IBM’s New DB2 Puts Web Services on Center Stage

Last month, IBM (new window) announced the latest version of its DB2 database software, showing an increased focus on Web application integration. With enhanced support for XML and data-interchange standards SOAP and UDDI, the 7.2 release is being positioned, more than ever before, for use in online environments.

The new version of IBM’s flagship database offering comes packaged with what Big Blue calls an XML Extender, which can extract and store XML documents in a relational database so they can be used by Web services.

According to Paul Rivot, director of database servers for IBM’s software group, XML support is a critical aspect of DB2 7.2. Using XML standards, IBM has created tighter integration between DB2 and its Web application server, WebSphere, and its message queuing offering, MQSeries, as well as non-IBM databases and systems.

The addition of SOAP and UDDI support gives DB2 7.2 the capability to integrate with competing database products such as Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server. For ASPs, this is an important feature as it can cut the development time required to create integrations with the disparate database technologies being used by customers.

Using the SOAP standard for Web transactions, DB2 can be integrated with WebSphere to deliver Web services and manage requests in SOAP and UDDI formats. Should SOAP and UDDI continue to gain acceptance as standards for fostering interaction and integration among varying Web-based systems, DB2 will allow ASPs and other Web-based businesses to create integrations more quickly.

Rivot uses real-time data warehousing to explain the advantages of the tightly integrated environment DB2 7.2 fosters. He says, with DB2 7.2 an organization can integrate its database with MQSeries such that the need for custom programming would be eliminated. With DB2 and MQSeries, says Rivot, data is automatically written by the transaction system and into the data warehouse.

“The reason to upgrade [to DB2 7.2] is that it really simplifies the programming and makes some of the integration much more real-time, which is certainly important in Web services environment,” says Rivot, speaking about the value 7.2 offers over prior versions of DB2.

Rivot also cites a 25 percent increase in performance for 7.2 over its predecessor as a reason to upgrade to the new offering. And, he says IBM’s CUP-based pricing model makes it easy for ASPs to manage their total cost of ownership.

Although IBM’s recent acquisition of database powerhouse Informix did not factor in the 7.2 release of DB2, Rivot says Big Blue expects future versions to benefit greatly from the deal. “We’re in the process of looking at all of [Informix’s] capabilities and are trying to take the best of both worlds for the next version [of DB2]."

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to ENTmag.com. He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.