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We have a strange situation where we are seeing showplan information in packets returned from a Sybase ASE 12.5 database server to a JDBC client. ie using tcpdump we see showplan output being sent back. We are trying to avoid this as the database is performing badly and it can't help having to generate detailed plan information.

We can't see any configuration settings client-side which would make this the case - is there some setting server-side which forces this option to be on?

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SET SHOWPLAN [ON|OFF] is a session-level command in Sybase ASE, it's not a server-level setting (if it was a server-level setting you'd be able to alter it via sp_configure). Can you run wireshark (or something similar) on the packets being sent from the JDBC client to see if it's setting showplan on as part of the session initialization?

That said - showing the plan should not affect database CPU or memory usage, the plan is generated by the query optimiser anyway. However, showing the plan will increase network utilization.

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