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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 @05:37AM (#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 @05:39AM (#10198824) Homepage Journal
    People who just want a full featured database aren't really all that interested in the source.
  • Smart move (Score:1, Interesting)

    by tod_miller (792541) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:39AM (#10198826) Journal
    Sybase have made a very smart move - by association people will see thier larger user base as a sign that they are more stable, and more widely used.

    They will be the 'oracle' of linux. Of course this is first impressions, I haven't used Sybase, or Postgresql - only oracle, mysql, mkcoi and db2 (oh that toy database, from a company in redmond?)

    Anyone had experience with Sybase ?? Anyone using Postgresql for really heavily loaded DB?

    Any real differences in todays markets? (patch reliability, support)

    I am not a db administrator.
  • by managementboy (223451) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:40AM (#10198832) Homepage
    Well I want a full featured database and would like to have the source. That makes it "people - 1".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:41AM (#10198833)
    they are usually interested in using more than 1 cpu and just 5Gb.

    the sybase offer is useless.
  • by dotgain (630123) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:44AM (#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.

  • by AnuradhaRatnaweera (757812) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:48AM (#10198859) Homepage
    What happenes when Sybase stops maintaining the `Free' version?
  • by protektor (63514) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:51AM (#10198872)
    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 millisa (151093) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:52AM (#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 @05:53AM (#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 zzabur (611866) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:54AM (#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.
  • Front End...? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:55AM (#10198888)
    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 do with children since an infant cannot have children. There is much more...all in the name of business logic. Cb..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:59AM (#10198905)
    I worked with both and, IMO, Sybase is NOT that much better to justify restrictions like "the free [Sybase] version is limited to 1 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 5GB of data". Does it work when it rains?!
  • by PhatAir (468678) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:03AM (#10198919) Homepage
    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.
  • by MaccaUK (761566) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:04AM (#10198924) Homepage
    It isn't necessarily the speed - it's also the ease of maintenance compared to Oracle. Sybase is limited but it works, while Oracle is very powerful and fiddly. Fiddly is bad when you have a lot of dataservers.
  • This is good stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FullMetalAlchemist (811118) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#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 Lumpy (12016) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#10198983) Homepage
    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 to.
  • Re:Nearly Identical? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:38AM (#10199002)
    Back at a company I worked for between 1999-2002 (or so) we used to use the library that came with Sybase to connect our linux boxes to MS SQL running on NT.

    A new version of MS SQL would come out, we'd hold off... a new version of Sybase would come out, we'd grab the library from that and install, then upgrade our MS SQL servers (the previous Sybase library couldn't connect to newer MS SQL servers)

    To note... the library that came with Sybase was meant to connect to Sybase DB servers, not MS SQL servers, but worked none the less. (I guess I should comment that we used the Linux based library to connect to the MS SQL servers, if a new version of MS SQL came out, we could no longer connect to them. Until Sybase released a new version of their library... meant to talk to Sybase DB servers)

    And of course, I have no idea how compatible they are now. (and of course, this was just a networking interface compatibility)
  • Re:Linux only? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jamesh (87723) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:48AM (#10199028)
    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 Sybase under Linux may be less of a gargantuan effort than, say, postgresql under any platform.
  • Oh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xedx (776707) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:02AM (#10199056) Homepage
    cmon Firebird(Interbase) is much better than this strapped DB http://www.sphere-data.com/docs/ib_vs_ss.shtml [sphere-data.com]
  • Dual core chips ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:17AM (#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 ?.
  • by mpeppler (128232) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:13AM (#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 Lumpy (12016) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:31AM (#10199354) Homepage
    yes [roguewave.com]

    PostgreSQL has had support for stored procedures and triggers for quite some time now.

    it's a DB that you really need to keep an eye on from time to time. Lots of people are still touting that it does not have stored proceedures and usually those people are simply talking without knowing.

    it works quite well and the link above is the first one I could find on google that detailed it.

    I can find more when I'm not surfing and posting from my Zaurus on the way into work.
  • by HeadDown (639182) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:35AM (#10199369)
    If you want a database that offers what Sybase does, but without those silly restrictions ("5GB ought to be enough for everyone" indeed), you might as well look at Ingres [ca.com]. Open Source but available with full support from CA should you want it.
  • Re:Linux only? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HeadDown (639182) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#10199470)
    This doesn't help me at all when Postgresql refuses to install on my Windows 2000 server machine. There's a large difference between "1st release, appears to work on the desktop of the PostgreSQL devs" and "ready for production". Maybe Sybase can claim to be the "very attractive alternative to Microsoft SQL Server" because they have a (positive) history on Windows.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @10:04AM (#10200056)
    I have used DB2 on all 3 platforms, have Oracle experience, but most importantly I have used Sybase from v10 (ouch) to 12 over 5 years and MS_SQL Server from 6.5 to 2000 for 6 years. So I am certainly qualified to touch on this.

    Sybase works - No doubt about it. We had much better performance on an 8-way Solaris box vs. DB2.

    In terms of code compatibility with Microsoft - it is close - extremely close even to this day. That's the nice thing about Microsoft stealing the Sybase code all those years back - it takes a lot of originality to subvert the database.

    Some posters have noted that it's not hard to port a DB from MS SQL Server to {database x} That's true. BUT - the real thing to note here is T-SQL (Transact SQL) and the stored procedure implementation. If your Microsoft database has a boatload of T-SQL code written up over time (and most do) then the compatibility betwen Microsoft and Sybase is very good. Any MS T-SQL developer will almost immediately understand Sybase syntax. In fact most of the syntactical differences I have seen in the past involve the fact that Sybase has more options on each command due to their UNIX implementation. This includes things like parallel processing, etc.

    I would not have any issues recommending a migration from MS-SQL Server to Sybase from a code standpoint. it would be the most efficient in terms of ease of conversion IMHO.

    Now, WRT market share - that is true. Sybase made some bad missteps with (a) trusting Microsoft and (b) putting out a really bad release about 6 months too early (I think it was release 10). The 3-4 ish percent market share number is true. An important note though is that Sybase has about 40-50% of the Japanese and Chinese market share (this number is off the top of my head - corroborate it yourself) - so they are certainly not going to go away soon.

    Just my opinion. Every database has its strengths and weaknesses - Sybase has a small footprint, solid performance, has run on *Nix forever, has mediocre marketing, and poor marketshare.

    Bill.
  • by killmenow (184444) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @10:20AM (#10200198)
    I understand. I'm not trying to poo poo Sybase. It's an okay DMBS. I know about the NASDAQ and many other companies that use it. It is, after all, still probably a top 5 commercial DBMS product.

    My point, or at least one of them, was that if you are looking at learning a new DBMS, and your selection critera includes marketability of the skill set, Sybase is a poor choice compared to Oracle and DB2.

    Microsoft SQL Server is the DBMS leader on Windows platform. If that's your target platform, learn it. Oracle is the leader on Unix platforms. DB2 is Oracle's strongest challenger in this area. If you're looking at commercial DBMS on Linux, I think DB2 is the skillset to acquire. And, they make it relatively easy because you can download DB2 UDB for no charge. Sybase is respectable, but from a career perspective, marketability favors, imho, in this order: Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase.

    All, as I said imHo.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @03:38PM (#10204692) Homepage
    If you are a small business then you can likely afford the $500 that a the most basic deployment of Oracle SE would cost you. 5GB is simply a joke. The alternatives aren't as expensive as you think they are for the domain under discussion.
  • by haruchai (17472) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @05:03PM (#10205952)
    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.

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