The battle for the hearts and minds of database administrators and application architects is about to get a lot hotter if IBM Corp has anything to say about it. The company has just offered a sneak peak – what Big Blue calls a product preview – of the future “Viper” release of its DB2 database for Windows, Unix, and Linux.
DB2 Viper will be distinct from current DB2 database implementations in that it will be able to store XML formatted data inside the database natively–XML support will not be bolted onto the side. Viper will also support relational data stores, of course, and access to those database tables using the SQL programming language.
The XML data will be accessible through the XQuery XML query language, which is an analog to SQL for relational databases. IBM reckons that the addition of native XML support will expand the $7.8bn relational database market by another $1.4bn. And IBM wants to get the bulk of that additional XML-related revenue for databases.
Viper will be able to store structured data – traditional database tables – as well as unstructured data – PDFs, spreadsheets, documents, and so forth. IBM also added that DB2 Viper could be packaged up with the Zend Core for IBM product it co-created with Zend Technologies, the creators of the open source PHP programming language. DB2 Viper is in beta now, and will ship sometime in 2006. You can get the beta version at http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/db2/xml