InterBase® and MySQL™ - A Technical Comparison

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Are you considering MySQL as your choice for your SQL database server?    Did you read the Register's recent article, "Oracle kills low-priced MySQL support" by Gavin Clarke.  The recently released InterBase XE is a better technical and cost effective alternative to MySQL. Read the free, technical white paper!

Embarcadero Technology InterBase® XE is a powerful, SQL-compliant database that is often considered for embedding in applications and for application-specific uses. Savvy developers and application architects who take the time to examine InterBase XE closely find that it offers substantial advantages over MySQL.™ These advantages include:

  • Online backup

  • Faster crash recovery

  • Data types for accurate financial calculations

  • Domains for easier design and maintenance

  • Easier access control with roles

  • Views to provide virtual tables and row-level access control

  • Simpler string data types that conform to the ANSI standard

  • More powerful and flexible default values

  • Easier data validation using check constraints

  • Superior performance-monitoring tools

  • Streamlined configuration options

  • N-way replication

The recently released InterBase XE offers database and application development professionals with powerful benefits:

  • High performance and scalable database technology essential to run mission critical applications

  • Maximum data security to protect sensitive data

  • Column-level encryption

  • Database-level encryption

  • Over-the-Wire encryption

  • Easily deployable with a small footprint that supports heterogeneous O/S connectivity for Windows®, Linux, Solaris™, and Mac OS®X

Download the comparison technical white paper on Code Central (note: updated to version 3 on November 18, 2010). This 13 page paper discusses these advantages (over MySQL) in detail.

Embarcadero has a full VAR / OEM program for InterBase. For additional information contact:

  • US and Canada: Sara Williams, Sr. Manager North America Sales, +1-831-431-5080, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Outside US and Canada please contact or contact one of our partners around the world at

If you need additional InterBase information you can find it on the InterBase XE product page at  The InterBase XE feature matrix can be found at

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David Intersimone (known to many as David I.) is a passionate and innovative software industry veteran-often referred to as a developer icon-who extols and educates the world on Embarcadero developer tools. He shares his visions as an active member of the industry speaking circuit and is tapped as an expert source by the media. He is a long-standing champion of architects, developers and database professionals and works to ensure that their needs are folded into Embarcadero's strategic product plans. David holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California.


  • Guest
    rpoulin Tuesday, 16 November 2010

    Why this on the download link?

    «Sorry, you don't have access to this submission. Please see similar submissions for InterBase and Documentation, and other submissions by David Intersimone. »

  • Guest
    davidi Tuesday, 16 November 2010

    Maybe I am misunderstanding your comment. There is a link from the article to the Code Central download entry for this white paper PDF.

    "Why this on the download link?" - as you asking how to get to the link, where the link is, or why does the article link to the download page?

  • Guest
    LDS Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    He meant that we are unable to download the paper because we get an "Unavailable submission" "Sorry, you don't have access to this submission. Please see similar submissions for InterBase and Documentation, and other submissions by David Intersimone. " error if we click on the link.

    I understand that BorCodeDero likes to keep everything secret... but a paper you can't read is a bit useless...

  • Guest
    davidi Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    Ahh - I went back to Code Central - and I had, by misake, put the publish and expiration dates to the same date/time. I have now edited to clear out the expiration date - the article is live for everyone now. Thanks for the notes about the problem.

    LDS wrote - "I understand that BorCodeDero likes to keep everything secret… but a paper you can’t read is a bit useless…". Secrets? Not this time - just pilot error on my part.

  • Guest
    Levend Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    Link is still broken... can't download the white paper, same message as mentioned by rpoulin! :-(


  • Guest
    davidi Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    Maybe you have to be logged in to EDN to be able to download it? In any case, I have also uploaded the PDF to my web site at

  • Guest
    LDS Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    The paper has some blatant errors:
    1) DECIMAL and NUMERIC fields are stored as binary since 5.1
    2) Precision math is available (did Todd read section 11.18 of the manual?)
    3) VARCHAR can be 65535 in length (although limited by max record size)
    4) In one place it says MySQL has not triggers, but it has and it is correctly stated in the comparion chart
    5) Of course the paper didn't mention partitions...
    6) MySQL Enterprise Backup allows for hot backups. It is true it comes only with the more expensive Enterprise edition.
    7) Monitoring tools are greatly improved, and unless the tools that come with Interbase have been greatly improved too recently, I am not sure it has great tools as well.

    That's just the mistakes I spotted, and I am not a MySQL user but for some web applications like Mantis or Drupal. This looks an outdated paper which has been resurrected now because of MySQL price changes. It won't be with such kind of lame comparison BorCodeDero will make Interbase more appealing.
    I wouldn't start to dance on MySQL's grave too early, if I were you. Oracle is not a company who can't sell its products.

  • Guest
    davidi Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    LDS - thanks for the feedback. I will get these to the author for review and any updates that are required.

  • Guest
    LDS Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    Thank you, because most of that material looks to be six years old, and from a comparison between Interbase 7.1 and MySQL 4.1 Alpha:
    I believe Interbase deserves a far better promotion than using outdated informations, and I would also suggest to remove that paper. This way the risk is to have MySQL developer laugh at Interbase because of the attempt to use an old version for the comparison, as if Interbase has nothing to compare to an actual MySQL release. More or less as if a competitor would compare its actual product against Delphi 8.

  • Guest
    David Intersimone Thursday, 18 November 2010

    White paper updated in Code Central based on your feedback. Here are the change notes from Christine Normile, Product Manager for Interbase:

    1) Removed the reference to decimals. Reviewed and removed all references to MySQL not having triggers and a reference to not having stored procedures. Removed the reference to VARCHAR being limited. Added a statement that in addition to the ~$300 hot backup solutions, there is the MySQL Enterprise $5,000 option .

    2) Nothing added about partitions. This is not an exhaustive feature comparison. no changes to the tools section.

    3) This paper was updated by the demand by some customers and prospects looking at InterBase as an alternative to MySQL. Feedback included a) not wanting an “Oracle” database, b) requiring better transactional performance than InnoDB, c) needing database PIT.

  • Guest
    LDS Thursday, 18 November 2010

    That it wasn't an exhaustive feature comparison was clear
    About tools I would suggest your PM for Interbase to check:
    MySQL QueryAnalizer (, MySQL Enteprise Monitor (, and MySQL Workbench ( Hope IBConsole really improved, although most people I know working with Interbase use IBExpert or the like.
    About the backup options, Interbase XE costs $6.500 (unlimited user license), although this is a one time fee while MySQL Enterprise is $500o per year, but the latter includes support. Surely Interbase is far cheaper for relatively small installations, as long as MySQL doesn't offer a named user license.

    I believe Interbase to be a good database that was overlooked for too long by BorCodeDero. And like many other BorCodeDero tools needs far better marketing. But too biased comparison won't help it to be sold to actual MySQL users. They will spot the bias and think "WTF?". You can maybe deceive some executives, but not DBAs. Ask yourselves why Oracle can ask those huge prices and still be the leader. I've been using Delphi and Oracle for years, and "unluckily" never find a better database solution. Probably because compeitors spend more time in perfoming comparison than analyzing their market needs.

  • Guest
    Dmitry Arefiev Sunday, 21 November 2010

    1) MySQL is very widespread standard de-facto DBMS for the Linux web platforms. So, often customers just need to work with the existing MySQL data or extend existing hosted database. IMHO, just very few customers are really choosing between MySQL and Interbase ...
    2) The most closest Interbase competitor by the features and the market area is the Firebird. And the Interbase encryption features is the real plus to Interbase in this competition.

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