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I am running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3. I get really confused between running Firebird as a service or as an application. I'm migrating from Microsoft SQL server and I've simply gotten used to just running SQL Server Management Studio to build and test databases.

So, how do I install Firebird, and test the installation to make sure it's working? Does Firebird come with an example database preloaded similar to Microsofts Northwind?

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migrated from Sep 27 '10 at 11:39

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

The installation of Firebird on Windows is easy as there is an installer for it which you can download at Firebird File Repositories.

On platforms that are service-capable (NT, XP and forward) Firebird will be installed by default as a service. That means Windows will start it automatically every time it boots, unless you configure it otherwise. In older platforms (Windows Me and prior) that do not support services Firebird runs as an application and the Firebird Guardian takes care of booting it.

The installation process of Firebird depends on whether you want to use Classic, Superserver or Embedded architecture. If you do not know yet which you prefer go for Superserver since it is the recommended one for Windows. As Andrei suggested, though, you should check which one fits your needs best.

To check that the Firebird Server is running in Windows just go to Services applet and check for Firebird Server and Firebird Guardian services. Alternatively, if you used the installer Firebird will have installed a Server Control Applet in the Control Panel.

You can find more information on this matter in Firebird Documentation Index.

Referring to the example database the answer is yes. Firebird comes with the employee.gdb database, which you should find in the Examples subdirectory of your Firebird installation. To connect to it follow the steps in Connecting to the sample database

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I don't know a database which has easier installation and initial configuration procedure. Just do following steps:

  1. Grab archive marked as "Zip kit for manual/custom installs" from this page.
  2. Create folder, say, c:\program files\firebird
  3. Unpack archive contents into the folder
  4. Change directory to c:\program files\firebird\bin and execute two commands:

    instsvc install -s -a

    instsvc start

I always install FB as a service. Perhaps, there are reasons to run it as an application but they are rare.

The command above will install SuperServer engine. Just change -s for -c and you will get a Classic server. You can study about available architectures here.

And there is an embedded version too. The later does not need any installation at all. Just put required DLLs near your executable and you will get it.

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Why would you suggest using an "custom install ZIP" when an Installer is available? – Cosmin Prund Sep 26 '10 at 10:06
Because like to have it all under control. – Andrei K. Sep 26 '10 at 16:43

Run Firebird as a service, not as application. There is also an embedded version of Firebird, which is a DLL.

Firebird installation is very simple. You can create a test database immediately after install using Firebird ISQL utility. Read my article for details.

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I think the only reason to run Firebird as an application is to use Windows 9X or for test. I heard that people make QA Test use Firebird as an application because it is easier to "debug".

A good link for firebird install here

You can also check Firebird installation videos

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As already mentioned, the Firebird installation is as easy as running the installer available from the web site.

As for something similar to SQL Server management studio I would suggest Flamerobin. It even has code completion features and is working fine with FB 2.1 and 2.5 here.

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