IBM Launches SAP-Optimized DB2

SAP and IBM said they worked together to customize DB2 version 8.2.2 with an "SAP tuner" feature that autoconfigures DB2 in SAP environments.

Such custom features go beyond what IBM typically does to streamline SAP performance for benchmarking, company insiders have said. The new version of DB2, which ships on Friday, was tweaked to run R/3 applications in large companies as well as mySAP All-in-One for midsize companies and SAP Business One for small businesses, according to IBM Software, Somers, N.Y.

CRN broke the news of the plan to optimize DB2 for SAP apps in January. The SAP-optimized product was slated to have been unveiled at IBM's PartnerWorld conference in February but was delayed to coincide with the European SAPPHIRE '05 conference this week in Copenhagen, Denmark, and to be closer to the ship date. SAP is based in Walldorf, Germany.

The tighter SAP-IBM alliance makes sense, especially as Oracle continues to absorb PeopleSoft and its enterprise applications, industry observers said. "The majority of SAP implementations, at least on the data warehousing side, run on Oracle and [Microsoft] SQL Server, so it makes sense for IBM to try to build strength there," said Philip Howard, research director at Bloor Research, a U.K.-based research firm.

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Though Oracle has said it will support PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards' users running competitive middleware and databases, there's some fear that such promises will be short-lived. Last week, Oracle sketched its road map for certifying its own middleware for J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft applications.

In an interview earlier this year, Janet Perna, general manager of IBM's Information Management group, said the DB2 database is "preconfigured and pretuned out of the box" for the latest versions of SAP. IBM worked with SAP's engineering team to accelerate "time to value," so that users will not have to "pretune to get the SAP performance we get," she said.