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SQL Anywhere Django Driver

This is a SQL Anywhere database backend for Django. The backend is distributed as a stand-alone python module. This backend has been tested with SQL Anywhere versions 12, 16, and 17 using Django versions 1.1.4, 1.2.7, 1.3.7, 1.4.10, 1.5.5, 1.6.1, 1.7.1, and 1.8.5.

  1. Install the required software

    1. SQL Anywhere 12.0.0 (or higher)

    The SQL Anywhere Web Edition is a free, full-featured version for development and deployment of browser based applications. If you don't already have a license for SQL Anywhere, the Web Edition is a great place to start. Get the Web Edition at

    1. Python (2.4 or greater)

    Install Python if you don't already have it installed. We recommend Python 2.7 but any version greater than 2.4 is supported. Python 3 is supported in Django 1.6 and later. You can download python from

    If you are running on Linux you will most likely also be able to find python through your distribution's package management system.

    1. Python setuptools

    The setuptools project for python acts as a package manager for Python code. Using setuptools will make it trivial to install the correct version of Django to use with SQL Anywhere. You can get setuptools for python from

    Again, if you are running on Linux you most likely be able to find setuptools through your distribution's package management system. This package is called "python-setuptools" on Ubuntu and "python-setuptools-devel" on Fedora.

    1. Django

    Once you have installed setuptools, installing Django is a snap, simply run:

    $ easy_install Django

    If you want a specific version of Django, you can give the version using the == syntax. For example, if you want 1.6.1, you can use:

    $ easy_install Django==1.6.1
    1. Python SQL Anywhere Database Interface

    If you are using pip to install the SQL Anywhere Django driver, you can skip this step since the SQL Anywhere Python driver will be installed as part of that step.

    The SQL Anywhere Database Interface for Python provides a Database API v2 compliant driver (see Python PEP 249) for accessing SQL Anywhere databases from Python. The SQL Anywhere backend for Django is built on top of this interface so installing it is required.

    You can use pip to make this easy:

    pip install sqlanydb

    Alternatively, you can obtain the Python SQL Anywhere Database Interface from Install the driver by downloading the source and running the following command:

    $ python install
    1. SQL Anywhere Django Backend

      Again, use pip to install this easily:

      pip install sqlany-django

      This will install the SQL Anywhere python driver if it was not already installed.

      Or you can obtain the SQL Anywhere Database backend for Django from Install the backend by downloading the source and running the following command:

      $ python install
  2. Setup your environment

    (Linux/Unix/Mac OS X only)

    SQL Anywhere requires several environment variables to be set to run correctly -- the most important of which are PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH. The SQL Anywhere install creates a file named to set all necessary environment variables automatically (Note the file is named sa_config.csh if you are using a csh derivative as your shell).

    This file is located in the "bin32" and/or the "bin64" directories of your install. Before trying to run the SQL Anywhere server or connect to a running server in a given shell you should make sure to source the file (with the "." command) corresponding to the bitness of the SQL Anywhere binaries you want to use. For example, if you are running 64-bit software and the product is installed in /opt/sqlanywhere16 you should run:

    $ . /opt/sqlanywhere16/bin64/
  3. Create a database

    Issue the following command to create a new database to use with Django. Note that we are specifying the UCA collation so that that CHAR columns in the database will support unicode strings.

    $ dbinit -z UCA django.db

    If all goes well SQL Anywhere will have created a new database file named 'django.db' in the directory where you ran the dbinit command. Feel free to move this database file to any location you want. You can even copy it to a machine running a different operating system if you wish.

  4. Start the Database Server

    SQL Anywhere includes two different database servers -- The personal server (dbeng12/dbeng16) and the network server (dbsrv12/dbsrv16). Both servers support the same complete set of features except that the personal server is limited to running on one CPU, allows a maximum of 10 concurrent connections and does not accept network connections from other machines. We will use the network server for our example.

    $ dbsrv16 django.db
  5. Configure Django

    Creating a new Django site and configuring it to use SQL Anywhere is very easy. First create the site in the normal fashion:

    $ startproject mysite

    Then edit the file mysite/mysite/ and change the DATABASES setting to match what is given below:

      'default' : {
          'ENGINE': 'sqlany_django',
          'NAME': 'django',
          'USER': 'dba',
          'PASSWORD': 'sql',
          'HOST': 'myhost',
          'PORT': 'portnum'

    Here's how the parameters correspond to SQL Anywhere connection parameters:

    • NAME = DatabaseName (DBN)
    • USER = Userid (UID)
    • PASSWORD = Password (PWD)
    • HOST = Host
    • PORT = (port number in host, i.e. myhost:portnum)

    If you need to specify other connection parameters (eg. ENG), you can set a value with the key "OPTIONS", like this:

       'default' : {
           'ENGINE': 'sqlany_django',
           'NAME': 'django',
           'USER': 'dba',
           'PASSWORD': 'sql',
           'OPTIONS': {'eng': 'django'}

    HOST and PORT default to 'localhost' and '2638'. If you want to use shared memory, set the HOST and PORT values to None:

       'default' : {
           'ENGINE': 'sqlany_django',
           'NAME': 'django',
           'USER': 'dba',
           'PASSWORD': 'sql',
           'OPTIONS': {'eng': 'django'},
           'HOST': None,
           'PORT': None

    Alternatively, you can set the parameters in an ODBC data source using the dbdsn utility and then specify the DSN connection parameter. The ENGINE parameter must still be specified. Any other parameters (eg. USER, HOST, etc.) that are specified will override the value in the DSN. For example:

       'default' : {
           'ENGINE': 'sqlany_django',
           'OPTIONS': {'dsn': 'my_django_dsn'}

    Note: SQL Anywhere allows you to run several database servers on one machine. For this reason you should always specify the server you want to connect to as well as the database name. However if you want to connect to a server running in a SA OnDemand (cloud) environment, you should specify the NAME and HOST (and optionally PORT) options, and not specify the server name.

  6. Test to make sure everything is working

    The SQL Anywhere database backend for Django makes use of the Python SQL Anywhere Database interface. We first want to test that this interface is working correctly before testing Django connectivity itself. Create a file named with the following contents:

    import sqlanydb
    conn = sqlanydb.connect(uid='dba', pwd='sql', eng='django', dbn='django')
    curs = conn.cursor()
    curs.execute("select 'Hello, world!'")
    print "SQL Anywhere says: %s" % curs.fetchone()

    Run the test script and ensure that you get the expected output:

    $ python
    SQL Anywhere says: Hello, world!

    To test that Django can make use of the SQL Anywhere Database backend simply change to the "mysite" directory created in step 5 and ask Django to create the tables for the default applications.

    $ python syncdb

    If you don't receive any errors at this point then congratulations. Django is now correctly configured to use SQL Anywhere as a backend.

  7. What to do if you have problems?

    If you run into problems, don't worry. First try re-reading the instructions above and make sure you haven't missed a step. If you are still having issues here are a few resources to help you figure out what went wrong. You can consult the documentation, or post to a forum where many of the SQL Anywhere engineers hang out.

    SQL Anywhere Online Documentation:
    SQL Anywhere Development Forum:
  8. Where to go from here?

    SQL Anywhere should now be successfully configured as a backend for your Django site. To learn more about creating web applications with Django try the excellent series of tutorials provided by the Django project:


This package is licensed under the terms of the license described in the LICENSE file.


Django driver for SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere







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