Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rad Studio XE7 stealth feature - IBLite for desktop!

IBLite is a free, embedded version of Interbase that was released last year. First for iOS and then for Android. The Interbase roadmap hinted that a desktop version was in the works, but if you weren't looking for it, you might have missed that support for Windows and OS X was included with Rad Studio XE7. Stephen Ball goes in to more detail. (Original link seems flaky. Here is a cached copy)

I thought there would be a higher profile announcement. I don't currently use Interbase, and kind of stumbled across this by accident, but it certainly caught my attention.

Some of my applications are stand alone or occasionally connected with their own local database storage. Situations where installing a separate database server would be overkill. When I can, I like using the same database for this everywhere. This means consistent features and SQL syntax, I can share common code and data I don't need separate data administration tools for different applications. Cost is also a consideration. I'm fine to pay for a good database, but I don't like license fees at the best of times, let alone for an embedded database.

There are any number of great solutions for this on Windows, and everyone has their favourites (I'm looking at you ElevateSoft), but there are fewer choices once you throw Mac and mobile into the mix.

Which leaves me with two options - SQLite and now Interbase (IBLite), each with its own advantages.

I have been using SQLite and like it, but IBLite seems to be more robust with support for stored procedures and more complete SQL. I've also been bitten a couple of times by SQLite's dynamic column typing.

Either way, both databases are fully supported in Delphi Professional and higher on every platform that Delphi currently targets - Windows, OS X, iOS and Android.

I like having options.


Dave said...

If you are going to start embracing InterBase, I highly recommend using Database Workbench with it, http://www.upscene.com/database_workbench/.

I've been using their Pro version for years, and its the best DBMS tool I've found for dealing with InterBase databases.

Jim McKeeth said...

I love dbisam and have used it for years. Having IBLite embedded is a great option, and the price is great too. It is also binary compatible if you want to upgrade to the full InterBase for encryption.

Jim McKeeth said...

Great tip, thanks!

Bruce McGee said...

Stephen Ball's blog entry doesn't always load for me, so I included a link to a cached copy.

EndoMan said...

Interesting post in this rapidly changing landscape of multi platform hardware and operating systems. But for Windows, Mac and Linux, what's wrong with Firebird (www.firebirdsql.org), the open source version of Interbase. I've been using it for years without a hitch, and it's totally free.

Go Firebird...!