IBM DB2 Will Target Oracle Database Developers

Includes new compatibility tool for Oracle database applications

IBM this week announced a new version of its flagship DB2 database with software that will provide compatibility with applications built for Oracle databases.

Embedded in IBM's forthcoming DB2 9.7, code-named "Cobra" and slated for release in June, is software that provides compatibility with EnterpriseDB Corp.'s Postgres Plus Advanced Server database, which supports all Oracle data types, SQL syntax, semantics and other applications built with Oracle PL/SQL stored procedures. Postgres Advanced Server is built on the open source PostgreSQL database.

"The set of technologies we've added will help developers of custom applications and packaged applications deploy to DB2," said Bernie Spang, director of strategy, analytics and data management for IBM's software group.

For IBM, it's the first time the company has licensed technology from a provider of open source database software, though EnterpriseDB founder Andy Astor said the software embedded in DB2 is based on proprietary code.

"This is not an open source play," Astor said. "Everything else we do is open source but that is one of the ways we make our money, by selling that compatibility technology both to vendors like IBM, in this case, and to users in the form of Postgres Plus Advanced Server."

EnterpriseDB points to a number of customers including FTD and Sony Online Entertainment that have migrated applications developed for Oracle databases to Postgres Plus. The deal with IBM "provides them with proven functionality for enabling compatibility between DB2 and applications written for Oracle," said 451 Group analyst Matthew Aslett in an e-mail.

"Database migrations are complex, time-consuming, costly and rare, so any functionality that makes the process easier is going to be welcomed by those enterprises that are prepared to make the leap," he added.

The licensing pact is the first by EnterpriseDB, but Astor said others are being negotiated.

IBM is hoping the move will motivate more customers to migrate to its InfoSphere Warehouse 9.7 Enterprise Edition, a data-cleansing and business analytics platform based on DB2 and technology IBM acquired from Cognos.

The new release is targeted at bringing data mining, analytics and cubing to departments of enterprises and smaller organizations, Spang said. Also new in DB2 is support for performing simultaneous transactions across XML and relational data.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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