IBM unveils DB2 database upgrade

IBM announced version 7 of its DB2 Universal Database product Tuesday, and with it is attempting to address a wide swath of the database market, including everything from dot-com companies to ASPs (application service providers).

"Managing all forms of content is becoming increasingly important," says Janet Perna, general manager of IBM's data-management division. "IBM is making a huge investment in data-management technology as it is an important and fast changing market."

A key new feature in version 7 is the integration of XML into the database. IBM officials said that with XML included in the core of the product, DB2 would be easier than ever to use within business-to-business solutions.

Also included in the new version is a migration kit that will make it easier than ever to move to DB2 from its main competitors in the database market, like Oracle, Informix, Sybase, and Microsoft's SQL Server. In addition, the product will include a development kit designed to make it easier to develop applications to DB2.

Recognizing the importance of the ASP market in getting their database product to thousands of potential customers, IBM has structured a licensing arrangement specifically for ASPs. The new pricing model will allow ASPs to obtain DB2 at a minimal up-front investment, and pay IBM on an on-going basis as a percentage of revenues gained from the deployment.

Reaffirming its commitment to the database market, the company announced that it would be hiring more than 500 data-management software engineers and sales specialists this year.

IBM's DB2 Universal Database, version 7 for Windows 2000, Unix, and OS2 will be available in June. Versions for HPUX and NUMA will be available in September.

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