With support ending for SAP ASE – also known by its original name of Sybase – in 2025, users of the relational database management system are looking for alternatives.
SAP’s favoured option, needless to say, is migration to its HANA database.
But users – which include large numbers of enterprises in the financial services and telecommunications sectors – are looking elsewhere, a new survey reveals, with Oracle Database the preferred option ahead of Hana, and Postgres just behind.
With SAP ASE/Sybase implemented at 45 of the top 50 banks and security firms – many of which have been building IT solutions around the database since the 1980s – SAP’s 2018 announcement that it was ending support startled many.
(Sybase/SAP ASE version 15.7 gets until Dec. 31, 2020; version 16.0 – which has not been substantially updated since its release five years ago –until Dec. 31, 2025).
(Users favour Sybase’s accelerated transaction processing, high availability, features for business continuity and data security, deployment options, and low total cost of ownership, Larry Goldman of Spinnaker Support – which conducted the survey – notes, adding that SAP quietly laid off many Sybase experts in its Spring restructuring).
Users are left with four main options: ongoing in-house maintenance; third-party support; switching to SAP HANA, or migrating to another type of database.
Interestingly, only 35 percent of respondents signaled a definite migration to a new solution when SAP maintenance ends, the survey by US-based SAP and Oracle support specialist Spinnaker found, with 12 unsure of their plans.
The majority (53 percent) know what they want: more of the same, despite the end of mainstream maintenance (EoMM).
Those moving are largely looking to do so fast: 33 percent of migrating respondents with version 16.0 indicated a move within one year.
As Spinnaker notes: “This would seem to hint at a popular upgrade path
provided by SAP HANA, but the next major finding of this survey suggests otherwise.
For those intending to select a new solution, Oracle appears to be the most popular
migration path, with 29 percent of respondents selecting Oracle Database over SAP HANA. Postgres, an open source SQL database, also performed well in this survey, with 19 percent of respondents showing interest in migrating to Postgres.
“Less than one in four Sybase users expressed an interest in migrating to SAP HANA,
which is the only viable way to remain with an officially-supported SAP system.
This low retention rate might signal frustration with the loss of SAP updates and
maintenance and a sense of forced obsolescence for a product with a high percentage
of user-reported satisfaction.”