Publish date: 2008-04-04

10 reasons to upgrade InterBase and Firebird application to 64 bits.

Today nobody don’t doubt that 64 bits architecture will replace 32 bits platforms. Let’s see if there any sense in upgrading to 64 bits right now?

Limitations of 32 bits version architecture.

It is known that the main advantage of 64 bits is a possibility to refer directly to huge memory volumes, maximal theoretical data size is 9.4 teragigabytes.

64 bits Windows Server 2003 supports nearly 1.024 terabytes of physical memory and 512 gigabytes of addressed memory In 32 bits systems the possibility of direct addressing is limited to 4 gigabytes. If to take into account that Windows operational systems use 32 bits in their service aims, so the memory quantity available to the application is limited to 2 gigabytes.

For database server it can be an essential limitation.

Performance of 64 bits.

For some programs their upgrading to 64 bits platform will hardly boost the efficiency. However, there are some advantages of a new architecture that can positively influence on rapid action of database applications:

64 bits give the possibility to direct address more that 2 gigabytes of data in RW memory without using the uploading file.

Parallelism of 64 bits processors.

Modern processors (for example, Intel Itanium 2) own a high level of parallelism of the operations processed as well as a extended to 128 bits tire, on which the data exchange between a cash and a processor as well as between some processors, take place.

The result of the high level of parallelism is an enhanced efficiency of the system on the whole.

For Firebird we may expect the rise of efficiency while working with data types, for the storing of those more than 32 bits are used: DOUBLE PRECISSION, INT64, «big» NUMERIC, DECIMAL, and TIMESTAMP.

Firebird and InterBase components for 64 bits applications.

To access to Firebird and InterBase from 64 bits applications you may use IBProvider Professional Edition (32/64 bit)

If you used IBProvider for 32 bits applications earlier, so this upgrading to 64 bits will not be difficult for you. 64 bits driver will act as secure as on 32 bits architecture.

For client access organization there are several solutions. C++ library that is compatible with 64 bits platform — is a part of IBProvider.


  • MDAC/ADO components exist in 64 bits variant.
  • Visual Studio compilers support 64 bits applications installation.

Client application upgrade to 64 bit architecture doesn’t request the server part upgrade to 64 bits.

IBProvider allows working with all InterBase and Firebird versions for 32 bits operational systems as well as for 64 bit ones. So, upgrade to the new platform can be more gradual with the separate update of server and client parts.

IBProvider has its own upload file with 64 bits addressing.

This statement suits 64 bits systems as well as for 32 bit ones.

The client application working via IBProvider in case if data can’t be located in memory, may use all the available hard disk space, not sharing swap file with all the running applications.

The increase of IBProvider efficiency on huge volumes is reached on account of the denial to use Windows memory managers which are used by the system for addressing the data exceeding 2 gigabytes on 32 bits Windows platforms.

7-8-9-10. Instead of conclusion

As an argument it is possible to state that 32 bits do not reach the end-point of their resources. However, if there exist the possibility to use more efficient Hardware and Software, why not to use this advantage?

Earlier or late the support of 32 bits applications will become cumbrous for operational systems developers who will deny them, as it was with 16 bits on Windows XP.

Today the volume of information, processing computer systems, is constantly growing. For database servers, like Firebird it is necessary to match the current requirements for DBMS and to exceed them.

And, perhaps, Delphi and C++ Builder will have 64 bits compilers giving the chance to the huge army of their admirers to upgrade to the new platform.

At the moment the 64 bits compiler for C++, C#, Visual Basic .Net and other languages exists in Visual Studio, so it’s possible not to wait for the future and make their programs maximally transferable as Firebird and IBProvider do. Who will be the next?

Useful links

Publish date: 2008-04-04. Copyright: IBProvider. This material may be reproduced on other web sites, without written permission but link required.