Did I get that headline right ? IBM throwing strikes ?? In software ??? Well, two precisely. IBM announced delivery of DB2 Viper and the first reception has been pretty enthusiatic among DB pundits. This reviewer has been impressed with the steady improvement of DB2 since 7.x and that will be covered in more detail in But just as important is that IBM is stepping to the plate in 1)making DB2 available for free to all developers in a very attractive development and deployment (you can deploy for free 4GB in memory, 2 dual core processor, unlimited database size systems) package callded DB2 Express. If you are a database developer you would be a fool not to take a look at the Viper DB2 Express edition. But just as important is 2) the fact that IBM is matching both Oracle and Microsoft in database pricing.

The net result is that there is a WWE-like free-for-all in the database arena where not just IBM, Oracle and Microsoft are trading punches; but some great upcoming contenders in Sybase, Watcom, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ingres and others are doing some very interesting things as well. Database has caught a “second wind” – and that second wind is the realization that data needing data base management is sprouting like the weeds in my garden – governments, SOX/HIPAA/other-complianced businesses, heathcare providers, Web Service providers – everybody is seeing database demand explode. And so every ISV is after developers to get them to use their products. Most important for developers you can not only get your hands on complete development systems, but sign up for support, and deliver the results to customers without having to mortgage the home.

Second IBM Thrown Software Strike

IBM actually threw this strike about 3-5 years ago with the releasing of Eclipse IDE as Open Source and the purchase of Rational Software. Eclipse is the foundation for Rational line of development tools. The IBM Rational tools set benefits from having a unfied development process behind it (RUP-Rational Unified Process) while being the first to market with an integrated SDLC-System Development Life Cycle set of tools going well beyond the Eclipse IDE and supporting analysis, modeling, testing, deployment, operations and tuning. Borland and Microsoft caught the religion about 1 and 3 years after IBM in terms of being able to produce team and collaboration oriented deliverable tools relative to IBM. But in the meantime, major developer ISVs have come to the Eclipse platform as not just their development IDE (think Adobe, BEA, Borland, Macromedia, even maybe perchance Sun) but also their modeling and collaboration center as well(see Nitrox, Actuate, MyEclipse, among many others). This makes Eclipse the development environ not just for C/C++ and Java but a wide variety of languages and tools. Eclipse becomes the cross platform development environ of choice … and remember it is the foundation of Rational tools (of course the upcoming Rational “Caspian” language toolset may change some of that equation). Not too shabby. So when IBM introduces a new Rational tool line, developers have to take note. Now can IBM do this again ? Is UIMA or the new Lotus revamp the myth-busting strike 3 ?

(c)JBSurveyer 2006