What is the major differences between Oracle & Sybase

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The dialect of SQL supported by Microsoft Sybase ASE is called Transact-SQL (T-SQL). The dialect of SQL supported by Oracle 9i Database is called PL/SQL. PL/SQL is more powerful language than T-SQL. This is the brief comparison of PL/SQL and T-SQL:





B-Tree indexes,
Bitmap indexes,
Partitioned indexes,
Function-based indexes,
Domain indexes

B-Tree indexes


Relational tables,
Object tables,
Temporary tables,
Partitioned tables,
External tables,
Index organized tables

Relational tables,
Temporary tables


BEFORE triggers,
AFTER triggers,
INSTEAD OF triggers,
Database Event triggers

AFTER triggers,
INSTEAD OF triggers


PL/SQL statements,
Java methods,
third-generation language
(3GL) routines

T-SQL statements ,

Java methods,
third-generation language
(3GL) routines



Not Supported



  • Jul 5th, 2008

Let me clarify that while Sybase does not have "Object Tables" it can hold BLOBS in columns in tables. These can be of datatype TEXT or IMAGE.

Sybase has the concept of Temporary tables in the form of #temp_tables or tables residing in the tempdb database.

A table in Sybase can be partitioned and external tables are handled thru "proxy" table setup.

But most importantly, the main difference between Sybase and Oracle is that
in Oracle, it manages all of the data and database related functions within ONE
big Oracle Instance. Sybase manages all of the data and database related
functions thru a collection of system databases and user databases all in ONE
Sybase server. Each database within a Sybase server can communicate with one
another, but they are compartmentalized. Where as in Oracle they are all mingle
together in one space.


  • Jun 23rd, 2010

I would point out that the above answers are point in time - and any answer should mention the versions involved. Sybase is a company - not a database server, by the way. The question should be asking about Sybase ASE (or Sybase IQ or Sybase Anywhere).

A question of this nature could easily merit a book.

The two database servers are so ideologically different that doing feature comparisons of this nature are fairly meaningless. Oracle is, no doubt, dripping in functionality compared to Sybase ASE - however that doesn't make it the inevitable choice. Sybase ASE makes handling of multiple databases on a single server much more transparent, it requires much less in terms of support, and it's also markedly cheaper than Oracle.

Sybase ASE is built around the concept of temporary tables - whereas Oracle is built around cursors and both have features that tend to support these core concepts. Sybase is fast and loose with checking things: Oracle is completely obsessive. This means Sybase is easier to change, test, and whip things up with - whereas it's also more likely to miss hidden problems.

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