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Firebird Conference 2011: Main Topics
Conference schedule (PDF) is available here.

 
Dmitry Yemanov,
Firebird lead architect
Session 1: Review of Firebird Development for 2011/2012

This session will describe the development activities performed by the core team. The major part of the session will be dedicated to Firebird V3.0 development, what has been achieved to date and what is in the pipeline.

Special attention will be paid to improvements in data access paths and the optimizer, including the new statistical information. The planned enhancements in the monitoring area will be described as well. Some other details will be unveiled in the subsequent sessions presented by Vlad Khorsun and Alex Peshkoff.

The Firebird v2.5.1 point release will also be presented, as well as the schedule for maintenance releases for other older versions.

Session 2: Understanding the lock manager internals via the fb_lock_print utility

This session will provide a short introduction to the Firebird lock manager and its usage patterns. It will describe how the lock manager can affect the performance of highly loaded systems and outlines the possible bottlenecks and other problems like unexpected lock-ups/freezes that may require special analysis. The structure of the lock table will also be explained.

It will also include a detailed description of the fb_lock_print utility and its usage that will enable the research of issues that are related to the lock manager. A few practical examples illustrating how to analyze the utility output will be provided. This session is mainly of interest to Classic Server users and DBAs.

Alexander Peshkov,
Firebird core developer
Firebird 3: provider-based architecture, plugins and OO approach to API

This session will be devoted to the architecture of Firebird 3:
  • The Interface-based API of plugins, and its configuration (which can be done separately for each database)
  • OSRI (Open Systems Relational Interface) implementation with plugins (more details about OSRI)
  • Non-SQL stored procedures and triggers with plugins
  • Safe passwords and network encryption
  • Trace plugin and more
Who would be interested in this topic?
The plugins API in Firebird 3 is designed to significantly improve the capabilities of embedding external code.

There will be areas of extension which will allow the following:
  • external triggers and procedures (written in almost any programming language)
  • custom trace plugins
  • security plugins to implement custom users identification (biometrics, etc)
  • traffic encryption using algorithms others than SHA1 and RC4
Special attention will be devoted to non-standard providers, such as bridges to external (non-Firebird) databases or ODBC connection and caching abilities.

Vlad Khorsun,
Firebird core developer
New features of SQL in Firebird

This session will focus on the new SQL language possibilities implemented in Firebird 2.5 and planned for Firebird 3.0. Version 2.5 introduced a number of interesting things, such as autonomous transactions and queries to external databases, and version 3.0 will have even more interesting features for application developers.

Most of the time Firebird developers communicate with the database using SQL therefore new features and language extensions should be interesting to all. The SQL implementation in Firebird has always been convenient, complete and rich and in version 3.0 we will continue this tradition.

In Firebird 3.0 we will add some features, such as window (analytical) functions, PSQL functions, PSQL packages, the ability to write external functions, stored procedures and triggers using C/C++, Java, C# etc. In this session I will try to cover all the most important capabailites and tell you more about what's new in SQL.

Since snapshots of Firebird 3 are already available, anyone can now try these new features of SQL and use the conference to ask specific questions of the developers.

Thomas Steinmauer,
SCCH
Session1: Continuous Database Monitoring with the Trace API

Beside improved SMP-support, an exciting new feature in Firebird 2.5 is the new Audit and Trace Services API. This is a completely new way for Firebird administrators and developers to monitor their databases, because it gives you a server-side, configurable and continuous stream of executed trace events, without adding proprietary code into your client application.

This session discusses the Audit and Trace Services API in detail and shows real-world use cases for its usage including a product demonstration of FB TraceManager V2.

Session 2: Firebird meets NoSQL (Apache HBase) — A Case Study

Different application domains including sensor networks, social networks, science, financial services, condition monitoring systems demand the storage of a vast amount of data in the petabytes area. Prominent candidates are Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Amazon just to name a few.

This data volume can't be tackled with convential relational database technologies anymore, either from a technical or licensing point of view or both. It demands a scale-out environment, which allows reliable, scalable and distributed processing. This trend in Big Data management is more and more approached with NoSQL solutions like Apache HBase on top of Apache Hadoop.

This session discusses big data management and their scalability challenges in general with a short introduction into Apache Hadoop/HBase and a case study on the co-existence of Apache Hadoop/HBase with Firebird in a sensor data aquisition system.

Philippe Makowski,
IBPhoenix
Session 1: Firebird and Linux

This talk will be about various way to setup Firebird under Linux. We'll see that you can use project builds, integrated distribution packages, build from source. We'll see pro and con for each and differences. Under Linux you can make some parameters changes, about your file system, your kernel, we'll see what point can be useful to check or change for better performance.

Session 2: Firebird 3.0 Window Functions

Firebird 3.0 will have a new feature : Window functions A window function in SQL:2008 is an aggregate function applied to a partition of the result set. Those features will significantly enhance the toolkit of OLAP users with Firebird


Pavel Cisar,
IBPhoenix
Session 1: Tips for success: Common mistakes in application development with Firebird and how to avoid them

There are many ways how application developers using Firebird could paint themselves in the corner. Beside well-known design and development errors, there are also subtle mistakes that could have dire consequences.

This talk will guide you through twisted maze of design and development decisions, pointing out the traps, hidden horrors and dead-ends, and strategies how to avoid them.

Session 2: Firebird Python Drivers: Current state and future

This talk will update you on current state of Firebird connectivity for Python (with a surprise!), and plans for future development


Jiri Cincura,
Firebird Project (.NET development)
What is new in .NET provider (trace support, cancellation and more)

.NET driver for Firebird is trying to keep up with new features added to Firebird server. In last year or so I created some features specifically targeting Firebird 2.5, and also some important bug fixes and optimizations.

This talk will uncover these new items and will shouw you how to use it (with some (maybe) interesting scenarios).


Stefan Heymann
Character Sets and Unicode in Firebird

After a short introduction to the world of Character Sets and Unicode, this session will show you how to bring it all to work in Firebird.

You will learn what all those character sets and collations are and how you can properly use them to get the right characters into the database and onto your screen.


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