FRAMINGHAM (04/18/2000) - IBM Corp. last week announced Version 7 of its DB2 Universal Database, which it claims was "designed from the ground up for dot-coms."
The new version is equipped with multiple features targeted at the e-commerce market, as well as utilities to ease migration from competitors' products to DB2.
IBM clearly hopes to steal customers from Oracle Corp.'s Internet-oriented database product. "Companies are anxious to have an alternative to Oracle - to have a better relationship with their vendors and to pay one-third of the price," said Janet Perna, general manager at IBM Data Management Solutions.
Features of Version 7 include the following:
New in-memory database technology that performs Internet searches 10 times faster than regular search engines.
Integrated XML, Java and procedural languages.
Relational Connect, a feature that provides native query access to Oracle databases.
OLAP Server, previously an optional add-on package, which will ship with every copy of DB2 Version 7.
Norma Schroder, an analyst at Dataquest Inc. in San Jose, said IBM's investment in migration aids - product features as well as training support - are good moves for a company wanting to appeal to e-commerce vendors. "Dot-coms are definitely looking at IBM's OLAP [online analytical processing] implementation," she added.
Guy Zales, founder of Business Interactive Corp. in Ottawa, said his firm's application service provider, Warrantynet.com, is porting from Oracle to IBM's DB2 Version 7 because customers are asking for it. Warrantynet.com runs heavy data exchanges between customers, making integrated support for OLAP, XML and Java essential, he said.
Zales said his company has had "good experience" with Oracle as well, but he welcomes the competition in the market.
"It's doubly advantageous for us. It is allowing us to expand," he said, because some subscribers have been asking for IBM database applications.
The beta release of Version 7 can be downloaded from IBM's Web site. The final product is expected to be available in June on Unix, Linux, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and OS/2. Pricing will be announced at that time.