IBM Announces DB2 Universal Database Version 7

IBM announced DB2 Universal Database Version 7, which the company bills as “the world’s first fully integrated e-business database.” The beta of Version 7 will be available on or before April 30. The release includes new e-business features and a new pricing structure, in which IBM provides the software to an application service provider (ASP) in return for a cut of the profits. IBM is spinning this product as made especially for companies and for large Web business-to-business (B2B) enterprises. Version 7 includes an in-memory relational database technology, designed to dramatically speed the text search for Web applications. It also includes deep Extensible Markup Language (XML) integration to facilitate data interchange in support of B2B applications. IBM has integrated data warehousing capabilities and Hyperion Essbase OLAP technology into version 7. And, IBM promises increased migration capability for customers using Oracle, Microsoft, Sybase, or Informix databases. Version 7 will initially support many UNIX platforms—including IBM AIX, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, and Linux—and Windows NT, Windows 2000 (Win2K), and IBM OS/2. With this version, IBM is also introducing a radical new pricing structure. Although details were not available at press time, IBM has said that ASPs can purchase version 7 for a minimal investment. IBM will then receive a percentage of the revenue that the ASP makes from its customers, either on a per-subscriber or per-transaction basis. This model makes IBM seem less like a product vendor and more like a business partner or investor. Accompanying the announcement, IBM also introduced a new incubator program, which is a package of support, services, and e-business applications for Internet start-ups and companies migrating to Web-based business.

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