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Sybase FAQ: 1/19 - index

Archive-name: databases/sybase-faq/part1
Version: 1.7
Maintainer: David Owen
Last-modified: 2003/01/17
Posting-Frequency: posted every 3rd month
   A how-to-find-the-FAQ article is posted on the intervening months.

                       Sybase Frequently Asked Questions                       

Sybase FAQ Home PageAdaptive Server Enterprise FAQAdaptive Server Anywhere FAQ 
                     Replication Server FAQSearch the FAQ                      
                                  Sybase FAQ                                   

Main Page


  * Where can I get the latest release of this FAQ?
  * What's new in this release?
  * How can I help with the FAQ?
  * Who do I tell about problems in the FAQ?
  * Acknowledgements and Thanks
  * Hall of Fame
  * Copyright and Disclaimer
  * General Index


                        Main | ASE | ASA | REP | Search                        



                Where can I get the latest release of this FAQ?                
International Sybase User Group

The main page for this site is  It is hosted
there by kind permission of the International Sybase User Group (http:// as a service to the Sybase community.

To get a text version of this FAQ:
    If you want uncompressed versions of the various sections, they can be got
    from ASE, ASA & REP.
To get the HTML for this FAQ:
Last major update: 20th December 2002.

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                          What's new in this release?                          
Release 1.8

  * Large number of corrections and improvements.
  * Added an explicit copyright section.
  * New book review: Configuring & Tuning Databases on the Solaris Platform by
    Carl Kayser
  * New traceflags.
  * How to run multiple instances of ASE on a single physical server.
  * Pointer to Michael Peppler's ASE on Linux FAQ

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                        What's happening with the FAQ?                         
I have not had a lot of time to spend on the FAQ this year. Mainly, this is
down to work, or the lack of it. I know, we are all in the same boat. Well, it
has meant that I have had a lot less free time than I used to and as a result
the FAQ has not been kept as up to date as I would like. Sadly, the work I have
been doing is with those other database vendors, but we won't name them here.
Anyway, that is the sob story over and done with. If anyone thinks that they
would like to see more effort applied, I would be happy to hand the mantle
over. Since the amount of help that I have actually seen amounts to about
practically none, then I am sure I will not be over-run with offers! I will
definitely have more time come January and plan some serious work on it then.

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                         How can I help with the FAQ?                          
I have had offers from a couple of people to write sections, but if you feel
that you are in a position to add support for a section, or if you have some
FAQs to add, please let me know.  This is a resource that we should all
support, so send me the stuff and I will include it.

Typos and specific corrections are always very useful. Less useful is the
general I don't think that section x.y.z is very understandable. Sorry to sound
harsh, but what I need is actual text that is more readable. Better still is
actual HTML that makes it stand out and sing (if necessary)!

Currently I am looking for maintainers of the following sections Replication,
Adaptive Server Anywhere, IQ server, MPP Server and Open Server.  I am not sure
whether to add a section for Omni Server.  I sort of feel that since Omni has
been subsumed into ASE as CIS that any FAQs should really be incorporated
there.   However, if you know of some good Omni gotchas or tips, whether they
are still there in CIS or not, please send them in.  I certainly plan to have a
subsection of ASE dealing with CIS even if Omni does not get its own major
section.  I also think that we need sections on some of the really new stuff. 
Jaguar and the new engines also deserve a spot.

Another very useful way that you can help is in getting people to update their
links.  I have seen lots of links recently, some still pointing to Pablo's
original, some pointing to Tom's site but referring to it as coming from the
SGI site.

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                   Who do I tell about problems in the FAQ?                    
The current maintainer is David Owen ( and you can send
errors in the FAQ directly to me.  If you have an FAQ item (both the question
and the answer) send it to and I will include it.

Do not send email to any of the officials at ISUG, they are simply hosting the
FAQ and are not responsible for its contents.

Also, do not send email to Sybase, they are not responsible for the contents
either.  See the Disclaimer.

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                          Acknowledgements and Thanks                          
Special thanks must go to the following people for their help in getting this
FAQ to where it is today.

  * Pablo Sanchez for getting the FAQ off the ground in the first place and for
    many years of dedicated work in maintaining it.
  * Anthony Mandic ( for a million things.  Patiently answering
    questions in all of the Sybase news groups, without which most beginners
    would be lost.  For supporting and encouraging me in getting this FAQ
    together and for providing some pretty neat graphics.
  * The ISUG, especially Luc Van der Veurst ( and Michael
    Peppler (, for hosting this FAQ and providing support
    in setting up the website.
  * The members of the various news groups and mailing lists who, like Anthony,
    provide unstinting support.  The list is fairly long, but I think that Bret
    Halford ( deserves a mention.   If you go to Google News
    and do a search, he submits almost as many replies as Anthony.
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                                 Hall of Fame                                  
I am not sure how Pablo chose his select list, there is certainly no question
as to their inclusion.  I know that there are a couple of awards that the ISUG
give out each year for the people that the ISUG members believe have
contributed most to the Sybase community that year.  I think that this section
should honour those people that deserve an award each and every year.  If you
know of a candidate, let me know and I will consider his or her inclusion. 
Self nominations are not acceptable :-)

The following people have made it to the Sybase FAQ Hall of Fame:

  * Michael Peppler (   For Sybperl and all of the other
    tools of which he is author or instigator plus the ceaseless support that
    he provides through countless mailing lists, newsgroups and directly via
  * Scott Gray (   Father of sqsh, much more than simply a
    replacement for isql.  How anyone developing or administering Sybase can
    survive without it, I will never know.
  * Pablo Sanchez (  Pablo got the first web based FAQ off the
    ground, wrote most (all?) of the first edition and then maintained it for a
    number of years.   He did a fantastic job, building a resource that is
    worth its weight in gold.
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                           Copyright and Disclaimer                            

You are free to copy or distribute this FAQ in whole or in part, on any medium
you choose provided that you:

  * include this Copyright and Disclaimer notice;
  * do NOT distribute or copy, in any fashion, with the intention of making a
    profit from its use;
  * give FULL attribution to the original authors.


This FAQ is provided as is without any express or implied warranties. Whilst
every endeavour has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information
contained within the articles, the author, nor any of the contributors, assume
responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use
of the information contained herein.

If you are not happy about performing any of the suggestions contained within
this FAQ, you are probably better off calling Sybase Technical Support.


This site and all its contents belongs to the Sybase FAQ (

Unless explicitly stated in an article, all material within this FAQ is
copyrighted. The primary copyright holders are David Owen and Pablo Sanchez.
However, all contributed material is, and will remain, the property of the
respective authors and contributors.

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Basic ASE Admin

    1.1.1   What is SQL Server and ASE anyway?
    1.1.2   How do I start/stop SQL Server when the CPU reboots?
    1.1.3   How do I move tempdb off of the master device?
    1.1.4   How do I correct timeslice -201?
    1.1.5   The how's and why's on becoming a Certified Sybase Professional DBA
    1.1.6   RAID and Sybase
    1.1.7   How to swap a db device with another
    1.1.8   Server naming and renaming
    1.1.9   How do I interpret the tli strings in the interface file?
    1.1.10 How can I tell the datetime my Server started?
    1.1.11 Raw partitions or regular files?
    1.1.12 Is Sybase Y2K (Y2000) compliant?
    1.1.13 How Can I Run the SQL Server Upgrade Manually?
User Database Administration

    1.2.1         Changing varchar(m) to varchar(n)
    1.2.2    Frequently asked questions on Table partitioning
    1.2.3         How do I manually drop a table?
    1.2.4         Why not create all my columns varchar(255)?
    1.2.5         What's a good example of a transaction?
    1.2.6         What's a natural key?
    1.2.7         Making a Stored Procedure invisible
    1.2.8         Saving space when inserting rows monotonically
    1.2.9         How to compute database fragmentation
    1.2.10       Tasks a DBA should do...
    1.2.11       How to implement database security
    1.2.12       How to shrink a database
    1.2.13       How do I turn on auditing of all SQL text sent to the server
Advanced Administration

    1.3.1       How do I clear a log suspend'd connection?
    1.3.2       What's the best value for cschedspins?
    1.3.3       What traceflags are available?
    1.3.4       How do I use traceflags 5101 and 5102?
    1.3.5       What is cmaxpktsz good for?
    1.3.6       What do all the parameters of a buildmaster -d<device> -yall
    1.3.7       What is CIS and how do I use it?
    1.3.8       If the master device is full how do I make the master database
General Troubleshooting

    1.4.1       How do I turn off marked suspect on my database?
    1.4.2       On startup, the transaction log of a database has filled and
    recovery has suspended, what can I do?

Performance and Tuning

    1.5.1        What are the nitty gritty details on Performance and Tuning?
    1.5.2        What is best way to use temp tables in an OLTP environment?
    1.5.3        What's the difference between clustered and non-clustered
    1.5.4        Optimistic versus Pessimistic locking?
    1.5.5        How do I force an index to be used?
    1.5.6        Why place tempdb and log on low numbered devices?
    1.5.7        Have I configured enough memory for ASE/SQL Server?
    1.5.8        Why should I use stored procedures?
    1.5.9        I don't understand showplan's output, please explain.
    1.5.10      Poor man's sp_sysmon.
    1.5.11      View MRU-LRU procedure cache chain.
    1.5.12      Improving Text/Image Type Performance
Platform Specific Issues

    2.1    How to Start ASE on Remote NT Servers

    3.1    How do I set TS Role in order to run certain DBCCs...?
    3.2    What are some of the hidden/trick DBCC commands?
    3.3    The unauthorized DBCC list with doco - see Q11.4.1
    3.4    Fixing a Munged Log
    3.5    Another site with DBCC commands - see Q11.4.2

    4.1    How do I hide my password using isql?
    4.2    How do I remove row affected and/or dashes when using isql?
    4.3    How do I pipe the output of one isql to another?

    5.1    How do I bcp null dates?
    5.2    Can I use a named pipe to bcp/dump data out or in?
    5.3    How do I exclude a column?
SQL Fundamentals

    6.1.1      Are there alternatives to row at a time processing?
    6.1.2      When should I execute an sp_recompile?
    6.1.3      What are the different types of locks and what do they mean?
    6.1.4      What's the purpose of using holdlock?
    6.1.5      What's the difference between an update in place versus a
    deferred update? - see Q1.5.9
    6.1.6      How do I find the oldest open transaction?
    6.1.7      How do I check if log truncation is blocked?  
    6.1.8      The timestamp datatype
    6.1.9      Stored Procedure Recompilation and Reresolution
    6.1.10    How do I manipulate binary columns?
    6.1.11    Does Sybase support Row Level Locking?
    6.1.12    Why do my page locks not get escalated to a table lock after 200
    6.1.13    How do I remove duplicate rows from a table?
    6.1.14    In ASE 12 how do execute a dynamic SQL string longer than 255
SQL Advanced

    6.2.1    How to emulate the Oracle decode function/crosstab
    6.2.2    How to implement if-then-else within a select-clause.
    6.2.3    deleted due to copyright hassles with the publisher
    6.2.4    How to pad with leading zeros an int or smallint.
    6.2.5    Divide by zero and nulls.
    6.2.6    Convert months to financial months.
    6.2.7    Hierarchy traversal - BOMs.
    6.2.8    Is it possible to call a UNIX command from within a stored
    procedure or a trigger?
    6.2.9    Information on Identities and Rolling your own Sequential Keys
    6.2.10  How can I execute dynamic SQL with ASE/SQL Server?
    6.2.11  Is it possible to concatenate all the values from a char column and
    return a single row?
Open Client

    7.1    What is Open Client?
    7.2    What is the difference between DB-lib and CT-lib?
    7.3    What is this TDS protocol?
    7.4    I have upgraded to MS SQL Server 7.0 and can no longer connect from
    Sybase's isql.
    7.5    The Basics of Connecting to Sybase
    7.6    Connecting to Sybase using ODBC
    7.7    Which version of Open Client works with which ASE?
    7.8     How do I tell the version of Open Client I am running?

    9.0      Where is all the code and why does Section 9 suddenly load in a
    reasonable amount of time?
    Stored Procedures
    9.1.1      sp_freedevice - lists device, size, used and free.
    9.1.2      sp_dos - This procedure graphically displays the scope of a
    9.1.3      sp_whodo - augments sp_who by including additional columns: cpu,
    9.1.4      sp__revroles - creates DDL to sp_role a mirror of your SQL
    9.1.5      sp__rev_configure - creates DDL to sp_configure a mirror of your
    SQL Server
    9.1.6      sp_servermap - overview of your SQL Server
    9.1.7      sp__create_crosstab - simplify crosstable queries
    9.1.8      sp_ddl_create_table - creates DDL for all user tables in the
    current database
    9.1.9      sp_spaceused_table
    9.1.10    SQL to determine the space used for an index.
    9.1.11    sp_helpoptions - Shows what options are set for a database.
    9.1.12    sp_days - returns days in current month.
    9.1.13    sp__optdiag - optdiag from within isql
    Shell Scripts
    9.2.1      SQL and sh(1)to dynamically generate a dump/load database
    9.2.2      update statistics script
    9.3.1      SybPerl - Perl interface to Sybase.
    9.3.2 - Sybperl script to reverse engineer a database.
    9.3.3 - creates insert DDL for a table.
    9.3.4 - converts interfaces file to tli
    9.3.5 - Module to transfer data between two servers.
    9.3.6 - realtime process and lock monitor
    9.4.1      Sybtcl - TCL interface to Sybase.
    9.4.2      sybdump - a Tcl script for dumping a database schema to disk
    9.4.3      wisql - graphical sql editor and more
    Tools, Utilities and Packages
    9.5.1      sqsh - a superset of dsql with local variables, redirection,
    pipes and all sorts of goodies.
    9.5.2      lightweight Sybase Access via Win95/NT
    9.5.3      BCPTool - a utility for trasferring data from ASE to another.
    Free Versions of Sybase
    The next couple of questions will move to the OS section (real) soon.
    9.6.1      How to access a SQL Server using Linux see also Q11.4.6
    9.6.2      Sybase on Linux Linux Penguin
    9.6.3      How to configure shared-memory for Linux
    9.6.4      Sybase now available on Free BSD
    Other Sites of Interest
    9.7.1      Ed Barlow's collection of Stored Procedures.
    9.7.2      Examples of Open Client and Open Server programs -- see Q11.4.14
    9.7.3      xsybmon - an X interface to sp_monitor

    12.1    What can Sybase IQ do for me?
    12.2    Net-review of Sybase books
    12.3    email lists
    12.4    Finding Information at Sybase
    0.0    Preamble
    0.1    What is ASA?
    0.2    On what platforms is ASA supported?
    0.3    What applications is ASA good for?
    0.4    When would I choose ASA over ASE?
    0.5    Does ASA Support Replication?
    0.6    What is ASA UltraLite?
    0.7    Links for further information
Introduction to Replication Server

    1.1    Introduction
    1.2    Replication Server Components
    1.3    What is the Difference Between SQL Remote and Replication Server?
Replication Server Introduction

    2.1    How can I improve throughput?
    2.2    Where should I install replication server?
    2.3    Using large raw partitions with Replication Server on Unix.
    2.4    How to replicate col = col + 1
Troubleshooting Replication Server

    3.1    Why am I running out of locks on the replicate side?
    3.2    Someone was playing with replication and now the transaction log on
    OLTP is filling.
Additional Information/Links

    4.1    Links
    4.2    Newsgroups

- David Alex Lamb, one of the *.answers moderators

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