Big Blue announced on Thursday that the DB2 Universal Database version 8.2, code-named, will be available Sept. 17. The company will offer an "express" version for smaller organizations, which starts at $500, and an enterprise edition, starting at $25,000.
With Stinger, IBM is seeking to lower the cost of operating databases and to beef up the performance of DB2, particularly when running on interconnected clusters of Linux servers.
IBM has built automation tools--born from itsinitiative--into DB2 to help database administrators troubleshoot problems and automate routine tasks. For example, Stinger includes a feature called Learning Optimizer, which automatically improves on frequently run queries to improve speed.
The update also quickens the failover capabilities of clustered database servers and expands the number of servers that can be connected to up to 1,000 nodes. In the area of application development, IBM has built in the ability to run Web services applications and improved the integration with Microsoft's flagship development tool, Visual Studio.Net.
IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have emerged as the three largest and most influential database providers, controlling more than 80 percent of database license and services revenue, according to market researchers.
For 2003, IDC found thatas measured by new license revenue and services fees, such as maintenance. Another research company, based solely on license revenue. Analysts said sales of IBM's mainframe-specific database were particularly strong last year.
Like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have beefed up the management capabilities of their respective databases in an effort to make administrators more productive. After years of competing largely on top speed and performance, the leading database companies are now seeking towith simpler administration, according to analysts.
Oracle earlier this year shipped, its latest database update, which focuses on the ability to cluster several low-cost hardware servers to boost speed and availability. Microsoft delayed the release of its next edition of , until the first half of next year.