SAP finally drops the Sybase name.

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Content Copyright © 2014 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: The Norfolk Punt

The “Sybase” name has a long and honourable history, especially in Financial Services, and it even survived the takeover by SAP in 2010. Perhaps partly, I always thought, because SAP acquired rather more useful IP with the acquisition than it expected and products with loyal customers, that it made no sense to discontinue.

However, the Sybase name was always going to disappear into SAP eventually and this is now happening. According to the Sybase website: “Please note with the transition to SAP support plans and infrastructure you will lose access to older End of Lifed product versions and patches. Should you wish to retain copies of this software for future use we strongly encourage you to download copies from the Sybase Products Download Center and the EBFs and Maintenance Download Area BEFORE you are migrated to SAP support plans and infrastructure. The Sybase Products Download Center and the EBFs and Maintenance Download Area will be decommissioned at the end of June 2014 after which time no further access will be possible. On the SAP infrastructure only users that have a valid Support Agreement are able to download patches”. 

So, it’s farewell Sybase and all hail SAP, although the Sybase name hadn’t quite disappeared when I started this blog. I suppose the obvious question might be whether SAP is still commited to its Sybase-sourced technologies—there have been questions raised about this in the past (here, for example). We do think, however, that SAP really is committed to its ex-Sybase technology and Philip Howard, the data specialist at Bloor Research, tells me that he has just written a paper comparing its excellent ASE (SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise) database with Oracle for SAP (so ASE is still being actively marketed); that SAP has sold 3,000 ASE licences since SAP acquired Sybase; and that SAP is positioning iq as complementary to its in-memory HANA analytics solution, for storing older/less used information.

As for the other products SAP acquired with Sybase, according to Michael Balch (Global Communications, Database & Technology Analyst Relations, SAP), PowerDesigner (my special interest), in particular, is important to SAP as, he says, “SAP is using it enterprise wide for our own IT planning and it has a rather large footprint”. This is confirmed by a recent SAP NewsByte, dated March 19th 2014, where the wider integration of PowerDesigner into SAP technoliogy was announced. According to said Darren Crowder (vice president and general manager, Middleware, SAP): “SAP has made significant investments in this critical component of the middleware portfolio to help ensure that it continues to meet the changing needs and challenges of businesses seeking to improve their information and enterprise architectures”.

This all sounds eminently sensible to me. I am now wondering whether the acquisition of ERwin by Embarcadero will spark increased interest in PowerDesigner, as one competitative vendor (more or less) disappears from its space and people look around the available options.