Product Review: IBM's DB2 Update Sharpens Competition with Rivals

The latest incarnation of IBM's DB2 Enterprise Edition 6.1, is a worthwhile upgrade for current customers and must be considered by companies seeking a stellar database solution. In particular, this version of DB2 is well-suited to sites with high-volume, complex electronic-commerce initiatives.

New support for managing external content -- known as DataLinks -- heats up the competition with rival Oracle and its Internet File System technology. During my tests with DataLinks, I found it quite capable of managing data and external content, such as images, while preserving security, performance, and accessibility.

IBM has refined Version 6.1 since my last look at Beta 2. (See http://www.infoworld.com/printlinks.) Problems I discovered earlier in the Java-based administration tool have been resolved. And, the Linux installation woes I previous encountered were no longer present.

This release also includes added support for sites with Web projects in the form of visual tools to build Java-stored procedures. An XML parser and search facilities are also new.

Current customers will definitely want to upgrade, and companies implementing core Web strategies will find this version very appealing.

THE BOTTOM LINE: EXCELLENT

IBM DB2 Enterprise Edition 6.1

Business Case: Current and new customers should consider this DB2 update. Broad platform support, new pricing, and enhancements that ease implementation boost potential cost savings.

Pros

+ Useful administration aids

+ Can manage external content

Cons

- None noted

Cost: Enterprise Edition: US$12,500 per server CPU, unlimited users; DataLinks Manager: $8,000 per CPUPlatforms: AIX, OS/2, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows NT, AS/400, S/390, and othersIBM Corp., Armonk, New York; +1-800-426-4968; http://www.ibm.com

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