09 May 2009

Wither DB2?

Where is DB2 going? IBM spent time trying to get Sun/MySql, all the while dallying with PostgreSQL with whom it now seems to have consummated marriage. At the same time, it is pushing MySql. MySql has been available on the iSeries for a few years, and I see a growing (although not a tidal wave) number of listing by IBM for MySql installers/maintenance. It, sort of, doesn't compute.

The enterpriseDB (PostgreSQL) mashup certainly sounds like the way to get MVCC support without having to actually write it, or admit that it was necessary. It is well known that MVCC has advantages for OLTP applications over locker databases. This is the technical reason Oracle (and PostgreSQL) hold such a lead; we'll see how the annual Gartner report goes. SQLServer got "snapshot" isolation in 2005 for just that reason. IBM pulled an IMS rabbit out of its hat instead. Gad.

Looking at the job boards, as I am these days, it is disheartening to see so little DB2/LUW in demand. Fact is, it really is the best locker out there. Its configuration is at least as good as Oracle. There are those in the DB2 community (I won't name names) who feel that IBM is at fault. I concur.

The "free" LUW DB2 is a pain to use. It needn't be; on the other hand, Oracle doesn't make the current version available in its free/community install.

It seems that IBM continues to push the mainframe DB2 installs, which act more like MySql as simple sql parsers fronting the filesystem than as RDBMS, as the source of its market share and revenue. I would dearly love to see true figures on the adoption of DB2 on z/OS. How much is just VSAM file dumps for antique COBOL code versus new or refactored relational datastores for java/ruby/python/etc.?

The situation with LUW is such a pathetic waste. It is so much better than its rivals.

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