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IBM Releases "Viper" Database


Friday, June 9, 2006; 08:33 AM

IBM unleashed the next-generation DB2 9 data server -- code named "Viper" -- delivering the most significant database technology enhancements in over two decades.

DB2 9 marks the culmination of a five-year IBM development project that transformed traditional, static database technology into an interactive, vibrant data server that enables clients to improve their ability to manage all types of information, such as documents, audio and video files, images, Web pages, and digitally signed XML transactions. IBM's new data server provides an industry-first seamless and simultaneous information flow of XML and relational data, regardless of format, platform or location.

More than 750 software developers working out of eight countries contributed to the creation of Viper, which was designed and tuned to be the preferred information engine for SOA environments.

DB2 9 includes a trio of significant advancements, including patented "pureXML" technology, breakthrough "Venom" storage compression and enhanced autonomic data management capabilities. This combination of industry-first features, along with new security and disaster recovery enhancements, is expected to speed information queries and provide clients with unconstrained information access. The new version of DB2 also enables access to data stored on conventional Oracle and MySQL databases -- a feature unavailable from those vendors.

IBM is breaking new ground by simultaneously unveiling versions of DB2 for enterprise customers, small and medium businesses (DB2 Express) and developers (DB2 Express-C).

"DB2 Viper is poised to strike and alter the competitive landscape in the database industry," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager IBM Information Management. "We're ushering in a new era of data server technology that furthers our investment and initiative aimed at helping clients to grow their businesses by leveraging information on demand."

Early customer and partner tests and evaluations of DB2 9 have prompted overwhelmingly positive responses. Zurich Insurance, N.A., a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving large corporate, middle market and small business customers, has turned to DB2 9 to take advantage of the new pureXML capabilities.

"The insurance industry is faced with a growing need to store vast numbers of documents in an XML format. DB2 9's pureXML offers an unmatched degree of flexibility over the user defined functions and external manipulation of XML data found in older databases," said James Surber, senior DBA, Zurich Insurance N.A. "The ability to store different versions of the same XML document with different XML Schemas in the same table will save us hours of manual labor as we will no longer have to unload and reload the entire table whenever our XML Schemas change."

Industry-First Information Management Techniques

DB2 9 features a range of breakthroughs and technology enhancements -- unavailable from competitors -- that will alter and improve the way information is stored, managed and accessed, including:

--  pureXML technology -- allows clients to seamlessly manage both
conventional relational data and pure XML data without requiring the XML
data to be reformatted or placed into a large object within the database.
This capability is unique to Viper and enables customers to increase the
availability, speed and versatility of their information, while
dramatically reducing administrative costs associated with existing data
management techniques. pureXML significantly reduces the complexity and
time a typical developer spends creating applications able to access both
relational and XML data.
-- Venom storage compression -- allows database administrators (DBAs) to
utilize row compression for compressing data objects, yielding significant
disk, I/O and memory savings, particularly for large tables with repetitive
data patterns. Code-named Venom, this capability enables DB2 to deliver
mainframe-like data storage compression capability to the Linux, UNIX and
Windows computing environments. "Venom" augments DB2's value compression,
index compression in multidimensional clusters, and back-up compression
technology. Venom's breakthrough compression provides a stark contrast to
Oracle's older generation of table-based compression capabilities and SQL
Server's lack of any significant compression capabilities.
-- Autonomic storage management -- designed to help clients save time and
money by automating storage management tasks, which currently require
numerous manual and incremental changes by administrators.
-- Security enhancements -- DB2 9 offers Label Based Access Control
(LBAC), a unique data access capability that provides an extremely flexible
means of defining security hierarchies and classification levels. LBAC then
allows users to apply these definitions to the information that is being
managed. The new labeling capability provides new ways to control access
to sensitive data stored within the database. The security administrator
(SECADM) authority level, an industry-first feature collects several
security-granting privileges under one user, providing greater control over
who can gain access to information.
-- Disaster recovery improvements -- The ability to restart interrupted
recovery operations, which can save time and effort in database recovery
situations. Enhanced support for performing redirected restore operations
with scripts that are automatically generated from existing backup images.
This functionality makes DB2 9 recovery more robust and versatile than any
previous data server and provides you with a more complete recovery
-- Advanced data partitioning -- a major innovation in improving data
management and information availability, DB2 9 is the first database to
simultaneously support the three common methods of partitioning: range
partitioning, multi-dimensional clustering and hashing. This capability
enables organizations to arrange and order their information in the way
that best suits their individual business requirements and demands and thus
optimizes application performance.
-- Automatic memory management -- Included in all editions of DB2 9. This
unique memory management capability works for small workloads and adapts to
complex multi-instance installations making administration easier enabling
advanced DBAs to hand tune any of the individual memory parameters.
Tuned for Developers  

DB2 9 developer enhancements are designed to significantly reduce the complexity and time a typical developer spends creating applications able to access both relational data and XML repositories.

For example, DB2's pureXML technology supports XQuery, providing application developers with seamless use of the hybrid data server. XQuery is a powerful emerging industry standard language that is Specially designed for processing XML data. Application developers have the flexibility to use XQuery, XPath, standard SQL -- or all three -- to retrieve data from either or both XML and relational storage formats.

Other new DB2 9 developer features include:

--  The DB2 Developer Workbench, which is a comprehensive development
environment for creating, editing, debugging, testing, and deploying DB2
stored procedures and user-defined functions. Developer Workbench can be
used to develop SQLJ applications and to create, edit, and run SQL
statements and XML queries.
-- Enhanced support for Visual Studio 2005, which includes support for
Web services, full support for the native XML data store, and the ability
to build applications and Web sites without writing code.
-- The updated DB2 Driver for JDBC and SQLJ complies with JDBC 3.0
specifications and supports SQLJ statements that perform functions
equivalent to most JDBC methods.
DB2 9 will begin shipping worldwide on July 28, with pricing starting at $4,874 per processor or $165 per user (minimum of 5 users) for DB2 9 Express.



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