Firebird syntax differences to other SQL databases

Sep 30

Insert statements

Until now, I have used insert statements in the form

insert into mytable field1 = 1, field2 = ‘hello world’

Firebird does not like this, it needs the form

insert into mytable ( field1, field2 ) values ( 1, ‘hello world’ )

Masking apostrophes
Also Firebird does not likes masking apostrophes with the backslash

‘Hello, I\’m Wolfgang’

but needs two apostrophes

‘Hello, I”m Wolfgang’

Autoincrement fields
Firebird unfortunately does not have autoincrement fields as MS SQL or MySQL, but needs a trigger and a generator (other databases call it sequence), as it needs also the Oracle database.

Database managment tools
Until now, used DBTools Manager Professional or Navicat Premium Essentials to manage my SQL databases. Unfortunately, DBTools Manager does not work very well with Firebird, and Navicat has no Firebird support. The FlameRobin is very “basic” and has also some problems working with it, so after searching for a low-cost and good-working alternative I have decided for IBExpert Desktop.

Firebird installation on Debian server

Sep 11

Installing Firebird on Debian (Jessie in my case) gave a problem: after installing and starting the server I was not able to connect to the database server:

Your user name and password are not defined. Ask your database administrator to set up a Firebird login.

using the sysdba password I entered in the installation dialog.

Unfortunately it seems the installation procedure has a bug, and does not accept the entered password, but attributes a random password. This random password can you find in the file


The connect with this random password succeedes and you can change your password afterwards – but you must change it with both the Firebird administration tools and inside this file.

The password can be changed with the gsec tool:

gsec -user sysdba -password <password_from_SYSDBA.password>
modify sysdba -pw <your_new_password>

And another speciality for Debian:

The isql tool is called isql-fb