Why Sybase is similar to Microsoft’s SQL Server

Recently I got the opportunity to have a look at the Sybase DBMS and while reading through some of the material on it I had this thing in my mind constantly picking up the tit-bits from where I had left Microsoft’s SQL Server a few months back. It seemed so similar.

Other Sybase beginners might have a similar gut feeling that Sybase is so MS SQL server alike. If you are a Sybase first timer, it would be a matter of surprise and a matter of pleasure to hear than the base architecture of Sybase and MS SQL Server is the same! This means you don’t have to learn new concepts like when introduced to a new DBMS, like Oracle, which has an entirley different DBMS behavior than most of its counterparts. The enlighment I got from searching over the net was the following article, which makes it clear why the Sybase concepts are very much equivalent to those of Microsoft’s SQL Server.

Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise started its life as Sybase SQL Server – the first relational database management system (RDBMS) manufactured and sold by Sybase.

It was originally created for UNIX platforms in 1987. In 1988, SQL Server for OS/2 was co-developed for PC by Sybase, Microsoft, and Ashton-Tate. Then Ashton-Tate lost its interest in the project and Microsoft became the lead partner after porting SQL Server to Microsoft Windows NT. For several years, Microsoft was a Sybase distributor, reselling the Sybase product for OS/2 and Windows NT under the name Microsoft SQL Server (Microsoft SQL Server).

Since releasing version 4.21, Microsoft and Sybase sold and supported the product together. In 1993, the co-development licensing agreement between Microsoft and Sybase expired and the cooperation between the companies ended. After Microsoft purchased a copy of the source code of Sybase SQL Server, the both companies continued to develop the products independently, as competitors.

Microsoft put emphasis on the ease-of-use and “windowising” the product while Sybase focused on maximizing the product’s performance and reliability and running it on high-end hardware.

Sybase after its release of ASE has gone way ahead in its releases and has regained in its value and acceptance. It would be eveident in its yearly performance reports which were a meagre of $16.5 millions in 2000 to a whopping $117.8 in 2005.

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