I will admit. I am about to go a bit outside of my pay grade here. I don’t know much about today’s programming languages, or the databases that developers use to store your data. I was curious about this, so I started asking some questions in an effort to research this.
Apparently SQL (Sequel) comes in more than one form (who knew?) There is full SQL Server and SQL Express, licensed by Microsoft, and then there is “Firebird SQL,” which is not licensed. There are some important implications here.
- Firebird SQL is NOT licensed by Microsoft.
- Firebird SQL is open source.
The fact that Firebird is an unlicensed version of SQL worries me. An IT guy that I spoke to says that this is ok, but my instincts have me generally feeling better knowing that the database being used to store my sensitive data is licensed by a company I can trust. Love them or hate them, when it comes to this kind of stuff, I do trust Microsoft.
Is it stable? Is my data secure? Lots of questions come up, and I definitely still have some research to do, to get some answers.
Firebird SQL is open source, which means the only support you can get is peer to peer.
The reason this came up, is based on my research in understanding why so many people are switching from Timeslips to BillQuick. The database question may provide some insight.
As I mentioned in my last post entitled, “Are You Mobile Without Mobile Options?” I talked about mobility. The mobility that BillQuick Online provides is definitely a huge benefit. Timeslips has E-Center. There are a few issues with this product. Once your billing admin downloads a user’s time, it’s gone. No longer available for a user to edit or review. This makes it impossible for users to track their monthly numbers efficiently.
Now let’s get back to the database question. BillQuick runs on full, Microsoft licensed, SQL (or SQL Express). Timeslips just moved to Firebird SQL. We’re also finding that most Timeslips users are not making the switch to that product. They are staying in the old version.
Staying in an old version of a product, just because it’s what you’re used to may be worse than upgrading to a product that uses an unlicensed version of SQL. You have no idea how much that complacency is costing you. This could explain the migration we’re seeing from Timeslips to BilllQuick.
I’ve also learned that with Timeslips you are limited to 300,000 entries. People who have been using this product for many years, are likely running into this limit. You can purge your data, but this is major friction.