SQLServer as a System Database

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DreamFactoryInstallationDatabasesSQLServer as a System Database

General Notes



Beginning in 2016, Microsoft made the official SQLSRV driver available for Linux. If you are using Ubuntu 16.04 or later, Debian 8 or later, RHEL7/CentOS7 or later you can install this driver. This is highly preferred over the DBLIB/FreeTDS driver (php-sybase.)



  • In your package manager, install the PHP Sybase package.
  • Ubuntu/Debian example:
    $ sudo apt-get install php7.1-sybase
  • No other configuration is necessary, unless you intend to use Microsoft SQL Server as your DreamFactory system database.

Using Microsoft SQL Server as the system database with DBLIB/FreeTDS

NOTE: These changes only apply if you are using the dblib/freetds driver to connect to SQL Server. Now that Microsoft has made the sqlsrv driver available on Linux, Mac, and Windows, we highly recommend using it rather than dblib. These instructions are not necessary if you use sqlsrv.

If you intend to use Microsoft SQL Server as the DreamFactory system database, you will need to make a couple of FreeTDS configuration changes. First, locate your freetds.conf file. In a default Debian/Ubuntu/Mint install, this file is in /etc/freetds/freetds.conf. You'll be editing the [global] section of the file. Here's what the default looks like:

        # TDS protocol version
;       tds version = 4.2
        # Whether to write a TDSDUMP file for diagnostic purposes
        # (setting this to /tmp is insecure on a multi-user system)
;       dump file = /tmp/freetds.log
;       debug flags = 0xffff
        # Command and connection timeouts
;       timeout = 10
;       connect timeout = 10
        # If you get out-of-memory errors, it may mean that your client
        # is trying to allocate a huge buffer for a TEXT field.  
        # Try setting 'text size' to a more reasonable limit 
        text size = 64512

You need to edit/add values for the tds version, text size, and client charset. If any of these lines start with a semi-colon (;) it will need to be removed.

        tds version = 7.2
        text size = 20971520
        client charset = UTF-8

Next you will need to set up a locales.conf file. There is an example one included in the freetds examples. Copy it to /etc/freetds/:

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/freetds-common/examples/locales.conf /etc/freetds/

Then you need to edit this file with date formatting that matches that of your DreamFactory configuration. Since I use the default DreamFactory configuration, my changes to this file look like this:

   date format = %Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S.%z

Last step: you need to restart your php processing service (if you're using one, such as php5-fpm) and your web server process (nginx or apache2.)

Now you can being using Microsoft SQL Server as your system database.