Skip to content


Repository files navigation

	$Id: README,v 1.6 2003/12/25 18:47:10 mpeppler Exp $

			   sybperl 2.0
	  This is sybperl, the Sybase extensions for Perl5.

	      Copyright (c) 1991-2001,  Michael Peppler
			 All rights reserved.
  This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
  it under the same terms as Perl itself.

  You should have received a copy of the Perl license along with Perl;
  see the file README in Perl distribution.
  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
  along with Perl; see the file Copying.  If not, write to the Free
  Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

  You should have received a copy of the Artistic License along with
  Perl; see the file Artistic.


** NOTE: This version requires Perl 5.002 or later **

Please read the UPGRADE file if your previous version of sybperl was

Please read the CHANGES file if you are upgrading from a previous
version of sybperl 2.x.

Please see the README.win32 file if you are trying to build sybperl
on a Windows 95/NT system.

Perl 5.005 and later can be built with threading enabled. Please read
README.thread before attempting to use Thread with any Sybase modules.

There are four modules in this distribution: Sybase::DBlib,
Sybase::BCP, Sybase::Sybperl and Sybase::CTlib.

Sybase::DBlib implements the Perl 5 version of the DB-Library
API. This differs slightly from the Perl 4 version. Note that this is
not a full implementation of the DB-Library API.
Sybase::BCP is a simplified bulk copy API, and requires Sybase::DBlib.
The Sybase::Sybperl module implements the sybperl 1.0xx API, and is
built on top of Sybase::DBlib. Use of Sybase::Sybperl is discouraged.

Sybase::CTlib implements a subset of the newer Client Library API.
Client Ligrary is included with Sybase's OpenClient libraries as of 
System 10.


Recent Changes:

See the CHANGES document



Before you start, you have to consider the following issues:

a) Is Perl 5.002 (or later) already installed at your site?
   (For Win32 you *must* have perl 5.004 or later)

   Note: perl 5.004_04 (or later) is highly recommended.

   If Perl 5.002 (or later) is the default production version of Perl
   at your site, then I recommend that you unpack the sybperl
   distribution outside of the Perl source tree. The sybperl build
   process will normally be able to find the pieces it needs if this
   is the case, and it will be easier for you to manage upgrades to
   Perl and/or to the add-on extensions that you may have if they are
   kept separate.

   If 5.002 (or later) is not yet the default version of Perl, or has
   not been made available via an alternate path, then you should
   unpack the sybperl distribution in the ext/ directory of the Perl
   5.002 source tree. NOTE: this method is not well tested, and you
   may run into problems (unfortunately).

b) Do you want the Sybase modules to be dynamically loadable?

   Most Unix systems come with the capability of loading object code
   into an already executing program dynamically, usually via some
   sort of special library (on SunOS, for example, it's

   The advantage of dynamic loading is that you do not need to install
   a new Perl binary to provide new functionality, and the size of the
   binary does not grow as you add this functionality. The cost is a
   small performance penalty on startup.

   Static loading might be more advantageous to those specific modules
   which you know you will be using very often (however, I've always
   used dynamic loading myself - with more than adequate results).

   Note that if you are using HP-UX, you can only use dynamic loading
   if you have the add-on (extra cost) C compiler (or GNU gcc) and if
   you have the System 10 (or later)  shared libraries ( vs 
   libsybdb.a) as HP-UX can't load an object dynamically which has not 
   been compiled with the PIC (position independant code) flag. 

c) The DO_TIE compile option

   The Sybase::DBlib and Sybase::CTlib modules define a number of
   attributes that are accesible via the database handle:

       $dbh = new Sybase::CTlib $user, $passwd...
       $dbh->{UseDateTime} = CS_TRUE;

   When the DO_TIE compile option is set, these attributes get 'tied'
   into a special package, thus enabling syntax verification, so that
   errors like


   will be caught.

   The downside is that you won't be able to add your own attributes
   to the $dbh on the fly. You must pre-declare any additional
   attributes you wish to use by passing them as a hash reference in
   the new()/dblogin()/ct_connect() calls (see the documentation and
   the Sybase::BCP module for examples). The DO_TIE option is set via
   the EXTRA_DEFINES option of the CONFIG file, and is enabled by
d) The -L/usr/local/lib switch and libtcl.{a, so, sl}

   Perl's Configure script adds this switch to the normal link or load
   line used when building extensions. This is fine, but if you have
   installed tcl/tk at your site, there is a strong chance that tcl's
   libtcl.a library has been placed in /usr/local/lib. Sybase's Client
   Library also includes a library called libtcl.{a,so,sl}. If the
   -L/usr/local/lib switch is present on the link command line then
   the wrong version of libtcl will be used, and the Sybase::CTlib
   module will not work. The solution is to either move or rename
   tcl/tk's libtcl.a while you build sybperl, or to remove the
   -L/usr/local/lib flag from Perl's file.

e) The LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable and

   On Solaris 2.x (and possibly other OSes as well) there is a library
   in /usr/lib called*, the same name as one of Sybase's
   ClientLibrary libs. If the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable includes
   /usr/lib (or /lib) *before* $SYBASE/lib then the wrong library will
   be found at run-time, causing 'make test' to fail. The solution is
   to remove /usr/lib from LD_LIBRARY_PATH (there should be no reason
   to include it as the system directories [/usr/lib and /lib] are
   automatically searched for shared libraries when a program starts.)

f) If you are using Win32 (Win NT) please read the README.win32
   file before proceeding.

g) There is a symbol conflict between Berkeley DB (-ldb) and
   DB-Library (-lsybdb): both define the dbopen() function. Perl's
   Configure will include -ldb in the link line of the perl binary if
   it finds it on the system. This causes Sybase::DBlib to fail.

   This can be resolved by rebuilding perl and excluding -ldb from the 
   libraries that are included. You can run 

	     perl -V:libs

   to see if -ldb is included in the link line.

   Linux and DEC Unix 4.0 are known to include Berkeley DB by default, 
   so a normal perl build on those systems will be affected with this

h) Linux -lndbm and -lgbdm issues.

   In addition to the discussion on -ldb above, it seems that linux's
   libndbm.a and libgdbm.a libraries also cause problems with
   DB-Library. I have not identified the exact problem yet, but
   rebuilding perl without -lndbm and -lgdbm in the extra libraries
   line (and of course without -ldb) seems to solve the problem.

   Note that recent versions of linux (at least from Red Hat 6.2 onwards)
   don't seem to have any problem at all. The perl binary that is shipped
   with these systems can be used directly.

i) Sybase 12.0 or later.

   If you have Sybase 12.0 installed then the build process uses the
   SYBASE_OCS environment variable to locate the OpenClient files
   below the directory defined by $SYBASE. The script tests for the
   existence of the SYBASE_OCS environment variable, and uses it if
   it exists.

j) 32-bit vs. 64-bit mode

   As of version 12.5 Sybase started shipping 64 bit versions of the
   OpenClient libraries. If you wish to use these 64 bit libraries
   you need to have a perl binary that is also built in 64 bit mode.
   This can be verified via "perl -V" and looking for the "use64bitall"
   configuration variable. If this is "defined" then you have a 64 bit 
   binary. The build process detects the use of a 64 bit binary and
   will attempt to use the appropriate 64 bit Sybase libraries in that

k) Threading

   As of perl 5.005 you can build a threaded version of perl. Sybase
   provides thread-safe libraries on most platforms. These are identified
   by the _r suffix (i.e. vs. If threading is
   enabled in your perl binary the build will attempt to use the 
   thread-safe libraries if they exist. See also README.thread in this

Once you have answered these eight questions, you can proceed:

   1) Unpack the package.
      See comments under a) above.
      Note that even if you don't want to install Perl 5.002 as a
      production version right now, you can still install it in some
      other place, and access that version by setting your PATH
      variable accordingly (I have a production version Perl5.002
      under /usr/local/{bin,lib} and a debug version of Perl5.002
      under /f2/{bin, lib} and change my path when I need to test
      things with debugging turned on).
   2) Edit CONFIG

      NOTE: In general, if the SYBASE environment variable (and
      the SYBASE_OCS for Sybase 12.0 and later) is set correctly then
      no changes to CONFIG should be needed. The build process will
      attempt to determine all the necessary information from the 
      However, if the build fails then you may need to make 
      changes to this file as described below.

      See comments under b) above regarding dynamic vs static loading.
      Some systems require extra libraries to build (Solaris 2.x
      requires -lnsl, for example). You should check your Sybase
      OpenClient Supplement for your OS and add any special libraries
      to the EXTRA_LIBS line. The required information can be found on
      the web at (you'll need to need to
      dig around a bit - look for "Open Client/Server xx.x.x
      Platforms"), or via AnswerBase. 

      The DBLIBVS and CTLIBVS variables need to be set correctly for
      the version of OpenClient that is available at your site. Below
      is a table which lists which versions of Open Client were
      shipped with the different Sybase Server releases:

      Sybase version		   DBLIBVS   CTLIBVS
      - 4.0			       400	   0
      - 4.2 (includes MSSQL 4.2)       420         0
      - 4.8, 4.9.x                     461         0
      - 10.0.x                        1000       100
      - 11.x			      1000	 100
      - 12.x			      1000	 100

      You can check for the DB-Library version by looking at the top
      of the sybdb.h include file (it should be located in
      $SYBASE/include/sybdb.h, where $SYBASE is your Sybase
      installation directory.)

      Determine if you need any additional #define's for the
      EXTRA_DEFS line: With Perl 5.001m you needed -DUNDEF_BUG, but
      this bug has been corrected in 5.002, and you can also add
      -DDO_TIE to get the stricter attribute checking behavior (see
      point c. above).

      Uncomment the LINKTYPE line if required (see point b. above).

   3) Type: perl Makefile.PL
   4) Type: make

      If you get errors (such as undefined variables) it may be
      because your DBLIBVS or CTLIBVS does not correspond to the Open
      Client versions that are in fact installed at your site. Check
      them again. In the case of the Sybase::DBlib module, it doesn't
      hurt to build with DBLIBVS set to 400 as this is pretty well
      guaranteed to work (provided you have *some* version of

   6) Edit PWD

      NOTE: This step is not normally necessary as the build process
      now asks for this information up front.

      Enter the user id and password that you want to use to run the
      tests. It's probably a good idea to reset this file to its
      original state once you're done, unless you really don't have
      any security concerns!

      Make sure that the SYBASE environment variable is set
      correctly. You can test this by trying to connect to the server
      using isql from the same shell.

      The tests are non-destructive (ie only SELECT statements),
      except for Sybase::BCP which creates a temp table (#bcp) to test
      the bulk copy features.
   7) Type: make test
      If you decided to use static loading then a new perl binary will
      be generated at this point.

      If you get undefined symbols when testing CTlib (such as _net_*
      or _intl_getenv not defined), then I'd bet that you have either
      a libtcl.* in /usr/local/lib, or you have LD_LIBRARY_PATH that
      includes /usr/lib on Solaris 2.x (which has its own
      just to confuse the issue!).  See points d) and e) above.

      If you get an error message similar to 
	     "ERROR: Undefined symbol: bsd_tcp"
      then you are on a system that requires the -linsck library (this 
      is a Sybase library). Linux, SunOS 4.x, HP-UX and AIX all
      require this library.
      Edit the CONFIG file and add -linsck to the EXTRA_LIBS line, and
      go back to step 3. 

      If you are using perl 5.003 or earlier you will get an error
      in the dbmoney.t script. This is due to a change in the
      behaviour of the AutoLoader between perl 5.003 and perl 5.004.
      The solution is to upgrade to 5.004 (or later), or edit
      Sybperl/ and move the __END__ tag to the very end
      of the file.
   8) If everything went OK, type: make install
      This operation probably requires "root" priviledges as this
      installs the sybperl modules into the perl library tree.
      Note that the man page does not get installed automatically. To
      install the documentation, cd to the pod directory, and read the
      README file there.
      Also note that even if you've asked for static linking and a
      perl binary has been built in the sybperl source directory, no
      perl binary gets installed (see step 9).

   9) If the LINKTYPE is static type:

	 make -f Makefile.aperl inst_perl MAP_TARGET=perl

      to install the new Perl binary. This step is not required when
      using dynamic linking as the existing Perl binary will load the
      new code dynamically when required.

  10) Read the manual :-)

      Look for it in the pod/ directory. You can create .man or .html
      versions from the .pod file by using pod2man or pod2html, both
      of which come with Perl.
      The manual may not be perfect yet, but it comes to 16 PostScript
      pages here, which is "respectable", I guess.

In case of problems:

First, read the FAQ file in the sybperl distribution.

Second, fire off an e-mail to me ( with a *full* 
description of what doesn't work, including version numbers of Perl 
and sybperl, the hardware and OS version, and the Sybase Open Client 
version you are using.

The regression tests don't attempt to test *everything*, but they do
test all of the basic functions, and should work cleanly.

There are quite a few small example scripts in eg/ which illustrate
the use of both the DBlib and CTlib modules.

Reporting Bugs:

Use the github issues tool at

When submitting bugs, or any sort of problem report, please make sure
you include full version information for Sybperl, Perl, Sybase and
also what hardware/OS configuration you are on. The exact Sybperl
versions can be extracted by running the 'Version' script in this
directory. Perl's configuration can be summarized by running 'perl -V'.

Comments, criticism, VERY welcome!

Michael Peppler -