Release Candidate 1 of Firebird 1 is now available for download

The primary goal for Firebird 2.5 was to establish the basics for a new threading architecture that is almost entirely common to the Superserver, Classic and Embedded models, taking in lower level synchronization and thread safety generally. Although SQL enhancements are not a primary objective of this release, for the first time, user management becomes accessible through SQL USER statements

Administrative Enhancements:

  • System audit tracing and user trace sessions via the Services API, making it possible to monitor and analyse everything going on in a database in real time
  • New system role RDB$ADMIN in the ODS 11.2 database allows SYSDBA to transfer its privileges to another user on a per-database basis
  • More information in the monitoring tables
  • Asynchronous cancellation of connections
  • Capability for ordinary users to monitor any of their own attachments as well as CURRENT_CONNECTION

Other SQL Language Additions and Enhancements:

  • Regular expression support using the SIMILAR TO predicate
  • ALTER COLUMN for computed columns
  • Autonomous transactions within a PSQL module (stored procedure, trigger or dynamically executable PSQL block)
  • Enhanced access to stored procedures in view definitions
  • Optional GRANTED BY or GRANTED AS for GRANT and REVOKE statements, enabling the grantor to be a user other than the CURRENT_USER (the default).
  • REVOKE ALL syntax to dispose of all privileges for a user or role at once
  • Support for WHERE SOME_COL = ? OR ? IS NULL predications
  •  Removal of "reserved" status for all but a handful of keywords that are not reserved in the SQL standard

Data-handling Enhancements:

  • New built-in functions for converting UUID CHAR(16) OCTETS strings to RFC4122-compliant format and vice versa
  • Ability to pass 32-bit and 64-bit integers as hexadecimal in numeric literal and X-prefixed binary string literal formats

API Additions:

  • Statements now return an SQL-2003 standard 5-alphanumeric SQLSTATE completion code
  • New constant DSQL_unprepare available for use with isc_dsql_free_statement for efficient unpreparing of statements

International Language Support:

  • Default COLLATE clause for CREATE DATABASE
  • Ability to change the default COLLATE for a used character set
  • GBAK restore switches FIX_FSS_DATA and FIX_FSS_METADATA to restore legacy databases with UNICODE_FSS data and/or metadata correctly without resorting to scripts and manual techniques
  • Accent-insensitive collation for Unicode
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