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How the error looks like

If you have an SAP ABAP trial installation that uses the Sybase ASE database, then it periodically stops working. Often it happens at the beginning of April.

The server just hangs during the startup process and doesn't give any errors to the terminal.

The following information is displayed in the terminal in that case:
vhcalnplci:npladm 54> startsap

Checking syb Database

Database is not available via R3trans


starting database NPL ...

Log file: /sybase/NPL/startdb.log


File /sybase/NPL/startdb.log contains no useful information other than the following message:
ASE instance not available

*** ERROR:ASE instance possibly left running when system

    went down(system crash?).

When you press Control+C, the process is interrupted and a message is displayed that additional information can be found in the trace file. Unfortunately, there is no useful information in the trace file either.

How to find the cause

The root cause of this error is an expired license file. Relevant information can be found in the following log:

/Sybase/<name of instace>/ASE-<version>/install/<name of instance>.log


For example:



That log contains something like that:
00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.38 kernel  SySAM: Using licenses from: /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: Failed to obtain license(s) for ASE_CORE feature from license file(s) or server(s).

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: Feature has expired.

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: License feature name:  ASE_CORE

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: Expire date:   31-mar-2023

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: License search path:   /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic:

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  SySAM: FlexNet Licensing error:-10,32

00:0000:00000:00000:2023/04/02 13:38:43.55 kernel  There is no valid license for ASE server product. Installation date is not found or installation grace period has expired. Server will not boot.

This log also contains the location of the license file that needs to be updated.


When the root cause is found, the solution is quite simple. Go to page ABAP Trial Downloads  Developer Trials and Downloads and download the corresponding license file.


I downloaded the license from this link:

Where to download trial license for Sybase ASE


I won't post the exact link here as it may change over time. But it can be easily found on the page I mentioned. Before downloading, you may need to register on the site and accept the agreement.

After that, you need to extract the contents of the archive and copy the SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic file to the folder /sybase/<name of instace>/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic.

In my case the name of the instance is NPL and the target folder will be /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic.

Now the server will start successfully.
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