Proprietary Sybase DBI/DBD module

Chris Jack chris_jack at
Tue Oct 30 16:32:09 GMT 2012

From: Dave Cross dave at
> Well, there's only one standard Perl distribution[1]. And that doesn't  
> include any DBD modules. It doesn't even include DBI.
> There are a number of distributions that include modules beyond the  
> standard set. Offhand I can think of ActivePerl[2], Strawberry Perl[3]  
> and DWIM Perl[4]. Some of these include DBI and DBD modules but (as  
> far as I know) they only include DBD::mysql - as it's still by far the  
> most popular database. None of them include DBD::Sybase, so the chance  
> of getting them to include an alternative Sybase DBD would seem to be  
> tiny. Thanks this is helpful. Popular is a slightly arbitrary concept: see for instance. Not that I'm saying that's "correct" simply that you choose your own definition of popular. I will grant you that mysql has the most downloads of any open source database. Obviously mysql is a database - but it's really not in the same market as Oracle, DB2, Sybase etc.
IMHO mysql got itself scr"wed for all time when it was acquired by Oracle. How better to control what features get added to a low end competitor. At the same time, you're dissuading development on other open source databases by having something with already good functionality.  
> There are, however, a couple of alternatives that you can consider.  
> Firstly, for a module to be considered "real" to most Perl  
> programmers, it needs to be on CPAN. The PAUSE FAQ[5] is still (as far  
> as I know) the best guide for getting a module onto CPAN.
Sybase will be releasing to CPAN but they're still finishing off work/testing etc. 
> Secondly, you could consider making pre-packaged versions of the  
> module available for various platforms. For example, an RPM for Red  
> Hat systems or a .deb for Debian/Ubuntu. You could try to get it into  
> the standard package repositories for these systems but the niche  
> nature of Sybase use is likely to count against you here.
Niche is a point in time concept. SAP buying Sybase was a significant coupe for both companies. SAP competes head to head with Oracle in applications yet had been beholden to Oracle for its database. This had lead to all the complications you would expect. SAP is now pouring bucket loads of money into development of Sybase. 3 years ago, I was pessimistic that Sybase was going to become another hard to sell legacy skill on my CV (anyone remember SQLPlus: now there's a legacy database skill...). Now, I'm not so sure. SAP is targeting Sybase as being the number 2 commercial database in the world. They were able to add some credibility to that aim with statistics about the number of sites now migrating from Oracle to Sybase. But who knows. 
From: Jason Clifford <jason at>
> So long as it being proprietary does not prevent this model of
> distribution that's all you need to do.
Thanks for your response too. It's only proprietary in the sense that it is written/maintained by SAP/Sybase. They're also releasing similar module for Python, PDP, and so on. They'll all be free and available in the standard locations like CPAN. RegardsChris

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