UDB Technology Fully Extended to AS/400

V4R4 of OS/400 will bring enhancements to the AS/400’s DB2/400 database that will bring it into parity with IBM’s industry-leading DB2 Universal Database [UDB]. Reflecting this new parity, the AS/400 database will officially be known as DB2 Universal Database for AS/400 as of the May 21 OS release.

“1998 was a year of performance and scalability improvements [for DB2/400],” says Van Symons, IBM’s AS/400 Division Global Business Intelligence segment manager. “1999 will be a year of functional improvements.”

Symons emphasizes that DB2 UDB for AS/400 will not share a common code base with DB2 UDB on other platforms [Unix, Windows NT, MVS, etc.], but will be consistent in function with the IBM database on those platforms.

DB2/400 already had much of the function of DB2 UDB with the exception of unstructured data types like compound documents, spreadsheets and multimedia objects. But improvements have been made across DB2/400 to bring it up to UDB standards.

Universal access has been improved with support for JDBC and SQLJ and full support for Java clients. Universal application has been improved with the addition of Web-based data warehousing tools and full Java application server support. Universal scalability has been enhanced with improved encoded vector index [introduced in V4R3] support. Universal reliability has been improved thanks to continuous availability offerings and improved backup and recovery capability.

And universal management has been improved with the addition of Operations Navigator, which provides a Windows Explorer-like interface for graphical database management facilities; DBA Essentials for administration; and logical partitioning (LPAR) to allow for multiple data mart servers and data warehouse and OLTP application isolation on the same system.

Universal data support in V4R4 includes support for binary large objects [BLOBs], large objects [LOBs], user-defined types [UDTs] and DataLinks [Advanced BLOBs]. Such large-object support is targeted for general availability in September.

DB2 UDB for AS/400 will support parallel backup and restore, drastically reducing backup/recovery times for very large databases. Backup/recovery time for a 1 TB data warehouse has been reduced to 1.1 hours. As recently as last September, the minimum time was 20 hours [on a 12-way Model S40], and in August ’97, minimum backup/recovery time was 40 hours [on a Model 53S].

V4R4 will make the long-awaited DB2 OLAP Server a reality for the AS/400. The DB2 OLAP Server leverages the Hyperion Essbase OLAP Server, which IBM will resell, providing the AS/400 with a full-function OLAP engine that offers common Essbase API access to relational or multidimensional data storage. The DB2 OLAP Server for AS/400 will be available sometime in the second half of this year.

DB2 Visual Warehouse for AS/400 will be fully deployed with this release. Intended for customers in heterogeneous environments with large, complex databases, DB2 Visual Warehouse offers common XML-based metadata storage and interchange, centralized process management, heterogeneous data integration and integrated warehouse management using products from IBM and such business partners as Rodin, Vality, ETI, DataMirror, InfoManager and Silvon.