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Sybase, an SAP company[1]
Type Subsidiary of SAP
Industry Computer software
Founded Berkeley, California (1984)
Headquarters Dublin, California
Key people Bill McDermott, Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEOs
Products List of Sybase products
Revenue Increase No longer reported
Employees 3,576 (2012)
Sybase headquarters in Dublin, California.

Sybase, an SAP company, is an enterprise software and services company offering software to manage, analyze, and mobilize information, using relational databases, analytics and data warehousing solutions and mobile applications development platforms.


Sybase was founded in 1984 by Mark Hoffman, Bob Epstein, Jane Doughty and Tom Haggin in Epstein’s home in Berkeley, California. Together, they set out to create a relational database management system (RDBMS), which would organize information and make it available to many computers in a network.

In late 1986, Sybase shipped its first test programs, and in May 1987 formally released the SYBASE system, the first high-performance RDBMS for online applications. Rather than having a vast central bank of data stored in a large mainframe computer, the SYBASE System provided for a client/server computer architecture. Sybase was the first to market with a client/server relational database, providing the Human Genome Project with licenses for the first generation of client/server relational databases.

At the time, Sybase called the database server "Sybase SQL Server" and made a deal with Microsoft to share the source code for Microsoft to remarket on the OS/2 platform as "SQL Server". Sybase, Microsoft and Ashton-Tate formed a consortium to port the SQL Server onto OS/2. When Microsoft left the consortium, the terms of the agreement gave Microsoft a license to Sybase's SQL Server code. The Sybase SQL Server version 4.9, and Microsoft SQL Server 6.0 and 6.5, were virtually identical. Due to disagreements between the two companies over revenue sharing (or lack thereof), Sybase and Microsoft decided to split the code-lines and went their own way, although the shared heritage is very evident in the Transact-SQL (T-SQL) procedural language as well as the basic process architecture. The big difference is that Sybase has a Unix heritage, while Microsoft SQL Server was adapted and optimized only for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. Sybase continues to offer versions for Windows, several varieties of Unix, and for Linux.

In October 1989, Sybase released additional products, introducing the SYBASE Open Client/Server Interfaces—new software programs that provided generic client/server communication, allowing for greater connectivity within computer networks. With these new offerings, and its earlier system, Sybase achieved sales of $56 million in 1989. Two years later, in August 1991, Sybase made its initial public offering of stock.

In June 1992, Sybase announced its latest generation of software. Dubbed the System 10 product family, these programs were designed to provide a framework for companies to switch over their computer operations from older mainframe models to client/server systems. In April 1993, Sybase introduced the first component of System 10, called OmniSQL Gateway. This program connected the various parts of a computer network, enabling users at any point to gain access to changes being made anywhere on the system. Later that year, Sybase completed its rollout of the System 10 components, which included SQL Server 10 and Back-up Server; Open Client/Server APIs; and SQL Monitor and SA Companion, which were used to manage computer systems.

In 1994, Sybase acquired Powersoft, the leading maker of development tools for client-server computing, with 40 percent of that market. Through the deal, Sybase acquired PowerBuilder, a rapid application development (RAD) tool and Powersoft’s leading product. The acquisition also marked the basis of Sybase’s entry into the enterprise mobility market with Watcom SQL, which Sybase renamed SQL Anywhere. When Sybase launched its mobility subsidiary, Sybase iAnywhere, in 2000, SQL Anywhere became its flagship relational database management system (RDBMS) and helped the company to become the leader of the mobile database market.

In January, 1998, Sybase announced that the financial results for the company in the last three quarters of 1997 would have to be restated, as it found inconsistencies in profits reporting from its Japanese division.[2] Five executives in Sybase's Japanese subsidiary were found to have used side letters to artificially inflate the profits from their operations. Following a class-action lawsuit,[3] the five executives involved were fired.

Following a downturn in the late 1990s, Sybase returned to profitability under the management of John Chen in 2000, has maintained profitability since then and continues to reinvent itself with a new 'Unwired Enterprise' strategy. The 'Unwired Enterprise' vision is about allowing companies to deliver data to mobile devices in the field as well as traditional desktops, and combines technology from Sybase's existing data management products with its new mobility products. Sybase has expanded into the mobile space through a series of acquisitions of enterprise and mobile software companies. In 2006, Sybase completed the acquisition of Mobile 365, later renamed Sybase 365, allowed Sybase to enter the mobile messaging and mobile commerce market. Sybase has maintained a strong foothold in its data management products. It makes a number of data management products including Adaptive Server Enterprise, Sybase IQ, a data analytics warehouse system, and Replication Server, a vendor-neutral data movement system that helps address ever-growing data distribution and management requirements. Sybase has a strong presence in the financial services,[4] telecommunications, technology and government markets.[5]

Sybase now works with other industry leaders in infrastructure, data storage and virtualization to optimize technologies for delivery into public and virtual private cloud environments that provide greater technology availability and flexibility to Sybase customers looking to unwire their enterprise.

Sybase crossed the $1 billion mark in 2007.[6]

In May 2008, the Sybase IQ analytics server set a new Guinness World Record by powering the world’s largest data warehouse.[7] In 2008, Sybase also launched RAP – The Trading Edition, an analytics platform for Wall Street. In August of the same year, Sybase promoted the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP), a platform for developing mobile applications across a heterogeneous environment. In September 2008, Sybase 365 expanded its messaging interoperability with the launch of its global Multimedia Messaging Exchange, MMX 365.

On January 21, 2009, Sybase acquired mPayment solutions provider paybox.[8] In March 2009, Sybase and SAP partnered to deliver the new SAP Business Suite software to iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and other devices. In September 2009, Sybase and Verizon partnered to manage mobility solutions for enterprises worldwide through Verizon’s Managed Mobility Solutions, which utilizes Sybase’s enterprise device management platform. Gartner reported that Sybase gained market share in the database industry in 2009.

In May 2010, SAP announced that it would be acquiring Sybase for $5.8 billion.[9]

The company remains a standalone subsidiary of SAP and headed by co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe.[10]

Sybase 365 is one of the largest independent (non-telco) exchanges for text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages. By September 2010, it had delivered more than 1 trillion messages - equivalent to 32,000 per second for an entire year.[11]

In November 2010, Sybase and Verizon delivered a managed mobility service to reduce the complexity for enterprises to develop and deploy mobile apps, even if they have diverse back-end software and user devices (i.e. multiple brands and platforms of smartphones and tablets).[12] The need appears to be there: 90% of IT managers plan to deploy new mobile apps and one in two believe that successfully managing mobile apps will top their priority list, according to a January survey sponsored by Sybase.[13]

Sybase remains committed to its data management and analytics products. Sybase IQ was positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's 2011 Data Ware House Database Management System Magic Quadrant.[14]


  • 1984: Sybase (initially called Systemware) is founded by Mark Hoffman, Bob Epstein, Jane Doughty and Tom Haggin out of Epstein's home in California.
  • 1988: Sybase goes into partnership with Microsoft to port SQL Server to Windows and OS/2
  • August 1991: Sybase goes public at a split adjusted price of $6.75.
  • 1993: Sybase and Microsoft dissolve their partnership. Microsoft bought the SQL Server code base from Sybase.
  • 1993: Sybase launches Replication Server, a data replication technology that moves and synchronizes data across the enterprise.
  • November 14, 1994: Sybase acquires Powersoft, which bought Watcom earlier that year.
  • 1995: Sybase launches PowerDesigner, a modeling and metadata management solution, following its acquisition of PowerAMC.
  • 1995 Sybase renames the main product SQL Server to its current name Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) for version 11.5. Anywhere 5 is released. It includes SQL Remote, SQL Central, Transact SQL syntax, and support for the Sybase Replication Server.
  • 1996: Mitchell Kertzman, Powersoft CEO, is appointed CEO.
  • 1996: Sybase launches Sybase IQ, the first column-based analytics platform.
  • 1997: Sybase’s flagship database product Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) starts its life in the mid-eighties as "Sybase SQL Server". Microsoft is a Sybase distributor, reselling the Sybase product for OS/2 and NT under the name "Microsoft SQL Server." Around 1994, Microsoft begins independently developing its own product. When Sybase releases version 11.5 in 1997, Sybase renames its product to "Adaptive Server Enterprise" to better distinguish itself from MS SQL Server.
  • October 1998: John Chen is appointed Chairman, CEO and President.[15]
  • 1998: SQL Anywhere 6 is released, with new names "Adaptive Server Anywhere" as the engine and part of the "SQL Anywhere Studio" which now includes SQL Modeler (later PowerDesigner), Java is introduced to the database.
  • 2000: iAnywhere Solutions, Inc. is founded as a subsidiary of Sybase.
  • June 20, 2001: Sybase acquires New Era of Networks, a leading application integration company that produces the e-Biz Integrator middleware, though it stops offering this product in 2004.
  • November 2003: Sybase launches the “Unwired Enterprise” strategy.[16]
  • 2004: Sybase acquires XcelleNet, frontline device management software based in Georgia, to enhance its Unwired Enterprise strategy.
  • September 12, 2005: Sybase releases ASE 15.0.
  • August 7, 2006: iAnywhere announces release of SQL Anywhere 10.
  • November 8, 2006: Sybase acquires Mobile 365, a mobile data and messaging company, and renames it Sybase 365.
  • February 2008: Sybase releases Adaptive Server Enterprise, Cluster Edition, with Oracle RAC-like shared-everything clusterability, but based on an open architecture and less costly.
  • May 2008: Sybase IQ analytics database sets a new Guinness World Record by powering the world’s largest data warehouse.
  • May 2008: Sybase launches RAP – The Trading Edition, an analytics platform for Wall Street.
  • August 2008: Sybase unveils the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP), a platform for developing mobile applications across a heterogeneous environment.
  • September 2008: Sybase 365 expands its messaging interoperability with the launch of its global Multi-media Messaging Exchange, MMX 365.
  • March 2009: Sybase and SAP partner to deliver the SAP Business Suite software to iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and other devices.
  • May 2009: Sybase begins packaging MicroStrategy business intelligence software with its Sybase IQ server.[17]
  • September 2009: Sybase and Verizon partner to manage mobility solutions for enterprises worldwide through Verizon’s Managed Mobility Solutions, which utilizes Sybase’s enterprise device management platform.
  • May 2010: SAP makes an offer to acquire Sybase for $5.8 billion.[9]
  • July 2010: SAP completes tender offer for shares of Sybase and its acquisition.[18]
  • August 2010: Sybase partners with telecommunications partners to offer the world's first fully operational IPX Voice hub.[19]
  • November 2010: Sybase and Verizon deliver Mobile Services Enablement Platform, a new managed mobility offering, to reduce the complexity in developing and deploying mobile applications running across a variety of back-end enterprise systems and mobile device types.[12]
  • February 2011: Sybase is positioned in Leaders quadrant in Gartner's 2011 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant.[14]
  • July 2011: Sybase awarded Best CEP Provider and Best Enterprise Data Management Provider at the Water Rankings Awards.[20]
  • Sept 2011 : Sybase Celebrates 20-Year PowerBuilder Milestone.[21]
  • Nov 2011: Sybase integrates statistical programming language R in Sybase RAP for Capital Markets Analytics.[22]
  • Feb 2012 : Sybase 365 Recognized by Juniper Research among leaders in the Future of Mobile Commerce.[23]
  • Feb 2012 : Sybase a Leader in the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS.[24]
  • April - October 2012 : All Sybase employees are incorporated into SAP's workforce
  • November 2012 : After leading Sybase for 15 years, Sybase CEO and President John Chen leaves Sybase following the completion of Sybase's integration into SAP


Sybase's main products include:

Data Management Products

Analytics Products

Mobility Products

  • SQL Anywhere - RDBMS with a small footprint designed for mobility
  • Afaria - Mobile device management and security software
  • Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) - a framework for developing mobile applications that SAP is using both as a development platform and a device management system[25]
  • SMS Ad Exchange - an SMS mobile advertising service.
  • GRX 365 - network performance and security
  • mBanking 365 - a mobile banking product
  • MMS 365 - a content delivery gateway
  • MMX 365 - a messaging exchange
  • Sybase 365 mCommerce Solution - an end-to-end solution for mBanking, mPayments and mRemittance



  • Sybase 365

User groups[edit]

There are many Sybase-centric user groups around the world. The International Sybase User Group (ISUG), with members in more than 60 countries, acts as an umbrella organization for these groups, providing logistical support for user group meetings and other events.

Spatial Implementation[edit]

Sybase Inc. is partnered with The Boeing Company who develops and licenses Spatial Query Server for Sybase. Spatial Query Server spatially enables a Sybase ASE Database.



  1. ^ "Explanation why 'an' is grammatically correct because S-A-P is pronounced to begin with the vowel sound 'es'". 
  2. ^ Magee, Mike. "Sybase to restate following Japanese accounting scandal". Incisive Media. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Class Action Filed Against Sybase, Inc. AllegingFinancial Fraud". Business Wire. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Applications of Sybase Technology in Government
  6. ^ Farber, Dan (January 24, 2008). "Sybase: The next big target for acquisition?". ZDNet. 
  7. ^ "Sybase and Sun Set Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Data Warehouse" (Press release). May 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ Sybase acquires mPayment solutions provider paybox
  9. ^ a b "SAP to Acquire Sybase, Inc" (Press release). SAP. 
  10. ^ "Senior Management Team". Sybase. 
  11. ^ Dudley, William. "Mid-Year Global Messaging Traffic Update". 
  12. ^ a b "Sybase Powers Latest Verizon Managed Mobility Offering Transforming Global Enterprises" (Press release). Sybase. November 11, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Kelton survey". Sybase. 
  14. ^ a b "Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems" (Press release). Gartner RAS. February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sybase CEO John Chen shares inside look at China's influence". USA Today. 2009-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Sybase Announces Unwired Enterprise Initiative". PowerBuilder Developer's Journal. November 20, 2003. 
  17. ^ "Sybase and MicroStrategy Team Up to Dramatically Reduce Time for Implementation of Business Analytics" (Press release). Sybase. May 12, 2009. 
  18. ^ SAP Completes Tender Offer for Shares of Sybase, Inc.
  19. ^ "Sybase 365 and Telecom New Zealand International in World First, Enable CSL and dtac to Exchange Voice Traffic over IPX Voice Hub" (Press release). Sybase. August 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Sybase Wins Prestigious Waters Rankings Awards for Consecutive Years - MarketWatch". 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sybase Celebrates 20-Year PowerBuilder Milestone". 
  22. ^ "New R Support Offers the Power of Predictive, Real-Time, and Historical Data Analytics with a Single Data Management Platform". 
  23. ^ "Future Mobile Awards for M-Commerce Winners". 
  24. ^ "Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant Report". 
  25. ^ Cindi Howson, InformationWeek. "SAP Steps Up Mobile, Cloud And In-Memory Commitments." December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.

External links[edit]