As I come from a SQL Server background I am not sure what the Sybase equivalent for a Service pack is.

I know Sybase have a list of EBF's but are these the equivalent of Hotfixes in SQL Server? More specifically are EBF's cumulative or do they only fix one issue at a time? I also noticed that EBFs are "moderately" tested.

What is the usual thing to do if I am wanting to move to SQL Anywhere 11 from SQL Anywhere 10 and want to ensure that I have the latest "version". Do I install the latest EBF or is there some Fully tested "service pack" out there that I should install on a clean system?

Thanks,

Warren.

asked 06 Jul '10, 02:54

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warren
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edited 06 Jul '10, 09:46

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Breck Carter
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That's one of the questions that could get an "all-time-classic" tag, methinks. Thanks for raising it on the appropriate platform!

(06 Jul '10, 10:49) Volker Barth

SQL Anywhere installations are usually identified by version and build; e.g., 11.0.1.2276 where 11.0.1 is the version and 2276 is the build.

EBFs are cumulative within a version number, and each one provides you with a new build for that version. For example, EBFs for version 11.0.0 are cumulative within 11.0.0, and EBFs for 11.0.1 are cumulative within 11.0.1 but separate from the EBFs for 11.0.0.

There are three kinds of deliverables when it comes to building your installation:

  • An initial setup.exe for a version, requiring a registration key; e.g., initial setups exist for 11.0.0 and 11.0.1, and they give you the original build of their respective versions.

  • An upgrade for moving from one version to another; e.g., if you have 11.0.0 installed (with or without EBFs), you can use the 11.0.1 upgrade to move to the original build of version 11.0.1. Upgrades don't work across major versions; e.g., for moving from 10 to 11 you need an initial setup. Upgrades do include bug fixes, new functionality, behavior changes and updated documentation.

  • EBFs update the build within version, as described above. EBFs contain bug fixes but not updated documentation, and they rarely contain new functionality or behavior changes (which would suck, because of the "no updated documentation").

So, to move from 10 to 11, you probably need the 11.0.1 initial setup plus a recent EBF for 11.0.1... or you can use the long road (11.0.0 setup, 11.0.1 upgrade, recent EBF).

I have had good experience with EBFs as far as quality is concerned. After a new version has been around for a while, it is probably a good idea to apply an EBF to get all the initial fixes. After that, EBFs should probably only be installed if they fix a known problem that is affecting you. I.e., I'm still using 11.0.1.2276 which is fairly old, but not as old as the original 11.0.1 build... rock solid, IMO.

SQL Anywhere doesn't have the equivalent of SQL Server service packs, which seem to be more frequent than SQL Anywhere versions but much less frequent than EBFs. FWIW I had to back out an MSS SP not long ago, where "back out" meant uninstall, reinstall and restore database. I am saying that to simply point out that stuff happens with all software products, and you have to be especially careful with DBMS software... testing is a critical part of upgrading.

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answered 06 Jul '10, 09:43

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Breck Carter
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edited 06 Jul '10, 09:55

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Just to add: The "only documentation" each EBF comes with is its readme file. I would generally recommend to look into that (usually even before downloading the EBF) to see if new functionality of interest is introduced or if one might be affected with any fixes. (Though the latter is sometimes hard to tell because the bug fix descriptions are not - and possibly can't be - that detailed.)

(06 Jul '10, 10:47) Volker Barth
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Great Answer! Thanks very much for the detailed response... That clears up a few things. I'm going to install the latest EBF to bring it to build 11.0.1.2452

(07 Jul '10, 05:48) warren

Further to Volker's point about the "read me" file... if an EBF does introduce a behavior change or new feature, that is where it will be documented.

(08 Jul '10, 11:10) Breck Carter

EBFs are cumulative, so it is sufficient to install the latest. Fully tested are releases which result in a new version number like 11.0.1.

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answered 06 Jul '10, 08:37

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Martin
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EBFs run through a full testing cycle before they are released.

(06 Jul '10, 18:06) Josh Savill

Thanks for the clarification!

(07 Jul '10, 05:49) warren
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question asked: 06 Jul '10, 02:54

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last updated: 06 Jul '10, 09:55