June 16, 2008 5:14 AM PDT

IBM to open-source DB2?

IBM is positive about the possibility of bringing out its DB2 database management software under an open-source license.

While the computing giant has no immediate plans to open-source DB2, market conditions may make it unavoidable, according to Chris Livesey, IBM's U.K. director of information management software.

"We have a light version of the product offered for free, which is a step towards exposing our core (DB2) technology," said Livesey. "Looking at IBM's heritage in contributing to the open-source market, we've been particularly keen to lead that market. Open source is an interesting space, as a whole. As the future unfolds, and the economics become clearer, there's going to be more commitment to open source by everybody. We've made good steps towards that."

DB2 is widely used in IBM products globally. Livesey said next steps for the 25-year-old product include improving the interaction capabilities between DB2 and business intelligence (BI) products so queries can be managed in one place.

"People with detailed queries currently extract the data (from DB2 databases) to use with BI," Livesey said. "They don't do it in the database itself because the (performance of the) database would be hit very hard."

Customers increasingly have the desire to look for business analytics in one place and in real time, said Livesey, which means that IBM had to focus on maintaining the speed of DB2 transactions while enabling complex queries in the same environment.

Current challenges faced by IT professionals tasked with managing data include the size and scale of data stores, Livesey said.

"There's a huge data explosion which is increasing by orders of magnitude each year, which is having a major impact on storage and the guardians of data," Livesey said.

"Look at the amount of information produced on the planet and the number of people trying to access it. We don't know when things are going to fall over."

As a consequence, Livesey said IBM was also researching data compression technology, and privacy and security measures to safeguard data.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
IBM DB2, business intelligence, IBM Corp., open source, database

14 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Re: ""People with detailed queries currently extract the data (from DB2 databases) to use with BI," Livesey said. "They don't do it in the database itself because the (performance of the) database would be hit very hard."

Customers increasingly have the desire to look for business analytics in one place and in real time, said Livesey, which means that IBM had to focus on maintaining the speed of DB2 transactions while enabling complex queries in the same environment.

Current challenges faced by IT professionals tasked with managing data include the size and scale of data stores, Livesey said...." It takes "two" to tango - Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA). :-D
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"They don't do it in the database itself because the (performance of the) database would be hit very hard." - Welcome to the database business. I'm suprised IBM didn't build a sucessfull solution ala MS Analysis and Reporting Services. Didn't they buy somthing or someone for this?
Posted by sal-magnone (162 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: "They don't do it in the database itself because the (performance of the) database would be hit very hard." - Welcome to the database business. I'm suprised IBM didn't build a successful solution ala MS Analysis and Reporting Services. Didn't they buy something or someone for this?" Well, who ever said that IBM Business Partners do not have such solutions that you are talking about? And; then again, Are you not forgetting this one - "MONITORING SERVICES" that needed to be added to "Analysis and Reporting Services". ;-)
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The idea of trying to optimize a database to handle both transactions as well as BI is dumb. At best this is a fool's quest.

What's with IBM lately? All they seem to be doing is copying Sun's strategy. Open sourcing their proprietary applications and building data centers in cargo containers...
Posted by scdecade (329 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: "The idea of trying to optimize a database to handle both transactions as well as BI is dumb..." How so when there is a recognized need to keep American Home Owners in their homes (and return those who have already lost theirs); besides, how on Earth are you going to keep an eye (analyze and report) on (and monitor) the rising food and fuel prices around the world in real-time? Do you know what your are saying or talking about?
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Please, let DB2 die. Like AIX, it's overcomplicated bloatware that had its day but simpler solutions are available now. IBM is willing to give away their software and code as open source because they make billions off consulting and support. Open source doesn't change that model.
Posted by jamshid (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh Yeah! "Please, let DB2 die. Like AIX" and let it join "Elvis" and "IBM's OS/2 Warp" who are both dead but still making money!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Who is the person being interviewed? A BUE out of the UK? Like he's in the know.... NOT!

The truth is that IBM had integrated OLAP and meta cube features in to DB2 back in version 8. There's your BI.

As to reporting well some people want a tool that is database agnostic so that it can be used against all of their databases.

The bottom line... This guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
Or the reporter got it wrong. Like that *never* happens. ;-)
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not sure if Chris Livesey was misquoted. DB2 Express-C, the free DBMS, is not "light" database at least not if "light" is the description of the function. DB2 Express-C (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://freeDB2.com" target="_newWindow">http://freeDB2.com</a>) is "full function" product that is offered using the "open source business model" but it is not open source.
On the "light" point ... DB2 Express-C has ALL of the function of the other DB2 editions. Actually it includes some additional functions such as pureXML and all of it absolutely free. Also, it is free not just for development or use internally but DB2 Express-C can be included in commercial products at no charge.
On the subject of "open source". DB2 is not open source and many of our customers appreciate this fact because their procurement processes prevent them from acquiring open source products due to intellectual property concerns. The other often voiced concern is lack of a "single throat to choke" i.e. commercially available support. This is why DB2 Express-C implements "open source business model" i.e. while the product is free it is available with optional low cost support that is delivered by IBM (not third parties). The cost of this optional support is the same as what MySQL charges for a similar offering ($2995/server/year). More information at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ibm.com/db2/express" target="_newWindow">http://www.ibm.com/db2/express</a>.

Leon Katsnelson
Program Director, IBM Data Management
Posted by katsnelson (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When you have the Program Director of DB2 adding more misinformation to Livesey comments, you just have to wonder how difficult was it for IBM to recruit qualified Program Directors for their software products. Mr Leon's statement about open and Intellectual Property concerns dovetail with those of Microsoft. I bet the Microsoft folks are ROTFL.

Unfortunately, the light version is DB2-Express C (free edition) which does not have fixpacks and cannot be updated with fixpacks. This version is only good for stand alone developers. In essence, a buggy compiled version of the DB2 product which IBM tries to push out there as a "free" version. Nice try IBM. I cannot see corporate or software engineering firms wasting their staff time with a buggy edition of a product to which fixpacks cannot be applied. (I'm sure they exist).

Sure its a "full function product" but if you need to apply fixpacks you need to buy support , which is not trivial and IBM's done a lot of quick talking about this one. IBM's strategy is to use a lot of wording throwing in the "Free" but carefully omitting the paid subscription support phrases.

And the DB2 Express-C "Paid" version counts the number of processor cores (limit of 4 cores) and limit of total of 4 GB of memory. MySQL paid version does not limit memory or number of processor cores. So Mr Leon's statement about the equivalence or similarity of IBM's offering to MySQL's offering is inaccurate.

In the open source arena, Sun + MySQL is giving IBM a run for its money. For those of us who remember the 90s when IBM was proclaiming that MVCC was of no merit or scale up versus scale out was the way to go. IBM has tried to implement a poor mans version of MVCC in DB2 9.5. Sun brings hardware, virtualization, and multiple OS support to the table, along with a hard learned mistakes learned in working with Open Source.

For web based applications, I bet my money on Sun+MySQL. For inhouse workgroup and departmental applications, it is Microsoft SQL Server all the way, For inhouse enterprise applications, it is Oracle by far.

DB2 for the most part is getting irrelevant, just like Websphere and Rational. There are pockets of adoption of DB2 and Websphere but nothing to hinge your career on.
Posted by johnbrown362003 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
It is amazing that you did not even bother to get my name right (it is Mr. Katsnelson not Mr. Leon) before questioning my qualifications based on 15 lines of text that you read. You also pronounced on the quality of the company that invented relational databases and the product that 25 years ago introduced relational database technology. And you already assumed that IBMer was the source of misinformation in the original article not the reporter. I put my name in to these comments and I fill out my role and responsibility in the public profile because I believe in open straight communications as opposed to trolling public forums as "John Brown".
I see that you like MySQL or at least you say that you do. That is excellent. I, personally, have a lot of respect for what folks at MySQL have done. I met many of them and I think they are a talented and very passionate bunch of people. At no time in any of my posts have I ever said anything derogatory towards MySQL the company (now Sun) or their products. What I said is that DB2 Express-C subscription costs exactly the same as the MySQL Enterprise Gold subscription ($2,995) and that is absolute truth.
As to the DB2 Express-C being "buggy edition", you are either ill informed or simply malicious. DB2 Express-C is built from exactly the same code as every other DB2 edition bit for bit byte for byte. It is not even compiled separately i.e. it is repackaged from the same build. It is true that we do not service it with Fixpacks as we do with paid versions of DB2. That is the value of the subscription. We do, however, refresh it with full versions quite frequently. Since we released DB2 Express-C in February 2006 we refreshed it about 5 times with the latest full refresh being v9.5 in November 2007 and another one coming up pretty soon. Compare this to Oracle which has not refreshed Oracle XE 10g even once despite the fact that it has scores of identified security exploits. And Oracle has made a point of not upgrading Oracle XE to 11g. Or maybe you like Microsoft SQL Server Express version which had one update. I am more than happy to compare DB2 Express-C practice to MySQL. Here is what MySQL website says "In contrast to the MySQL Enterprise Server, which receives both monthly rapid updates and quarterly service pack releases, there is no specific schedule for when a new version of the MySQL Community Server is released." It just so happens that this is exactly the same policy we use for the free DB2 Express-C.
To continue with your points on quality. "MySQL is constantly shipping releases before they are ready" These are not my words but those of Monty Widenius the co-founder and MySQL Fellow. Look here on slide 19 of his presentation <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project" target="_newWindow">http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project</a>. Monty is a very honest and straightforward person and I respect him for that.
I remember you spent some time trolling on our forum before on the subject of processor and memory allowances and I've provided extensive explanations and clarifications then. I am more than happy to repeat them again. DB2 Express-C has no limits on the size of the machine you can deploy it on. It does have a limit on the amount of hardware resources it will utilize. Specifically, free DB2 Express-C will utilize up to 2GB of memory and 2 processor cores leaving any additional resources you may have to other applications. If you choose to purchase optional subscription you will be able to utilize double these resources i.e. 4 processor cores and 4GB of memory. There is never any limit on the size of database. You compare this to the MySQL paid version. This is fair. Now, if you ever actually used MySQL in a real project you probably would have noticed that MySQL at this time has some serious scalability challenges running on multi-core processors. But don't take my word for it. Check out what Monty says on slide 4 of his presentation <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project" target="_newWindow">http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project</a>. This is top priority for MySQL engineers right now and they are getting a lot of help from Sun in this area. I am confident they will have this issue licked at some point in time but for now, it makes little difference what license terms allow you do if technology does not deliver.
If one was to actually read the rest of your comment about relevance of IBM he would have no choice but to dump IBM stock and go and buy Sun shares and maybe some Microsoft and Oracle as well. it will probably surprise you to learn that last week IBM Rational was pronounced the leader in application development market share <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://*******.com/3mc87o" target="_newWindow">http://*******.com/3mc87o</a>. IBM Websphere has the largest market share in the application server space and IBM databases that you wrote off happen to have second largest market share according to industry analysts (IDC, Gartner) and registered the fastest rate of growth in 2007 ahead of Oracle. Oh, and by the way, Sun stock is at less than 50% of its value since Oct. 2007 and IBM is up over 30% this year.

Keep on trolling Mr. John Brown or whoever you are.
Posted by katsnelson (6 comments )
Link Flag
MS SQL server express is free, includes fixes, ties into all MS development environments, and did I mention it is free?

Only down side is it only runs on MS operating systems, and not on NT at that.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
who cares about MS SQL? when it's enterprise level rdbms , there is oracle and there is db2. businesses are smart enough not to trust MS for their critical data.
: )
Posted by ilkerender (1 comment )
Link Flag
Ouch, without knowing much about me, even without getting my name right, you just called me incompetent. Since you started with ?open? let?s compare our track records. I post openly using my real name and indicate my position and the company I work for in my profile. You Mr. John Brown (why not call yourself 007?) hide behind anonymous handle johnbrown362003 with zero information in your profile. I smell a troll.
Let me respond to FixPacks. We do not update the free version of DB2 Express-C with FixPacks, we issue new releases and we do it quite frequently. Since we launched DB2 Express-C 8.2 in February 2006 we had two major releases of the DB2 Express-C (v9.1 and 9.5) and we shipped them on the very same day as all of the paid versions of DB2 and on all supported platforms in 27 national languages. This is in addition to 4 separate beta programs that we ran during this time. Meanwhile, Oracle XE has not had a single new shipment of any kind. That is despite the fact that there are several dozen known security vulnerabilities in the Oracle 10g R2. Same is true for Microsoft. There have been no new releases since Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005. Oh, you are going to claim that open source databases are different, they have something like fixpacks. Well, I don?t know of any that do. Here is what MySQL website (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html#downloads" target="_newWindow">http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html#downloads</a>) says on this topic:
?In contrast to the MySQL Enterprise Server, which receives both monthly rapid updates and quarterly service pack releases, there is no specific schedule for when a new version of the MySQL Community Server is released.?
Hey, that is exactly what we do ? provide regular frequent FixPacks with the optional low cost paid subscription and provide the community that uses the free version of DB2 Express-C with a roll up of all of the fixes in the subsequent release. You have to at least try to check your facts troll number johnbrown362003 before you call someone incompetent.
OK, let?s move to ?buggy?. Every piece of software ever produced has bugs. DB2 Express-C is bit for bit, byte for byte identical to DB2 Enterprise which consistently earns the reputation of one of the highest quality products out there. It is the software that is used to run world?s largest companies in banking, insurance, transportation and pretty much every other sphere of commerce that you use every day. Obviously the rest of the world sees it is a appropriate to run their most critical systems and not just do development. Since you seem to be fond of MySQL, let?s look at MySQL quality. First of all, I happen to like MySQL and I like the passion and drive of the team behind it. However, quality is not by any means the hallmark of MySQL. Listen to Monty Widenius (founder of MySQL) openly state that ?MySQL are constantly shipping releases before they are ready? and that ?Critical bugs are still open in 5.1 and not scheduled to be fixed before GA?. And there is much more on page 19 of Monty?s presentation at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project" target="_newWindow">http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575733/The-future-of-MySQL-The-Project</a>. I heard him talk about quality issues at both MySQL User Conference and last week at OSCON.
Last but not least, you pretty much wrote all of IBM software off as irrelevant. According to you MySQL+SUN are just runaway success as is Microsoft and Oracle and IBM is just in the toilet. Don?t know where you get your facts. I suspect facts is not something that you really concern yourself with. I happen to like Sun and MySQL but both are far from success at this point in time. Sun is in a huge financial struggle and has seen its market value drop to $7.29B and that is after absorbing $1B in MySQL acquisition. IBM on the other hand posted yet again one of the strongest quarters ever and, in case you are wondering, Data Management grew 30%. So, if DB2 is irrelevant it is very strange that it is second largest in market share and keeps growing at these rates. Hey, but I am sure your numbers are more grounded in reality than those of reported by IBM an SUN. Oh, and WebSphere by the way is the number 1 web application server with market share almost twice that if its nearest competitor. Recently Gartner ranked Rational as the leader in the world wide market for application development tools (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www-01.ibm.com/software/swnews/swnews.nsf/n/sdsd73qvuj?OpenDocument&#38;site=Software&#38;s_cmp=rssnews" target="_newWindow">http://www-01.ibm.com/software/swnews/swnews.nsf/n/sdsd73qvuj?OpenDocument&#38;site=Software&#38;s_cmp=rssnews</a>).
Mr. anonymous johnbrown362003, I am game for a good argument based on facts. However, I am not very appreciative of some John full of Brown stuff troll calling me incompetent. At the very least, make an attempt appear factual before you slander someone who actually has the facts.
Posted by katsnelson (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.