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Adaptive Server Anywhere and Third-Party Backup and Anti-Virus Software

This document addresses commonly-asked questions about Adaptive Server Anywhere and third-party backup and anti-virus software.
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In many situations, Adaptive Server Anywhere users also have third-party backup and/or virus software as part of their computing environment. This raises some of the following questions:

·         Can this software be used in conjunction with Adaptive Server Anywhere?

·         Are there any precautions or problems that I should be aware of?

·         Are there alternatives?

This document attempts to answer these questions and provide an overall picture of how additional products can function with Adaptive Server Anywhere.


When working with Adaptive Server Anywhere, you may work with some or all of the following file types:

Basic database files

·         main database file (.db)#

·         transaction log (.log)#

·         transaction log mirror (.mlg)#

·         temporary file (.tmp)#*

Additional files

·         database space (.db or .dbs)#

·         write file (.wrt)#

·         compressed database file (.cdb)#

# These are the default or suggested file name extensions for an Adaptive Server Anywhere installation, but it is possible to have file names without these extensions (for example, a database space file can be databasename.db, databasename.dbs, etc.).

For more information about these files and how data is stored, see Adaptive Server Anywhere Data Storage at

* The temporary file is held in a location determined by an environment variable. The following environment variables are checked, in order:

o         ASTMP

o         TMP

o         TMPDIR

o         TEMP

If none of these are defined, Adaptive Server Anywhere places its temporary file in the current directory on Windows operating systems, or in the /tmp/.SQLAnywhere directory on UNIX.

There can be problems with Adaptive Server Anywhere in conjunction with some anti-virus software or third-party backup software. Below is an outline of some things to be aware of when running third-party backup or anti-virus software with Adaptive Server Anywhere databases.

Third-Party Backup Software

iAnywhere Solutions, at time of writing, does not endorse any third-party backup software to be used with an Adaptive Server Anywhere database. Only backup tools included with Adaptive Server Anywhere can be used to back up a live database. You should be aware there are some products that claim they back up Sybase databases, but this may not include Adaptive Server Anywhere databases.

This does not mean you cannot use third-party backup software to back up your database. It just means there are special precautions and steps you need to take.

You cannot use third-party backup software to back up a live, running database. This is because some of the database pages that have been modified will be in the database server’s cache, so the database file will be in an inconsistent state. Here are some general backup techniques that can be incorporated with third-party software:

·         Back up the Adaptive Server Anywhere database files (using Sybase Central, the BACKUP DATABASE statement in Interactive SQL, or the dbbackup utility), and then use the third-party backup product to back up the files created by the Adaptive Server Anywhere backup. Backups can be scheduled to run automatically using the CREATE EVENT statement.

·         Shut down the database and then use the third-party backup software to back up the database files.

·         Exclude the files mentioned at the beginning of this article from the backup.

The backup utilities that come with Adaptive Server Anywhere have many features, such as full and incremental backups, that can be automated within Adaptive Server Anywhere so there is no ongoing user intervention required. Using these tools, you can tailor a backup strategy suitable to your needs and, when used properly, you can be certain your backups will be useful when they are needed.

Note: In addition to backing up a database, it is also important to test and validate the database backup. Testing and validation of the backup should be done regardless of the type of backup employed.

For more information about backups, see Additional Information.

Anti-Virus Software

In general, anti-virus software can be used with Adaptive Server Anywhere without problems. However, some performance problems, or even corruption, are possible. Adaptive Server Anywhere performs many reads and writes outside of the normal I/O operations, which contribute to the good performance of Adaptive Server Anywhere. However, anti-virus software might detect this as a potential problem and quarantine the file. This can be particularly hazardous if the .log or temporary files are quarantined, and it may cause corruption by interfering with the normal functions of the database. Poor performance can also occur if the anti-virus software is checking all I/O operations performed by the database server. The performance issues noted above can affect all programs on a system, not just Adaptive Server Anywhere, after anti-virus software is installed.

These problems can usually be attributed to the fact that, by default, virus software scans everything on a machine. To make sure your virus scanning software is tuned to give you the best performance and best coverage, you should refer to the documentation provided by the manufacturer of the software. It is recommended that the files mentioned at the beginning of this article be excluded from virus scans. As well, note that you should always keep your virus software up-to-date to protect your system from the most current viruses, as well as possible bug fixes to the actual software package itself.

Note: Typically, the database file and companion files are at low risk for contracting a virus. When your Adaptive Server Anywhere database is shut down, a complete manual virus scan can be run.

Additional Information

Backup and Recovery

·         What Backup, Recovery, and Disaster Recovery Mean to Your Adaptive Server Anywhere Database (

·         Why You Should Not Run dbvalid Against a Backup of the Consolidated Database (

·         Using Event Handlers to Implement an Effective Backup Strategy in Adaptive Server Anywhere (

·         Protecting Against Total Machine Failure at (

·         Creating a Fail-over System for a SQL Remote Environment (

·         Protecting Your Adaptive Server Anywhere Data: What's Better? RAID Arrays or Log Mirroring? (

·         Recovery from a Single, All-Inclusive Log File (

·         Your SQL Anywhere Studio documentation, in particular the chapter "Backup and Recovery" in the Adaptive Server Anywhere Database Administration Guide


Last Revised: Jul 29, 2003
Product: SQL Anywhere
Technical Topics: SQL Anywhere, Compatibility, Backup & Recovery
Business or Technical: Technical
Content Id: 1025501
Infotype: Technote

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