DB2 Update Coming into Focus

IBM to roll out early developer enhancements for the upgrade, code-named Stinger.

IBM is using its partnership with Microsoft Corp.s Visual Studio operations to bring out products that compete head on with Microsofts SQL Server group.

Big Blue on Monday will roll out new developer tools to simplify and automate creation of .Net applications that run on the companys DB2 as well as on other database management systems.

The unnamed tools are the first manifestation of Stinger, IBMs code name for the next version of DB2, which will likely come out next year. Stinger features will focus on reliability, manageability, integration and scalability, said Paul Rivot, director of database servers at IBM, of Armonk, N.Y.

The Stinger tools, which will be introduced at Microsofts Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, include DB2 add-ins for Microsofts Visual Studio .Net development environment. The add-ins will automatically add a DB2 plug-in to a developers Visual Studio .Net interface that will link directly to a DB2 development environment that is similar to VS .Nets, Rivot said. This will make it easier for developers familiar with VS to work with DB2 and to exploit the native .Net Data Provider.

IBM will also show similar add-ins that work with the Rational XDE Developer environment that IBM acquired this year.

The Stinger tools will also let developers of DB2 applications and DB2 database using the Visual Basic .Net and C# programming languages to also use the Microsoft Common Language Runtime , or CLR. As a result, applications that run on the server or on the client can be transported across different systems platforms, Rivot explained.

Enhancements in DB2s native stored procedures, which will also be demonstrated, will make it easier to develop programs on Windows and deploy them on other operating systems, like Linux or IBMs Z/OS.

IBM will show more capabilities from Stinger early next year, Rivot said.

"They will all include the traditional ities, " he said. "Reliability, manageability and scalability. It may not be the most exciting stuff, but these core ities are more important than ever."

Also at the Microsoft conference, IBM will demonstrate a 64-bit version of DB2 running under Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems on a server powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. processors.