I Give Up, Get a free IBExpert License

My loss is your gain.

Originally this site was going to blast the company called IB Expert in Germany for being difficult to work with, and not returning my money when I asked for it.  But I had a change of heart, essentially I gave up the fight I felt I should win.  So I’m just going to write about my story and at the end is an opportunity to win a free IBExpert license.

What is IBExpert?

IBExpert is commercial software to administer Interbase and Firebird SQL Databases.  In my opinion it is very good software, it has all the right features and is very matured for database administration.  Which makes this whole story very sad because I wouldnt have fought so much if the software was unimpressive.

The Story

In 2013 I purchased a Facebook special license for 99 EUR.  Originally I had a hard time making it work on AWS EC2 Windows instances since the system information would change from time to time.  The software’s DRM would balk at the changes to the hardware on EC2 and stop the application from working.

I decided that installing the software on my laptop would be the best compromise given the limitations.

Soon after installing on my laptop, I added a secondary SSD to complement the existing SSD in my system.  DRM Fail again.  The company was able to give me another activation code.

About six months later, I decide to swap out both SSDs on my system for newer and bigger ones. Big mistake, the DRM triggered and I was out again. I emailed thinking I was going to get a response within a day or two. I did, but they wanted me to provide the “Removal Code” to prove that the previous installation is not being used.  The problem is I formatted those SSDs, I cant boot the previous installation to get them the removal code. 

I tried to explain this to them, without success.  Then I started getting ignored.  This made me the most upset, it wasn’t the DRM initially but how I was being ignored.  It just wasnt good customer service, and I was already suffering because I needed to use the Stored Procedure Debugger and Query Performance tools within the software for a problem a customer was having.  I was against the wall, and apparently talking to one as well.

I bought a second license at full rate, 219 EUR via Paypal.  Then I got someone’s attention, and I wanted to let them know how pissed off I was.  Eventually they activated my first (99 EUR) license, but wanted me to keep the 219 EUR license.  I thought I was in the right to ask for a refund, but they would not return my 219 EUR.

I started a dispute with Paypal, thinking they may agree to it then and refund.  Except Paypal cannot refund money for software per their policies. I found out that IBExpert also does not refund money for software. 

This is even though they know that I have not registered the second license. Their general terms and conditions also state similarly, which I admit I did not read the first time or the second time.

In the end its my fault apparently, all of it. It was my fault for not remembering about the DRM this one piece of software had, it was my fault for relying on one really-damn-good software for DB work, and it was my fault for trying to buy a second license.

In the end I give up.  It is not worth the heartache. This is what I emailed them:


This is not worth the heartache anymore. I give up. I’m not going to fight you for the money back.

I’m going to give away the license, so please wait until I find someone who needs the license.


And that is the story. So here are my terms for a free IBExpert license.

The Offer

To get a free IBExpert license you must be:

  • An opensource developer
  • Have an active firebird project
  • Describe how you will use the license

And you agree to:

  • Give project update in 6 months on how the software helped your project.

You must provide:

  • Email Address
  • Project Website and git repo
  • and Project Description

If IBExpert cancels the license I cannot give you another one or give you 219 EUR.  This is totally dependent on IBExpert accepting a registration email.


I will decide who is the best fit, this offer ends in 30 calendar days from today.  Saturday, April 5th 2014 Midnight Pacific Standard Time.  Here is a handy countdown timer: http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140405T00&p0=137&msg=Free+IBExpert+License+Deadline&csz=1&swk=1

To apply

Email: freeibexpert (at) ilopez (dot) com