As a new user, just learning LibreOffice Base, which embedded database should I use?

I’m using LibreOffice with macOS Big Sur 11.2.3

I would not use any embedded DB engine in Base. I can suggest you to use external DB, like MySQL or Postgress and just connect to it from Base

I have MySQL and Workbench installed, but turned to LibreOffice because Workbench does not have form and report tools. Are there problems if I design the database tables and relationships using MySQL Workbench, create forms using Base, Queries using Workbench, and Reports using Base?

I can direct connect to MySQL.

You should try it yourself

The latest (I believe) Base Guide 6.4 available at
The Document Foundation Nextcloud is based on the HSQLDB engine. A Firebird embedded engine is available, but deprecated, due to its implementation in Base having many bugs.


Firebird embedded is NOT deprecated! It is used by many and is certainly better for an embedded DB than HDQLDB v1.8 embedded. It still has issues but many methods posted to overcome. It was removed as the default since there were too many open items needing resolution for new users to overcome. It can be used by turning on Experimental features.

Thank you. I just repeated the information from the page 10 note.


Please be a bit more careful. The statement on Page 10 states:

Its use is deprecated.

That is a big difference. If Firebird was deprecated, it would be destined for removal and there is no sign of that.

In my opinion, the author of that section went a too far with that statement and tried to make up for it with:

Please note that the Firebird engine is very good…

Too much emphasis on ‘large number of’ and ‘full of’ bugs.

This is exactly why I asked the original question. I’ve seen comments that migration of HSQLDB databases to Firebird was problematic. I’ve also read that the longer term goal is to make Firebird the preferred embedded database because of Java, but the existing documentation and tutorials all use HSQLDB, even though Firebird was being introduced to LibreOffice many years ago, albeit experimentally. It’s confusing to a new user. Ratslinger says Firebird is “certainly better than HDQLDC embedded” but I’ve not found any LibreOffice documentation that explains the benefits of Firebird over HSQLDB beyond the need to replace HSQLDB with a database that is not Java dependent.


LO documentation is not meant to cover all the pros & cons of one database vs another. Since Base allows use of many different databases this would require a large undertaking. There are some various post regarding migration/development. See:


Migrating HSQLDB Base files to Firebird Base files

As for benefits, this is where the Firebird documentation should be looked. Just the fact that Firebird follows newer standards is a benefit alone. There are many functions available that HSQLDB is missing(older standards). Documentation:

Firebird RDBMS

For what little is may be worth, when I saw the “answer” to @Capn 's question was not an answer, I tried to help. Which EMBEDDED database should (learners) use? Apparently there are only two, HSQLDB v 1.8 (which can be upgraded) and Firebird. The answer given was “None of the above.” I pointed to the document @Ratslinger provided to me, and to the fact that gives information on using Base with HSQLDB. It stated that Base’s IMPLEMENTATION of Firebird has problems. In LibreOffice 6.1 Firebird was the default, while in 7.1 it is not. Again, Base’s problem, not Firebird’s.

With EMBEDDED HSQLDB one can use Script ‘FileSpec’ and Execute to have the SQL needed to reproduce the tables with their content, relationships and constraints. This can be taken to MySql. It needs extensive (IMHO) modification to work in Firebird, and I have yet to find a similar tool for Firebird.

An example of ‘FileSpec’ is ‘C:\MyDase-SQL.txt’

I worry that the SQL used in Forms will not work in Firebird. Base is going away from HSQLDB to incorporate Firebird, however learners like myself have little guidance.

I personally hope to use LibreOfficePortable from a USB stick where internet connection is not available or allowed, and with one of the embedded database so that no other server is required.