ABAP Trial does not work when the Sybase ASE license expires
How the error looks like
If you have an SAP ABAP trial installation that uses the Sybase ASE database, then it periodically stops working. Often it happens at the beginning of April.
The server just hangs during the startup process and doesn’t give any errors to the terminal.
The following information is displayed in the terminal in that case:
vhcalnplci:npladm 54> startsap
Checking syb Database
Database is not available via R3trans
starting database NPL …
Log file: /sybase/NPL/startdb.log
File /sybase/NPL/startdb.log contains no useful information other than the following message:
ASE instance not available
*** ERROR:ASE instance possibly left running when system
went down(system crash?).
When you press Control+C, the process is interrupted and a message is displayed that additional information can be found in the trace file. Unfortunately, there is no useful information in the trace file either.
How to find the cause
The root cause of this error is an expired license file. Relevant information can be found in the following log:
/Sybase/<name of instace>/ASE-<version>/install/<name of instance>.log
That log contains something like that:
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.38 kernel SySAM: Using licenses from: /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: Failed to obtain license(s) for ASE_CORE feature from license file(s) or server(s).
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: Feature has expired.
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: License feature name: ASE_CORE
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: Expire date: 31-mar-2023
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: License search path: /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic:
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel SySAM: FlexNet Licensing error:-10,32
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel There is no valid license for ASE server product. Installation date is not found or installation grace period has expired. Server will not boot.
This log also contains the location of the license file that needs to be updated.
When the root cause is found, the solution is quite simple. Go to page ABAP Trial Downloads Developer Trials and Downloads and download the corresponding license file.
I downloaded the license from this link:
I won’t post the exact link here as it may change over time. But it can be easily found on the page I mentioned. Before downloading, you may need to register on the site and accept the agreement.
After that, you need to extract the contents of the archive and copy the SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic file to the folder /sybase/<name of instace>/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic.
In my case the name of the instance is NPL and the target folder will be /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic.
Now the server will start successfully.