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Hi :)
I think Noel (& Marion)'s good experience of H2 being sooo much better than
Base is purely down to them moving away from the internal back-end in
Base.  The version of HsqlDb mentioned by Noel is the 1.8 which Andreas
identified as being the version used as the internal back-end in Base.

People using HsqlDb as an external back-end would have been pushed into
upgrading many times in the last decade or so.  Not upgrading would have
been a lot like sticking with Win98.  So i believe it was the move to a
more modern version of a database program that gave Noel the fantastic
improvements he experienced.

Java-based back-ends do have a reputation for being much faster for the
relatively small databases that most of us probably use.  The one with 1
billion records might well find that moving to something heftier such as
Postgresql or MySql/MariaDb does the trick.

Although there might be some performance advantages to moving from the
heftier back-ends to the smaller&faster ones there are several
disadvantages around doing the move.  Internet facing Servers using LAMP or
WAMP and web-hosting companies tend to already have MySql/MariaDb (hence
the M i think) so it'd be a bit like installing a different Office Suite
for each document rather than trying to stick with just 1 or 2.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 4 March 2015 at 08:53, Heinrich Stöllinger <> wrote:

Hello Noel,
Interesting! I will have a look at H2. The only issue for me at the moment
is that my provider has not got it installed and therefore I cannot use it.
Regards from Salzburg

Marion & Noel Lodge schrieb:

 Hi Heinrich,

I've been reluctant to join this discussion, but you comment about the
to have "... a stable, scalable interface to REAL databases (with
millions of DB-tuples) ...", has prompted me to say that I believe one
database already exists - it is called H2.  See -

Some will perhaps reject it out of hand, because it is Java based.
it has a vibrant user base and from comments on the user group, some are
using H2 for very large databases.  A year or so ago one user was
complaining that H2 was slowing down after his application passed the 1
billion record mark!  In reply, he received several suggestions as to how
he might over come his problem.

I have migrated 6 databases from HSQL 1.8, (the largest having nearly
35,000 records - which I realise, is still quite small), but I have found
that H2 works well for me.  There was a bit of work involved with the
migration, but H2 tables can be designed in LibreOffice and the process
went  pretty smoothly.  Perhaps the only drawback is that once tables have
been designed, they can be altered only using SQL commands.  But I guess
most users who want an industrial strength database, would already be
literate in SQL.

My 2c worth,

Noel Lodge

On 4 March 2015 at 05:56, Heinrich Stöllinger <>

I am an "old" DB-User in the real sense of the word (I am over 70!).
In the 90ies I got into DB2 as a systems engineer at IBM. Then, around
the turn of the millenium, I set up a database for the administration of
50-piece wind band, using Lotus-Approach (DBase...). It was fine
but I wanted to go "Open Software" and - when stumbling onto
StarOffice/OpenOffice and Base - it was clear to me to go for that
"scene". Since then I have been using MySQL as external back-end
and must say I am more than happy with it. My DB consists of some
80 interconnected tables/views with record numbers up to around
40.000. This is handled perfectly fine by MySQL (maybe MariaDB in the
near future!).
Of course - as an "old" DB-guy I have no qualms about using the
command-line mysql client directly for doing things like defining
DBs, tables, views, foreign keys etc. Therefore, if there are any
in the LO-front end, it is o.k. for me.
I do feel strongly though, that if we ever want LO to become a REALLY
important player (especially within the business world!), a stable,
interface to REAL databases (with sometimes millions of DB-tuples) will
have to be implemented. Internal, integrated backends are o.k. for
playing around but NOT for mission-critical, large-scale operations.

Tom Davies schrieb:

  Hi :)


One advantage of Base is that it can connect to such a wide range of
database programs.  It is kinda the default way of using Base.  MS
can be twisted into using an external database but it's not as easy to
set-up that way as Base.

Kexi and other front-ends can be used either alongside Base or on other
systems by other users to use the same external back-end as the Base
connect to.  Again this "playing well with others" is a huge advantage
Access doesn't have by default.

Sadly the marketing team, if and when they ever mention Base, focus on
using the internal back-end and never even mention the advantages that
has.  This could be one reason why we see so many people using the
back-end and comparing it negatively against Access.

Unfortunately the marketing team took such strong offence to my
to their attempts to market Base on it's weakest points instead of it's
strength that they banned me from posting to their mailing list at all.
Sometimes i am really not a "people person"!

I think if we do mention specific back-ends, especially if they are
by Oracle, then it is well worth pointing out other names.  It's not
fanboyism, just about showing there are a wide range of choices - and
people might well already have a database (or even spreadsheet) that can
used without any export-import conversions.  It is VERY good to know
use of internal back-end can be externalised fairly easily without
to go through all the troubles Ian Whitfield went through.  On the other
hand his move away from Java-based back-ends probably gave additional

I definitely appreciate Andreas' posts in this thread!  He has
several mysteries by explaining the problems "under the bonnet".  It has
also been good to see experienced and knowledgeable people giving
confirmation of Andreas' points.

In answer to Jay's question there was some attempt to move to using
"Firebird" rather than "HSqlDb" but i think that is still an
feature" and that we now effectively have a choice of 2 internal
neither of which work entirely as hoped for yet.  With Firebird it feels
like it is "on the way" though.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 2 March 2015 at 21:09, Andreas Säger <> wrote:

  Am 02.03.2015 um 21:23 schrieb Tom Davies:

Hi :)
Apparently another great database program to use as a back-end is
Postgresql.  Some of the Postgresql people worked with the LibreOffice
people to make a really good connector and then got that connector
LibreOffice main trunk.

  This is not a matter of partisanship, fanboyism nor objective

of the better product. The important thing is that you are able to
connect to whatever you already have. The database of your online shop,
your business software, your accounting software, some dBase directory,
spreadsheets or csv files. The connectivity feature lets you use
data without troublesome export/import.

If all you have is an embedded HSQLDB, you can convert this to HSQL 2
within minutes. Conversion into Postrgre/MySQL/whatever would require
careful editing of SQL scripts, testing and possibly adjustment of
queries, forms, reports.

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