 2003 02:20:35 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Quote:

> - The PostgreSQL documentation is quite decent as of the 7.1+ releases

> If it's any help, there also a summary feature list which may be of use
> in comparisons at :
> http://postgresql.planetmirror.com/features.html

> It was recently written and updated by Joel Burton and Peter Eisentraut,
> two very active and  knowledgable PostgreSQL guys, so it's definitely
> not out-of-date or anything.

Active guy Joel Burton here, with a followup to my post a minute ago.

The feature list for PostgreSQL is a good head start at understanding its
features. Similar stuff at www.interbase.com.

MySQL's crash-me is <cynical> a piece of marketing for MySQL that distorts
its lack of support for many critical database features, which promoting
its non-standard syntax </cynical>, but may provide some useful
information about PG v Interbase, as long as you remember two things:

* they haven't updated it for 7.1 yet, which adds many nice features to
PG, including removing row limits and adding full support for outer joins

and

* crash-me reports that both PG and Interbase don't support some things
that both damn well do, so take it with a grain of salt.

and, last, (and I do hate to say this...):

* Interbase's documentation is wonderful. PostgreSQL's is comprehensive,
but IMHO, less organized and comprehensive than Interbase's.

HTH,
--

Director of Information Systems, Support Center of Washington

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Sat, 25 Oct 2003 02:48:25 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Quote:
> 1. Speed
> 2. Data Reliability

 The  two above  depend very  much (IMHO)  on SYSDBA's  skills. IB  and its
descendants has, probably, less options  to tweak, or, more correctly, less
obvious ways to improve its performance.
 OTOH,  if you  have strong  theoretical RDBMS  bacground and  considerable
practical  experience  with  either,   you'll  find  that  performance  and
stability tips and tricks for IB and PGSQL are very similar.

Quote:
> 3. Portability

 Does that  really matter?  What are you  going to port?  The code  of DBMS
server itself? Some of the accompanied tools? Your data? If you're going to
run a  busy site with  a huge  DB, portability is  the last thing  to worry
about. It's  more important,  IMHO, to  pick the  right platform  at design
stage.

--

 ??-?

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Sat, 25 Oct 2003 03:54:06 GMT
 PostgreSQL vs. Interbase

Quote:

> My inquiry:

> Please discuss as to your point of view the advantage of
> PostgreSQL over
> Interbase and/or vise versa. I'm considering three (3)
> important points

> 1.  Speed

Postgresql is "spotty".  Some things it can do fast other
things are very slow.  It's really mixed.  So Postgres' speed
depends a lot of if you are so unlucky as to require some
feature that is not so fast.  I found recently for example that
"GROUP BY" is intolerably slow while other query types are
almost as good as Oracle in performance.  If you are designing
a brand new application you can design around this.
I'm sure each of the free DBMSes have something that must be
"designed around".  You just take your pick.

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Sat, 25 Oct 2003 06:12:07 GMT
 
 [ 7 post ] 

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