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rants and tips about software

Converting MySQL database to Firebird

I decided to automate conversion of MySQL database to Firebird. I got
tired of manual find&replace process, and created a small parser that
changes from MySQL to Firebird syntax. Currently it only supports
database structure dump (no data, only structure) from PHPMyAdmin. Not
all datatypes are supported, but feel free to “fix” it. It’s written
in PHP and it’s open source. It would be great if you would send back
any modifications you make. Download it here (source code included):


Please note that this is quick&dirty converter, so make sure you test
the output before using it in production. It does support some tricky
stuff like auto increment columns and LAST_INSERT_ID. There is a
stored procedure for this at the end of the script, you can call it
like this:

select id from last_insert_id;

On Windows, you can run the program like this:

php.exe -f mysql2firebird.php mysql_dump.sql > firebird_dump.sql

Once you create the Firebird script, make sure you search for text
WARNING: which might indicate some incompatibilities. For example,
Firebird does not have tinyint, mediumint and unsigned datatypes.
Also, check for TEXT and LONGTEXT. I’m using UTF8, so I converted
those to varchar(8000), which might not be what you want. Maybe BLOB
SUB_TYPE 0 would be a better choice, but I don’t like PHP support for
it, so I’m using varchar instead. Maybe some command line options
could be added to the tool to support different behavior.

This program covers all the databases I had to convert so far. If you
are interested in improving it, please contact me.

Milan Babuškov, 2011-02-22
Copyright © Milan Babu┼íkov 2006-2024