History of FreeTDS

FreeTDS was and is developed by observation and experimentation, which is to say, by trial and error.

In early 1997, the only option for connecting to a Sybase server from Linux or other free systems was an aging Sybase-released version of OpenClient. Unfortunately it had a few problems. The original release was a.out-based, although Greg Thain did a great service in converting the library to ELF. Secondly, it included only the newer CT-Library API. The older DB-Library API was missing.

Brian Bruns, a Sybase DBA and originator of the FreeTDS project, had some DB-Library programs he wanted to run under Linux, and thus began the FreeTDS project. The original work focused on DB-Library and version 5.0 of the protocol, but quickly expanded to include a CT-Library compatible layer and TDS version 4.2. Later support for ODBC and TDS 7.0 and 7.1 was added. Craig Spannring wrote a Java JDBC driver which became FreeTDS/JDBC.

As the project matured, it gained new participants. Frediano Ziglio greatly expanded the ODBC driver, and continues to improve both it and the underlying TDS library. Bill Thompson wrote most of the present BCP system and added cursors to our CT-Library. Your humble author joined the project to add documentation, and in 2002 became its maintainer. Such are the rewards for doing a good deed.

There have been many other contributions. Please see the AUTHORS in the distribution for a (we hope) complete list.