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Advantages of using Db2 Dotnet provider to connect IBM i data servers

By Hosathota Vishwanatha posted Thu March 14, 2024 10:32 AM


Db2 .NET provider which is part of Db2Connect license is a suitable driver for connecting to IBM i data servers apart from other IBM data servers. In this article we are trying to list the differentiators which were noticed by multiple customers who were either migrating from IBM I Client Access to Db2 .NET provider or who were newly adopting Db2 .NET provider to connect to IBM i.

Though both of the options have their own advantages for various reasons, following are observation about Db2 .NET providers.

What customers liked:

  • Db2 .NET driver is ever updating one with support for latest .NET technologies.
  • Db2 .NET driver based applications can be easily deployed to any platform where .NET is supported.
  • Db2 .NET driver supports Microsoft Entity Framework which is a leading Object Relational Model(ORM) support from IBM.
  • Db2 .NET driver supports Visual Studio Add-Ins which can be integrated into Visual Studio environment and is great help for developers to explore database from with in VS environment.
  • Db2 .NET driver has extensive support for cloud deployments like Microsoft Azure, OpenShift, AWS and so on.
  • Db2 .NET driver also supports containerized deployment through docker deployments.
  • Db2 .NET drivers has good tracing mechanism to easily track any issues.
  • Db2 .NET drivers are frequently updated to provide support for all relevant new server features.
  • Db2 .NET drivers are also available as NuGet packages and latest Db2 .NET drivers are released through NuGet repository making it fast and agile.
  • Db2 .NET driver support is in sync with latest Microsoft support. Current Db2 .NET support is for .NET 8.
  • Any issues in NuGet packages can be reported through NuGet messaging where developer will get direct notifications.
  • Upgrading of packages is easy as the latest available packages are always listed in NuGet repository.
  • The same Db2 .NET drivers can be used to access multiple other data servers like Db2 and Db2 for LUW without much code changes.
  • Request to support new feature is very simple and agile and is done as priority.
  • There are planned updates every year to support Microsoft updates on .NET and Entity Framework. There are need based interim updates also to address customer requests.
  • Most of the Db2 .NET recent releases have scenario based and easy to use blog support
  • There are multiple ways to get technical help on Db2 .NET namely IBM technical support, open forum or through NuGet messaging.

What challenges customer face:

  • Db2Connect .NET driver is a licensed one meaning a separate license is needed to use it. However, it is easy to get started with a trial license and requesting a trial license is made simple through a NuGet  repository Contact Owner mechanism.
  • Not all natively supported IBM i Client access features may be available as is in Db2 .NET driver. However, its possible to get such support through IBM AHA requests where it is feasible and applicable.