Hi Steve,

I would also like to see ext/mssql and ext/sybase merged into one extension, as they 
both use the same DB-Librery. Changing the functionsnames to dblib_* would also be the 
right, as long as we keep aliases_* to sybase and mssql_* for some time.

As you say this will cause more use and therefore testing, but we will also be able to 
focus more development time to implement improved support for stored procedures and 
other functions.

I havent started implementing a new MSSQL extension yet for two resons. 1) I would 
like to have the extension working on more than one platform and 2) I have a dialog 
with Microsoft about an updated version of there DBLibrary, but it is going very slow.

I have also thaught about writing my own system based on OLE DB. An OLE DB service 
(broaker) should be installed on an NT/2000 box and a client library should be 
installed on NT/2000/Linux/Unix. This would allow the client to request data from the 
broker and the broker could query any OLE DB provider available.

- Frank

> Hi Frank,
> On Wed, 5 Sep 2001, Frank M. Kromann wrote:
> > > I can't help but notice that MSSQL, Sybase, and Sybase CT-Lib each have their
> > > own PHP extension.  What I wonder if many people have /not/ noticed is that
> > > two of these extensions implement the same C API on different platforms (mssql
> > > targetted for Windows systems, sybase targetted for Unix systems), and all
> > > three implement the same database protocol on the wire.
> > This was true for MSSQL 4.x and 6.x but the databases and the protocol have
> > evolved different in the two products (MSSQL vs. Sybase) since. Microsoft
> > has not updated DBLibrary since version 6.x so there is a few features
> > available in 7.0 and 2000 there is unsupported in the PHP extension. If
> > Microsoft decides not to update DBLibrary I will start rewriting the
> > extension using a more up to date protocol in order to support all features.
> > I would furthermore prefer to develop the extension to work from both Win32
> > and *nix clients.
> If you choose to rewrite an MS SQL extension using Microsoft's new client API,
> I hope that PHP will still retain *one* extension built on top of dblib.
> CT-Lib and Microsoft's new APIs are more feature-rich than dblib, but dblib is
> the most portable of the three, so it makes sense to keep an extension around
> that's built on dblib -- /if/ PHP makes use of its cross-platform
> capabilities, that is. :)
> Perhaps the best choice would be to merge ext/mssql and ext/sybase into a
> single module that's named for what it really is -- ext/dblib.  This leaves
> the namespace clear for a future ext/mssql built on top of a different API.
> I'm not sure how you would write an extension on top of Microsoft's new API
> that works on Unix systems, however.  Has Microsoft released client libraries
> for Unix?
> > > In light of this, would it not be to everyone's advantage to consolidate
> > > developer efforts and merge the ext/mssql and ext/sybase modules?  (Providing
> > > appropriate PHP_FALIAS wrappers for backwards compat, of course.)  I can't
> > > imagine that there is so much difference between these two codebases that we
> > > need one extension with a .dsp file and one extension with a config.m4 file.
> > The MSSQL extension (on Win32 only) do have a few functions more but these
> > could be ported into one of the Sybase extensions.
> Ok, but then you're talking about porting -- which means that every time a new
> feature is added to one extension, someone also has to port /that/ feature to
> the other extension, as well.
> What is the advantage here to keeping *two* dblib extensions around, instead
> of one that has all the features of both?  It may be a little easier to be
> able to ignore compatibility with other platforms, but I'd certainly be
> happier to see one extension that gets twice as much use (and therefore
> testing).
> > I dont know muct about Subase and Sybase-ct but I agrre that these extension
> > should be combined into one, with aliases and functionality from the mssql
> > extension to allow access to MSSQL Server 4.x and 6.x from Win32 and *nix
> > clients.
> The differences between the Sybase and Sybase-CT extensions lie in the
> underlying C APIs that they invoke.  Combining these is not feasible.
> Combining ext/mssql and ext/sybase is very feasible -- I've done much of the
> rewriting already, I just need to get my development box back on-line before I
> can share it.
> Steve Langasek
> postmodern programmer
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