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Adaptive Server Anywhere



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

0.0 Preamble

I make no claims to be an ASA expert!  I am beginning to use it more and more, and as I use it I am able to add stuff with more authority to this list.  All of what is here is very general.  I am pressing people to help write some more meaty parts.   There is nothing here on how to recover from crashes that must happen, or equivalent sections for those in the the ASE part.  Performance and Tuning would be a good section!  If anyone out there knows of a good ASA faq, then send it to me, and I will get it added.  This is a resource that will help us all.  Come on all you TeamSybase/TeamPowerbuilder people, you must know something on the subject <g>.  It is unlikely that this is going to grow into a particularly useful resource unless I get some serious help!

0.1 What is ASA?

ASA is a fully featured DBMS with transactional integrity, automatic rollback and recovery, declarative RI, triggers and stored procedures.

While it comes out of Sybase's "Mobile and Embedded" division, it is NOT limited to "small, desktop applications". There are many ASA implementations supporting over 100 concurrent users. While not as scalable as ASE, it does offer SMP support and versions for various Unix flavors as well as Netware and NT/w2k. Multi-gigabyte databases are commonly used.

ASA offers a number of features that are not to be found in ASE:

ASA is designed to be low-maintenance:

ASA also includes:

0.2 On what platforms is ASA supported?


0.3 What applications is ASA good for?

ASA seems to have a number of niches.  It is generally good at OLTP and can be used as a basis for a general database project.  There are certainly examples of implementations supporting 100 or more users.

A major area for ASA databases is with applications that need to distribute the database with the application as a general storage area for internal components, but the database is not a major part of the deliverable.  Sybase themselves have done this with the IQ meta data storage.  Prior to release 11 of IQ, the meta data was stored in an ASE database.  Now, with IQ 12, the meta data has moved to being stored in ASA.  This makes the installation of IQ into production environments much simpler.

ASA has excellent ODBC support, which makes it very attractive to tools oriented towards ODBC.

0.4 When would I choose ASA over ASE?

0.5 Does ASA Support Replication?

In short, yes.  ASA comes with SQL Remote, an asynchronous replication server.   SQL Remote is intended to be used in applications where the replication is not intended to happen immediately.  In fact, it may well be hours or even days before the databases are synchronised.  This makes it ideal for the roaming salesman type apps where the guy is on the road all day and then dials in from home, hotel or beach front to re-synch his pay price list with the master server.

0.6 What is ASA UltraLite?

UltraLite is a version of ASA that runs on handheld devices.

Windows 95/98, NT, 2000, CE
Palm Computing platform
WindRiver VxWorks
Symbian EPOC

0.7 I'm interested, where can I find more info?

Breck Carter has a very useful page at that is full of detail.

General information can be found about ASA at:

It is a bit of a marketing page but there are some pointers to white papers etc.

You can also find information on PHP for SQL Anywhere at: