IBM Uncoils Viper Database Server

The company's latest server software is dubbed a hybrid for its ability to handle both XML data management and traditional relational files. IBM is hoping the new version will sink its teeth into Oracle's market share.

IBM on April 6 released a preview of its latest database server software, known as DB2 Viper, and said it plans to deliver the new product to market sometime before the end of this summer.

The company launched what it is calling an "open test drive" of the database server, available for free download from its Web site, and detailed many features expected to arrive in the package.

Among the capabilities added with DB2 Viper is the softwares ability to handle both XML data management and traditional relational files, a feature that IBM is pitching as a "generational technology leap" that will change the way companies store and analyze information.

At a keynote address in Jaipur, India, Ambuj Goyal, general manager for IBMs Information Management Division, said that Viper will allow companies to manage both conventional data and XML without requiring the XML data to be reformatted or placed into a large object within the database. Goyal introduced the package at IBMs ongoing SOA (service-oriented architecture) Executive Summit.

That capability will increase the availability and speed of the database, he said, subsequently driving down maintenance costs and reducing complexity for developers building applications on the platform.

For IBM, the executive made it clear that the product is aimed squarely at winning away business from rivals including Oracle and Sybase.

"We believe that DB2 Viper will fundamentally change the way clients manage information as a strategic asset within their business," Goyal said. "Viper offers a combination of security and data management features that competitors cant match, along with providing cost and time-savings benefits they are unable to equal."

Labeled by the vendor as an "SOA-tuned data server," IBM officials said that the software adds security features including DB2 LBAC (Label-Based Access Control), a data access function used to define structures within the database. In addition to offering row-level access control, IBM said the softwares new column-level labeling feature offers new ways to control access to sensitive data stored within the system.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about IBMs moves to bring virtualization to Viper.

IBM claims that DB2 Vipers XML capability speeds SOA development by "freeing data from the static form" it is pushed into in existing relational-only database products. The softwares XML technology supports XQuery, which will provide application developers with ready access to the hybrid data server, company officials said. XQuery is an industry standard language aimed at improving capabilities for processing XML data.

DB2 Viper is also IBMs first data server to support all three common methods of database partitioning at the same time, which officials say boosts the platforms availability and management capabilities.

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