InterBase 2020 Update 4 Released !

How to Deploy InterBase

“InterBase works great because it's a zero-maintenance database, has a small footprint and is very fast.”

With InterBase® powering enterprise, stand-alone, and deeply embedded IoT and mobile solutions, there are five editions to choose from to develop the right mix to enhance your software architecture.

InterBase Server and InterBase Desktop

If you have multiple users and devices that need to connect to the same data, then InterBase® Server is the best choice for the core of your architecture. InterBase® Server runs on both Windows and Linux, giving you the flexibility of connecting many different types of devices to the same database.

Many software vendors choose InterBase® because it easily scales up to hundreds of concurrent connections. Since it runs equally well on a low-end laptop as it does on a commercial-grade server, it’s a highly flexible solution to accommodate your varying customer demands and mix of resources.

InterBase® Desktop has the same core as InterBase® Server, except that the license permits only local database connections. As your demand grows, you can easily upgrade InterBase® Desktop to a network-ready solution with InterBase® Server.

InterBase ToGo and IBLite

InterBase® ToGo is an option for those looking to add data storage to their applications – locally or by connecting to a remote InterBase® Server. InterBase® ToGo is an excellent choice for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS applications that need to move data storage offline to:

  • enable offline capabilities for enterprise solutions
  • reduce network traffic
  • lower data movement costs

With InterBase® ToGo, you can also benefit from:

  • Running stand-alone, encrypted data storage
  • Removing the need to install client driver

IBLite is a freely deployable, embeddable database for Android and iOS that runs in a stand-alone environment and allows deployment of apps which directly utilize the InterBase® engine.

With no separate database server process running, the database engine executes in the application process space providing an extremely small footprint. IBLite is a choice embedded database solution for VARs, OEMs and ISVs. Upgrade from IBLite to InterBase ToGo for additional functionality including encryption, multi-core support and larger database file sizes. IBLite for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS is available in Delphi and C++Builder (Professional with Mobile and above) and RAD Studio (all editions).

InterBase® ToGo and IBLite both contain the same libraries for the InterBase® deeply embeddable database engine. So when you’re ready, it’s incredibly easy to upgrade from IBLite to InterBase® ToGo by simply replacing the license file!

InterBase Deployment – Installed / Embedded / Deeply Embedded?

Installing InterBase® takes only a few minutes. Both InterBase® Server and Desktop are installable through a stand-alone installer. Or you can silently embed either version into your own installer.

InterBase® ToGo and IBLite do not require an installer since the InterBase kernel is deeply embedded inside your application during development – simply by linking to the InterBase® libraries.

Which Deployment Option is Best For You?

The chart below will help you determine which InterBase® edition is best to help you build your solution. With InterBase®, it doesn’t matter if you are unsure at first since it’s easy to move between editions. Often, the best choice is a combination of one or more editions. As you consider your options, you may need help or expert advice along the way. If you do, don’t hesitate to contact our customer success team.

Developer Edition

IBLite for RAD Studio

Embedded IBToGo

Desktop Edition

Server Edition

Available for Deployment

Zero-install, embedded database as a library, just link to access database

Supported platforms for server / embedded editions

Windows, Linux

Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android

Window, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android


Windows, Linux

Supported client platforms for server editions

Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, macOS

Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, macOS

Concurrent applications /client access to the database

New in InterBase 2020! Tablespace support

New in InterBase 2020! Embedded InterBase available for Android 64-bit and macOS 64-bit

Remote secure over-the-wire communication via SSL

Database and column level encryption – AES (strong) and DES (weak)





Encryption of the database backup file

Journaling with Write-Ahead Logging (WAL) for better VLDB management and OLTP performance

Journal Archiving for disaster recovery

Developer Edition

IBLite for RAD Studio

Embedded IBToGo

Desktop Edition

Server Edition

Point-in-time-recovery of data, with database restoration based on timestamp for greater recovery flexibility between physical backups

SQL based connection monitoring support

Maximum Simultaneous Users Available





Depends on License

Maximum number of CPU Cores






Maximum number of connections per user






Simultaneous transactions per connection






Available connectivity drivers from RAD Studio (FireDAC and IBX)

Other connectivity drivers: ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, PHP+

Command line tools for development, administration and validation

GUI tool, IBConsole on Windows

Developer Edition

IBLite for RAD Studio

Embedded IBToGo

Desktop Edition

Server Edition

Deploy InterBase as a Value-Added Reseller (VAR)

The InterBase VAR program is here to help you take your ideas from paper to market.

We know one size doesn’t fit all and each solution is unique; that is why the ISV, OEM, VAR Program exists. VARs can embed InterBase with their applications with a “silent install” and pay for licenses periodically as they are distributed. This licensing option and volume license discounts are possible by setting up a VAR agreement.

As a member of the InterBase VAR program, you will be joining a growing list of global companies (across a range of industries, from POS systems to medical laboratory and CRM to railway systems) who gain competitive advantage and stand out in the marketplace through advanced data protection, security, disaster recovery, speed, and performance.


Security Features

InterBase is Secure

Cross-Platform Encryption

InterBase® supports encryption over the wire between server and clients, and data at rest (both DES and AES 256-bit encryption). InterBase encryption is built in as part of its cross-platform single file format.

InterBase is Secure

Separate Security Login

Data visibility is defined by a specialist login to the database (SYSDSO) with column-level granularity that ensures even developers cannot bypass encryption to view and search for sensitive data

InterBase is Secure

Minimized Risk

Built-in granular column-level encryption drastically reduces risk of data breaches through requirement changes and product refactoring as your data layer (and not your application) manages data visibility

InterBase is Secure

Role-Based User Security

Define user security roles that align with job roles (Accountant, Accounts Manager, Sales, HR, etc.) to easily add or remove access to both data and change tracking across your system

InterBase is Secure

Encrypted Backups

InterBase® also supports a backup-specific encryption key that allows an encrypted backup to be created and answers the needs of those requiring command-line backups to be run via scheduling

Self-Reliance Features

Interbase is Self-Reliant

InterBase® will just run and run and run! Even with the hardest working databases processing 10,000+ transactions each second, it could be years before you need to backup and restore the latest InterBase® database server. InterBase® servers are so good at being admin-free, the Mars rover used a copy on Mars (it is too far to send a DBA!).

InterBase® was one of the first ACID-compliant databases on the market, and this foundation means it will get back up and running very quickly following any server crash. In fact, InterBase® is so good at this, it has been deployed in tanks, helicopters and medical equipment globally where time to recover is critical following any system reboots.

InterBase® also offers a range of failover capabilities, including incremental backups, journals, point-in-time recovery, and database shadowing

Resilience Features

InterBase®’s multi-versioning architecture enables backup snapshots to be taken while users are still connected and changing the database.

Distinguished data dumps quickly create a read-only copy of your database. In a DR scenario, switching the database to read/write is faster than waiting for a restore. First-time setups create a complete copy of the database, while subsequent runs update the copy with only the changes to the primary database.

InterBase® restores using multiple threads on multiple processors to ensure the fastest possible recovery of the database and indexes.

Quickly revert the database to any second in time using journal archives. Journal archives can be stored off device to provide a fast way to recover even if the backup hasn’t run.

InterBase is Resilient

Efficiency Features

InterBase®’s Change Views eliminates common scalability issues associated with log tables and time-stamp fields.

Once a device is granted rights and subscribed to specific tables or columns of data, it tracks what is changing at field level for that subscription. This simple model enables access to data changes to be securely managed and easily scaled out with less code to develop, refactor, build, and test.

Change Views not only makes it easy to identify what has changed, it controls who can track those changes and prevents others from even guessing at data changes.

Change Views provides just the field-level deltas of what has changed, allowing developers to give detailed analysis back to the end user while lowering data-movement costs. Change Views data can be queried via SQL before syncing to ensure you never end up with a surprise data bill.

Flexibility Features

Runs on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS. InterBase also supports heterogeneous OS connectivity across all supported platforms.

InterBase® supports Java, C, C++, .NET, Delphi and PHP, and integrates closely with RAD Studio IDEs. Visual Studio developers can work with InterBase through ADO.NET or ODBC connectors.

Commercial-grade data storage on both server and clients powering online and offline application capabilities. InterBase Server, Developer and Trial editions are suitable for installed servers.

InterBase® ToGo and IBLite versions can be used as standalone embedded databases with local storage. Local storage reduces the need for network traffic to reduce costs and improves app speed and user experience.

InterBase®’s single-file format allows you to deploy your applications anywhere. A unified on-disk format allows fast support and testing directly from your development machine.

InterBase is Efficient

Light Weight Features

In its smallest distribution, InterBase® is only a few megabytes. The small on-disk footprint and small in-memory requirements make it ideal for any device requiring a commercial-grade embeddable database engine.

InterBase® server installs completely in seconds with an embeddable installer to allow for silent install of server and client drivers. When it comes to InterBase® ToGo, no installation is required! Just deploy the InterBase® libraries along with your application.

InterBase®’s Change Views improves data speed and scalability by dramatically reducing the amount of data moved, lowering data costs, network traffic, server CPU demand, and disk I/O.

Journaling provides the security of immediately writing changes to disk with the benefits of a full in-memory database system. Enable journaling through a single line of SQL without any changes in your application.

Standards Compliance Features

Change Views speeds up applications and lowers network traffic and costs by identifying and fetching only the changes made to the database.

Connects with consistent database snapshots, ensures readers don’t block writers from making changes and increases scalability

InterBase® Events enable a real-time alert to connected clients when a change is committed. This saves on CPU intensive database polling and increases database scalability.

Easily customize InterBase® with custom field types, stored procedures, custom exceptions and triggers. Customization helps automate database logic, data transformation and easy maintenance.

Generators allow you to fetch sequential numbers that are typically used for primary keys. InterBase® will not assign duplicate keys. Generators enable InterBase® to produce key values centrally in the database.


InterBase & Other Databases

ISVs choose InterBase® because of its super-low total cost of ownership, speed of development, ease to support, and commercial-grade database features. Below is an comparison between InterBase® and a select few databases.

InterBase® is faster, is vastly more scalable, and is packed with superior disaster-recovery and data-protection compliance features that are key to maintaining both your and your customers’ reputations. Additionally, Change Views adds a zero-cost and highly scalable replication engine API that significantly reduces both data movement and replication licensing costs for the lowest total cost of ownership.

Open-source is not always free. Oracle’s MySQL is a popular open-source database that is free to download, but you’ll need to buy an annual subscription for each deployment. InterBase gives you better value. When it comes to protecting your data and ensuring business continuity, it’s critical that you carefully consider both data backup and data encryption. InterBase supports both online data backups and transparent data encryption (TDE) in all paid editions, while these features are available only in the most expensive MySQL Enterprise edition.

MySQL architecture centers on server-to-server replication and doesn’t offer a mobile database. InterBase® Change Views is built to easily handle data movement between a large variety of remote devices—either locally or distributed—making it ideal for modern scalable replication requirements.

MSSQL is a powerful top-end database that comes with top-end pricing, if you want the business critical features like transparent data encryption (TDE). TDE helps businesses conform with data-protection laws and best practices and work toward standards like PCI/HIPAA compliance. TDE is in all paid editions of InterBase, a feature that is only available in MSSQL Enterprise.

On disaster-recovery server costs, InterBase® includes the license for a secondary hot disaster-recovery server; for MSSQL, you have to pay for an additional server license. To put it another way, an eight-CPU server with TDE and hot disaster recovery is over $107k cheaper with InterBase®!

Without the mobile presence, the MSSQL replication technologies focus on server to server rather than enablement of a large number of distributed remote devices that InterBase® Change Views also enables.

Summary: Sybase SQL Anywhere was acquired by SAP in 2012. Being a SAP company, its agenda is heavily focused on SAP product development and feature requirements. There is also clear indication from SAP that HANA is their platform for the future, leaving many wondering what will happen to SQL Anywhere.

Both InterBase® and SQL Anywhere provide strong mobile offerings and data change-tracking capabilities. While Change Views is built into the InterBase® core, MobiLink is a charged extra per device.

InterBase® IBLite and SQLite are both free database offerings. SQLite lacks certain features to achieve SQL92 compliance, specifically the lack of stored procedures.

For business data on mobile, InterBase® ToGo is packed with superior disaster recovery and data-protection compliance features that are key to maintaining both your and your customers’ reputations. With protection throughout the development life cycle, InterBase® massively reduces the risk of fines and regulatory action in the event of lost data.

SQLite is basically a flat file on steroids; SQLite does offer the same level of database support to ensure data integrity and doesn’t for high concurrency. Because of this, it is not really suited for ISV development.





SAP SQL Anywhere





iOS & Android


Core Features

Stored Procedures


Data Check Constraints

Database Encryption


Depends on Edition

Depends on Edition

3rd Party

Column-Level Encryption

Depends on Edition

High Concurrency

Fine-Grained User Security

Online Backup

Depends on Edition


Depends on Edition

Depends on Edition

Point-in-Time Recovery

Depends on Edition

Depends on Edition

Change-Tracking & Sync

3rd Party - License Cost per Server & Destination

Depends on Edition

Depends on Edition

Extra License Cost

Scale Your Business With InterBase

ISVs choose InterBase because of its super-low total cost of ownership, speed of development, ease to support, and enterprise-grade database features

Developer Edition

IBLite for RAD Studio

Embedded IBToGo

Desktop Edition

Server Edition

Ultrafast | Ultra-Secure | Encryptable | Embeddable | Scalable

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