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January 30, 2006

IBM releases free version of DB2

Posted by David Hunter at 11:53 AM ET.

Martin LaMonica at ZDNet:

IBM on Monday introduced a free version of its DB2 database, a move designed to win software developers over to its products.

DB Express-C is the same database as IBM’s commercial offerings but the company places limits on what kind of hardware it can run on.

It can be deployed on systems with two processor cores or up to two dual-core chips on Advanced Micro Devices- or Intel-based servers. The memory limit is 4GB but there are no limits on the size of database or number of users.

IBM’s decision to add a free database to its lineup follows moves by its largest rivals in the database business, Oracle and Microsoft.

Nate Mook at BetaNews adds:

Oracle’s free XE edition, meanwhile, is limited to systems with a single processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of database storage space. The company says it is targeting students, small organizations and software developers looking to integrate a database into their applications.

Microsoft introduced SQL Server 2005 Express with the product’s launch in November, which available as a free download and is designed specifically for testing with Visual Studio.

Lisa Vaas at eWeek explains:

The freebie versions have multiple aims. The database titans are trying to arm themselves against the growing popularity of cheaper, increasingly more agile and robust open-source databases.

They’re also out to make developers of low-end applications more familiar with their respective databases, hoping that students and such developers will move up the chain to their meat-and-potatoes editions as their needs, experience and familiarity with the databases grow.

Bernie Spang, director of IBM’s Data Servers division, told eWEEK in an interview that IBM isn’t playing catch-up with competitors so much as getting in the game to compete with open-source databases.

“I’d say that IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are motivated by the same realization,” he said.

Lisa also reports that IBM is offering free online forum support as well as a paid support option.

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

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