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Getting started with php and InterBase

By Yves Glodt
on February 12, 2002


In this article, I will talk a little about installing and using InterBase with php4. It includes:
  • Some words about Interbase
  • Getting and installing InterBase
  • Compiling/configuring php with InterBase support
  • Creating an example database
  • Some code examples

Some Words About InterBase

InterBase is around since the mid 80’s.
The database has made a long way, and was eventually opensourced by by Borland/Inprise in July 2000.
The version now available, and described here is 6.01 (=6.0 + security patch).
It runs on Linux, a variety of Unices and on Windows.
It doesn’t require many resources. The needed disk space is around 10MB (without your DB).
We use it at work with apache/php on a Pentium75 with 80MB and it runs ok!
From the website:

InterBase?? is an open source relational database that runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms.
It is the same commercial database that Motorola, Nokia, Boeing, and the Boston Stock Exchange have used for many years,
now available without license fees.
InterBase?? offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and a powerful language for stored procedures and triggers.
Since 1985 InterBase?? has provided the strength of a powerful, high performance, proven architecture with the
sophisticated technology applications need to be successful.

Currently, development of the sources is made in two separate parts:

  • InterBase
  • Firebird
Firebird is kind of a fork of the released code from Borland. The people behind are
IBPhoenix. This code seems to develop quicker than
the original InterBase branch and will be released as V1.0 (currently RC2).
The sourcecode is at firebird.sourceforge.net.
As for now, InterBase and Firebird seem to be more or less compatible.
There are a few sites on the net with good information: