Db2 (On Premises and Cloud)

That’s an Old Database!

By Martin Hubel posted Wed October 02, 2019 09:42 PM


Every now and then I hear from someone that Db2 is an old product. Their implication is that Db2 is out of date and that newer products better meet the needs of today’s environments. Rather ironically, most of the people saying this are promoting an even older product! Suffice to say, a single phrase is meant to be a quick dismissal, and the truth of the statement seems to be less important than the sound bite.


The software industry is still quite young, and people are always looking for the newest innovations. The trade press, advertisers and general population want to hear about technological advancements. People and organizations who want to be on the leading edge will spend heavily to investigate and try the newest things.


On the other hand, we expect old technology to just work. It’s not exciting and gets little attention, except when things break or don’t work as they have in the past. If enough problems occur, it accelerates our perception that the product needs to be replaced.


We tolerate problems in new technology. The development of new software is iterative and implementation often reveals problems. New innovative products often do not work well at first, but if we believe in the product and its direction we can overlook the issues and compensate through special procedures. For example, many customers will overcome instability on enterprise software by rebooting servers nightly until the software “settles”.


Db2 has been around for decades, so in terms of age, it can be considered to be mature, or “old” if you prefer. But in terms of enhancements and additions to functionality, Db2 is incredibly vibrant. Without spending too much time going down memory lane, the following incomplete list shows many improvements to Db2:


  • Referential integrity
  • Security enhancements including group authorities, encryption, roles, etc.
  • Triggers, functions, stored procedures
  • Hundreds of built-in functions
  • Application development enhancements
  • Data compression
  • Data partitioning
  • SQL enhancements
  • XML and JSON support
  • 64-bit support
  • Utility enhancements
  • Performance enhancements
  • Columnar database support (Db2 BLU)


With the size and functionality of many of the above enhancements, it would have been understandable if some had become separate products. Instead, they were included as part of Db2. So while being old and trusted, Db2 is also new and vibrant.


The auto industry has a traditional development and sales cycle of one year. The new model is regularly called “All New!” Model names are sometimes changed, sub-models are created, and new features are added.


Perhaps we should think of Db2 as new and improved. In the spirit of new cars, the all new Db2 2020 could be available now.


Db2 2020 – All New for You! Get yours today!



About Martin Hubel


I am an IBM Champion and Gold Consultant. My Db2 industry activities include being the host of the Db2Night Show, a member of the IDUG Volunteer Hall of Fame, an active IDUG speaker of over 50 presentations over the past 30 years, a panelist, an author, and a member on the executive of the Central Canada Db2-IMS Users Group.


1 comment



Fri October 04, 2019 02:03 PM

Some of the most reliable things in my life are "old".  I like reliable.  My 1981 Corvette is faster and less costly to maintain than my newer 2012 Ford Fiesta.  Old is good.  And like cars need new tires, Db2 periodically gets updates and new features.