What I was actually looking for was an equivalent to Red Gate‘s SQL Packager for the Firebird database. SQL Packager is a useful application that makes it easy to package and deploy database schema upgrades. Sadly, all of Red Gate’s tools are for Microsoft SQL Server only.
My next step was to look through the list of admin tools on the Firebird website. And while there’s a huge selection of tools available for Firebird, I couldn’t find anything that would help me deploy schema and data upgrades. It was a bit surprising, actually, since one of Firebird’s strengths is how easy it is to embed inside other software applications. (If I’ve missed an application that can do this, please let me know!)
During the course of my investigations, I downloaded several different tools for managing Firebird. I’m a fan of the fast and free FlameRobin, but it’s still in development and doesn’t do everything I need. Sometimes a full-featured IDE is required, and I found two that fit the profile.
The first was SQL Studio from EMS Database Management Solutions. I appreciated their customer support and the breadth of features. But ultimately, I decided upon Firebird Maestro. The differences between the two IDEs were small, but Firebird Maestro had a better tool for producing database diagrams. Since Infovark has developers working halfway around the world from each other, having a good database diagram to reference is a must. Firebird Maestro also had a simple wizard for scripting out the schema and data into a single file. We put this text file into Subversion so that we have our database structure under version control.
It won’t help me deploy an update, but I’ve had to do that sort of thing by hand before, and I suppose I can do it again. But sometimes when you look for something you find something else just as good.