Thursday, October 27, 2005


MS SQL Server vs Sybase ASE

What is the difference between MS SQL Server and Sybase ASE?

Those that have seen both are probably struck by how similar they are. Why are they so similar?

Well, MS SQL Server gets it roots from Sybase. In fact, the first version, MS SQL 4.2, was Sybase SQL Server 4.0, and was designed for OS/2.

The NT port came out a few years later. The first version of MS SQL Server that was not based on Sybase SQL Server was MS SQL 6.0. Of course, that was based on 4.2 which was Sybase SQL Server 4.0, so the differences weren't great.

Over time the two have grown a little bit apart. Sybase SQL Server eventually changed its name to Sybase ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise). But they both still use very similar variations of SQL called "Transact-SQL" or T-SQL. The differences between the two are largely cosmetic: for example, Sybase ASE allows for longer names and MS SQL has indexed views.

MS SQL Server is sometimes referred to as the "Windows version" of Sybase ASE. But Sybase ASE is available on Windows platforms. MS SQL Server's primary advantage is that it is generally cheaper and generally slightly simpler, wherease Sybase ASE is available on more platforms and is generally more configurable.

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