IBM DB2 Joins Ranks Of Database Freebies


Available now, DB2 Universal Database Express-C runs on Windows or Linux and on 32- and 64-bit processors. The database can be used on systems with two processor cores and on AMD or Intel-based systems with up to two dual-core chips. Memory limit is 4 gigabytes but there is no restriction on database size.

Partners said the existence of this offering could bolster implementation of other IBM "Express" offerings.

"This definitely shows a clear committment to small businesses and will help the other Express products," said John Dubois, CTO of Ascendant Technology, an Austin, Texas-based IBM partner. "Websphere Portal Express has the Cloudscape [Java] database, but other Express offerings have no database. You're stuck with the free version of SQL Server or Oracle," he noted.

Dubois says DB2's GUI is now comparable to Microsoft SQL Server and better than Oracle's.

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IBM also plans an Express version of its upcoming "Viper" hybrid relational/non-relational database.

IBM is the last of the major database vendors to offer a freebie.

In November, Oracle launched Oracle 10g Express, a 150-megabyte download for anyone who registers for it. Oracle restricts use to single-CPU boxes with up to a gigabyte of memory and up to four gigabytes of user data.

It is limited to use on single-CPU machines with up to 1 Gbyte of memory and up to 4 Gbytes of user data.

Oracle's move was seen as a reaction to Microsoft's SQL Server Express Edition. Perhaps more to the point, the free offerings from the database giants are viewed as attempts to stem the flow of business to MySQL, a database offered both commercially and as a free "open source" offering.

This report was updated Monday afternoon with partner comment.