IBM previewing DB2 upgrade

IBM on Monday is previewing enhancements planned for the next version of the DB2 database that are intended to help simplify development of applications for the Microsoft Corp. .Net platform.

IBM anticipates its DB2 upgrade, code-named "Stinger," will offer functionality on Windows ahead of the next major version of Microsoft's own SQL Server database, code-named "Yukon." Stinger is planned for shipment some time in 2004 while Yukon is due in the latter half of next year.

The Stinger preview, to be unveiled at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2003 in Los Angeles, is intended to be the first of a series of previews. Future Stinger previews will focus on areas such as autonomic computing and continuous availability. "This particular technology preview [coming on Monday] is very focused on one area and that's programmer productivity," said Leon Kattsnelson, IBM DB2 product manager.

IBM's roster of enhancements for DB2 will boost what could be termed boilerplate improvement areas, since these areas usually are cited in database improvement plans. The improvement areas cited by IBM include reliability, manageability, integration, and scalability.

IBM's Monday preview, to be available to developers, features productivity tools for building applications, provides increased performance features such as an enhanced .Net Data Provider, and lets developers leverage existing skills, according to IBM. Tighter integration with Rational tools also is provided.

Specifically, the preview enables programmers to:

* Use integration of DB2 add-ins for Microsoft Visual Studio .Net and Rational XDE (eXtended Development Enviromment) Developer visual data modeling tools to design applications and databases in a more intuitive fashion. IBM wants to make DB2 programming a natural extension of Visual Studio.

* Build .Net applications through use of the .Net Data Provider, thus strengthening the .Net connection between databases and applications.

* Leverage Visual Basic .Net and C# skills by building client and DB2 server-side application logic using these programming languages. This is provided through DB2's ability to host the Microsoft Common Language Runtime (CLR).

* Utilize DB2's native stored procedure capability by developing on the Windows platform and deploying across supported DB2 platforms.

The enhancements are resulting from a cooperative effort between Microsoft and IBM under the Visual Studio Industry Partner program.

IBM at PDC also is demonstrating in conjunction with AMD a version of a 64-bit DB2 server running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit systems. "This is a 64-bit version of DB2 running on Windows," on an AMD processor, Kattsnelson said..

The Stinger preview is to be available Monday at the IBM developerWorks Web site at http://www7b.software.ibm.com/dmdd/downloads/dotnetbeta.

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