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For most folks in the Sybase database community, there has been no escaping the news about the recent release of version 15.7 of Sybase ASE, Sybase’s transactional enterprise database. 

I’m guessing though, that the SAP community has hardly noticed. That’s not surprising since ASE does not really have an established place in the SAP world today. However, as this will change tomorrow (figuratively speaking, that is), SAP customers may be interested after all. So let me summarise the highlights of ASE 15.7…

ASE version 15.7 is internally also known as “the SAP release” since this is the version of ASE that SAP will use to release Business Suite-on-ASE (stay tuned for more news on that topic in the near future). Not long after SAP announced its plans to acquire Sybase in 2010, a joint engineering team was set up by both companies with the purpose of porting Business Suite to ASE as well as optimizing ASE for Business Suite. Apart from features that were already planned anyway, ASE 15.7 therefore also contains functionality specifically to make SAP Business Suite run better. As I described before, A Deeper Look At Sybase: History of ASE when SAP approached Sybase around 1993 or so. Therefore, come 2010/2011, ASE had some catching up to do with respect to Business Suite-specific requirements. The good news is that, with Sybase part of SAP now, the Business Suite application and the ASE database can be integrated more efficiently than would be possible with any 3rd-party database. Indeed, I have witnessed how requirements identified by the SAP Business Suite team could be delivered by the Sybase ASE engineering team in record time. In the end, having ASE as the database underneath Business Suite will deliver more value to SAP customers due to the better integration and optimization that can be achieved.

So, what does ASE 15.7 bring to the table?

As always, ASE’s main themes include providing improved performance and scalability, reduced TCO and more efficient handling of large data volumes, both for structured an unstructured data.

  • Specifically, there’s a new threaded kernel for the ASE database (you can tell I’m a techie as I make this point #1). What this means is that the ASE kernel has been partly redesigned to run more efficiently on the latest generations of parallel threaded processors. In a nutshell, instead of performing all operations in one big O/S process, ASE 15.7 hands off work (like I/Os) to native threads, as these can execute more efficiently. The old kernel is still available, and fully supported, but we expect to see the new kernel being used more due to its improved performance.

 

  • Another major new feature is database compression so as to achieve more efficient storage of large data volumes. In Sybase ASE, you can now enable compression for all or selected tables and columns, as you prefer.

 

  •  Next in line is vastly improved handling of unstructured (LOB) data. ASE has always supported CLOB and BLOB datatypes, but handling these in SQL, well, left some things to be desired. That has been improved dramatically in ASE 15.7.
    Also, the compression feature mentioned above integrates particularly well with LOB data storage, thus allowing you to keep the volume of unstructured data under control.

   

  • Apart from these major features, there’s a truckload of smaller features and featurettes, performance enhancements and usability improvements — just too many to mention here (but go to www.sybase.com/aseif you want more details).

 

Now, why does any of this matter for SAP customers? When running Business Suite on Sybase ASE, all that great database technology is pretty much invisible under the covers (as indeed it should be).

The answer: by using ASE 15.7 as the database for SAP Business Suite, SAP customers will be able to operate their system more efficiently against lower costs I’d like everyone to know that ASE 15.7 contains some state-of-the-art technology and is has specific optimizations for Business Suite. In the mean time, at Sybase we keep doing what we’ve done for years, namely delivering rock-solid reliability (as well as performance, scalability, and all the other goodies) to our regular customer base which includes the financial sector of this planet.

In other words: ASE is a safe choice for your enterprise data.

Oh, and not unimportantly, ASE will be fully supported on Itanium, now and in the future (unlike certain other databases I could mention).

 

Should you be attending SAP TechEd in Madrid, I will be there on November 9th to discuss Sybase data management technology for SAP customers.
My schedule looks as follows:

 

  • My speaker POD hours are Nov 9th, 11:00-13:00, POD9, Hall 10 (session ID TEC-P10, “Sybase Data Management: Addressing IT Needs from Wall Street to Main Street”)
  • For the Expert networking lounge, I’m signed up for two half-hour sessions on Nov 9th, from 14:00-15:00 in Lounge 1, Clubhouse. If you want to discuss things in more detail, we can sit down there.

 

  • From 15:30 to 16:30, I will be delivering my technology presentation TEC-108, titled “From Wall Street to Main Street – Why Run SAP Business Suite on Sybase ASE”

   

So if you’ll be at SAP TechEd Madrid, come and meet me if you want to discuss Sybase data management technology.
See you there!

 

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