IBM launches DB2 version 7 database

IBM formally launched version 7 of its flagship DB2 Universal database Tuesday, aimed at companies ranging from dot-com startups to Fortune 500 heavyweights, according to IBM.

The key difference in version 7 is the product's level of integration of core database functionality, content management and business intelligence features, XML (Extensible Markup Language) support and ability to handle spatial data types, according to Mike Babin, director for worldwide data management sales for IBM's software division.

"Technology must be able to support the new business models made possible by the Internet," he said at the launch here. "Data must be available to all of a company's applications, systems must be scalable, and companies need to be able to turn data into intelligence."

Apart from the rapid increase in the sheer amount of data that needs to be stored, DB2 version 7 has been designed with several future market developments in mind, according to Babin. These include: wide availability of high bandwidth at low cost; pervasive computing; rich media content; and deep computing, or the ability to solve very complex problems.

"The next generation of e-business opportunities will be about developing new markets and new business opportunities," he said. "There will be billions of users and trillions of devices."

DB2 version 7 includes data warehousing and OLAP (online analytical processing) capabilities as well as in-memory technology which can speed up Internet searches by a factor of 10, according to IBM.

DB2 is now the fastest-growing database product for the Unix and Windows NT markets and overall the product is now used at 300,000 companies worldwide, Babin said.

Version 7 is immediately available for the AIX, Solaris, HP-UX and Linux variants of Unix, as well as Windows NT, Windows 2000 and OS/2.

The product costs $US498 for the Personal edition; $1,349 for the Workgroup edition, $23,760 for the Enterprise edition and $30,510 for the Enterprise-Extended edition, offered on a per-processor pricing basis, IBM said.

Also included in the new version is a free downloadable migration kit that will make it easier to move to DB2 from database rivals, like Oracle, Informix, Sybase, and Microsoft's SQL Server.

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