|Last updated: 15 April 2012
Where to get a free copy of Sybase ASE
Sybase ASE is a commercial software product, so the obvious way to get it is to buy it. This can be done online at the Sybase E-shop. Alternatively, contact your local Sybase office.
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:
- A free Express Edition of ASE 15.7 for Linux can be downloaded here. While the ASE Express Edition is limited to 1 server engine, 2 Gb of memory and 5 Gb of disk space per server, the great thing is that this edition is free for production purposes! (note: these limits apply to an individual ASE server instance, NOT to the hardware itself -- if you want, you can run multiple ASE Express Edition servers on a multi-CPU Linux box).
Note that there is no hard limit on the number of user connections as with the Developer's Edition.
Also note that the licensable options (such as ASE_LDAP) are not enabled in this free-for-production Express Edition; in fact, these options cannot even be purchased for the Express Edition, but only for the ASE Small Business Edition (ASE_SBE) and the Enterprise Edition (the full-blown, unrestricted version of ASE). Also note that the options XML, Java, XFS and Webservices are included in the base version of ASE 15 (in 12.5, these were separate license options).
NB: when installing ASE on Linux, check out this installation guide and this FAQ.
- The free Developer's Edition for ASE 15.7 can be downloaded here (available on all supported ASE platforms). This edition has most license options enabled, but it also has a pretty tight limit of 25 user connections. Also, the Developer's Edition may not be used for production purposes, as is allowed for the Express Edition.
When you're running ASE on Linux, note that you won't be able to run this on older versions of Linux such as RedHat 7.x: you really need to run RH Enterprise Linux (or similar). If you do not want to pay for RHEL, go here.
Note that the Developer's Edition for earlier ASE versions is not available anymore.
- There is currently no evaluation version or developer edition of ASE Cluster Edition (CE). You need to contact a Sybase representative to discuss evaluating ASE CE.
- NB: Since mid-2009, the free versions of ASE 11.0.3 and 11.9.2 for Linux are no longer available from www.sybase.com....
Step 2: download bug fixes (EBFs)
For most platforms, you can download patches (EBFs) from the public Sybase website without having a Sybase support contract. Go here:http://www.sybase.com/downloads, then click on "Maintenance Releases and Bug Fixes (EBFs)".
It is a good idea to install the most recent patch every now and then so that you can benefit from bug fixes and new features.
Step 3: documentation
Once you have the ASE software, you'll also need the documentation. Follow this link for information where to get ASE documentation.
Some things you should be aware of:
While you can download bug fixes without a support contract, this doesn't mean a support contract is useless. On the contrary: a support contract entitles you to free upgrades to the next ASE release (i.e. 11.9 -> 12.0 -> 12.5 -> 15.0 -> 15.5 -> 15.7); without a support contract, this will not be possible. Also note that the 'free' bug fixes may have limited platform availability.
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:
Get yourself a free copy of enterprise-grade Linux
Since free versions of Sybase ASE are available for Linux (see above), you may want to get a free enterprise-grade version of Linux as well. More information is here.