CS First Boston Inc. said it has signed a contract with Sybase Inc., Emeryville, Calif.

The New York-based investment bank will spend $2.5 million on the client/server technology, in which personal computers and file servers share information processing tasks.

CS First Boston will convert its data base management systems in North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim using Sybase's architecture.

"Our experience with the product has been good," said Ross Salinger, managing director and chief information officer for CS First Boston.

"This enables us to reduce costs in the long run, gives us priority access to new technology as it comes out, and leverages our in-house expertise."

Officials said CS First Boston, which also uses data base software from Oracle Corp. and Informix Inc., expects to complete the front-, middle-, and back-office systems conversions within a year.

Michon Schenck, an analyst with the Tower Group, a Wellesley, Mass.- based technology consulting firm, said that Sybase, though it trails in total data base management installations, excels in capital markets applications.

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