The operating system and a number of applications frequently share the memory of a typical computer. SQL Anywhere treats memory as a scarce resource. Because it uses memory economically, SQL Anywhere can run on relatively small computers. This economy is important if you want your database to operate on portable computers or on older computers.
Reserving extra memory, for example to hold the contents of a cursor, may be expensive. If the buffer cache is full, one or more pages may have to be written to disk to make room for new pages. Some pages may need to be re-read to complete a subsequent operation.
In recognition of this situation, SQL Anywhere associates a higher cost with execution plans that require additional buffer cache overhead. This cost discourages the optimizer from choosing plans that use work tables.
On the other hand, the optimizer is careful to use memory where it improves performance. For example, it caches the results of subqueries when they will be needed repeatedly during the processing of the query.