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Sybase Frequently Asked Questions Sybase FAQ Home Page Adaptive Server Enterprise FAQ Adaptive Server Anywhere FAQ Replication Server FAQ Search 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*Disclaimer*General Index Main ASE ASA REP Search ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Where can I get the latest release of this FAQ? International Sybase User GroupThe main page for this site is _FAQ. It is hostedthere by kind permission of the International Sybase User Group ( as a service to the Sybase community.To get a text version of this FAQ: _txt_tar.Z or If you want uncompressed versions of the various sections, they can be got from ASE, ASA & REP.To get the HTML for this FAQ: _html_tar.Z or _html.zipSybase FAQ version 1.2, released 2000/06/07.Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What's new in this release? Release 1.2New FAQ items: *A general index for all sections.*Added a link to Thierry Antinolfi's DBA Devil site.*Added a link to WinSQL site.*Added a link to Imran Hussains site.*After a little provoking Jim Tench ( wrote two very good articles on connecting to Sybase using Open Client and ODBC.*The start of a complete new replication section. Even at this early stage it shows potential, even though I say so myself. Thanks to the following for contributions and postings to sybase.public.rep-server: +Manish I Shah +Jason Webster +Robert Waywell +A special thanks also go to Bill Bell of Sybase and to the DBAs at Trimac of Calgary. Without their willingness to trust me, none of it would have gotten written since I would absolutely nothing about replication, rather than the very little I know now! Updated FAQ items: *Added links to Eric Miner's ( Techwave 1999 presentations to ASE Q1.5.1.*Added a link to Jeffrey Garbus's ( Techwave 1999 presentation on DBA tasks to ASE Q1.2.10.Deleted FAQ items: *None.Release 1.1The biggest addition for this release is the start of the FAQ for ASA. Its notmuch, but definitely a start. Thanks to Leo Tohill for providing some goodideas and reviewing the stuff I put together. Maybe some more people can bepersuaded to help.I have also done a little bit of a re-number again. Sorry (especially to ToddBoss) if this causes any hassle. I am trying to make it easier for people tofind stuff, please bear with me. I have made sure that all of the questionshave a unique number, so it is possible to refer to Qx.y.z of the ASE FAQ forinstance. I am working on building an automatic index and cross reference,that will be part of the search stuff.I spent quite a bit of time trying to correct problems with the search scriptsso that links and icons worked after a search. I know that I need to modifyand improve the search engine, which I will work on over the next couple ofmonths.New FAQ items: *Started a new section for platform specific ASE issues.*Started a new section for issues to do with Open Client.*Improved the ASA section. This now needs some really good stuff on performance and tuning, trouble shooting, admin etc etc.*Links to De Clarke's Sybtcl tools.*Links to John Knox's website.*Added text only version of site.Updated FAQ items: *Updated the links to Ed Barlow's site.*Re-added numbers for FAQs throughout.*Added a new method for the generation of sequence numbers thanks to John Drevicky.*Changes to the Hall of Fame!Deleted FAQ items: *Dead links to a number of User Groups.Back to TopRelease 1.0.1Section 9 was a bit of a mess, all of the hyperlinks had gone south. Fixed oneor two other links that I found were bad.Back to TopRelease 1.0I have updated quite a number of questions, correcting the odd typo and makingchanges relevant to System 11.x throughout. This last process is continuing,so do not get upset that your favourite 11.9 trick is not mentioned; get even:tell me about it!This is my first release as maintainer, and most of the work this time aroundhas been a restructure that will allow for the incorporation of FAQs forReplication, Adaptive Server and the other Sybase products. (Please see "HowCan I Help").Another big change is the location. When I took over maintaining the FAQ itoccurred to me that we were going to have yet another web address for it. Since Pablo has left SGI, the original link pointing to Tom O'Connell's sitedisappeared. Tom will add a link pointing to the new site, but what happenswhen I hand over the reigns (after winning the lottery of course :-)? MichaelPeppler suggested the ISUG site as a permanent home, and this fitted inperfectly with my own ideas. I must emphasize that this FAQ is not part of theISUG or Sybase. It is independent of both those bodies and is not officiallyendorsed by either. Please see the Disclaimer.I have updated quite a number of questions, correcting the odd typo and makingchanges relevant to System 11.x where ever I found a reference. This lastprocess is continuing, so do not get angry that your favourite 11.9 trick isnot mentioned, get even: tell me about it!New FAQ items: *Row Level Locking*CIS*Thanks to Rob Verschoor for links to his site (Certification, Quick Ref Guide and Dynamic SQL).*Eric McGrane provided a useful means of extending a master database on a full master device.*Sean Kiely provided a good solution for recovering databases if the transaction log is full and the system will not recover.*Linked to Anthony Mandic's Sybase on Solaris paper. Updated FAQ items: *A million minor changes. No major rewrites. Deleted FAQ items: *Dead links to a number of User Groups. I am sorry if you have links pointing to particular sections, but I felt that acomplete reorganisation was necessary in order to support the incorporation ofnew FAQs for the other products. Feedback is always welcome of course!Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How can I help with the FAQ? I have had offers from a couple of people to write sections (I will be in touchto get your sections added for the next release, thanks), but if you feel thatyou are in a position to add support for a section, or if you have some FAQs toadd, please let me know. This is a resource that we should all support, sosend me the stuff and I will include it.Currently I am looking for maintainers of a section for Replication, AdaptiveServer Anywhere, IQ server, MPP Server and Open Server. I am not sure whetherto add a section for Omni Server. I sort of feel that since Omni has beensubsumed into ASE as CIS that any questions FAQs should really be incorporatedthere. However, if you know of some good Omni gotchas or tips, whether theyare still there in CIS or not, please send them in. I certainly plan to have asubsection of ASE dealing with CIS even if Omni does not get its own majorsection. 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 theirlinks. I have seen lots of links recently, some still pointing to Pablo'soriginal, some pointing to Tom's site but referring to it as coming from theSGI site.Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Who do I tell about problems in the FAQ? The current maintainer is David Owen ( and you can senderrors in the FAQ directly to me. If you have an FAQ item (both the questionand the answer) send it to and I will include it.Do not send email to any of the officials at the ISUG, they are simply hostingthe FAQ and are not responsible for its contents.Also, do not send email to Sybase, they are not responsible for the contentseither. See the Disclaimer.Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Acknowledgements and Thanks Special thanks must go to the following people for their help in getting thisFAQ 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 Deja News and do a search, he submits even more replies than Anthony. Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hall of Fame I am not sure how Pablo chose his select list, there is certainly no questionas to their inclusion. I know that there are a couple of awards that the ISUGgive out each year for the people that the ISUG members believe havecontributed most to the Sybase community that year. I think that this sectionshould honour those people that deserve an award each and every year. If youknow 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 email. *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 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. Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Disclaimer This article is provided as is without any express or implied warranties.Whilst every endeavour has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the informationcontained in this article, the author, nor any of the contributors, assumeresponsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the useof the information contained herein.If you are not happy about performing any of the suggestions contained withinthis FAQ, you are probably better off calling Sybase Technical Support.Back to Top------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ASE 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 (CSPDBA)? 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? 1.1.10How can I tell the datetime my Server started? 1.1.11Raw partitions or regular files? 1.1.12Is Sybase Y2K (Y2000) compliant? 1.1.13How 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 serverAdvanced 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 -yall mean? 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 bigger?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 indexes? 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 ServersDBCCs 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 Q11.4.2isql 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?bcp 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 locks?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?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 ODBCFreeware 9.1 sp_freedevice - lists device, size, used and free. 9.2 sp_whodo - augments sp_who by including additional columns: cpu, I/O... 9.3 SQL and sh(1)to dynamically generate a dump/load database command. 9.4 SybPerl - Perl interface to Sybase. 9.5 - SybPerl script to take a logical snap of a database. 9.6 Sybtcl - TCL interface to Sybase. 9.7 Augmented system stored procedures. 9.8 Examples of Open Client and Open Server programs -- see Q11.4.14 . 9.9 SQL to determine the space used for an index. 9.10 xsybmon - an X interface to sp_monitor 9.11 sp_dos - This procedure graphically displays the scope of a object 9.12 sqsh - a superset of dsql with local variables, redirection, pipes and all sorts of goodies. 9.13 sp_getdays - returns days in current month. 9.14 - creates insert DDL for a table. 9.15 sp_ddl_create_table - creates DDL for all user tables in the current database 9.16 - converts interfaces file to tli 9.17 How to access a SQL Server using Linux see also Q11.4.6 9.18 sp__revroles - creates DDL to sp_role a mirror of your SQL Server 9.19 sp__rev_configure - creates DDL to sp_configure a mirror of your SQL Server 9.20 sp_servermap - overview of your SQL Server 9.21 sp__create_crosstab - simplify crosstable queries 9.22 update statistics script 9.23 lightweight Sybase Access via Win95/NT 9.24 Sybase on LinuxLinux Penguin 9.25 How to configure shared-memory for Linux 9.26 sp_spaceused_table 9.27 sybdump - a Tcl script for dumping a database schema to diskMiscellany 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 ASA 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 REP 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 + 1Troubleshooting 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

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