Reed and A. Turner -May 8,
In the April announcement IBM stated that this reinforced its commitment
to data management leadership and introduced DB2 Universal Database Version
7 - the most powerful solution of its kind in the industry, and, in most
cases, at a third the price of Oracle.
IBM continues to invest in new hiring programs, product development, and
marketing campaigns with the objective of helping customers leverage their
information assets. This year alone, IBM plans to hire more than 500 data
management software engineers and sales specialists.
claims that DB2 Universal Database Version 7 makes it simpler for dot-coms
and large corporations conducting business-to-business on the Web to gain
competitive insight about their customers, slash application deployment
time nearly in half and perform high-speed Internet searches more than
10 times faster than traditional relational database search engines.
IBM also introduced a first-of-its-kind pricing structure, allowing application
service providers (ASPs) to buy DB2 Universal Database at a minimal investment.
Under terms of the new program, IBM will receive a percentage of the revenue
ASPs receive from their customers once the solution is implemented, based
on a "per subscriber" or "per transaction" model. Also available are ASP
Prime and Hosting Advantage programs, designed to support ASPs using IBM
software and help ISVs certify and deploy their applications in the ASP
Universal Database delivers enterprise power to more than 40 million users
at more than 300,000 companies - from dot-coms to multi-national corporations
- to help them improve customer relationships, make timely decisions and
gain competitive insight. Version 7 is available on UNIX, Linux and Windows
platforms. It is the first and only database to combine the speed required
for Internet searching with the scalability and availability of a relational
New features in the product are designed to "fully integrate e-business,
business intelligence, and content management." Version 7 includes an
integrated, in-memory database that should increase response time for
web searches. Microsoft removed their in-line database plans for the latest
release of SQL Server due to product release date pressures, which should
give IBM a competitive advantage.
product also includes more tightly integrated XML support, integrated
OLAP functionality based on Hyperion Essbase, spatial data support, and
an industry standard stored procedure language. The question on XML support
is how tightly integrated they have made XML with the actual database.
Another issue ASP's need to address is exactly how IBM's pricing model
is implemented. Is IBM going to be monitoring the ASP's server, or is
the revenue model based on trust? Most security experts would not be willing
to give IBM free access to their firewall for software license monitoring.
beta release is available for download from IBM. Pricing will not be announced
until product availability. The product is expected in general availability
on a variety of platforms in the first half of 2000.
Customers evaluating relational database management systems, particularly
as a back-end for web-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) transactions,
should definitely include IBM DB2 Universal Database Version 7 on a short
list of candidates.
appears to be dedicated to the success of this release, and is providing
new certification programs for database administrators, as well as a program
to retrain database administrators familiar with competing products. The
presence of an additional 500 software engineers and sales specialists
(it should be noted that IBM doesn't state whether they will all be dedicated
to this product), in addition to IBM's well-known abilities in the consulting
arena, should also ease the customer's concerns about migration or the
initial build of their application.