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June 8, 2006

IBM launches hybrid relational and XML DB2 9 “Viper”

Posted by David Hunter at 12:54 PM ET.

China Martens at InfoWorld:

IBM is due to officially unveil on Thursday its DB2 9 database, previously code-named “Viper.” As well as fully detailing functionality and pricing for the hybrid relational and XML (extensible markup language) database, the company also committed to a July 28 worldwide shipping date for the product.

IBM is positioning DB2 9 as one of its most important database releases in recent years, given its capacity to store and manage not only structured relational data but also unstructured XML data such as audio, video and Web pages natively.

That additional ability contrasts with rival products from Microsoft and Oracle which rely on the older, slower approach of reformatting XML data or placing it in a large object before storing it as relational data.

The update temporarily gives IBM something of an edge over its rivals, according to analyst Wayne Kernochan, president of Infostructure Associates. “DB2 9 does look promising,” he said. However, it’s too early to say what kind of performance advantage all the new features in the IBM database will end up providing for users.

While some organizations may find the native XML handling in DB2 9 useful, that kind of capability isn’t likely to persuade existing customers of other databases to jump ship to IBM.

The last remark is the operative consideration here, I’m sure. If you need XML, you would certainly give DB2 9 a look for new or existing applications, but otherwise it’s business as usual.

Filed under Coopetition, IBM, Microsoft, SQL Server, Servers

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