James Crisp

Software dev, tech, mind hacks and the occasional personal bit

Sybase Adaptive Server 12.5.3 SQL (Un)Supported Features

Sybase has some unusual features:

  • Column names and table names are case sensitive
  • Subqueries cannot include TOP 1 or ORDER BY
  • Queries with max(COLUMN_NAME) and an ORDER BY seem to ignore the WHERE clause. Removing ORDER BY seems to fix this.
  • Column names are 30 characters max
  • Join syntax is: left_table [inner | left [outer] | right [outer]] join right_table on left_column_name = right_column_name
  • Can’t do boolean operations in SELECT (eg, =, > <), but can do mathematical operations (eg, +, -) in SELECT clause

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2 Comments

  1. You are feeling my pain now. There is no timestamp data type, has a weird syntax for DELETE, you can’t delete too many records from a large table otherwise you run out of space in the transaction log, DECIMAL defaults to a scale of 0 so you immediately lose precision, using CHAR(3) inserts 3 blank characters by default when you might prefer null instead for the field, and the list goes on.

    Sybase is the most data averse database that I have ever used. If you want a rock solid RDBMS then you can’t go pass Oracle or PostgreSQL.

  2. JackU

    If you want a rock solid RDBMS and awesome developer tools, then you can’t go pass SQL Server!

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