IBM offers unlimited-user price for DB2 Express

IBM will announce a new pricing option Monday for DB2 Express, a version of its database software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

Starting Oct. 31, the software will be available for US$3,899 for an unlimited number of users. This will be offered in addition to the existing pricing option of $624 for the base server package plus $124 per user, including maintenance, the company said in a statement.

The news follows Oracle's launch on Oct. 8 of a version of its database also targeted at smaller businesses. Its Standard Edition One database is priced at US$195 per user for a minimum of five users, or $5,995 per processor for unlimited users. Until now IBM hadn't offered an unlimited-user pricing option.

DB2 Express is for use on servers with one or two processors and is available for Windows and Linux. Oracle's Standard Edition One is limited to single-processor machines and runs on Windows, Linux and various flavors of Unix.

Like their peers in the industry, both vendors have been looking to the SMB market for growth as spending among their traditional base of enterprise customers has slowed.

IBM has been rolling out a family of Express products, including a version of its WebSphere application server. Oracle's SMB offerings are limited so far to its database, although the company plans to make several more SMB-related announcements at its OracleWorld show in Paris on Tuesday, according to an advisory from the company.

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