Download Sizes: Firebird vs Sqlserver

[ED:blog of the day is Ben Ward’s post about firebird vs sqlserver download sizes/requirements]
Originally, my Desktop Search application (‘Oak’) was to use a Microsoft SQL Server Express database backend. Full of glorious developer friendly features (like .NET integration) it is a powerhouse of a database.

However, whilst building some initial test applications I made the horrifying discovery that rather than embed itself in my application, as I’d mistakenly thought it would, SQL Server Express insists on being run as Windows service. Since it’s not distributed as a key part of Windows that would have meant having to download about 40MB of SQL server, alongside the 20MB .NET 2.0 redistributable, alongside my application (lets say that’ll be somewhere around 6 meg).

This download size prompted me to switch from SQL Server to Firebird – which adds only 2MB to the application and runs embedded, not as a standalone service.

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