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Sybase ASE History

Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise started its life as Sybase SQL Server - the first relational database management system (RDBMS) manufactured and sold by Sybase.

It was originally created for UNIX platforms in 1987. In 1988, SQL Server for OS/2 was co-developed for PC by Sybase, Microsoft, and Ashton-Tate. Then Ashton-Tate lost its interest in the project and Microsoft became the lead partner after porting SQL Server to Microsoft Windows NT. For several years, Microsoft was a Sybase distributor, reselling the Sybase product for OS/2 and Windows NT under the name Microsoft SQL Server (Microsoft SQL Server).

Since releasing version 4.21, Microsoft and Sybase sold and supported the product together. In 1993, the co-development licensing agreement between Microsoft and Sybase expired and the cooperation between the companies ended. After Microsoft purchased a copy of the source code of Sybase SQL Server, the both companies continued to develop the products independently, as competitors.

Microsoft put emphasis on the ease-of-use and "windowising" the product while Sybase focused on maximizing the product's performance and reliability and running it on high-end hardware.

In 1995, Sybase released SQL Server 11.0 and in 1997 - version 11.5. Following the release of the latter version, Sybase renamed its product as Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) in order to better distinguish itself from Microsoft SQL Server. However, due to their common background, the present-day versions of ASE and Microsoft SQL Server still have many similarities. For example, both ASE and Microsoft SQL Server have a very similar (though not identical) SQL implementation called "Transact-SQL".

Sybase SQL Server was the first actual client-server RDBMS also capable of handling real-world workloads. Besides, Sybase SQL Server was the first commercially successful RDBMS supporting stored procedures and triggers, and a cost-based query optimizer.

The most recent ASE release is ASE 12.5.1. It was brought into life in Oct. 2003. It runs on the main flavors of Unix, Linux, Windows NT/2000, and Mac OS X.

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