This book has become increasingly useful as I gain more knowledge and experience with Firebird. Helen Borrie has a fine writing style and the explanations are thorough enough to satisfy the thirst for information. The name ``*The* Firebird Book'' says a lot. Unlike other database documentation, where several books are required to be fully comprehensive, this one book alone is really *just about* all that's needed.
The one drawback is the lack of documentation for the C API. In that case, one must rely upon a PDF file from Borland->Inprise->Borland that dates back from 2001 for Interbase 6.0. Fortunately the API is relatively stable to Firebird 2.0.3.
My wishlist for Borrie would be to release a revised version of the book with the C API documentation or perhaps another book devoted to that subject. I'd buy it in an instant.
I'll also hasten to add that an author that keeps an updated errata wins favor in my eyes. See the ``Moving Dunes'' link on her homepage. Helen Borrie deserves praise for her active role in the Yahoo ``firebird-support'' forum.
Although issued in 2005 this volume explains in one place how to use one of the most productive and complete open source databases available. In addition, the author is maintaining continuing documentation of errata and current changes which will be incorporated in the a new version to appear soon.
It explains the commands, how the database responds to those commands, and how to approach the database to get the best results.
Initially I was afraid that the book would simply be a printed version of the various Firebird PDFs available out there, fortunately I was wrong.
The book is well written enough such that it doesn't assume that the reader knows firebird at all. Coming from a SQL Server and Oracle background this was a good help for me. Plus, I didn't feel that aggressiveness most authors would normally expose when comparing their beloved database with those of the rest of the world.
One thing though, everything written on this book is readily available on the net for free. So please don't assume that this book has any magical tips and tricks.
But event so, I personally prefer to have something handy specially when you are in the zone and you can't be bothered to search the net.
Overall for hobbyists and professionals who are looking for that solid/realiable alternative DB look no further, with this book you'll be able to see that Firebird clearly is the top choice.
I took The Firebird Book with me to lunch figuring I'd thumb through the TOC and browse a few of the pages. Nearly two hours later, I realized I'd gone well past my planned lunch time.
What a great book!
I used InterBase for years and have been using Firebird since v1.0, but I've hardly begun to exploit a fraction of its features. I guess that's perhaps the best praise for InterBase/Firebird - you can just install it and begin using it without having to become an expert on it first. Honestly, the single most important thing I learned from the book so far is this: Wow! Have I been taking for granted just how great a product Firebird is!
Any companies still insisting on paying $5,000+ for a great database management system can just send me a check for $5,000 and I'll send you a copy of Firebird and this excellent book. Everyone else should just buy this book and download the totally free Firebird. (I downloaded my copy from [...])
I really appreciate the author pulling together so much information into one hefty volume and presenting it in such an understandable way. Also, my sincere thanks go out to all the original InterBase, and now Firebird, contributors for giving the little guy a really big database management system.
This book is truly a pleasure to read and will serve as a primary reference for a long time to come.
I must admit that when I first heard that a Firebird reference was soon to be available, I didn't hold out much hope for a well written tome. Let's face it, this was the first commercially available book (as far as I know) for Firebird, an open source database that, while loved by some, is anything but mainstream, at least in the USA. With essentially no other printed reference on the market, almost any book (no matter how hastily thrown together) would have been welcomed.
So, imagine my surprise when I opened Helen Borrie's "The Firebird Book" for the first time to find an expertly crafted reference that is equally accessible to readers of all Firebird proficiency levels. Ms. Borrie's genius in this book is her demonstrated ability to take a subject in which she is one of the foremost experts and present it in a way that benefits the experienced as well as the newcomer. She assumes nothing about her reader except a desire to learn more about Firebird. I found her chapters and topics logically organized and clearly marked, helping me to easily find the information I needed as any good reference should. Yet the text also reads extremely well as an instructional guide, building a foundation of the topic at hand and then adding subsequent layers of detail.
With over 1000 pages, twelve appendices, and myriad examples, Ms. Borrie has certainly set a high standard for all Firebird books to follow. It's worth every dollar!
In the field of open source, there are only a few major relational databases - MySQL, Postgres and Firebird. MySQL has been garnering prominent wins recently, whereas Firebird has been steadily chugging along with relatively little publicity. But the book shows that if you are considering a free database, you should seriously look at Firebird. The book describes a very highly fleshed out database, that supports much standard SQL querying. Plus Firebird has had stored procedures and foreign keys for some time. The book goes into detail on these. Whereas MySQL has only its latest version incorporating them. Not as mature as Firebird's.
The core of the book is its Part 5, with several chapters talking about Firebird's SQL variant. The good news is that you should recognise much of it already. Much of your previous SQL experience should carry over to Firebird. Preserves your productivity if you migrate.
This book is very well crafted. It is organized and thorough. With this book, the Interbase 6.0 manuals (available free on-line in PDF) and the Firebird software, you can create and maintain high performance, industrial software for use in production in environments of any size. I can not reccommend this book highly enough. If you need a database for your next project, you owe it to yourself to try out Firebird SQL. Use Ms. Borrie's book as a guide.