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In a bid to lure users of the rival Microsoft database SQL Server, IBM said the DB/2 upgrade, codenamed Stinger, would offer functionality on Windows ahead of the next version of Microsoft's SQL Server database, codenamed Yukon.
Like Oracle, with the launch of its 10g database, IBM, has tried to capitalise on the lateness of the next release of Microsoft's SQL Server relational database - a product that has not been refreshed since 2000.
Mike Thompson, principal research analyst at Butler Group, said DB/2 previously lacked the rich developer tools support Microsoft offered with SQL Server. For instance, the Microsoft product is linked into the Visual Studio .net development environment to simplify application development. But with Stinger, IBM is set to address this.
IBM previewed Stinger at last week's Microsoft Professional Developer's conference in Los Angeles. It said the new release of DB/2 would integrate far better with Microsoft's Visual Studio .net development environment than the previous version of DB/2.
Along with Visual Studio .net support, IBM said it would be providing an add-in tool for its Rational XDE Developer visual data modelling product.
Beyond the improvements to software development, IBM said DB2 would offer improved reliability, manageability, integration and scalability over its predecessor.
A preview of Stinger is now available which includes the .net Data Provider, a tool for connecting .net applications to DB/2.
IBM also used the conference to demonstrate a 64-bit DB/2 server running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit systems, in conjunction with chip provider AMD.
IBM said Stinger would ship "sometime in 2004". Microsoft has stated Yukon will be available in the latter half of next year.