SQL “Dialects” - Firebird

Firebird supports three SQL “dialects” that have no practical use except to facilitate conversion of an InterBase v.5 database to Firebird. Firebird’s “native” dialect is currently known as dialect 3. By default, a Firebird server creates databases in this native dialect. If your Firebird experience brings with it no cargo of existing assumptions nor any legacy databases that you want to upgrade to Firebird, you can safely “go native” and ignore all of the notes and warnings about dialect 1.

If you are an ex-InterBase user, or you have used outdated migration tools to convert another RDBMS to InterBase, then SQL dialects will be an issue for you in one or several respects.

As you work your way through this book, issues that are affected by SQL dialect are annotated appropriately for your attention. However, some of the more serious effects arise from the dialectal differences between data types. For this reason, the question of dialects gets space at the end of this chapter as a special Migration Topic titled “SQL Dialects.”

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