InterBase 2017 Update 3 Readme

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This release introduces bug fixes. See Resolved Defects for a complete list of bug fixes.

This Readme covers the following sections:

Note: Click Previous Releases for all releases prior to InterBase 2020.
Note: Click here to view the resolved issues and the new features of the 2017 release.

New Features

There are no new features on this release.


New installers

Note: Starting with InterBase 2017 Update 3 there is a single unified installer for both English and Japanese.

Order of prepared parameters

In a parameterized query, the order of parameters received for an Input SQLDA has been fixed. The fixed order is now both intuitive and in "visible order" as per ANSI/SQL standard requirements. This is useful especially when parameters are used in the main query's conjuncts (WHERE conditions), and in the query's column-list which have one or more sub-query(s) themselves with parameters in them. The client API, isc_dsql_describe_bind(), now correctly returns the visual order sequence number for each parameter in the input SQLDA and uses it internally to transform the user provided SQLVARs to InterBase engine expected order. The changes are only available for SQLDA version >= 2.

A new example, api17.c, has been provided to showcase how this works. The sample below showcases how named parameters are used in IBX and FireDAC components. The named parameters should work for both :TEST and :NO in that parameter order. The client component is expected to provide values in the SQLVAR array in the visible order of :TEST followed by :NO parameters.

select P.emp_no, P.first_name, P.last_name, (select 1 from RDB$DATABASE where 1 <> :TEST) 
from employee P 
where P.emp_no = :NO

New IBConfig parameter PREDICTIVE_IO_PAGES

This parameter allows you to manipulate the number of pages to be prefetched. This parameter should be left on its default status and changed only for testing purposes when it is suspected to produce performance issues. You can find more information Here.


This parameter allows you to enable/disable the use of partial index selectivity data for SQL query optimization. This parameter should be left on its default status and changed only for testing purposes when it is suspected to produce performance issues. You can find more information Here.

Change View Performance

In InterBase 2020 Change View retrieval performance has been enhanced.

Note: This performance enhancement only works on ODS 17 databases.

First Sweep of a Restored Database is now a Fast Sweep

With InterBase 2020, any database that you restore is immediately marked as swept, therefore the first sweep of that database is a fast sweep. In order to take advantage of this feature, you need to perform a database restore with InterBase 2020 and use either ODS 15 or ODS 16. See Sweep Interval and Automated Housekeeping for more information about sweeping.

Bug Fixes

See Resolved Defects for a list of bug fixes in InterBase 2017 Update 3.

System Requirements/Prerequisites

For system requirements to install and run InterBase, see System Requirements/Prerequisites.

Migration Issues for InterBase 2020

Migration Issues for InterBase 2017

  • InterBase 2017 creates databases with ODS 17 by default, but it can connect to ODS 13 and on databases for transactional workload.
  • InterBase 2017 allows backup of ODS 11 and ODS 12 databases using the gbak command-line tool only using client/server mode, not service manager mode. You can use this feature when migrating from old InterBase ODS 11 and 12 databases.
  • New InterBase keywords introduced in this release include: DEFERRED and IMMEDIATE are unreserved Keywords. EXCLUSIVE, EXCLUSIVITY, RECURSIVE, and TRUNCATE are reserved keywords in InterBase 2017.
  • ODS 17 enables support for Change Views subscription definitions on the whole table row to survive subsequent ALTER TABLE operations. If you'd like to benefit from this, please backup/restore your ODS 16 databases to ODS 17.

Migration Issues for InterBase XE7

  • It is important to note that older clients (old IBConsole) will surface exceptions when connecting to newer ODS 16 databases since they will encounter data type not defined as INTEGER. The workaround is to install the newer IBConsole and connect with older and newer InterBase servers. The newer IBConsole is backward compatible for this purpose.
  • The InterBase Lock Table size needs to be increased by changing the IBconfig parameter as every entry occupies more room. To increase the InterBase Lock Table size, edit the ibconfig file and change the V4_LOCK_MEM_SIZE entry.
  • InterBase XE7 is released with ODS 16. The new engine only supports ODS >= 13. So with this change, all supported platforms will support the same ODS versions (13 to 16).
  • Some 64bit UDF libraries built with older Visual Studio versions (2005 and earlier) have been reported to not work with InterBase XE7. If you have any old UDF libraries, please do extra testing of these with the new InterBase version. Or, rebuild your UDF 64-bit libraries with the latest Visual Studio versions.
  • The new keyword ROW is "reserved" as a SQL keyword token.

Migration Issues for InterBase XE3

Windows Registry and Program Files Changes

InterBase XE3 introduces changes for better Windows compatibility. InterBase XE3 allows default installation of the product under the "Program Files" location and no longer uses the "Borland" subkey in the Windows Registry hierarchy. It now uses the "Embarcadero" subkey to track instance specific information. We strongly advise and encourage you to migrate your applications to the new environment as soon as possible.

  • Program Files Install Location
  • InterBase versions since 2009 installed the product in a different location other than the default Windows location of "Program Files". This was because of Windows UAC guidelines that put restrictions around applications without administrative privilege from writing under the "Program Files" file system folder. InterBase XE3, for server-based editions, now conforms to the Windows Application compatibility guidelines. The default install location has changed from C:\Embarcadero\InterBase to C:\Program Files\Embarcadero\InterBase.
  • Program Data Location
  • InterBase XE3 now delivers the program data files under %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Embarcadero\InterBase directory. For each individual instance of an install, a folder is created under this and all files requiring write access are delivered here. For example, if you install InterBase XE3 with the defaults and get 'gds_db' instance, your InterBase write location and files include the following:
    • Directory: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Embarcadero\InterBase\gds_db
    • Files:
      • admin.ib (this is where you will deliver an older admin.ib file if you are migrating from an older InterBase version)
      • license/ (this is where you will deliver InterBase license files)
      • Examples subfolder structure with all related files
      • OTW SSL related files under "secure" subfolder
      • runtime created files such as interbase.log, *.lck, *.env

Migration Issues for InterBase XE and earlier

  • Be sure to back-up all databases, including the security database, before uninstalling the previous version.
  • We recommend that you upgrade your InterBase clients to or above if you are targeting a SUSE 11 SP1 (or above) server. There are known problems with older clients waiting for events from a SUSE 11 SP1 server.
  • Back-up the ibconfig file if it has been customized.
  • This version creates new databases with ODS version 15.
  • Please only provide 64-bit UDF libraries for a 64-bit edition, if any, of InterBase. Note that the 64-bit server will not be able to load any 32-bit UDF libraries that you may have. The UDF library that is provided (OOTB, ib_udf) is already built for 64-bit and is installed with the product.
  • InterBase XE increased the number of records that can be stored in a table. The current count has 32-bit limitations. If you want to get a count of the number of record values beyond 32-bit, you need to take the following steps:
    • If a table does have more than 2G rows then the developer must code a CAST(COUNT(*) AS NUMERIC(18,0)) to get a 64-bit count.
  • InterBase XE implemented stronger password protection. If you have older InterBase clients (locally or from remote systems) communicating with this installation, please note the following while upgrading your system to InterBase XE3:
    • If you have an existing user authentication database (from previous InterBase versions), use that database file (copied to the InterBase XE folder) and authentication for local/remote clients will work correctly.
    • If you use the new admin.ib from InterBase XE, note that this database has "SHA-1" strength passwords (by default). If you want to continue using the (weaker) DES password algorithm (previous InterBase releases), use the ALTER DATABASE command referred to in the Stronger Password Protection topic.
    • If you want to use "stronger password length" (provided in InterBase XE), you will need to recreate your user accounts AND install the new InterBase clients in remote machines connecting to this InterBase XE server. This is because the "old" InterBase clients are not capable of computing the "SHA-1" passwords and thus pass in the "DES" strength passwords which in turn do not match what the InterBase XE server expects. This gives you the error "Your user name and password are not defined...".
  • InterBase XE updated SSL parameter names. The old OTW client properties have been replaced by new OTW properties. Please refer to the Operations Guide"Setting up OTW Encryption" and Table 5.2 located in Chapter 5.
Restoring database results in the error "unassigned code"
When restoring a database with InterBase XE, get the error unassigned code. With databases with a long lineage or databases backed up with InterBase 2009 and restored with InterBase XE, each case has different metadata security settings. So when selecting a system table (for example: RDB$RELATIONS) you get the error message: no permission for read/select access to table RDB$RELATIONS by user SYSDBA.
This error occurs with databases which have these criteria:
  • Originally created with a version of InterBase prior to InterBase 6.5.
  • Backed up with a version of InterBase prior to InterBase 2009.
  • Readmeta.sql has not been previously applied.
This behavior is exhibited due to stricter enforcement of meta data rights in InterBase XE during the restore of a database.
To resolve this problem, execute readmeta.sql against your database before you back it up. readmeta.sql may be found in \examples\security. You can execute readmeta.sql against your database using isql or IBConsole.
The problem occurs with databases that have a long lineage. The two cases are (1) a database has a restore history of IB6->IB7->IB2007->IB2009->IBXE; and (2) a database backed up and restored as IB2009->IBXE. Each case has different metadata security settings. The first instance never had metadata security because it originated from IB6. However with the second instance, it was created (not restored) by IB2009 with a full complement of security privileges for all system tables.
With the first case, the database was backed up and restored and with each succeeding release, the new release would install privileges for the new system tables in that release (think RDB$USERS, RDB$ENCRYPTIONS, RDB$ROLES, etc.). But it could not alter the original system tables because it had no way of knowing if the database owner had already altered their security privileges. For example, a user might have revoked all privileges to RDB$TRIGGERS and RDB$PROCEDURES to conceal their trigger and stored procedure code.
Also, in the first case, a SYSDBA may have run readmeta.sql years ago and refined the metadata from that baseline to a custom security profile. InterBase cannot override that customization by automatically resetting it after the XE restore. InterBase XE cannot assume that every database it restores should unconditionally install the default metadata privileges because it does not know the history of individual databases.
So it is recommended to run readmeta.sql, which sets the default or starting point for configuring it the way you want it. This advice is independent of whether you are migrating to XE.
Example using isql:
isql "path to database"
-user sysdba -password masterkey -i readmeta.sql
Executing readmeta.sql with IBConsole
  1. Connect to your database with IBConsole.
  2. Tools | Interactive SQL ...
  3. Query | Load Script, select readmeta.sql, click OK.
Error: No Permission for read/select access to table RDB$XXXX by user SYSDBA
Databases originally created before InterBase 6.5 may have the following error: No permission for read/select access to table RDB$XXXX by user SYSDBA with InterBase XE.
InterBase XE enforces tighter meta data security and this error may result from doing meta data operations on databases originally created with versions of InterBase prior to version 6.5. Meta data operations involve requesting information about system objects such as listing system objects or updating them and using the Performance Monitor.
To resolve this error you need to perform two similar operations. The first operation grants rights to system tables. To do so, execute readmeta.sql from the examples\security folder in your InterBase install directory. You can execute readmeta.sql against your database using isql or IBConsole.
Example using isql:
isql "path to database"
-user sysdba -password masterkey -i readmeta.sql
Executing readmeta.sql with IBConsole
  1. Connect to your database with IBConsole.
  2. Tools | Interactive SQL ...
  3. Query | Load Script, select readmeta.sql, click OK.
Second, you need to grant rights to system temporary tables if you are going to do performance monitoring. Due to potential security concerns, most installations will want to grant rights for system temporary tables only to sysdba and the database owner, which is what is presented below. If you wish for all users to be able to view system temporary tables, modify this example to GRANT TO PUBLIC. Some installations will want only specific users to have rights, in which case a more customized script may be needed.
To grant rights for system temporary tables, save the following as a text file, then execute it the same as readmeta.sql above.
create procedure granttmp as
   declare variable stmt varchar(1024);
   declare variable ownername varchar(66);
   declare variable tablename varchar(66);
   select rdb$owner_name from rdb$relations where rdb$relation_name = 'RDB$RELATIONS'
   into :ownername;
 For select rdb$relation_name from rdb$relations where rdb$system_flag&gt;0 and rdb$relation_name 
 starts with 'TMP$' into :tablename 
   stmt = 'grant all on ' || tablename || ' to sysdba';
   execute statement stmt;
   stmt = 'grant all on ' || tablename || ' to ' || ownername;
   execute statement stmt;
 execute procedure granttmp;
 drop procedure granttemp;

Known Issues

  • On macOS, InterBase Server Edition, Japanese Language installer brings up the English UI. Current diagnosis indicates this is a problem with the InstallAnywhere version used by us and there is no workaround.
  • Issue:Server-side Performance Monitoring via admin.ib works using ISQL command-line tool, but throws a "Key violation" exception when used via IBConsole Performance Monitoring UI

Resolved Defects

External Defect # Description
(QC)SalesForce #
Internal Defect #
InterBase 2020: November 2019, bugs fixed in version 2020.


ISQL Extract for Domain check validation code is case sensitive when checking "Check"


UDF examples: string manipulation function declaration (udf.sql) and definition (udflib.c) not in sync


SF Case 761090

InterBase server crash on highly active system


IBConsole fails to extract individual database entity metadata, and gives the whole database metadata


SF CASE 757728

InterBase server reports software consistency check error when accessing a newly created Change View subscription in Dialect 1 with SQL extension IS INSERTED clause


IBConsole Server-wide Performance Monitoring "Find Attachment" button sometimes finds an attachment from a different database


BLOB performance, temporary memory leak issue.
INTB-3525 JDBC API ResultSet.getObject() truncates text blob data instead of returning whole object.

SF Case 671345

InterBase crashes during short term recovery if GROUP COMMIT is turned on

SF Case 667105

InterBase server crash when ending transactions

SF Case 667114

Continuous return of single row using an index for ORDER BY results in client hang

SF Case 661894

Stored procedure called in a trigger hangs, when only a single row needs to be returned using an index

SF Case 661330

Change View subscriptions on tables tracking DELETE may result in duplicate/lost rows during GC

SF Case 657237

Erroneous select from stored procedure causes server crash
INTB-3258 [IBConsole] Admin.ib Performance Monitoring cause key violation
INTB-2928 [IBConsole] Error when using Find in the Text Viewer window.

Click here for list of resolved defects in InterBase XE7

Additional Resources

Embarcadero Technologies Technical Support

If you have a valid maintenance contract with Embarcadero Technologies, the Embarcadero Technical Support team is available to assist you with any problems you have with our applications. Our maintenance contract also entitles registered users of Embarcadero Technologies products to download free software upgrades during the active contract period. Evaluators receive free technical support for the term of their evaluation. We encourage you to visit the Support section of our Web site.

Embarcadero Technologies on the Web

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