Did you write an article for ISUG’s Technical Journal and either haven’t been paid or refused payment?

International Sybase User Group

For those of you that don’t know, I have written several articles for the ISUG Technical Journal.  I’ve been paid for one and refused payment on the others.  Are there other authors that haven’t been paid for one reason or another?

This is not meant as a dig at ISUG but simply determining if I’m the only one or if there are others.

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Sybase’s PowerBuilder v12 is powerful, .NET based, and wonderful! Why you shouldn’t use it

The following is MY perception of Sybase’s PowerBuilder:

Years ago PowerBuilder was king.  No one could touch it.  It was relatively inexpensive.  Microsoft’s Visual Basic matured and the Pascal based Borland’s Delphi was released.  Then it fell and fall it did.


As it was falling from the throne Sybase purchased Powersoft, makers of PowerBuilder.  As the the market share continued to shrink, PowerBuilder developers had more difficulty in finding new projects.  Most new development was written in Visual Basic or Java.

Years went by with marketing of PowerBuilder little more than the occasional road show, TechWave presentations and the ISUG Technical Journal ads catered towards existing customers.  Little to no effort was put forth by Sybase to gain new PowerBuilder customers.

During this week’s Sybase TechWave, PowerBuilder version 12 was released.  It has all the whistles and kitchen sinks you could ask for.   An amazing tool for development!  Too bad no one outside of the die hard PowerBuilder programmers will use it.

Blasphemy!  Heretic!

Consider this:

Sybase owns PowerBuilder.  It owns the PowerBuilder software, PowerBuilder language, PowerScript, the PowerBuilder vm, and everything PowerBuilder.

No problem right?

What will happen to PowerBuilder when Sybase is bought out by another company?  Products with tiny market share like PowerBuilder would likely be killed or in a state of limbo for several years.  Anyone remember what happened when IBM bought Informix?

Do you really want to bet your career and business on a software development tool that is locked to a single smallish vendor?

Maybe, perhaps, if Sybase were to release the PowerBuilder 4GL language and PowerScript to the world like Microsoft did with the C# and Visual Basic languages and Sun with Java…   Perhaps if Sybase would allow 3rd parties to develop tools based around the PowerBuilder language royalty free…


I mean, really, what benefit could Sybase have to cripple the PowerBuilder developers?

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Retraction and an apology for my article in the January/February 2009 issue of the ISUG Technical Journal

The article I submitted (migration to Oracle from Sybase and surviving in the workplace) was so very different as to the article that was published.  My piece was too controversial for ISUG to release (Sybase to Oracle) so it was changed, not be me and not by the editor.  It became a weird Unix to Windows rant.  Yup, I agreed to the revised article but was trying to calm a screaming toddler and pamper a pregnant lady… not excuses just explaining where my brain was when I agreed to it.  ugh what a mess.

Ultimately, the publication of the article was my fault.  So please, just ignore my article in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of the ISUG Technical Journal.

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Peter Thawley: Creating a RAM disk for Sybase’s ASE DBMS

International Sybase User Group
International Sybase User Group

Over on ISUG‘s SIG-ASE mailing list, Peter Thawley wrote up the following reply that I think everyone using Sybase ASE and is thinking of using a RAM disk should be aware of.  When I asked Peter if I could repost his message on my blog he agreed 🙂

Creating a RAM Disk

Peter Thawley
Peter Thawley

Joe and Shane are spot-on about a task context switching off the engine on an i/o to a RAM-disk based device … and yes Joe, there is nothing you can do about this right now. Normally, one would think of this as a good thing … and it is for that specific user since they get to consume more cpu/engine time thereby getting better response time for their request.

Now, to throw a wrench into this! In these cases where some or all of the database is cached, one does have to be aware of the potential for other user tasks to experience some amount of starvation. Image a bunch of tasks, each consuming a full time slice (100ms by default) before yielding. For systems doing pure OLTP (short) transactions with users getting on an engine and getting off reasonably quickly … little risk of a problem. For mixed workload applications with some OLTP and some DSS/reporting, the potential for starvation is quite real and nearly guaranteed for environments with fully cached DBs. I’ve seen some trading systems in tier 1 investment banks brought to their knees by an innocent IT person deciding to buy a lot of memory to cache the entire DB only to wonder why performance started going to hell. [Of course, it was Sybase’s fault … ( – ; )]

In these cases, be thinking about execution classes/engine groups to segregate OLTP and DSS users onto their own disjoint set of engines using dynamic listeners to keep execution engines and network engines aligned within the same engine groups. You may also want to consider reducing “clock tick length” to keep a timeslice period lower than 100ms … I’ve seen some sites successfully using 50ms and even less … there seems to be little downside since most systems do the async disk io and net io checks a lot more frequently than 100 ms due to the “io polling process count” param.

Just trying to present a balanced view here …. This is going to be important for more people to consider as in-memory database techniques and/or features / products become more prevalent.


Peter Thawley
Senior Director / Architect
CTO Group, WMO
Sybase, Inc.

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Big things afoot at Sybase, Inc.


It’s coming…

48 hours from now something big is coming!

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Informatica dropping Sybase ASE for repositories?

InformaticaJoe Buhl over on ISUG‘s SIG-ASE mailing list posted a rather interesting note about Informatica:

An Informatica product manager Informed me they were considering dropping support for ASE as a repository. Please contact me if you run Informatica and have ASE as a repository.

Joe Buhl
BT Conferencing

I can only hope that the product manager was either misinformed or that Informatica can be convinced to retain support for Sybase ASE as a repository.

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FW: Migration Migraines

Adrian Bridgwater
Adrian Bridgwater

Migration migraines: the top seven DBA data headaches

Posted by Adrian Bridgwater

Once or twice a year I get to work with an excellent DBA pal from Illinois called Jason Froebe who describes himself as a, “Perlmonger capable of speaking fluent munchkin.” His personal blog is called Ramblings of a Geek, but I keep telling him he should rename it “Froebe’s Frontal Lobe”.

read more at ZDnet…

The work that Adrian mentions is a last minute article for the International Sybase User’s Group that I wrote and he edited.  The benchmarking article that many people are waiting for is being held up by several groups giving their approval for the release of the material.

As always, it is a real pleasure to work with Adrian 🙂

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ISUG Technical Journal Sep/Oct 2008 is out! Includes my “Perl in the Shell” article

The ISUG Technical Journal Sep/Oct 2008 is out.

This issue contains:

  • Sybase IQ and Sybase WorkSpace Part II By Mike Crocker
  • Perl in the shell By Jason Froebe
  • Taming the process nightmare: Consolidating a Horde of Process Diagrams with PowerDesigner By Mike Nicewarner
  • Information overload: Weapons-grade data analysis comes of age By Teresa Foster
  • Maximizing PowerBuilder and SQLAnywhere Part III SQLAnywhere, a PowerBuilder Developer’s perspective
    By Chris Pollach
  • select random (stuff) from SYBASE Command shell by proxy By Bill Grant
  • Mobile Enterprise Everywhere: Taking Sybase on the road By Adrian Bridgwater
  • Sybase TechWave 2008: Time for the technology tsunami

You need to be an ISUG member to receive the ISUG Technical Journal.  Join ISUG today!

International Sybase User Group
International Sybase User Group
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Anne Walker wins Sybase’s video contest!

From the official announcement:

A video featuring an intrepid corporate reporter and her real-time hunt for her on-the-move CEO was the winner of the Sybase “How We Did It” Video Challenge.

“Finding Jono,” created by Anne Walker of St George Bank, Treasury & Valorem Systems Australia, follows Walker from Valorem Systems headquarters to the local mall and ultimately the mall parking garage in her quest to find CEO Jon Tinberg. She is able to track his movements thanks to a company system featuring such Sybase solutions as ASE, PowerBuilder, PocketBuilder and MobiLink synchronization technology.

Attendees of TechWave 2008 selected “Finding Jono” as the winner of the challenge after viewing it and other video submissions over the course of the conference week and voting via text message. Walker won the top prize of $5,000 for the submission.

Second-place winner in the contest was “Desktop Widget,” produced by Team Sybase’s Bruce Armstrong. The second-place ranking earned Armstrong a Flip Mino compact video camera.

Contest voters rated the videos based on originality, creativity and how well the video showcased the company’s innovative use of Sybase software to solve a real-world challenge.

Sybase extends its congratulations to the winners.

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Looking for photos from Sybase TechWave 2008? Check out the Sybase TechWave 2008 Flickr group!

Go to Sybase TechWave 2008 Flickr group

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