Yesterday, the latest version of SAP Sybase ASE was released: ASE 15.7 SP100. This new ASE release brings you a bunch of interesting new features and improvements (check out the webcast on June 4th).
Right now I would like to draw your attention to a more mundane aspect, namely: the new version numbering scheme used by ASE.
The version string for my ASE server is: Adaptive Server Enterprise/15.7/EBF 21152 SMP SP100 /P/x86_64/Enterprise Linux/ase157sp100/3425/64-bit/FBO/Fri May 4 03:37:47 2013.
Observant readers will notice the "SP100" as looking somewhat unusual. That is correct: the previous ASE release was version "15.7 ESD#4.x".This suggests that "ESD" has been replaced with "SP" -- and that is exactly what happened.
Why is this, and what does this change mean for you?
To start with the last part, it actually means very little, and there is no impact on features, functionality or licensing.
The new version numbering scheme is simply more aligned with SAP terminology and that's just the reason for the change.
Previously, a Sybase "ESD" release typically contained bug fixes as well as new features. The "ESD" concept has now been replaced with (or rather, renamed to) the SAP notion of "Service Pack" or "SP".
An SP comes with a number (here, a 3-digit number) which increases over the lifetime of a major version (like 15.7). However, there is no guarantee that these numbers are consecutive, i.e. subsequent next ASE Service Packs could be numbered SP101, SP102 and SP103, but they could just as well be SP105, SP130 and SP150. Don't bother searching for a deeper meaning here.
There can also be ASE releases containing only fixes. In the old Sybase parlance, such a release was also known as an "ESD". In the SAP version numbering scheme, such a release may be called a "Patch Level", or "PL".
What has not changed is the fact that every ASE release is uniquely identified by its "EBF" number (21152 in the example above).
Then go and download the new ASE 15.7 SP100 -- it has lots of great new stuff in it.