Developers are not to be Trusted

Has anyone noticed that the Developer Edition of Interbase requires a regular restart?  I have a little invoicing program that I use on a daily basis, and the back end is IB.  I have an unlimited user license of an earlier version of IB, but I chose to install the latest version  of the Developer Edition of Interbase so I could evaluate it while working on hcOPF, and my invoicing program which used to be a demo project for hcOPF.

One would think that a Developer Edition of a product would be free of such annoying licensing restrictions because the better experience that a developer has with a product, the more likely they are to recommend it’s use in a production environment.  It’s also harder to develop when you’re constantly re-starting your machine. You don’t see such restrictions with MS SQL Server Express, and it has much better market penetration than Interbase.

One would almost think with the proposed EULA change, and the increased copy protection, that the revenue from Delphi is in decline, but in light of the Interbase re-start restriction, perhaps it’s just EMBT doesn’t trust it’s customers, or doesn’t trust developers in general, and makes it’s customers ‘bear the brunt’ of this distrust.

Apple no longer sells DRM music, and there are various other companies who have stopped using or reduced their anti-piracy efforts because it impeded their existing customers, and the public spoke out against such restrictions (remember the Sony Rootkit debacle?).  I hope EMBT changes their position on this issue soon.  For now, I am going to switch the back end of my invoicing program to SQLExpress.  One of the great things about an ORM is it doesn’t lock you into a a specific vendor’s database, and there are plenty of choices out there for databases these days!


25 Responses to “Developers are not to be Trusted”

  1. Carlos Says:

    Why don’ t you move to Firebird? Really, I can’t understand why people still use InterBase when Firebird is out there for about 12 years, evolving very well, and with good support from the community (and of course, 100% free). Give it a try ;-)

  2. Fabricio Says:

    You have to restart the service or the entire machine? Restart the service is a very easy (and pretty fast with IB and even MSSQL). If it is the entire machine it’s really stupid of their part.

  3. Says:

    Yes, it seems EMBT is quite paranoid. I don’t know how often they find piracy amoungst their products. Being a paying customer I don’t like to deal with such issues, but I also don’t want product prices to increase due to piracy.

  4. C Johson Says:

    Thank gods, I use firebird… unless you’ve done something fancy, you probably could to, likely in less than an hour. (export, install firebird, import)

  5. Noz Says:

    So why don’t use Firebird? We switched from IB like 10 years ago and have been happy ever since.

  6. Larry Hengen Says:


    I was actually using Firebird for a while since one on my contracts used it, and my experience was very good. The only issue we had was a lack of scalability because it wasn’t threaded to the same extent as IB.

    I just decided to install IB since I wanted to test porting apps from Windows to OS/X with FireMonkey and had some difficulty getting Firebird installed on the Mac. Unless I take up some serious projects with FMX, I will likely go back to Firebird at some point.

  7. Larry Hengen Says:


    I installed IB as a service so it just requires restarting the service. Just pain in the a$$ is all, and what does it really buy EMBT? Certainly not my devotion….

  8. Jolyon Smith Says:

    Embarcadero need to be able to point to a portfolio of products with recognisable revenue potential, not goodwill.

    Recognisable revenue is obtained by creating “lock-in”. If you want to use IB then Embarcadero need to be able to reliably and accurately capture that, just as they need to reliably and accurately capture just how many people are using Delphi / RAD Studio etc, i.e. through license activation.

    Developer editions are - in this model - a loss maker. You need those developers to subsequently pay up for the redistributable products which provide the recognisable revenue that you need. If developers could just deploy without your tracking that - and getting something from it - then you aren’t maximising the potential revenue.

    Additionally, the developers themselves will also be signed up for reliable, renewable support contracts, i.e. SA.

    This is recognisable as old fashioned, “Big Iron” practices thought to have died out in the 90’s, but which sadly are perpetuated by some dinosaurs in the industry, especially those with a short term goal in mind and who don’t preside over products in which they have any interest other than commercial or financial.

    Why ?

    Because when you are building a portfolio of products with a view to selling that portfolio, the sale value has precious little to do with intangibles like “Good developer experience” or “How much our users like our products” and everything to do with “How much revenue can we be certain of from this portfolio in the next 12 months, 2-5 years etc”.

  9. Warren P. Says:

    Well, sometimes I chime in and defend Embarcadero, but not here.

    This is a stupid move that will drive people off Interbase, and on to Firebird.

    Microsoft’s MS SQL Server is available in a 24/7 free version and has functionality of a real full SQL database, including hundreds of features that Interbase is missing…..

    Firebird does pretty much everything Interbase does, because it’s 99% the same thing. And it’s totally free forever.

    I’ll never install interbase again, and if the Delphi IDE installation offers to install a developer edition, I’ll skip it. No thank you, no crippleware for me.


  10. Inside Embarcadero Says:

    Hi guys, the future is not going to be better, after XE3 disaster, Embarcadero is desperate to get your money.

    The good news is, they lay-off many engineers from appwave team, the product that never sold more than 100k in 4 years, Delphi revenue payed that.

    Now, they are running this crazy promo, giving HTML5 Builder for free, who cares about this crap product?

    BTW: Where is the C++ 64bit compiler?? They promised for October, remember? Of course they are behind, they plan to release now in November, ops they don’t plan, they have to, otherwise they will have to do another lay-off.

    Don’t expect a good quality for C++ 64bit compiler :(

  11. JSilver Says:


    I’m JSilver. If you are laid-off and in Romania, and need a Delphi Job, please contact us –>

    Looking for expert-level Delphi developers in Romania.

  12. DHR Says:


    Interbase Developer Edition: Trust me not.

  13. Inside Embarcadero Says:

    Btw, InterBase team now has only 1 developer, the InterBase Principal Engineer Shaunak Mistry left Embarcadero.

    Embarcadero doesn’t care for Interbase anymore, Firebird just kill their market.

    Another news, this week they will announce Marco Cantu as Delphi Product Manager, another desperate strategy to make Delphi community happy, bad for Embarcadero and bad for Marco Cantu, which won’t be decision maker and will have to work with 5 senior engineer and 10 more junior.

    Btw, last week another great Senior Delphi Enginner left Embarcadero, you probably now Mark Edington, fantastic engineer is not longer there.

    The situation is getting worse here, they don’t raise our salary, cut more and more people and nothing else to motivate the team.

  14. David I Says:

    InterBase XE3 Developer Edition is provided for development and testing purposes. When you start the service, easy to do with the InterBase server manager, you get access to InterBase XE3 server to do your development and testing. Yes, the service stops after running for 48 hours (this has been in every release of InterBase developer edition by the way). For developers who need to test long running apps/queries, this should give you plenty of time to beat on InterBase from your apps. You can start and stop the service as needed for your development purposes. You do not have to restart your computer, just restart the service, again easy to do.

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  17. Donovan Boddy Says:

    I really dont know why people even consider Interbase any more, Firebird is moving ahead in leaps and bounds.

    With regard to all the new piracy measures, I really think they are a joke, all they do is succeed in annoying your current customers, they are not going to slow down the hackers at all.

    If you want people to respect your product make it a product worth respecting!

  18. Larry Hengen Says:


    Thanks for the response, although I was expecting it by email so I didn’t notice it until now. While it may have been in every release of IB developer edition, the question still remains…why? SQL Server Express and Firebird don’t ship with such a restriction so what does it buy Embarcadero? I would love to hear the business rationale.

  19. Tim Del Chiaro Says:

    It’s because InterBase Developer Edition is not a free low-end edition database product and it’s not an open source database.

    When you are developing your software applications and want to use InterBase, you can use the free Developer Edition.

    If you want to test with the Server edition without the regular timeouts in the Developer Edition, you can download a 90-day InterBase Server Trial. There is also an InterBase ToGo test deployment license.

    If you want to use InterBase for production or commercial purposes or distribute it with your applications, then you have to purchase a license.

    Again, the licensing has been done this way for many years. It’s nothing new.

  20. Larry Hengen Says:


    Thanks for the comments. I was not aware that the developer edition had this limitation. Is this published anywhere that I missed, like perhaps the download page?

    Also, I was wondering if you cared to answer the question that I posed to DavidI, as to how this restriction with the developer edition serves EMBT, or the community when other, even more powerful products (MS SQL Server for instance) do not. By downloading and installng Interbase Developer Edition over say FireBird or SQL Server Express, you are just opening yourself up to more hassles while developing.

    Just because ‘the licensing has been done this way for many years’, doesn’t make it right for today’s market.

  21. Yogi Yang Says:

    I think the rational is very simple.

    It will restrict a developer from deploying IB without paying EMB for IB’s enterprise edition (or something similar to it) so if you deploy Developer Edition to avoid paying for enterprise edition your client will complain about this and would generally not like to restart service for no apparent reason.

  22. DHR NY Says:


    We can confirm what @InsideEmbarcadero says. There have been substantial layoffs at Embarcadero and many developers were laid off for the less-profitable projects.

    Affected are - Interbase team, AppWave team, non-critical staffs at DBArtistan, DBPowerStudio teams. All teams are now bare-bones.

    It is unknown now with current staffs — with December coming soon, many developers at Embarcadero want their AWS (Romanian for 13th month bonus).

    They really hope that they can get their 13th month bonus for working hard.

    They earn very low wages compared to what their peers (in Romania) works for. Euros 200* to Euros 1,500 wages. Euros 2,000 is average. Senior developers don’t even get much wage increases so you can imagine why they just leave.

    * Around minimum wage

    In Iasi, Romania, an average developer earns Euros 2,000 - Euros 3,000 or even more due to C# skills.

    Otherwise, all the good news that Embarcadero Marketing is saying is just lies.
    the DelphiHaters were right all along.

  23. Fabricio Says:

    @Yogi Yang
    Developer Edition of MSSQL is a fully functional product equivalent of enterprise edition. No limitations.

  24. Dark Dirk Says:

    InterBase ?? Geee, we moved to Firebird 12 years ago. We are very happy with it. We have 260 gigabytes archive database running Firebird classic on 16 core HP server and it works like a charm.

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