IBM Releases Free Version of DB2 Express Database|
IBM has launched a new version of its DB2 Express database software, which is available on the Web as a free download. DB2 Express is designed for the small-to-midsize enterprise market.
IBM has not placed any restrictions on the number of users that may run DB2 Express-C or the number of connections a customer may establish with it. Nor has IBM placed any limits on database size.
"DB2 Express-C shares the same data server as DB2 Express, the licensed version that customers have to pay for," said Bernie Spang, director of IBM data servers. "But the DB2 Express licensed version has some features and tools that the free version does not have."
DB2 Express-C is a lighter version of the licensed product, Spang explained. But the free database software has more extensive features than free database programs from other vendors, he argued.
Response to Oracle
Robert Lerner, an analyst with U.S. consultancy Current Analysis, said that the launch of DB2 Express-C is IBM's response to the launch of free database software by Oracle, its main rival in the database space.
"I think that DB2 Express-C will raise awareness," he said. "IBM is engaged in a struggle with Oracle, not just in the general database market but also in the
Linux database market, where Oracle is dominant."
Peter Yared, chief executive officer of ActivGrid, a software firm that is bundling DB2 Express-C with its own development platform, echoed this sentiment.
"I think IBM's move is a response to the growing popularity of open-source database software such as MySQL," he said. "Open-source software is starting to eat into traditional database vendors' revenues."
Windows and Linux
DB2 Express-C works with both the Windows and Linux operating systems on both 32- and 64-bit architectures, according to IBM.
Additionally, DB2 Express-C supports up to 4 GB of memory and can run on multiprocessor machines.
Later this year, IBM plans to launch a hybrid version of DB2 Express-C, code-named "Viper," which will be able to handle both relational databases and XML databases, Spang said.
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