What is DB2? History, Editions, and Video Illustrations

Pluralsight courses
LinkedIn Premium uses PayScale to estimate job salaries

Premium (Not Free) Video Tutorials

Free Video Tutorials & Free Tools

by: Wade Harvey

Historical Background

AS 400 - What is DB2,What is DB2,disaster recovery software, websphere db2, db2 download, db2 driver, db2 select, db2 odbc is a relational database management system produced by IBM that IBM refers to as a "data server." What is a relational database? A is a set of files that has been analyzed for all of the relationships between fields. The related fields are pulled out of the original files in order to minimize redundancy in the data being stored. For example, instead of storing the information that TN is the state Tennessee in every record, that information is pulled out of the original file and stored only once in a state code file.
Creative Commons License photo credit: cocoate.com

The idea of a relational database first arose in 1970 when Dr. E.F. Codd formally stated a number of algebraic rules that could be applied to data manipulation. IBM left the application of Codd's principles to a group of programmers that created a language that was eventually called SQL (Structured Query Language). DB2 was the name given to the Database Management System in 1982, and it is the first database to use SQL.

At first, DB2 was only available on IBM mainframes, but during the 1990's DB2 spread to many other platforms, LUW (Linux, Unix, Windows), mid-range computers i5/OS (formerly AS/400) and even on PDAs. During the 90s, IBM also introduced it's Universal Server. The Universal Server shifted the technology to an object-related SQL DBMS that allows developers to define their own data types from more primitive data types.

In 2001, IBM bought and incorporated many of it's database features into the DB2 product suite.

In 2006, IBM announced "Viper," the codename for DB2 9 on distributed platforms and DB2 9 on z/OS. DB2 9 offers the ability to store XML "natively," and it also allows storage compression to save on disk space. IBM refers to the ability to store XML as pureXML(tm).

IBM's biggest competitors are Teradata for Data Warehousing and Oracle. Microsoft's SQL Server and MySQL are serious competitors in the smaller environments.


IBM's Product Summary page for DB2 allows one to download the various editions after registering. The DB2 Express-c edition is free, and the other editions allow you to have a 90-day free trial.

IBM will send you a free Discovery DVD that contains:

  • DB2 Express-C 9 (Linux and Windows),
  • DB2 Developer Workbench (Linux and Windows),
  • a comparison of all Editions from Express to Enterprise,
  • webcasts, tutorials, and much more!
  • Here is a list of some of the major features of several of the DB2 Editions:

    1. DB2 9 Express for Linux, Sun Solaris x86, Windows is the ideal entry level data server. Suitable for transaction processing or complex query workloads on servers with up to two processors. (2 processors & 4 Gig RAM) Starting at $4,874 per processor of $165 per user (minimum of 5 users).

    1.a. DB2 Express-C is a free version of DB2 Express Edition (DB2 Express) for the community. DB2 Express-C is a no-charge data server for use in development and deployment of applications including: XML, C/C++, Java, .NET, PHP, and more. DB2 Express-C can be run on up to 2 dual-core CPU servers, with up to 4 GB of memory, any storage system setup and with no restrictions on database size or any other artificial restrictions. (Linux and Windows)

    2. DB2 9 Workgroup for LUW (Linux, Unix, and Windows Includes all of the features of DB2 Express with scalability to larger servers. (4 processors & 16 Gig RAM)

    3. DB2 9 Enterprise for LUW – Includes all of the features of DB2 Workgroup plus features required to provide the scalability to handle high user loads and provide 24x7x365 availability. (No restrictions on number of processors or ram). Pricing is by users on CPU (25 minimum) or by number of CPUs.

    4. DB2 Data Warehouse Enterprise Edition (DB2 DWE) – can run on LUW (Linux, Unix, and Windows) platforms, and it can be used with a mixed workload (OLTP and datawarehousing) or business intelligence implementations. Pricing starts at $4,874 per processor.

    5. DB2 for z/OS - allows for storing of XML and also has improved dynamic warehousing and OLTP capabilities. Pricing starts at $4,450 per month.

    6. DB2 Everyplace – features a small footprint relational database and high performance data synchronization solution that enables enterprise applications and data to be securely extended to mobile devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), smart phones and other embedded mobile devices.

    Related Videos

    IBM What Makes You Special DB2 Viper ..

    5 min – Aug 30, 2006

    IBM video ad highlighting Information On Demand (IOD) value in DB2 v9 Viper release as described by several customers and partners. Includes What Makes You Special ad

    IBM DB2 Viper Test Drive – StradaSoft In…

    2 min – Nov 17, 2006

    IBM DB2 Viper Test Drive Partner Video StradaSoft Inc.

    DB2 Viper 2 Overview – Part I

    8 min – Jul 17, 2007

    Tim Vincent being interviewed by Rav Ahuja about Viper 2, the next release of DB2 on LUW currently in beta. Part I gives an overview and covers workload management enhancements.

    DB2 Viper 2 Overview – Part II

    10 min – Jul 17, 2007

    Tim Vincent being interviewed by Rav Ahuja about Viper 2, the next release of DB2 on LUW.

    The Key to Optimal Performance of Your DB2 Applications

    57 min – Mar 27, 2007

    Jim Wankowski, DB2 technology specialist for Quest Software, discusses the performance gains you can achieve in IBM DB2 LUW using Toad for DB2. You will learn a 3-step, best practices approach to workflow: develop, optimize, and validate.

    IBM's DB2 Webcasts:

    List of about 15 Webcasts by IBM on DB2


    List of Videos from IBM in Toronto

    Related posts:

    1. NET Framework 3.0 and Beyond with Many Video Illustrations This article begins by explaining what NET. Framework 3.0 is....
    2. What is MySQL? A Visual Definition MySQL is an RDBMS (relational database) that is used in...

    Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.


    5 Responses to “What is DB2? History, Editions, and Video Illustrations”
    1. Venugopal Rao says:

      Nice video on db2

    2. Glad says:

      Is DB2 an opensource software?

    Speak Your Mind

    Tell us what you're thinking...
    and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

    Powered by WP Hashcash

    This blog uses the cross-linker plugin developed by Web-Developers.Net