Who uses Sybase

Axter
Axter used Ask the Experts™
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Who uses Sybase, and how much of the market does it capture?

Why would a client want to use Sybase over Oracle, MySql, or MS-SQL?

I'm setting up our servers with different RDMS for testing purposes, and I'm trying to determine if it's worth having an extra Linux box using Sybase.

I appreciate any advice, opinions, or good links on this subject.

Thanks
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>>Who uses Sybase, and how much of the market does it capture?
Sybase databases are widely used in the financial services and investment banking areas.

>>Why would a client want to use Sybase over Oracle, MySql, or MS-SQL?
There is a ton of material on the subject.  The main points are price, speed, stability, support, and features.

>>I'm setting up our servers with different RDMS for testing purposes, and I'm trying to determine if it's worth having an extra Linux box using Sybase.
Yes, but we would have to know more of your situtation to give you reasons as to why choose Sybase.

Leon
I work for on-line securities broker and we use several Sybase ASE servers. We choosed Sybase several years ago because:
1. Oracle was (and probably still is) more expensive
2. MS SQL was (and for sure still is) less scalable (you can use only Windows server)
3. MySql is not comparable

Author

Commented:
>>MySql is not comparable

Why is MySql not comparable?
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Author

Commented:
>>Sybase databases are widely used in the financial services and investment banking areas.

Any paticular reason why it's used by these two groups?
MySql does not support store procedures

Leon
AFAIK MySql don't have transactions - or at least, it didn't have them for a long time, may be the situation is better now. MySql is great tool for many projects, but I believe, it still lacks a lot of features needed for deploment as critical application - eg. on-line backup and recoverability, high-availability, replication etc.
>>Any paticular reason why it's used by these two groups?

Mostly historical.  It was cheaper than Oracle and the first to develop store procedures.

Leon

Commented:
One thing to note - I've been using Sybase 7 years now and the quality of the product has declined recently.  Its not out of the market by any means but the competition from SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 and others is hotting up.
>>declined recently

Its not that it is getting worse, its just that others are gettng better.  Sybase can not compete with MS on Windows, MS SQL Server blows it out in most respects.  Price wise MySQL (free) is taking over the web backend.  Oracle and DB2 are also rolling out many new features for data warehousing as well as Linux support.

Leon

Author

Commented:
>>Oracle and DB2 are also rolling out

I notice there's not an explicit DB2 topic area on EE.
Is IBM UDB being used for DB2 topic?
This is an interesting site to compare db:

http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/features.html

Leon
>>I notice there's not an explicit DB2 topic area on EE. Is IBM UDB being used for DB2 topic?

Yes

Author

Commented:
Why is it named IBM UDB instead of IBM DB2?

Author

Commented:
That's a great link!
It is a combination of DB2 and AS400.  AS400 is not a true database, but more like a file based database system.

Leon
Commented:
leonstryker - I'd disagree, it is actually getting a lot worse.  We encounter far more problems with the optimiser messing up and failing to use indexes correctly with each major upgrade and numerous other niggly problems that are increasing with the releases.  

At the same time some of the longstanding problems such as floats not holding numbers accurately and being unable to mark a particular process or ID as having priority in deadlock situations.  They seemed to get too caught up in getting "Java" into Sybase rather than improving the product.

I work in application support as well as development / maintenance so we tend to see all the nasty little problems.  Having said that I've heard tales of Oracle also developing problems where hints have to be put into queries to get them to work.
simongv,

You may be right.  I am more of a developer, so I may not see some of the problems you are seeing.

Leon
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
IBM  decided to re-brand/badge DB2 as UDB (universal Database) several years ago...

the IBM UDB topic area covers the whole range of IBM UDB database systems

whatever the operating system

OS/390
Z/OS

Win (NT)

UNIX/LINUX/AIX

AS400

OS/2


   
Commented:
Sybase is also used extensively by the military and similar parts of the federal government.

Sybase (ASE) generally excels in applications that do a lot of true OLTP types of things.  These are characterised by having lots of relatively small, quick transactions that, ideally, can be implemented in stored procedures.  While Oracle has gotten better from a performance perspective, it still has very high per-connection overhead as compared with Sybase; on the order of 20 to 40 times the memory per connection alone.  It also lights up a process on the server for each connection.
NOTE:  I know about the multi-threaded option of Oracle but even they do not recommend that you use it.

In comparison with Sybase, Oracle also has it's share of bugs.  There was a long standing bug known in the community that affected Long Varchar datatypes.  In one installation I had access to, every 200,000 or so updates, the pointers to the LongVarchar pages would get scrambled and actually mixed the pages from different rows together.  This bug crossed at least from version 7.x to 8.x (LongVarchar was de-emphzied in 9i) and across both UNIX and Windows platforms.  I also ran into a problem with 9i and the parallel query option.  When they added the new date datatypes in 9i, they comparison operators for them worked fine in standard edition but failed miserably with the parallel query option installed.

Sybase 12.5.1 is very stable and fixes many of the minor but annoying issues with 12.5.0.x.  It also has some very nice features that Oracle has had for a long time like derived tables, e.g. the SELECT name FROM (SELECT * FROM sysobjects) syntax, the ability to utilize Stored Procedure result sets in a query or stored procedure, row level locking, a READPAST clause to solve the classic workflow queuing problem to mention a few.

Sybase also offers a substantial product suite that MS cannot.  The Replication Server (works for more than just Sybase), High Availability, Navigation Server, Open Server (MS offers it but discourages its use), the Omni Connect suite of products for heterogeneous database access (including mainframe DBs), etc.

Also, if you have a data warehousing application of significant size, you will want to check out Sybase IQ.  It is significantly different than Sybase ASE and is usless for OLTP applications; however, it will blow the doors off of anything else for data warehousing, particularly for very large DBMSs.

Hope that helps,

Bill

Author

Commented:
>>OLTP
What is OLTP??
OLTP - on line transaction processing - system needs to quickly process a lot of small transactions, data is changing rapidly, response time should be very short (max several seconds)

DSS - decision support system - data is not changing rapidly, system should be able to do various complex reports in reasonable time, not in seconds

Author

Commented:
Thank you all

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