InterBase Installation & Deployment Options

By: Conference Speaker

Abstract: This paper discuss the various options available for installing InterBase, including using the Installation API, TIBInstall, the Borland Setup.exe package, and various other installation packages.

This is the technical paper from a talk given at the 12th Annual Borland Developer's Conference
By David R. Robinson – Sage U.S. Holdings, Inc.

David R. Robinson works as the director of development for the Carpe Diem Electronic Time Sheet product line at Sage U.S. Holdings, Inc. David has 12 years' experience in software development and management. David lives in Texas with his wife and three children.

Note: No portion of this paper may be distributed or reproduced by any means, or in any form, without the author's and/or Borland's prior written permission.

Introduction
        Overview
        Definitions
       
Background
Installation Basics
        Installation Standards
   
             Reference counts for shared files
   
     Minimal Client Installation
   
     Minimal Server Installation
Advanced Installation
        Complete Client Installation
   
     Complete Server Installation
Installation Options
        InterBase 6 Installation API
   
     InterBase Express TIBInstall Component
   
     Borland Binary Package Installer (setup.exe)
        Wise Compiled Scripts
   
     Microsoft Installer (MSI) Compiled Scripts
   
     Other Installation Packages
Differences between the Certified and Open Edition
Summary

 


Introduction

Overview

This paper will discuss the various options available for installing InterBase.  I will discuss using the Installation API, the InterBase Express TIBInstall component, Borland's setup.exe package and various other installation packages. This paper will also describe what you need to know to be able to create your own installation scripts using Wise, InstallShield, MSI, etc.

Definitions

To be consistent with the InterBase 5.5 Embedded Installation Guide, I decided to use some of the the same conventions used in that document.

The variable %SYSTEM32% is a reference to the Windows system folder.  For Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me, the default system folder is C:WindowsSystem.  For Windows NT and Windows 2000, the default system folder is C:WinntSystem32.  Most installation packages determine the Windows system folder for you automatically.

The variable %INTERBASE% is a reference to the folder where the user choose to install InterBase.  If an InterBase installation already exists, %INTERBASE% should be the folder where InterBase is currently installed.

Background

I work for Sage U.S. Holdings, Inc. as the Director of Development for the Carpe Diem Electronic Time Sheet product line.  I first started using InterBase in 1995 when we were in the process of completely rewriting Carpe Diem using Delphi 1.0 (it was originally written using Turbo/Borland Pascal).

One of the main goals of the rewrite was to support multiple client/server database engines. We decided that we would support InterBase (even though we didn't know of anyone other than Delphi programmers using it at that time), Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Informix and Sybase.  We also supported Paradox--which is the reason we became InterBase an VAR.  At that time we didn't really know much about InterBase, but after we installed the other database engines, we quickly discovered that it was the easiest to install and configure.

We shipped the client/server update for Carpe Diem in January 1997.  As I mentioned, we supported Paradox as well the various client/server databases.  We knew that Paradox was not something that should be used except for a relatively small number of users.  We assumed that our customers would not use Paradox when they had a large number of users.  Since most of our customers had 75 or more users, we didn't expect many of them to use Paradox.  Unfortunately, we ended up having the majority of our customers use Paradox because it was FREE compared to the cost of installing a client/server database server and purchasing client licenses for all of their users.  We had customers with over 100 concurrent users trying to use Paradox tables for their Carpe Diem database.  This became a major problem for us because of how easy it is to corrupt Paradox tables.

We had to come up with a low cost alternative to Paradox so that we could get all of our customers who were using Paradox to switch to a true client/server database engine.  We looked at several alternatives and decided to go with InterBase.  In June 1997, we became InterBase VARs.  We pre-paid for 5,555 licenses so we could get a great price on InterBase.  This would allow us to sell InterBase to our customers at a bargain price.  We have worked closely with InterBase since that time including participating in the InterBase VAR Advisory Council.  We now have over 8,000 users using InterBase as the database for their Carpe Diem installation.

After InterBase was released as an open-source product in July 2000, I started seeing the same questions asked over and over.  Most people were wanting to know how to install InterBase server with their application and how to install the InterBase client.  There were also people asking if there were scripts to install InterBase with their installation product such as Wise or InstallShield.

At Sage we use Wise InstallMaster from Wise Solutions to install our software.  After we became an InterBase VAR, we created a Wise script to install InterBase.  Once InterBase 6 was released, we updated our scripts to support InterBase 6.  The Wise scripts were created based on our scripts that we had been using for InterBase 5.x and the InterBase 5.5 Embedded Installation Guide.   Since there seemed to be a big demand for information on installing InterBase and we had a good script to install InterBase, we decided to contribute our Wise scripts to the InterBase community.  We released both the script source and compiled scripts to the community.  The demand for the scripts outgrew the bandwidth for the hosts where the scripts were located.  I needed to find a new home to host the InterBase scripts.  I approached the people at Defined Systems (previously DelphiHost.com) about hosting the InterBase scripts for me.  They were gracious enough to host the scripts for me free of charge (of course I help promote them on the site as well).

I initially created the site as a source for Wise install scripts for installing InterBase.  However, I was still seeing the same questions asked about how to install InterBase and if certain scripts for certain products existed.  As an effort to try to meet the need for providing information about how to install InterBase, I decide to change the Wise Installation Script site to a general InterBase Installation Info site.  I have now expanded the site to include a FAQ on installing InterBase and several different installation script sources.  The InterBase Install Info website can be found at http://ibinstall.defined.net.

Installation Basics

Installation Standards

It is imperative that everyone installing InterBase adhere to certain installation standards to prevent an installation of InterBase from breaking an existing InterBase installation.  One of the biggest problems of the Borland Database Engine (BDE) is that most people do not properly install the BDE.  Many software products (especially Corel) install an older version of the BDE on top of a more recent version or simply overwrite existing configuration settings.  This frequently causes existing applications to stop functioning after the new application has been installed.

For InterBase, having installation standards wasn't as important before InterBase became an open-source product because the chances of someone having two products that used InterBase was pretty small.  However, now that InterBase is an open-source product and you can deploy InterBase for free, there appears to be a lot more people using InterBase as the database for their product.  If there are not some standards for installing InterBase, it may be difficult to use multiple products that use InterBase on the same system without tweaking something after installation.

I am basing the information contained in this paper on the InterBase 5.5 Embedded Installation Guide and the experiences that I've gained by installing software products such as Carpe Diem Electronic Time Sheet, the BDE and InterBase over the past several years.

The simplest way to see what is required to install InterBase is to start by going over what is needed to do a basic (minimal) installation of InterBase.  We'll cover the InterBase client first and then describe what is needed for a basic server installation.  Before we do that, let's briefly discuss why it is important to reference count shared files.

Reference counts for shared files

Whenever you install a file that can be shared between applications or multiple installations of the same application, you should maintain a reference count in the registry.  Even if you do not install a shared file because a newer version already exists, you should update the reference count for that file.  This should prevent the removal of another application from deleting a file that you are depending on.

To update the reference count for a shared file, you should first check to see if the registry key for that file (i.e. C:WindowsSystemGDS32.DLL) exists under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoft
WindowsCurrentVersionSharedDLLs.

If the registry key for the file you are installing does not exist, you should create the registry key and set the data value for that key to 1.  If the registry key for the file your are installing already exists,  you should increment the data value by 1.  When you uninstall the file, you should decrement the data value by 1.  Most installation programs will not remove a shared file until the reference count becomes zero.

Minimal Client Installation

A minimal installation of the InterBase client may seem trivial since all that is required for a client installation is three files (GDS32.DLL, INTERBASE.MSG, & MSVCRT.DLL).  However, to properly install these files, there are certain issues that you need to be aware of.  We'll start with GDS32.DLL.

Installing GDS32.DLL

GDS32.DLL is the interface library used by client applications.  If you install GDS32.DLL, be sure that you install INTERBASE.MSG as well (see Installing INTERBASE.MSG below).

Before you attempt to install GDS32.DLL you should be sure that it does not already exist on the system.  You should look in the following locations for GDS32.DLL:

Windows system folder
This is the %SYSTEM32% folder (see Definitions for details).

InterBase 6.x (and 4.x) installation folder
Read the the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorlandInterBaseCurrent Version and then look in the bin folder under the folder specified by that key.

InterBase 5.x installation folder
Look at the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREInterBase CorpInterBaseCurrent Version and then look in the bin folder under the folder specified by that key.

Path Environment
Most installation packages can search for a file in the path for you automatically.

Session Manager Environment
Note:  This is applicable for Windows NT or Windows 2000 only.  This is listed in the InterBase 5.5 Embedded Installation Guide, but I'm not sure that I've ever seen GDS32.DLL in this path.  You can get the folder for this from the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerEnvironment

Borland Database Engine folder
Look at the registration value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorlandDatabase EngineDLLPATH

If you found an existing GDS32.DLL, you should check the version information.  If there is no version information then GDS32.DLL is from InterBase 4.0 or 4.1.  If you found an InterBase 4.0 or 4.1 installation, you should abort the installation and instruct the user to remove the previous version of InterBase before running the Installation program.  Tip:  Tell them where you found the existing version of GDS32.DLL so they don't have to search for it.  

Most installation packages have file replacement options to allow you to check the file version information automatically before replacing a file.  You can replace GDS32.DLL with a newer version, but you should never replace an existing DLL with an older version.

If you have determined that it is okay to install GDS32.DLL, you should install it in the %SYSTEM32% folder.

Be sure that you update the SharedDLLs registry key (reference count) for GDS32.DLL.

Installing INTERBASE.MSG

INTERBASE.MSG contains the text of the client and server error messages.  It is important to be sure that you have the same version of GDS32.DLL and INTERBASE.MSG installed on the system.

If you install GDS32.DLL, you should also install INTERBASE.MSG.  If you do not install GDS32.DLL (because your version is older), you should not install INTERBASE.MSG.

If an existing version of InterBase already exists, you should install INTERBASE.MSG in that folder.  To see if an existing version of InterBase exists, look at the folder specified by the following registry values HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE
BorlandInterBaseCurrentVersionRoot Directory 
and 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE
InterBase CorpInterBaseCurrentVersionRoot Directory

If an existing version of InterBase is not found, install InterBase in the  %INTERBASE% folder.

Be sure that you update the SharedDLLs registry key (reference count) for INTERBASE.MSG.

Installing MSVCRT.DLL

MSVCRT.DLL is the Microsoft C Runtime Library DLL.  More than likely you already have the DLL on your system.  My home PC has 7 different versions of this DLL in various directories (most of them are improperly installed since it should be installed in the Windows system folder).  InterBase requires version 5.00.7303 or later of this DLL.  This is the version that Borland was shipping with InterBase 6 beta.  This version of MSVCRT.DLL is quite old so it is crucial that you check the version of this DLL and avoid overwriting an existing version with an older version.

Note:  If you use the Microsoft installer (which is what the Borland binary package installer uses) to install MSVCRT.DLL on Windows 2000 Server, there are bugs in MSI on Windows 2000.  In this situation, even though the installer checks the version information, MSVCRT.DLL will be overwritten with the older 5.00.7303 version.  This causes other applications such as Microsoft SQL Server to stop working.  This problem does not exist if you are not using the Microsoft installer.  Because there were so many problems with this, Borland updated their installer so that InterBase 6 Certified no longer attempts to install this DLL under Windows 2000.

You should install MSVCRT.DLL in the %SYSTEM32% folder.  Be sure that you update the SharedDLLs registry key (reference count) for MSVCRT.DLL.

Registry entries

Once you have installed the InterBase client, you should update the registry entries that InterBase uses.  The following registry entries should be used:

The data value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionRoot Directory should be set to the  %INTERBASE% folder.  

Note:  If you are installing InterBase on Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me, the InterBase Server Manager will not be able to start the InterBase server unless you place a trailing backslash ("") on the end of the path for the Root Directory registry key.  Until Borland has fixed this bug, I suggest that you place a trailing backslash ("") on the Root Directory folder.

The data value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionVersion should be set to the version of GDS32.DLL.

As an alternative to setting the keys programatically, you can use the INSTREG.EXE program to create the registry keys for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionRoot Directory 
                   and 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionVersion.

You can see the syntax for running instreg by calling instreg from the command prompt with no parameters.  Note:  instreg does not maintain the reference counts on the shared files.

Updating the TCP/IP services file

If your client application will be using TCP/IP to connect to the InterBase server, you will need to be sure that the services file contains the gds_db entry.  The services file is called "services." (no extension).  The services file is found in the Windows folder on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me.  The services file is found in the System32driversetc folder on Windows NT and Windows 2000.  If the services file does not contain an entry for gds_db, then you will need to add the following line to the services file:

gds_db     3050/tcp     # InterBase

WARNING:  It is crucial that you add the gds_db line to the services file.  You do not want to overwrite an existing services file with a new one containing just the gds_db entry.  Doing so would most likely cause other applications to stop functioning.

Note:  If you are installing InterBase on Windows NT or Windows 2000, a normal user does not have rights to modify the services file.  You will have to run the installation program while logged in as a user with Administrative rights.

This is all that is needed to install the InterBase client.  See the Complete Client Installation for additional options for installation the InterBase client.

Minimal Server Installation

If you are installing InterBase server, you will need to do everything that is described in the Minimal Client Installation section above in addition to the steps listed in this section.

Check to see if the InterBase server is running

Before you begin a server installation, you should first check to see if the InterBase server is running.  This is done by calling the Windows API function FindWindow (FindWindowA in user32.dll) to search for the class name "IB_Server".  If the server is running, you should abort the installation and display a message to the user that the existing InterBase server should be shut down before running the installation.

Installing IBSERVER.EXE and IBCONFIG

IBSERVER.EXE is the main InterBase server executable.  It should be installed in the %INTERBASE%bin folder.  Be sure that you update the SharedDLLs registry key (reference count) for IBSERVER.EXE.

IBCONFIG contains server configuration information.  It should be installed in the %INTERBASE% folder.

Installing the security database

The security database is ISC4.GDB (there is also a backup called ISC4.GBK).  You should never overwrite an existing security database.  If ISC4.GDB or ISC4.GBK already exist in %INTERBASE%, then you should NOT install them.

Once you have done this, you simply need to run IBSERVER.EXE to start the InterBase server.  See Complete Server Installation for information on how to run InterBase as an NT Service and other installation options.

InterBase license

If you are installing the Borland Open Edition or Firebird open-source version of InterBase, you do not need to install a license file.  The legal text for the InterBase Public License is contained in the file LICENSE.TXT.  You should install the most recent version of this file in %INTERBASE% whenever you install InterBase.

If you are installing the Borland Certified version of InterBase, you should install the LICENSE.TXT file that comes with the certified version.  You will also need to have license keys to allow access to your InterBase server.  See the Differences between the Certified and Open Edition section below for an explanation of licensing in the Certified version.  

Advanced Installation

Complete Client Installation

In addition to the items described above in the Minimal Client Installation section, you can install the IBConsole utility program, release notes, and help files on the client.  These are described below.

Installing IBConsole

InterBase provides a utility that you can use to configure and maintain an InterBase server, create and administer databases, execute interactive SQL statements, manage users, and administer security.  IBConsole replaces the Server Manager, Communications Diagnostics Tool and InterBase Windows ISQL utilities found in earlier versions of InterBase.

To install IBConsole, install IBConsole.exe, IBConsole.cnt, and IBConsole.hlp in the %INTERBASE% folder.

Note:  IBConsole is updated regularly.  You can download the latest version of IBConsole from Code Central on the Borland Community website.

Installing Help Files

The following help files can be installed on the client or server in the
%INTERBASE%bin folder:

ib32.hlp, ib32.cnt  - Master InterBase help file
ibgloss.hlp, ibgloss.cnt  - InterBase glossary & definitions help file
sqlref.hlp, sqlref.cnt  - InterBase SQL Reference help file
perform.hlp, perform.cnt  - Performance Guidelines help file

Release Notes

The InterBase Release Notes are contained in the file ReleaseNotes.pdf.  You can install the Release Notes in the %INTERBASE% folder.

Complete Server Installation

In addition to the items described in the Minimal Server Installation section above, you can install InterBase as an NT Service, and install several utility programs, help files, and tools as part of the InterBase server installation.  These are described below.

Running InterBase as an NT service

If you are running on Windows NT or Windows 2000,  you can run InterBase as an NT service.  An NT service can run in the background even when there is no user logged into the NT system.  I recommend that you run InterBase as an NT service if you are running on Windows NT or Windows 2000.

To install the InterBase server as an NT service, you can use the instsvc.exe program.  This will create the necessary registry entries to configure InterBase as an NT service.  You should call instsvc.exe as follows:

instsvc install "%INTERBASE%" -auto

A program can be installed as a Windows NT service by calling the CreateService Windows API call.  If you are installing InterBase using an installation program (such as Wise) that can create services, I recommend that you create the service using the installation package rather than by calling instsvc.

Note:  If you install InterBase as an NT Service into a folder that contains folder names with spaces, you may encounter the following error:

Error 0193: %1 is not a valid NT application

If you receive this error, click the link above for the Borland Developer Support article describing the error.  The best way I have found to avoid this problem is to save the path name for the service executable in 8.3 (short file name) format.  Note:  The problem can occur for the InterBase Guardian service described below.

Installing the InterBase Guardian

Before you configure the InterBase Guardian as a service, you should install the InterBase Guardian file, ibguard.exe, in the %INTERBASE%bin folder.  Be sure that you update the SharedDLLs registry key (reference count) for IBGUARD.EXE.

The InterBase Guardian is a process that can be run to monitor the InterBase server.  If the InterBase server terminates abnormally, the Guardian process will automatically restart it.  The InterBase Guardian can also be run as an NT service on Windows NT and Windows 2000.  Unfortunately, the instsvc program does not install the InterBase Guardian as an NT Service, so you must manually install the Guardian process as a Windows NT service.  See page 16 of the InterBase 5.5 Embedded Installation Guide for an example of how to create the Guardian service.  If the installation software that you use supports creation of NT Services, this is the best way to install the InterBase Guardian Service. 

When you are running both the InterBase Guardian and InterBase Server as Windows NT Services, you should set the InterBase Server service to start manually and the InterBase Guardian service to start automatically.

Registry entries

The data value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionGuardianOptions should be set to "1" for The Guardian to autostart and "0" for manual start.

The data value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBorland
InterBaseCurrent VersionServerDirectory should be set to %INTERBASE%.

If you are running InterBase on Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me and want to start InterBase automatically during boot, add the following registry item to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE
MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun:

%INTERBASE%binibserver.exe

If you are running InterBase on Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me and want to start the InterBase Guardian automatically during boot, add the following registry item to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE
MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun:

%INTERBASE%binibguard.exe

Note:  If you have the InterBase Guardian start during boot, you do not need to start ibserver.exe during boot since the InterBase Guardian will start it automatically.

Other Server files

The following files should also be installed for a complete InterBase Server installation:

File Installation
Folder
Description
ib_util.dll %INTERBASE%bin InterBase utility 
dynamic library
gdsintl.dll %INTERBASE%bin International character sets 
and collation information
ib_udf.dll %INTERBASE%udf InterBase standard UDF 
dynamic library
ibmgr.cpl %SYSTEM32% InterBase Server Manager 
Control Panel Applet

Installing the Command Line Tools

The following command line tools can be installed on the server in the %INTERBASE%bin folder:

gbak.exe  - Backup utility
gfix.exe - Database configuration utility
gsec.exe  - Security database utility
gstat.exe - Database analysis utility
isql.exe - Interactive SQL utility
iblockpr.exe - Lock table analysis utility

Installing IBConsole

InterBase provides a utility that you can use to configure and maintain an InterBase server, create and administer databases, execute interactive SQL statements, manage users, and administer security.  IBConsole replaces the Server Manager, Communications Diagnostics Tool and InterBase Windows ISQL utilities found in earlier versions of InterBase.

To install IBConsole, install IBConsole.exe, IBConsole.cnt, and IBConsole.hlp in the %INTERBASE% folder.

Note:  IBConsole is updated regularly.  You can download the latest version of IBConsole from Code Central on the Borland Community website.

Installing the Developer Tools

The following files for the Developer Tools can be installed on the server as well.

The Embedded SQL code preprocessor, gpre.exe, should be installed in the
%INTERBASE%bin folder.

The Header files, include*.*, should be installed in the
%INTERBASE%include folder.

The Import Library files, lib*.*, should be installed in the
%INTERBASE%lib folder.

Installing the Example Programs

The Example Programs, examples*.*, should be installed in the
%INTERBASE%examples folder.  Be sure that you copy the subfolders as well.

Installing UDF Files

Any custom UDF files that you want to install should be installed in the
%INTERBASE%udf folder.  

You must have ib_udf.dll installed in %INTERBASE%udf to use UDFs. 

Installing Help Files

The following help files can be installed on the client or server in the
%INTERBASE%bin folder:

ib32.hlp, ib32.cnt  - Master InterBase help file
ibgloss.hlp, ibgloss.cnt  - InterBase glossary & definitions help file
sqlref.hlp, sqlref.cnt  - InterBase SQL Reference help file
perform.hlp, perform.cnt  - Performance Guidelines help file
ibserver.hlp, ibserver.cnt - InterBase Server Properties help file

InterBase license

If you are installing the Borland Open Edition or Firebird open-source version of InterBase, you do not need to install a license file.  The legal text for the InterBase Public License is contained in the file LICENSE.TXT.  You should install the most recent version of this file in %INTERBASE% whenever you install InterBase.

If you are installing the Borland Certified version of InterBase, you should install the LICENSE.TXT file that comes with the certified version.  You will also need to have license keys to allow access to your InterBase server.  See the Differences between the Certified and Open Edition section below for an explanation of licensing in the Certified version.  

InterBase Documentation

Completed InterBase 6 documentation is only available with the Certified Edition from Borland.  The documentation is available as part of your Certified Edition purchase and is also on the InterBase 6 media kit.  The documentation is in Adobe Acrobat format.

You can download the InterBase 6 beta documentation from the InterBase Installation Info website.

Installation Options

InterBase 6 Installation API

InterBase 6 introduced a new Installation API that can be used to install InterBase.   You can find an example of how to use this new installation API at:

http://www.ibphoenix.com/ibp_install_api.html

InterBase Express TIBInstall Component

InterBase Express is a set of Delphi/CBuilder components that can be used to access InterBase natively (i.e. no BDE).  InterBase Express first shipped with Delphi 5.  The version of InterBase Express that shipped with Delphi 5 does not work with InterBase 6 (InterBase 6 shipped after Delphi 5). You can download the latest version of InterBase Express from Code Central on http://community.borland.com.  Once you have installed the package, you can use the TIBInstall Component to install InterBase.

Borland Binary Package Installer (setup.exe)

The Borland installer uses the new install API to install InterBase 6.  To use the Borland installer, you simply run setup.exe from the client or server folder on the InterBase 6 media CD-ROM.  The Borland installer requires that you enter a license key during the installation process.  If you do not have a license key, you can enter "eval" to create a temporary evaluation key that you can use until you have purchased your InterBase licenses.

Wise Compiled Scripts

You can download Wise Installer script source and compiled installation scripts from the InterBase Installation Info website at http://ibinstall.defined.net.  I have been using Wise to install our software since 1995 and InterBase since 1997.

Rob Schieck has created a process to do daily builds from the Borland Open Edition CVS tree.  You can download these builds from http://mers.com.  You can also download a build of the latest tagged version of the Borland Open Edition CVS tree from Rob's website.

You can download Wise scripts of the the Firebird open-source build from the InterBase Installation Info website or from the Firebird website at http://firebird.sourceforge.net/.

Microsoft Installer (MSI) Compiled Scripts

If you want to use the Microsoft Installer, you can download MSI Merge Modules from Tony Whyman's website at http://www.mwasoftware.co.uk/interbase/ 

Other Installation Packages

You can use other installation packages (such as InstallShield, InnoSetup, etc.) to install InterBase.  However some of these installation packages have limitations that will prevent you from doing a complete installation or even prevent you from doing a proper installation.  You should be sure that the product that you are using can do all of the installation steps that you need before using it.  

For example, InstallShield Express does not allow you to add a line to a text file.  You need to do this to update the services file.  Another common problem is that some installation products do not provide a way for your to update the reference counts for shared files.

I have created the InterBase Installation Info website as a common place for information on installing InterBase.  You can download scripts that have been created by other InterBase users for various installation packages from the InterBase Installation Info website at http://ibinstall.defined.net

Differences between the Certified and Open Edition

When it comes to installing InterBase, the differences between the Borland Certified and Open Edition of InterBase are:

  • If you are using the Certified version of InterBase, a license must be purchased from Borland or an InterBase reseller.  The license is saved in the ib_license.dat file.  Generally speaking, you will want to deploy the Certified version without the ib_license.dat file and have your end users enter the license keys in IBConsole to activate their server.  

    If you are using the Open Edition or Firebird open-source version of InterBase, InterBase is free to use based upon the InterBase Public License.

  • The Certified version includes the Easysoft ODBC driver.

    If you are using the Open Editon or Firebird open-source version of InterBase, you can purchase the Easysoft ODBC driver from Easysoft at http://www.easysoft.com/products/interbase/main.phtml.

    There are several other ODBC drivers available.  I have included a list of the ODBC drivers that I am aware of on the FAQ page of the InterBase Installation Info website at http://ibinstall.defined.net/faq.htm.

Summary

This should give you plenty of information about the various options for installing InterBase.  I hope this paper has been beneficial in providing information for you on how to install InterBase. 

For more information or to keep up with any changes, see the InterBase Installation Info website at http://ibinstall.defined.net or you can reach me via email at ibinstall@mail.com.

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