DB2 is the baby of the family in terms of IBM databases. It arrived in 1983, whereas IMS, with its speedy and huge hierarchical databases, was first sold in 1968. Even Oracle V2 predates DB2— arriving in 1979.
DB2 was different from the traditional hierarchical databases because it was relational and fit most of the criteria for a relational database set by gurus Ted Codd and Chris Date. And being an IBM product, it ran on mainframes. But during the 1990s, when mainframes were getting such bad press and there were predictions of them all being turned off, DB2 was ported to OS/2 (Anyone remember that?), UNIX and Windows. It now also runs on Linux. Today, we’re up to Version 10 of DB2 on z/OS, which only recently became available.
So if you’re a DB2 user and you want to know what’s in the pipeline for the next version of DB2, or perhaps you’d even like to have a hand in shaping the next version, what can you do?
Well, IBM has a new Early Access Program (EAP) for its DB2 Database for Linux, UNIX and Windows (LUW). This provides a great opportunity for DB2 users to explore new functionality before most other people and contribute to the shape of the next major release of DB2 for LUW—which is codenamed DB2 Galileo.
The reported highlights of DB2 Galileo are:
- Time-based data management using time-travel queries
- Enhanced compression techniques to deliver even greater storage cost savings
- New table-level security capabilities targeted to commercial applications for easier compliance
- Support for multi-temperature storage administration
- Faster and more consistent query performance for data warehouse environments
- Continuous availability with the DB2 pureScale feature
IBM suggests that the benefits of participating in the DB2 Galileo EAP include:
- Early access to new code to enable your applications to support the latest version of DB2, prior to GA
- A unique opportunity to provide direct feedback and help shape future products
- Technical assistance throughout the program from a dedicated Galileo EAP advocate assigned to each company
- An improved business relationship and increased opportunity to participate in related programs
So, if this is something you’re interested in doing and you meet their criteria, you need to contact your local IBM representative. Alternatively, you can try “BigDataOnCloud + FreeDB2
This also offers an IBM DB2 Early Experience program that provides an opportunity to try the latest DB2 version under development. It goes on to say that: “Your participation in the development process is helping us build a better DB2,” but, again, the DB2 Early Experience program is open only to approved clients and partners.
It also offers everything on the cloud, stating that: “By participating in the DB2 Early Experience program on the cloud, you can create your own DB2 server without having to obtain hardware, install and patch operating systems, or install the DB2 Early Experience code. Simply boot your database server when you want to use it and shut it down when you’re finished. Every time you start your DB2 database server you’ll be using the latest stable version of the DB2 Early Experience code so you won’t have to deal with issues that we’ve already fixed.”
By the way, if you’re interested, Galileo (1564-1642) is perhaps best known for his heliocentric views and his dealings with the Inquisition. He’s also well known for improvements to the telescope and astronomical observation. He discovered some of Jupiter’s moon, and examined sunspots. In all, he’s quite a good scientist to name a project after.
Trevor Eddolls is CEO at iTech-Ed Ltd., an IT consultancy. For many years, he was the editorial director for Xephon’s Update publications and is now contributing editor to the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. Eddolls has written three specialist IT books, and has had numerous technical articles published. He currently chairs the Virtual IMS and Virtual CICS user groups.