Last updated: 26 January 2020
Where to get a free copy of Sybase ASE
 
SAP/Sybase ASE is a commercial software product, so the obvious way to get it is to buy it. Contact your local SAP/Sybase office for details.

But maybe you don't want to spend the money for a full ASE production license, but you would like to run ASE -- for example for evaluating ASE, for development, or for preparing yourself for an ASE certification exam. There are a number of options to get a free copy of ASE, as outlined below.
Note that it is legally not allowed to run production systems on these free versions of ASE, except for the Express Edition.

Step 1: download the base product
Before you can run ASE, you'll need to have the full ASE base product installed. To get a free copy, these are your options (NB: the links below were updated in August 2014 to point to the new locations at sap.com):
  • A free ASE 16.0 Express Edition for Linux can be found here. While the ASE Express Edition is limited to 4 Gb of memory and 50 Gb of disk space per server , the great thing is that this edition comes as a free full-use license, so it's free for production purposes!.
    Note that there is no hard limit on the number of user connections as with the Developer's Edition.
    NB: installing ASE on Linux is usually painless these days, but if not, check out this installation guide and this FAQ.
  • The ASE 16.0 Enterprise Edition is available with a 90-day evaluation license, both for Linux and Windows: go here, and click on "Get a free trial". This edition has no limitations on configuration settings like the Express Edition has, but you cannot use it for production. The 90-day license can be extended to 1 year by SAP.
  • Not exactly free, but you can get ASE on AWS on subscription basis (pay-what-you-use), which, at a few $$/hour, can be an attractive option. Go here for all ASE options on AWS.
  • NB: The ASE Developer Edition is no longer available under that name; when you follow links named 'Developer Edition', you end up at the Enterprise Edition trial version above.
  • NB: Older ASE versions (12.x, 15.x) are no longer available for free download.

Step 2: documentation
Once you have the ASE software, you'll also need the documentation. Follow this link for information where to get ASE documentation.


Remarks
Some things you should be aware of:
  • If you want to get bug fixes, you need a support contract. Typically this also entitles you to free upgrades to the next ASE release (i.e. 11.9 -> 12.0 -> 12.5 -> 15.0 -> 15.5 -> 15.7 -> 16.0); without a support contract, this will not be possible.
    Lastly, a support contract allows you to log cases -and get answers- with Sybase Technical support when you run into problems.

Other free Sybase products
Some other Sybase-related evaluation/trial versions:

 
 This document is located at www.sypron.nl/get_ase_soft.html