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The Firebird Book Second Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Firebird SQL


The Firebird Book Second Edition: A Comprehensive Guide to Firebird SQL




Firebird is a powerful, open source, relational database management system that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and other platforms. It supports a wide range of features, such as stored procedures, triggers, views, transactions, encryption, replication, and more. Firebird is fast, reliable, and easy to use, making it an ideal choice for developing applications that need to store and manipulate data.




thefirebirdbooksecondedition2012pdf



If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to Firebird SQL, you have come to the right place. The Firebird Book Second Edition is a revised and updated version of the acclaimed first edition by Helen Borrie, a Firebird expert and consultant. The book covers all aspects of Firebird SQL, from installation and configuration to programming and administration. It is suitable for beginners and advanced users alike, as it explains the concepts and techniques in a clear and practical way.


In this article, we will give you an overview of the book and its contents. We will also answer some frequently asked questions and provide some useful resources for further learning. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what the book can offer you and how you can get it.


Part I: Firing Up with Firebird




The first part of the book introduces you to Firebird and its architecture. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 1: Firebird Servers and Clients. This chapter explains the different types of Firebird servers (Classic, SuperClassic, SuperServer) and clients (embedded, remote), and how they communicate with each other.



  • Chapter 2: Installation. This chapter guides you through the process of installing Firebird on various platforms, such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc. It also shows you how to verify the installation and troubleshoot common problems.



  • Chapter 3: Network Setup and Initial Configuration. This chapter covers the network settings and configuration parameters that affect Firebird's performance and security. It also explains how to use aliases, services, protocols, ports, etc.



  • Chapter 4: Operating Basics. This chapter teaches you how to create, connect to, and manage databases using various tools, such as isql, gbak, gfix, gstat, etc. It also introduces you to some basic SQL commands and concepts.



  • Chapter 5: Migration Notes. This chapter provides some tips and advice for migrating from other database systems or older versions of Firebird to Firebird 2.5. It also discusses some compatibility issues and changes that you should be aware of.



Part II: Firebird Data Types & Domains




The second part of the book focuses on the data types and domains that Firebird supports. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 6: About Firebird Data Types. This chapter gives you an overview of the data types that Firebird supports, such as integers, floats, decimals, dates, times, timestamps, characters, blobs, arrays, etc. It also explains how they are stored internally and how they can be converted or cast.



Part III: A Database & Its Objects




The third part of the book covers the design and definition of a database and its objects, such as tables, indexes, constraints, etc. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 12: Designing and Defining a Database. This chapter discusses the principles and best practices of database design, such as normalization, denormalization, naming conventions, etc. It also shows you how to use various tools and methods to create and modify a database schema.



  • Chapter 13: Data Definition LanguageDDL. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of the SQL commands that are used to define and manipulate database objects, such as CREATE, ALTER, DROP, COMMENT, etc.



  • Chapter 14: Creating and Maintaining a Database. This chapter teaches you how to use various tools and utilities to create and maintain a database, such as gbak, gfix, gstat, nbackup, etc. It also covers some advanced topics, such as encryption, replication, shadowing, etc.



  • Chapter 15: Tables. This chapter goes into more detail about the tables that store the data in a database. It covers the types of tables (permanent, temporary, global temporary), the attributes of tables (columns, constraints, triggers), and the operations on tables (inserting, updating, deleting, selecting data).



  • Chapter 16: Indexes. This chapter explains the role and importance of indexes in improving the performance and efficiency of queries. It covers the types of indexes (primary key, foreign key, unique, non-unique), the properties of indexes (ascending, descending, expression), and the management of indexes (creating, altering, dropping).



  • Chapter 17: Referential Integrity. This chapter discusses the concept and implementation of referential integrity in Firebird. It covers the types of constraints (primary key, foreign key, check), the actions on constraints (cascade, set null, set default), and the effects of constraints on transactions and performance.



Part IV: Working With Data




The fourth part of the book covers the manipulation and retrieval of data using SQL commands and expressions. It covers the following topics:



Part IV: Working With Data




The fourth part of the book covers the manipulation and retrieval of data using SQL commands and expressions. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 18: Data Manipulation LanguageDML. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of the SQL commands that are used to manipulate data in tables, such as INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, MERGE, etc. It also covers some advanced topics, such as returning values, updatable views, common table expressions, etc.



  • Chapter 19: DML Queries. This chapter teaches you how to write and execute queries that retrieve data from tables using the SELECT command. It covers the basic and advanced features of SELECT, such as projection, filtering, grouping, sorting, joining, subqueries, unions, etc.



  • Chapter 20: Expressions and Predicates. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of the expressions and predicates that are used to form conditions and calculations in SQL commands. It covers the types of expressions (arithmetic, string, date/time, boolean, case), the types of predicates (comparison, logical, quantified, exists), and the operators and functions that can be applied to them.



  • Chapter 21: Querying Multiple Tables. This chapter goes into more detail about how to join multiple tables in a query using various methods and techniques. It covers the types of joins (inner, outer, cross, natural), the join conditions (on, using), the join operators (comma, join), and the join strategies (nested loop, merge join, hash join).



Part IV: Working With Data




The fourth part of the book covers the manipulation and retrieval of data using SQL commands and expressions. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 18: Data Manipulation LanguageDML. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of the SQL commands that are used to manipulate data in tables, such as INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, MERGE, etc. It also covers some advanced topics, such as returning values, updatable views, common table expressions, etc.



  • Chapter 19: DML Queries. This chapter teaches you how to write and execute queries that retrieve data from tables using the SELECT command. It covers the basic and advanced features of SELECT, such as projection, filtering, grouping, sorting, joining, subqueries, unions, etc.



  • Chapter 20: Expressions and Predicates. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of the expressions and predicates that are used to form conditions and calculations in SQL commands. It covers the types of expressions (arithmetic, string, date/time, boolean, case), the types of predicates (comparison, logical, quantified, exists), and the operators and functions that can be applied to them.



  • Chapter 21: Querying Multiple Tables. This chapter goes into more detail about how to join multiple tables in a query using various methods and techniques. It covers the types of joins (inner, outer, cross, natural), the join conditions (on, using), the join operators (comma, join), and the join strategies (nested loop, merge join, hash join).



  • Chapter 22: Ordered and Aggregated Sets. This chapter discusses how to order and aggregate the results of a query using various clauses and functions. It covers the ORDER BY clause (ascending, descending, nulls first/last), the GROUP BY clause (grouping sets, rollup, cube), the HAVING clause (filtering groups), and the aggregate functions (count, sum, avg min max etc )



Views and Other Run-time Set Objects




This chapter is a subheading of Part IV: Working With Data. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 23: Views and Other Run-time Set Objects. This chapter explains how to create and use views and other run-time set objects that are derived from queries. It covers the types of views (regular materialized updatable etc ) the types of other run-time set objects (derived tables common table expressions table functions etc ) and their advantages and limitations.



Interactive SQL Utility (isql)




This chapter is a subheading of Part IV: Working With Data. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 24: Interactive SQL Utility (isql). This chapter introduces you to isql a command-line tool that allows you to interact with Firebird databases using SQL commands and scripts. It covers how to start and exit isql how to connect to and disconnect from databases how to execute SQL commands and scripts how to use variables and parameters how to control output formatting and redirection how to use isql commands and options and how to handle errors and warnings.



Part V: Transactions




The fifth part of the book covers the concept and implementation of transactions in Firebird. Transactions are units of work that ensure data consistency and integrity. They cover the following topics:



  • Chapter 25: Overview of Firebird Transactions. This chapter gives you an overview of what transactions are how they work and why they are important in Firebird. It covers the ACID properties of transactions (atomicity consistency isolation durability) the transaction states (active prepared committed rolled back) and the transaction models (multi-generational architecture multi-version concurrency control).



  • Chapter 26: Configuring Transactions. This chapter shows you how to configure transactions in Firebird using various parameters and options. It covers the transaction parameters (isolation level access mode lock resolution wait time) the transaction options (read only read committed rec version no rec version) and the transaction management commands (commit rollback savepoint).



Programming with Transactions




This chapter is a subheading of Part V: Transactions. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 27: Programming with Transactions. This chapter teaches you how to program with transactions in Firebird using various languages and interfaces. It covers how to start and end transactions how to execute SQL commands within transactions how to handle errors and exceptions how to use nested transactions and savepoints how to use two-phase commit and distributed transactions and how to use transaction monitors and listeners.



Part VI: Programming on the Server




The sixth part of the book covers the programming on the server side using procedural SQL (PSQL). PSQL is a language that allows you to create and execute stored procedures executable blocks triggers and events on the Firebird server. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 28: Procedural SQLPSQL. This chapter introduces you to PSQL and its syntax and features. It covers the data types variables constants operators functions statements and blocks that are used in PSQL.



Stored Procedures and Executable Blocks




This chapter is a subheading of Part VI: Programming on the Server. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 29: Stored Procedures and Executable Blocks. This chapter explains how to create and use stored procedures and executable blocks in Firebird. Stored procedures are named and reusable units of PSQL code that can perform complex tasks and return results. Executable blocks are anonymous and temporary units of PSQL code that can be executed once. The chapter covers how to define alter drop call and debug stored procedures and executable blocks.



Triggers




This chapter is a subheading of Part VI: Programming on the Server. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 30: Triggers. This chapter explains how to create and use triggers in Firebird. Triggers are units of PSQL code that are executed automatically when certain events occur on tables or views such as inserting updating or deleting data. The chapter covers how to define alter drop enable disable and debug triggers.



Accessing Other Databases from PSQL




This chapter is a subheading of Part VI: Programming on the Server. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 31: Accessing Other Databases from PSQL. This chapter shows you how to access data from other databases or external sources from PSQL using various methods and techniques. It covers how to use external tables external functions external procedures external engines and external data sources.



Error Handling and Events




This chapter is a subheading of Part VI: Programming on the Server. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 32: Error Handling and Events. This chapter discusses how to handle errors and exceptions in PSQL using various statements and functions. It covers how to use exception handlers exception raisers exception variables error codes and SQLSTATE codes. It also explains how to create and use events in Firebird using various tools and commands. Events are notifications that are sent by the server when certain conditions are met.



Part VII: Configuring Firebird




The seventh part of the book covers the configuration of Firebird and its environment. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 33: Configuring Firebird and Its Environment. This chapter discusses how to configure Firebird and its environment using various files and tools. It covers how to use configuration files (firebird.conf, databases.conf, aliases.conf, etc.), environment variables (FIREBIRD, ISC_USER, ISC_PASSWORD, etc.), command-line options (-a, -b, -c, etc.), and configuration tools (fbconfig, fbsvcmgr, etc.).



Configuration Parameters in Detail




This chapter is a subheading of Part VII: Configuring Firebird. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 34: Configuration Parameters in Detail. This chapter goes into more detail about the configuration parameters that are available in Firebird and their effects on performance, security, compatibility, etc. It covers the parameters for database access (DatabaseAccess, RemoteFileOpenAbility, etc.), authentication (AuthServer, AuthClient, etc.), network (RemoteServiceName, RemoteServicePort, etc.), memory (DefaultDbCachePages, LockMemSize, etc.), logging (AuditTraceConfigFile, ExternalFileAccess, etc.), security (SecurityDatabase, WireCryptPlugin, etc.), compatibility (OldParameterOrdering, LegacyHash, etc.), and others.



Part VII: Configuring Firebird




The seventh part of the book covers the configuration of Firebird and its environment. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 33: Configuring Firebird and Its Environment. This chapter discusses how to configure Firebird and its environment using various files and tools. It covers how to use configuration files (firebird.conf, databases.conf, aliases.conf, etc.), environment variables (FIREBIRD, ISC_USER, ISC_PASSWORD, etc.), command-line options (-a, -b, -c, etc.), and configuration tools (fbconfig, fbsvcmgr, etc.).



Configuration Parameters in Detail




This chapter is a subheading of Part VII: Configuring Firebird. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 34: Configuration Parameters in Detail. This chapter goes into more detail about the configuration parameters that are available in Firebird and their effects on performance, security, compatibility, etc. It covers the parameters for database access (DatabaseAccess, RemoteFileOpenAbility, etc.), authentication (AuthServer, AuthClient, etc.), network (RemoteServiceName, RemoteServicePort, etc.), memory (DefaultDbCachePages, LockMemSize, etc.), logging (AuditTraceConfigFile, ExternalFileAccess, etc.), security (SecurityDatabase, WireCryptPlugin, etc.), compatibility (OldParameterOrdering, LegacyHash, etc.), and others.



Configuring and Managing Databases




This chapter is a subheading of Part VII: Configuring Firebird. It covers the following topics:



Part VII: Configuring Firebird




The seventh part of the book covers the configuration of Firebird and its environment. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 33: Configuring Firebird and Its Environment. This chapter discusses how to configure Firebird and its environment using various files and tools. It covers how to use configuration files (firebird.conf, databases.conf, aliases.conf, etc.), environment variables (FIREBIRD, ISC_USER, ISC_PASSWORD, etc.), command-line options (-a, -b, -c, etc.), and configuration tools (fbconfig, fbsvcmgr, etc.).



Configuration Parameters in Detail




This chapter is a subheading of Part VII: Configuring Firebird. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 34: Configuration Parameters in Detail. This chapter goes into more detail about the configuration parameters that are available in Firebird and their effects on performance, security, compatibility, etc. It covers the parameters for database access (DatabaseAccess, RemoteFileOpenAbility, etc.), authentication (AuthServer, AuthClient, etc.), network (RemoteServiceName, RemoteServicePort, etc.), memory (DefaultDbCachePages, LockMemSize, etc.), logging (AuditTraceConfigFile, ExternalFileAccess, etc.), security (SecurityDatabase, WireCryptPlugin, etc.), compatibility (OldParameterOrdering, LegacyHash, etc.), and others.



Configuring and Managing Databases




This chapter is a subheading of Part VII: Configuring Firebird. It covers the following topics:



  • Chapter 35: Configuring and Managing Databases. This chapter shows you how to configure and manage databases using various tools and commands. It covers how to use database parameters (page size, dialect, character set, etc.), database properties (ODS version, sweep interval, forced writes, etc.), database statistics (header page, allocation table, index statistics, etc.), database validation (check mode, repair mode), database shadowing (creating activating deleting shadows) and database encryption (creating activating deleting encryption keys).



Part VIII: Administering & Securing Firebird




The eighth and final part of the book covers the administration and security of Firebird and its databases. It covers the following topics:



Chapter 36: Protecting the Server and its Environment. This chapter discusses how to protect the Firebird server and its environment from unauthorized access malicious attacks and accidental damage. It covers how to use firewalls antivirus software backup systems and disaster recovery plan


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