HOWTO: Building Perl module DBD::Sybase 1.14 on Windows (32bit or 64bit) with ActiveState Perl 5.16, Microsoft Visual Studio and Sybase OpenClient 15.7

Compiling the DBD::Sybase Perl module really requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 or higher. To get started open the “Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt”.Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt

You will need to fix the Makefile.PL file:

if ( $^O eq 'MSWin32' ) {
  $lib_string = "-L$SYBASE/lib -llibct.lib -llibcs.lib -llibtcl.lib -llibcomn.lib -llibintl.lib -llibblk.lib $attr{EXTRA_LIBS} -lm";


if ( $^O eq 'MSWin32' ) {
  $lib_string = "-L$SYBASE/lib -llibsybct.lib -llibsybcs.lib -llibsybblk.lib $attr{EXTRA_LIBS}";

If you don’t, nmake won’t be able to link against the Sybase libraries. Note that we’re adding “syb” after “lib”.

Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibct.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibcs.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibtcl.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibcomn.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibintl.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -llibblk.lib
Warning (mostly harmless): No library found for -lm

When you run perl Makefile.PL, choose the defaults because the nmake test will NOT work with Visual Studio.
Next we need to change lines 3915 and 3916 in dbdimp.c because C89 requires that declarations of variables must occur at the beginning of a code block. This is part of the C89 specification.

for (i = 0; i < foundOutput; i++) { phs = params[i].phs; CS_DATAFMT datafmt;[/c] to [c num=1 highlight_lines = "2,3"]for (i = 0; i < foundOutput; i++) { CS_DATAFMT datafmt; phs = params[i].phs;[/c] If you don't we will get the following errors: [text]dbdimp.c(3916) : error C2275: 'CS_DATAFMT' : illegal use of this type as an expression C:\Sybase\OCS-15_0\include\cstypes.h(864) : see declaration of 'CS_DATAFMT' dbdimp.c(3916) : error C2146: syntax error : missing ';' before identifier 'datafmt' dbdimp.c(3916) : error C2065: 'datafmt' : undeclared identifier dbdimp.c(3918) : warning C4133: 'function' : incompatible types - from 'int *' to 'CS_DATAFMT *' dbdimp.c(3921) : error C2224: left of '.maxlength' must have struct/union type dbdimp.c(3926) : warning C4018: '< ' : signed/unsigned mismatch dbdimp.c(4146) : warning C4244: 'function' : conversion from 'CS_BIGINT' to 'const NV', possible loss of data dbdimp.c(4151) : warning C4244: 'function' : conversion from 'CS_UBIGINT' to 'const NV', possible loss of data dbdimp.c(5124) : warning C4244: '=' : conversion from 'long' to 'CS_BINARY', possible loss of data NMAKE : fatal error U1077: '"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\BIN\cl.EXE"' : return code '0x2' Stop.[/text] The nmake will now complete with many warnings. I've started on working up a patch for the DBD::Sybase maintainer, Michael Peppler. Tar and gzip the blib directory and call it DBD-Sybase-1.14.tar.gz. Put it in a directory like so: "MSWin32-x64-multi-thread-5.16\DBD-Sybase-1.14.tar.gz" [text]nmake ppd[/text] Now, you will have a file called DBD-Sybase.ppd consisting of: [xml num=1]
DBI driver for Sybase datasources
Michael Peppler (


If you want to build multiple architectures, you will need to build the Module on the appropriate platform. e.g. Windows 7 64bit. I haven’t had much luck with cross-compilers with ActiveState Perl. YMMV. Once you have the second tar ball, simply add it to your PPD file:

<softpkg NAME="DBD-Sybase" VERSION="1.14">
    <abstract>DBI driver for Sybase datasources</abstract>
    <author>Michael Peppler (</author>
        <architecture NAME="MSWin32-x64-multi-thread-5.16"></architecture>
        <codebase HREF="MSWin32-x64-multi-thread-5.16\DBD-Sybase-1.14.tar.gz"></codebase>
        <architecture NAME="MSWin32-x86-multi-thread-5.16"></architecture>
        <codebase HREF="MSWin32-x86-multi-thread-5.16\DBD-Sybase-1.14.tar.gz"></codebase>

I typically zip up the PPD file and the two directories listed in the PPD and distribute that. How you do it is entirely up to you.

Oh, if you want DBD::Sybase on Windows to connect to Microsoft SQL Server, build with FreeTDS.

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Get it here! Perl DBD::Sybase 1.14.01 for Active State Perl 5.16 Windows XP/Vista/7/8 32bit AND 64bit

Assuming that you installed Sybase SDK OpenClient 15.7.

Sybase Openclient is included in the Sybase Developer’s Kit, and ASE PC Client. If you don’t have a license, you can download the ASE 15.7 Developer Edition for Windows which will include it.

Install ActiveState Perl from (free) and install DBI if it isn’t already installed.  It should be but you never know…

  1. Start -> ActiveState Perl -> Perl Package Manager
  2. install DBI
  3. exit

Now, the easy part.  Install the DBD-Sybase-1.14 1.14 PPM:

  1. download DBD-Sybase-1.14
  2. extract zip file to temporary directory (e.g. c:\test)
  3. Start -> Run -> cmd.exe (as Administrator if Vista or Windows 7)
  4. cd \test
  5. ppm install DBD-Sybase.ppd
  6. exit

That’s it :)

It should automatically install the DBD::Sybase for Perl 5.16 32bit or 64bit depending on which version of Active State Perl you have installed.

UPDATE (March 6th, 2013):

The PPM is fixed now. Please let me know of any issues.

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