Firebird News

Sunday, January 30, 2005

SAS is the company that comissioned the Vulcan port of Firebird

My name is David Shamlin; I am with SAS Institute, Inc ( SAS is the company that comissioned the Vulcan port of Firebird. We are a business and analytic intelligence software vendor.

A year and a half ago we identified a business need to incorporate relational/ACID transaction storage capabilities into our platform bundle and decided to pursue an open source database solution that met our requirements. We chose Firebird because it supported an embedable database engine and implemented many of the SQL semantics our consumers need. Because our software platform runs on a number of 64-bit SMP operating systems, our first order of business was to create a Firebird port to one of these systems and introduce modest (i.e., multiple user requests executing in parallel) multi-threading capabilities to the engine. We entered into a partnership with IBPhoenix and with Paul Beach's help acquired the services of Jim Starkey to do much of the heavy lifting on the project for us.

In December of last year, Jim (with Ann's help) finished the initial phases of this work which has come to be refered to as the Firebird Vulcan project. During that time, we also had the opportunity to address some minor JDBC issues with Roman and discuss testing strategies with Pavel. Currently, SAS has three developers and a DBMS product specialist working full time with the Vulcan source. A couple of additional individuals are contributing on a part time basis to additional porting and testing efforts. We have an initial port to z/OS completed, and I hope to initiate ports to a couple more 64-bit Unix/Linux systems in the first quarter of this year.

SAS's intent since the beginning of the project has been to contribute to the Firebird open source project and continue to be an active supporter through direct development and possibly commissioning further coding projects in the future. Since Jim turned over his final work to us in December, we have accumulated a series of source code changes that address some bugs we've uncovered through our testing. At this point, we're interested in committing these changes to the new Vulcan repository on Sourceforge and would like to enter into a dialog with the Firebird project administrators on how we can most effectively accomplish that.

We're pleased with the results we have achieved with Firebird/Vulcan to date and excited about becoming an active participant in the Firebird project. I trust the community at large also sees the value inherent in Vulcan and will welcome SAS's contribution. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with the team and getting to know others involved with Firebird better.

I can be reached for direct follow up at and will continue monitor this mail list in case the group wishes to have a more public discussion.

Thanks for your attention -- David
R&D Director, SAS Institute, Inc

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