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Sybperl - The Sybase OpenClient extensions to perl

Sybperl is the collective name for a set of perl modules that implement a subset of the Sybase OpenClient API. Originally started in the summer of 1990 (for perl 3!) it has evolved significantly over the years, and is considered very mature and solid.

Using sybperl (and specifically the Sybase::CTlib and/or Sybase::DBlib modules) requires some knowledge and understanding of the Sybase Open Client API, although the perl implementation simplifies many things making writing programs quite simple.

Sybperl documentation and papers

  • Sybperl is well into its second decade! Here is the original announcement posted to comp.lang.perl on September 3 1991: Sybperl beta testers wanted
  • Sybperl 2.0: Using the Sybase::CTlib module, an article I wrote for the Sybase Server, the magazine of the International Sybase User Group.
  • Writing Cleaner Sybperl Code (PDF format). This is another article I wrote for the fall 1998 issue of the ISUG Technical Journal (which is the new name of the Sybase Server magazine). The SybTools package referenced in the article has evolved into the Sybase::Simple package, available on this site.
  • Sybperl Miscellania Some sybperl comments, written by Adrian Scott.
  • How to build Sybperl on Linux written by Ken Oster. Note Some of Ken's directives are out of date with respect to the ASE release for linux. In particular it is NOT necessary (nor recommended) to build sybperl (or DBD::Sybase) statically on linux. See also the ASE on Linux FAQ.
  • SQL Server & Linux The Linux Gazette issue 18 has an article by Brian Jepson on connecting to MS-SQL server from Linux. The same techniques can be applied when connecting to Sybase from Linux, and when connecting to MS-SQL Server from other Unix platforms, provided you have Sybase OpenClient available.
  • DBD::Sybase vs. Sybperl. This is a "meditation" that I posted to Perl Monks.

Sybperl Related Tools & Utilities

  • David Owen ( has taken over the maintenance of the script. This is a script that I first started work on in 1991 and that lets you extract most (if not all) of the DDL for a database (i.e. the text for all the tables, index definitions, stored procedures, etc.)
  • Reinoud van Leeuwen's reportspace script, a cool script that reports space usage by segment in Sybase databases in graphical format.

Sybperl mailing list:

There is a sybperl related mailing list at Send a message to with

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The mailing list is archived and searchable:

Sybperl source

Note: you can check for patches and experimental versions at
  • sybperl 2.18 NEW (Apr 9 2005)
    Various minor bug fixes.
  • sybperl 2.17 (Jun 23 2004)
    Bug fixes, and some change of behavior for blk_rowxfer().
  • sybperl 2.16 (Dec 31 2003)
    More bug-fixes.
  • sybperl 2.15 (Oct 22 2002)
    This is mostly a bug-fix release.
  • sybperl 2.14 (Dec 12 2001)
    This release includes some major new functionality in the CTlib side of the API, including bulk-loading functionality, asynchronous programming, and Dynamic SQL (placeholders).