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Databases Programming Software IT Linux

Sybase Releases Free Enterprise Database on Linux 386

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the everyone's-favorite-price dept.
Tassach writes "Sybase announced today that they are releasing a free (as in beer) version of their flagship database for Linux. The free version is limited to 1 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 5GB of data, which is more than adequate for all but the most demanding applications. This release provides a very attractive alternative to Microsoft SQL Server, and gives developers and DBAs an extremely powerful argument to use against the adoption of Microsoft-based solutions. For those who are unfamiliar with the product, Microsoft's version of Transact-SQL is nearly identical to Sybases's. This high degree of similarity makes porting applications between the two platforms very easy. Sybase is supported by numerous open-source projects, including sqsh (SQL shell), FreeTDS, and SybPerl."
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Sybase Releases Free Enterprise Database on Linux

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  • by asifyoucare (302582) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:37AM (#10198819)
    Free (as in beer) is good, but the source remains closed.

    Is it sufficiently better than PostgreSQL to be attractive - Is it better at all?

    Can someone with experience in both platforms comment?
    • by dotgain (630123) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:39AM (#10198824) Homepage Journal
      People who just want a full featured database aren't really all that interested in the source.
      • Well I want a full featured database and would like to have the source. That makes it "people - 1".
        • by dotgain (630123) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:44AM (#10198844) Homepage Journal
          Great. What for?

          Where I'm working, we use MS SQL Server an awful lot. And we write an awful lot of code that uses it. We don't spend any time reading source, or trying to find holes / improvements to it. We're too busy.

          They're giving you the product for free, but you don't want it because you can't have the source.

          I'm sure they'll miss you.

          • Where I'm working, we use MS SQL Server an awful lot. And we write an awful lot of code that uses it. We don't spend any time reading source, or trying to find holes / improvements to it. We're too busy.

            You might not be reading the source code, but others will and their interests are probably more closely aligned with yours than a for profit institution that is more concerned about customer lock-in. But hey, do what makes you happy.
          • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:13AM (#10200137)

            Where I'm working, we use MS SQL Server an awful lot. And we write an awful lot of code that uses it. We don't spend any time reading source, or trying to find holes / improvements to it. We're too busy.

            And if MS ever makes a change into the SQL server that breaks some of your programs or discontinues the product, what will you do ? You either port an awful lot of code that you've written to the new version / alternative product, or get stuck with an aging database product which won't have any bugfixes anymore and will cease working with newer operating systems (and processors - was it the AMD or Intel 64-bit processor that can't run 16- and 64-bit code at the same time ?) eventually. And it's even worse if the code is for selling, as opposed to just internal use - then you won't have the option of staying in the older version, and definately have to rewrite at least parts of it.

            On the other hand, if you use PostgreSQL, you simply hire someone to maintain the old version and backport any helpfull new features. And if you want to sell your code, you just bundle your own version of PostgreSQL with it.

            Having the source code is like an insurance: unneccessary most of the time, but if you don't have it when you need it, you will be sorry.

            They're giving you the product for free, but you don't want it because you can't have the source.

            I'm sure they'll miss you.

            The article refuses to load, so I can't check to make sure; but this does have all the characteristics of a demo version. Get people used to using a certain product line, and they are more likely to choose it in the future. Also, the size of the installed base directly affects the likelihood of the third party tools supporting this database, which in turn directly affects the likelihood of this database being purchased over the competitors.

            Why did you think Sybase decided to release a free version anyway ? Corporations do nothing unless they think they will benefit from it; therefore, they tought they would benefit from releasing this version free. And the most obvious benefit is the one explained above.

            So yes, I'd say they will miss him.

            • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:28AM (#10200305)
              On the other hand, if you use PostgreSQL, you simply hire someone to maintain the old version and backport any helpfull new features. And if you want to sell your code, you just bundle your own version of PostgreSQL with it.

              Most companies I know barely want to pay enough salaries for the guys to write the code to use the database, now you want to hire an additional guy just to keep the Database software itself up to date? Most companies will just pay the license fee. Much cheaper. That one guy is going to cost, because you need someone very very goood. Someone writing bad code into the database software is a *bad thing*.

            • by mingot (665080) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @10:50AM (#10201438)
              On the other hand, if you use PostgreSQL, you simply hire someone to maintain the old version and backport any helpfull new features. And if you want to sell your code, you just bundle your own version of PostgreSQL with it.

              Would it not be more cost effective to hire someone to convert the data to a new format? Getting relational data between different databases is mostly trival. Code changes not so much, but if the codebase accessing the database was written in house my guess is that it's much quicker to change that known code to adapt to the nuances of the new database than to port over unfamiliar database guts.
            • "On the other hand, if you use PostgreSQL, you simply hire someone to maintain the old version and backport any helpfull new features. And if you want to sell your code, you just bundle your own version of PostgreSQL with it."

              BEcause every company running a DB wants to additionally take on the burden of coding, testing and porting features to it all the while hoping they don't mess it up and can still remain competative.

              The kind of money you would have to pay, on an ongoing basis, to hire someone (or mor
        • I'm all for open source, but would you even be able to understand it? When SAP released their database as open source, the complaints about the code quality ( or lack thereof) were widespread.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        they are usually interested in using more than 1 cpu and just 5Gb.

        the sybase offer is useless.
        • Dual core chips ? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Gopal.V (532678) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:17AM (#10199094) Homepage Journal
          Will a dual core chip be a Single CPU ?.
          Is HyperThreading treated as a dual CPU ?.
          And if you treat them differently , they are still a single socket chip, so why the discrimination ?.
          • Re:Dual core chips ? (Score:5, Informative)

            by mpeppler (128232) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:19AM (#10199301)
            You can use this version of Sybase on a machine with any number of CPUs. The issue is that you can't configure it to use more than one CPU at a time (i.e. you can only configure one engine).

            Michael

            • by shic (309152)
              Does this mean that Sybase is not multi-threaded? If it were multi-threaded then surely linux would schedule different threads on diffierent CPUs?

              If Sybase is single-threaded then if it is limited to a single process (as the single engine explanation suggests) - does that mean it is a single user system? Does it mean that queries are executed sequentially from all users (damaging interactivity)?
              • Re:Dual core chips ? (Score:3, Informative)

                by mpeppler (128232)
                No - of course Sybase is multi-threaded, and has been since day one (long before Oracle used threading).
                A multi-threaded app will only run on one CPU at a time, at least in most cases. What "engines" mean here is one or more engines that access the same set of shared memory. You usually configure engines based on the number of CPUs that are available, and each engine is multi-threaded.

                Michael

      • Most distributions can't ship the client libs for the closed source databased. Thats makes it's somewhat difficult if you like to use things like a distro shipped version of php.

        We use sybase at work and I try to use freetds as client lib ehenever possible because it's easier to maintain (The ebuilds are alreay there in gentoo).
    • by pmsr (560617) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:43AM (#10198841)
      You are missing the point. It makes it easy to convert from Microsoft SQL. Imagine thousands of independent software developers with an alternative to MSQL within easy reach. Their entire solution cost is now reduced, and they will sell better. At least the ones that take the chance.

      /Pedro

      • by azaris (699901) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:18AM (#10198961) Journal

        You are missing the point. It makes it easy to convert from Microsoft SQL. Imagine thousands of independent software developers with an alternative to MSQL within easy reach. Their entire solution cost is now reduced, and they will sell better. At least the ones that take the chance.

        I'm not sure so many independent software developers use MS SQL anyway, but there has for a while been a light version of MS SQL, MSDE, available for a free download [asp.net], with most of the features of MS SQL but with similar restrictions to this Sybase offering.

        But this appears to be targeted mostly at Linux developers so it's competition for PostgreSQL and the Abomination That Shall Not Be Named.

        • depends who you are selling to ... my company sells to a few (UK) local government authorities and SQL Server is a "tick in a box" on their checklists. Sybase currently isn't, but being a "brand name" will probably help it there.
          Postgres doesn't even come into the equation
        • by kiwimate (458274) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:47AM (#10199186) Journal
          Right! Here's something else to consider...in the past, when you had an application people might want to evaluate before they committed time and money to buying the full product, what did you do if it required a database and you were concerned your clients may not have an existing database implementation? Exactly...you included the free MSDE engine so people didn't have to go out and spend money on MS SQL or Oracle for what was only an evaluation. If it worked out well and the customer bought the software, they now had a database which, if MSDE wasn't up to snuff for a full production deployment, could be painlessly migrated to MS SQL. The engine is exactly the same, so no translation is necessary.

          This worked out so well, precisely because MSDE was free to redistribute and easy to migrate to MS SQL, that MSDE is now included with thousands of applications. And remember -- if you ever outgrow its limitations, it can be directly moved over to MS SQL.

          Coincidentally, MS SQL (which, as everyone is ecstatic to be able to point out, used to be Sybase) continues to gain market share. Sybase (see above) does not.

          The big three at the moment in terms of market share [technewsworld.com] are Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. Oracle is #1 but is slowly losing market share to IBM and MS. Sybase is #4 -- but that #4 translates to 3.6%. And it's static -- they're not gaining any of that market share being lost by Oracle.
          • by BigGerman (541312) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:14AM (#10199609)
            >>so people didn't have to go out and spend money on MS SQL or Oracle for what was only an evaluation

            Just for the record, Oracle has always been available for free download in complete, unrestricted form. So for evaluation, people would just download and install it. Now, running production on unsupported and therefore unpatched Oracle instance - is the whole other matter.

            • by Plugh (27537) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @11:35AM (#10202014) Homepage
              For the record, aside from the free (as in beer) software downloads [oracle.com], Oracle has also released a bunch of GPL'd and OSS software. IMO, Oracle really doesn't get enough "media play" for this among the Slahdot crowd.

              Oracle's Free (as in speech) software [oracle.com]

              If you saw Chuck Rozwat's LinuxWorld keynote (2 years ago, I think) you'll know that Oracle uses Linux PCs for its base development. Not just for "back-office apps", mind you, I mean a gigantic development environment with THOUSANDS of Linux PCs. The resulting inevitable patches to coreutils, etc, are all on the oss.oracle.com site above, as are Oracle's (GPLed) Clustered Filesystem.

      • by Lumpy (12016)
        Imagine thousands of independent software developers with an alternative to MSQL within easy reach.

        I also still dont get it. we converted from MsSQL to postgreSQL easily. a simple program converted all data over a weekend (3 seperate databases with over 10Gb data in them) and the software changes were extremely minimal.. SQL syntax differences are not difficult.

        Yuo cant simply point your app at the new database and let it rip anyways, changes have to be made to your apps no matter what DB you switch
        • by Gaewyn L Knight (16566) <{vaewyn} {at} {wwwrogue.com}> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:06AM (#10199064) Homepage Journal
          Ah yes... but what if you are stuck on an application that you don't have access to the codebase? With this "most" ms-sql or Sybase SQLAnywhere applications can simply be told where the new datastore is and work.

          We hae several POS and ERP applications on our campus that have been locked into MS-SQL or SQLAnywhere (bleh!). Yesterday after downloading sybase and getting it installed I was able to transfer and fire up test instances of 7 of the 9 applications without ever needing to ask the company that wrote it to make any changes for me.

          Would I prefer these apps be FOSS... YES! We are slowly writing new versions as we get time... but it takes time and this gives us a way to save money now.
      • by blowdart (31458) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:32AM (#10198986) Homepage
        Not really. MS SQL used to be Sybase, and thus TSQL used to match. But since 6.5 Microsoft made SQL Server their own, changed the engine to be more ANSI SQL 92 Compliant (ANSI joins in Oracle? Hah), and now as SQL2005 comes over the horizon they've added more compliance with later SQL standards (although nowhere near fully compliant).

        If you're expecting to take a recent Microsoft database script and run it on Sybase without any problems you're dreaming.

        • What is the problem with ANSI joins in Oracle?
        • by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:23AM (#10199685) Homepage Journal
          Without problems, you're right. But the changes aren't that great. We do primary development on MS SQL Server (it's easier than Sybase, because Sybase doesn't tell you the syntax of the proc you just wrote is wrong or references non existant fields or tables until you RUN the script. MS has a pre-processor) and I'm the guy who makes sure things run on Sybase. Basically, I do all the compatibility work in a single Textpad Macro. It's actually sort of simple:

          1) Strip out the SET statements referencing ANSI_NULLS
          2) Convert Niladic function names (e.g. CURRENT_USER -> USER)
          3) Add Set DATE_FORMAT mdy, because the default in Sybase is ymd.
          4) Find strings unicode strings and strip off the N'
          5) Make sure all JOINS have their ON clause directly after themselves...MS lets you nest them, which I think makes for a better looking statement
          6) Make sure the retarded VB developer didn't declare all his variables "@foo AS Integer", illegal syntax with illegal datatypes that MS SQL Server would fix for you.
          7) Fix the IDENTITY syntax (basically, removing the step and start-at values) on CREATE TABLE
          8) Remove ADD CONSTRAINTS that are really defaults or primary keys, and move them to ALTER TABLE ADD DEFAULTs
          9) UNION ALL statements don't have column names during parsing in Sybase, so you can't do ORDER BY id_name, you have to do ORDER BY column_number. I think this is cleaner anyway, and it lets you change the name of the column more easily (can be important with ADO.NET, when mapping datasets)
          10) Table variables don't work so hot in Sybase. I just create temp tables with hashmark names, same idea with a little less performance.

          And I think that's it. Not that bad, really, and the script you end up with is comaptible with both MS SQL Server AND Sybase! I just finished a program that (unlike MS SQL Server) doesn't add crap like this to its scripts, thus making it trivial for us to port our apps back and forth.
        • A couple points:
          1. Oracle and Sybase (and SQL Server and some of the open source databases) have their idiosyncratic way of doing joins but can handle ANSI joins as well. Supposedly if they do business with the Federal Government, they need to be ANSI92-compliant. I have take Sybase and Oracle DBA training (by the respective vendors) and they both concede that neither is fully compliant. (but they are "working on it")
          2. At my last DBA class I was asked why I would do ANSI joins when I could use the method s
      • You are missing the point. It makes it easy to convert from Microsoft SQL. Imagine thousands of independent software developers with an alternative to MSQL within easy reach. Their entire solution cost is now reduced, and they will sell better. At least the ones that take the chance.

        OR they could keep running their ASP.NET applications on IIS and use SQL Server 2005 Express which happens to have the 1cpu limit, 1gb memory and 4gb database and is free as in beer. You're right.. the solution cost is redu

    • by conejoloco (811948) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:33AM (#10198988)
      I have worked with both a few years ago (migration from Postgres 6 to Sybase 11) and sybase performance was outstanding, compared to Postgresql.
      I hope postgresql performs better now.

      Moreover, this is not the first time Sybase makes this offer : Sybase for Linux 11.0.3 was free to use on Linux, with no limitation.

      I personnaly used it for my Web shop, as this database is not only fast and secure, but also quite easy to program with ( especially compared to Oracle ).

      The only drawback of Sybase is the lack of standard administration Tools. You have to use a product like (overpriced and windows-only) Emabarcadero DBArtisan.
      • PostgreSQL 6.X is ancient. PostgreSQL 7.0 was released in May 2000, over 4 years ago.

        I think I can safely say that PostgreSQL is dramatically better in every aspect since the 6.X days.

      • Postgres is much faster now than it was in the 6.x days. Back then it had a (deserved) reputation for being slow. There were many speed enhancements put into place before 7.x was released.

        Postgresql is still not quite as fast (in my experience) as MySQL, but the comparison is not fair due to MySQL's lack of features.

        I've read some benchmarks comparing oracle to postgresql and pgsql comes out close on most tests and beats oracle on a few. The benchmarks are gone, sadly, due to Oracle's "no benchmarking" cl
        • Postgresql is still not quite as fast (in my experience) as MySQL, but the comparison is not fair due to MySQL's lack of features.

          Well, for single user experiences, MySQL probably is faster. PostgreSQL tends to scale much, much better than MySQL. In other words, if you have a DB where you expect to have lots of active users with a diverse set of concurrent activity (selects, updates, inserts, deletes), PostgreSQL traditionally zooms way ahead of MySQL. It's a question of how you expect to use your data
    • by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:52AM (#10199036)
      does everything that runs on Linux have to come with the source and an oss license???
      I bought and paid for Textmaker for Linux and also Opera for Linux, both closed source programs. This Sybase move now means that I can download and play with a serious database. It's a smart move because it means that I will be gaining skills in programming for that database engine, skills which are seriously marketable.
      • by killmenow (184444) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:38AM (#10199388)
        This Sybase move now means that I can download and play with a serious database. It's a smart move because it means that I will be gaining skills in programming for that database engine, skills which are seriously marketable.
        Okay, I have to comment on this. First, You've been able to download and play with a *serious* database for some time now [ibm.com]. Second, Sybase...seriously marketable? Where? DB2, Oracle. Those are seriously marketable. Microsoft SQL Server to a lesser extent. Sybase to a lesser extent. More marketable than PostgreSQL and MySQL, probably in a commercial proprietary environment, yes. In the OSS world, no. Market share has a lot to do with the marketability of specific DMBS experience.

        There are highly capable DBMS available already. From the ubiquitous PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] and MySQL [mysql.org] to the less familiar Firebird [sourceforge.net], SAPDB [mysql.com], and Ingres [ca.com], I'd say there's again almost too much choice [columbia.edu] in the OSS world.

        This is a noteworthy announcement from Sybase, but nothing more than Score: 3, Interesting.

        All that being said, it would be different if Sybase literally were to open source their product. The reason for this being that while they have diverged since 6.x, Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase were once one-and-the-same. The divergence is, I'm willing to bet, still a minority of the codebase. Making Sybase a drop-in replacement for SQL Server in an OSS environment would be killer.

        • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:32AM (#10200357) Homepage
          Banks are nearly 100% sybase turf. You cannot get a job in a bank as a SA or developer if you do not know it.

          While at it, the people who will be interested in it will be the people who want to get into that sector and need a toy to play. The demand for sybase skills outstrips supply around 10 to 1. Sybase is releasing it for only one reason - so that PHBs do not start considering alternative databases because of lack of staff.

          Otherwise at least for me it is in the "not interesting" category until it gets a decent working DBI module compatible with the most recent version.
      • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:51AM (#10200650)


        does everything that runs on Linux have to come with the source and an oss license???


        It's all personal and professional preference, of course. But for me... the answer is "no - but it helps."

        I'm no Free Software purist. I run Linux systems at home and work (right next to Windows and Solaris systems). I've bought proprietary Linux software for both home and work (mostly games and enterprise apps). But when making a choice, I tend to weight heavily on the side of FOSS. Why? Freedom.

        I've been bit plenty of times in the past by intentionaly induced limitations, technical incompatabilities, and agressive licensing. Some vendors are better than others. But with proprietary software, the more one becomes dependant on the product, the more risk one runs of being unable to migrate from it.

        Granted - there are no guarentees in IT. But an infrastructure designed on Open Source systems tends to allow a greater degree of freedom. Data formats are documented (if not in documentation itself, in the code - which makes migration possible if not easy). Functionality tends to be limited by technical issues rather than marketing. And if the primary developers of a particular project take a turn that conflicts with your environment, there is a good chance that there are others with the same view - migration utilities are developed or oft-maligned fork keeps the project in a favored direction.

        That doesn't make FOSS the magic bullet. There are certainly times where particular examples of proprietary software offer advantages that makes it attractive. And that's where this line of questioning comes in. Sybase's offering lacks the freedom that other FOSS databases offer. So what advantages does it have that would make it attractive?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:45AM (#10198847)

    More free shit to play around with. It's great for them, I play around with it, I learn it.

    Soon they will have another tech that knows how to operate it. A small business may end up using it so they can ditch the MS SQL stuff and move to a more robust enviroment. They hire a admin, he needs a assistant? I am aviable, and I trained myself enough to be familar with it.

    Whoopie.

    Then as the company grows, so will it's need. If it's a decent product then they'd definatly pay for it after using it for year or two for free.

    Best damn advertising you can hope to get. Got to love it. Sure beats the snot out of ending up being another MS victom and another footnote in history:
    "So and so company had a product similar to the insanely popular MS Widget. Although widely considured superior to MS's solution by a large part of the industry, MS's continued dominace of the desktop arena gave the leverage nessicary too".... blab blah blah

    Did I mention I also get some free shit to play around with? (given a choice between free and Free, Free usually wins, but we'll see how it goes)
  • by protektor (63514) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:47AM (#10198855)
    The limited database size of 5 gig makes it worthless to just about every Open Source web site or developer other than the very very small guys who would rather use something like MySQL or PostgreSQL instead.

    How exactly is it helpful to release a free version that most people can't use in real world applications? The answer is, it isn't.

    Move along people nothing to see here.
    • Forgot to mention that I read somewhere the average database driven web site is an average of 10-20 gigs for most OSS type sites.
      • by mobiGeek (201274) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:19AM (#10200191)
        I read somewhere the average database driven web site is an average of 10-20 gigs
        I'd love to know the source of that one. I find it hard to believe that there are more than a few thousand websites that are larger than 1 GB. The vast majority of websites are running on "virtual host" sites and are typically less than 20 MB in size. Most companies that have websites don't have the time, knowledge or money to do more than throw up some basic "brochures".

        BTW: what is an "OSS type site" ?

    • by dotgain (630123) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:55AM (#10198890) Homepage Journal
      How exactly is it helpful to release a free version that most people can't use in real world applications? The answer is, it isn't.

      Hey, you're right. They should, like, ship it with no database size limit!. They everybody could use it, Slashdot, large enterprises, even banks!

      And nobody would have to buy it! How selfish of them to give away a database that wouldn't cut it in a large enterprise.

      • Yeah! Just like how nobody buys MySQL! Maybe if those losers took a hint from Sybase they'd actually be able to support themselves.

        I thought the whole point of this Open Source "thing" is that you don't sell the code, but that people pay you for things associated with the code? You know, adding specific features they need, real support, superior documentation.

        I mean, you can not believe in this if you like (I'm not 100% sure myself), but I don't see how this is something to get all sarcastic about; like i
    • It's not. Your mind is a bit narrowed.

      These are lots of small busineses that do not have that much transactions. These companies are not willing to to buy a sophisticated db yet. So it would be nice that they will try it first.

      They will have the db up to 5GB of data for free. I am sure they can upgrade when it's needed.
    • by X.25 (255792) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:51AM (#10199202)
      How exactly is it helpful to release a free version that most people can't use in real world applications? The answer is, it isn't.

      It seems like everyone here works at (or runs) huge company which works with terrabytes of data. I think it's crap, and reality is that small shop (4 people company, for example, as in my case) can have all their sales/product/tracking/etc. data in less than 100MB (MySQL). At least I do.

      I used Sybase (for some ebussines stuff) some 4 years ago, and I quite liked it, but never needed it for myself (expensive :). However, 1 CPU, 5 Gig database is WAY more than I need for my application and data storage. If my shop grows so much that it needs more than 5GB of db storage, I guess I'll have enough money to actually buy full featured version.

      Small businesses are the target for this offer, not uber-geeks who have way too much time on their hands, and want source for everything (although they'll, most likely, never look at it).
    • I run a community site with around 500 users.

      The most important thing is a ligtly used forum(200 threads now afair)

      DB size is just below 27MB.

      I think ALOT of sites looks like mine when it comes to database size...
  • Haha! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Libor Vanek (248963) <libor.vanek @ g m a il.com> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:47AM (#10198856) Homepage
    Shareware strikes OSS back!
  • by AnuradhaRatnaweera (757812) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:48AM (#10198859) Homepage
    What happenes when Sybase stops maintaining the `Free' version?
  • Nearly Identical? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Microsoft's version of Transact-SQL is nearly identical to Sybases's.

    Just how nearly is it? I'd like to know in terms of things just broken enough to make finding them absolute hell.
  • by millisa (151093) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:52AM (#10198874)
    When they say it is limited to one proc, do virtuals count (ie, P4 HT?)

    I've never looked at Sybase and have no clue how it works; especially their licensing . . .

    I'm assuming if I have a true multiproc system, it's only going to utilize one physical proc . . .

    Anyone have the dirt, I couldn't find a detailed link on the limitations other than the single blurb that was in the original post.
  • by PhatAir (468678) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:53AM (#10198877) Homepage
    MS, Sybase & Ashton Tate jointly developed the core engine up until the mid nineties at which point there was (I believe) a very acrimonious split due to some licensing argument. That was at version 4.2 and so the SQL syntax remains common between the two. Since then I'm sure there's been a certain amount of divergence (and then some!), but it theory porting should be easyish (famous last words).

    I used to be a Sybase DBA and still dable with it a bit. It's a very nice db, and at one time was a real contender against Oracle. It still has a very strong footing in the Financial sector as it was deemed to be faster than Oracle. In todays world of cheap hardware and spare cpu cycles I don't think that's quite as important.
  • by beacher (82033) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:54AM (#10198882) Homepage
    All your (Sy)BASE are belong to us!
  • by zzabur (611866) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:54AM (#10198884)
    I fact, I've been waiting for free-download Oracle/DB2 "personal database" or some limited opensource release of Oracle/DB2 for a while. This release will put much pressure to Oracle, IBM and of course, MS. This is one major strong point of Linux, which pretty much is ignored by the press. With MS solution every small piece of software is at least shareware, and while the cost might be nominal, you still have to go trough the process of buying/registering it. With Linux, you may have to buy some software, but most of the stuff you need can be found around the net, just couple of clicks away from being ready for you to use.
    • by I confirm I'm not a (720413) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:33AM (#10198990) Journal

      I fact, I've been waiting for free-download Oracle/DB2 "personal database" or some limited opensource release of Oracle/DB2 for a while.

      I may be way off-base here, so apologies if I've missed the point, but Oracle have allowed free-downloads for at least a couple of years: Linux version of Oracle 10g [oracle.com].

      Not free-as-in-speech, and if you want to deploy it commercially it's not even free-as-in-beer, but it does seem to meet your "personal database" criteria: it's the reason I've more Oracle experience[1] that SQL Server experience (though MSDE briefly threatned to change that - to some extent).

      I'd need to check, but a few years back DB2 was also a free download, with the no-commercial-depolyment caveat. I'd be surpirsed if it still isn't; it's a neat trick to get developers hooked on cheap/free versions so that their organisations then migrate.

      [1] Twice as much - a whole extra week ;)

    • by popeyethesailor (325796) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:54AM (#10199044)
      You can already download for free, Oracle for Linux,Windows and a few more platforms. All you need is an OTN membership. However its only for Non-production use i.e. you cant run your business off it.

      As for Open-sourcing the DB engine, you can keep dreaming though..
    • > With Linux, you may have to buy some software, but most of the stuff you need can be found around the net, just couple of clicks away from being ready for you to use.

      I would say that's a very common mistake. I've spent a LOT more time downloading and building stuff and man it's hard.

      1) you download the tar ball,
      2) Oh it needs gtk2 gtkhtml3 and mysql4
      3) download and compile
      4) ./configure CFLAGS="-03 -Larry -Wall -fwith-everything-except-your-...." --with-fries-and-coke
      5) install everything , argh !
      6

    • I fact, I've been waiting for free-download Oracle/DB2 "personal database" or some limited opensource release of Oracle/DB2 for a while.

      So, err, maybe you wanted this?

      DB2 UDB Personal Developer Edition [ibm.com]

      Cheers,
      Toby Haynes

  • by natslovR (530503) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:54AM (#10198885)
    It can only be used internally, so you can't use it in situations where you may have been able to get away with the hardware restrictions on a small external site or (i guess) distributed to clients as part of your product.
    1. USE OF PROGRAMS. You may install and use the Programs solely for your internal business purposes by your employees, agents and contractors. The Programs may not be transferred, distributed, sold, assigned, sublicensed or otherwise conveyed (whether by operation of law or otherwise) to another party without Sybase's prior written consent.
    • by laird (2705) <lairdp AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:01AM (#10199231) Journal
      "It can only be used internally, so you can't use it in situations where you may have been able to get away with the hardware restrictions on a small external site or (i guess) distributed to clients as part of your product."

      This same sort of restriction is fairly common in the "enterprise software" space. All it really means is that you can't bundle the free version invisibly into your application (which is OK), and you can't resell "used software" (which kinda sucks).

      This means that your customers have to get their own (free) copy from the primary vendor. Oracle, Sybase, MS, etc., all do this, because they want to have a direct relationship with all of their customers so that they can support them.

      The "no reselling" part of the deal is a bummer, though. For example, I worked at a startup that bought a $180K Oracle license, and when the company went the way of most startups (sigh), this provision meant that the Oracle license couldn't be sold to get back some money for the investors. Of course, vendors never approve reselling the license, because they'd rather sell a new license to the buyer.
  • Front End...? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279)
    Does it have a programmable front-end, to which I can add business logic easily? This could include formatting [and verification] of inputs on the fly. Access calls them "input-masks". What about its report creation structure, and SQL. On many occasions, I would like to disable some widgets, in case a particular one choice has been made earlier.

    Take an example of when an individual's age suggests this individual is an infant. In this case, I would immediately disable the widget that receives anything to d

    • Re:Front End...? (Score:4, Informative)

      by m4k3r (777443) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:37AM (#10199001)
      It certainly does!

      Plus, without ever using Sybase (I'm more of a PostgreSQL fan), I'm fairly sure that Sybase would provide a C/C++ api.

      (For those that haven't caught on, Sybase is a competitor to such products as Oracle, DB2, PostgreSQL etc, and is not compareable to silly little toys such as MS Access)

    • Sybase is not a replacement for Access (neither is MS SQL Server). It does not provide any sort of graphical front end. It is just a database server. You write your own custom front end in whatever you like. You can probably even configure Access to connect to it via ODBC.
  • by ezzzD55J (697465) <slashdot5@scum.org> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:57AM (#10198898) Homepage
    Anyone know if this database is any good at replication, with multiple-write replication slaves? or even a single-write machine, with automatic re-selection of the writing machine?

    anything to improve the current mysql replication situation..

    • Yes, but it's in a separate product called (no awards for originality) Sybase Replication Server. It was one of the first repservers on the market and is very full featured.

      I'm guesing that Sybase's marketing plan is the usual release the main product for free, get people hooked, and charge them for everything else so I think you'll have to pay for it.
  • Clever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by /ASCII (86998) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @04:59AM (#10198904) Homepage
    The database caps of the free version are high enogh for the product to be usefull for web applications and smaller projects, a market that is completely dominated by free alternatives such as Postgres and MySQL. Almost everyone who shelves out $$$ for a database server run much larger systems.

    I bet they are hoping that by giving away the product for free to people who would never buy it anyway, they get droves of people who are experienced at running their system who will eventually buy it for larger projects 'cause that's the system they know how to use.

    Kind of like how SUN sells computers to universitys dirt cheap.
  • BRAINWASHED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:10AM (#10198941)
    my god. i've never seen anything so pathetic and obvious case of brainwashing in all my life.

    "...extremely strong argument against Microsoft solutions" a baseless and deliberate assumption like this in injected into what seems like 75% of slashdot stories. This is stupidity in the extreme. if MS makes the more appropriate solution, you damn better well pick them, for your own server-monkey sake

    if your motivation is just 'no microsoft at any cost', you are a tool of all these jerks riding high on the general sense of ill-will they cultivate and the work of those countless volunteers that built the friggin apps they are pimping (esr, i'm looking at you)

    It's as if slashdot's mission is more about indoctrinating the anti-MS mindset than championing free software.

    here's a good point to remember: use the right tool for the job. it's as simple as that. sometimes it's MS. Sometimes it's your favorite fanboy project founded on idealism and granola. sometimes it's also Redhat or IBM (think big $$$).

    having your ability to assess these tools tainted by such fervid invective, knee jerk hatred as slashdot gots to offer, well, you are going to reap what you sow.
    • Re:BRAINWASHED (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:57AM (#10199478) Homepage Journal
      if MS makes the more appropriate solution, you damn better well pick them, for your own server-monkey sake

      If you are a server monkey, you aren't picking anything. None of the people I know who have to keep Microsoft shit running ever got to pick it, so it seems that IT in general tends to work even when the decision of what to use is divorced from the execution of actually using and maintaining it. As incredible as it may seem, I've even heard rumors of sysadmins keeping things running after some really stupid choices on the part of CIOs and CTOs.

      here's a good point to remember: use the right tool for the job. it's as simple as that.

      Nice idea. The reality is: this is what we have, make it work. People have been making it work ever since they pulled out their mainframes and put in PC servers with M$ shit on them. People Chose Microsoft because it was cheaper than mainframes. Microsoft will lose to Linux for the same reason. This idea you are suggesting of the all-important Choice really doesn't much matter. If it was ever about picking the right system, Microsoft would never have replaced mainframes. It has been and will always be about making it work for less money. No amount of marketing, not even astroturfing, will ever change that.
  • Good news (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_dubstyler (810220) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:17AM (#10198960)
    This is, IMHO, a very good thing. Sybase is an excellent DB (I've worked with some top developers who swear by it) and a much better option than MsSQL for small projects where 1 proc/5Gb is more than enough (and there are lots of projects like that). Considering that no client I've ever worked with has been willing to go for PostgresSQL/MySQL (preferring MsSQL), this will be a welcome victory against Microsoft, as Sybase has a pretty good name in the db game.
  • Linux only? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:18AM (#10198962) Homepage
    postgresql officially supports Windows from version 8, then how can Sybase on Linux suddenly claim "a very attractive alternative to Microsoft SQL Server"?
    • Re:Linux only? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jamesh (87723)
      all sql's are not created equal. most sql languages have been described as a superset of a subset of the original standard. I can think of one application which we are agents for which is basically limited to sql server. I believe they had a look at postgresql for a short time but that was cancelled as it didn't support a few features that they used. I think the most painful one was case insensitive identifiers.

      Sybase and MSSQL both come from the same roots and so making an MSSQL application work with Syba
  • by bani (467531) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:24AM (#10198972)
    ...that microsoft sql server is sybase [wikipedia.org] (albeit 1993 codebase)
  • This is good stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FullMetalAlchemist (811118) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:30AM (#10198980)
    This is good. Though people will complain, they always do, about everything.

    While I'm a pgsql myself, the more the merrier. As long as there are many differend dbms's we'll all be safe, because homogenicy is the root of all evil.
    This will hopefully help Sybase stay in buisness longer thanks to the increased popularity it will give them, which therefor is good for me as a pgsql user.
    Simply because improvements caused by competition and the lack of common ground for root exploits.

    Now, if only MySQL would just die we would all be better off :)
  • by John_Allen_Mohammed (811050) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:57AM (#10199049)
    5 gigs is real pittance for the amount of data being collected these days, almost making this useless. What happens when the 5 gigs fills up ?
  • Oh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xedx (776707)
    cmon Firebird(Interbase) is much better than this strapped DB http://www.sphere-data.com/docs/ib_vs_ss.shtml [sphere-data.com]
  • by mpeppler (128232) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:13AM (#10199276)
    I'd like to point out that Sybase offers two "free" versions of ASE.


    The "developer" edition has been available for a couple of years, and comes with a lot of the "extra" features turned on (such as Java in the database), but is limited to one engine and 25 user connections. It's also a version that you can't use for production purposes. It is available for a number of platforms (Windows, Linux, Solaris).


    The new "Express" edition is (AFAIK) only available on linux, does not have the 25 user connection limits but instead has a disk space limit, and is usable in a production environment.


    Michael

  • by a.out (31606) * <brad@@@sarsfield...ca> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @10:35AM (#10201253)
    Microsoft SQL Server Express is free to use and redistribute. It supports 1 CPU, 1 GB addressable RAM and 4 GB database size.

    It's based on the core SQL Server 2005 Database Engine, including an advanced query optimizer and the new snapshot isolation level. It also supports the complete SQL Server programming model including T-SQL and CLR integration.

    http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/sql/

    Did I mention that it's free to use and redistribute?
  • Is this important? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joeykiller (119489) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @12:49PM (#10202959) Journal
    I'm one of the heretics that believe that free (as in beer) has helped spread Linux, Apache and MySQL more than free (as in speech), based on nothing more than the fact that the free beer part was what made me start using those products.

    But I don't think this announcement will be met by anything but a shrug from most Linux and open source DB users, whetever version of free they believe in. The thought of a product having limitations at all will stop them from even trying it.

    It can be relevant for some people, though, and that's for those who're evalutating commercial DB's in the first place and have the budget to buy them.

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