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Introduction to DB2 UDB

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The DB2 Universal Database (UDB) is a cross-platform database system developed by IBM. This chapter introduces the latest version of this software, and enumerates the features that make UDB a good choice for your business.
This chapter is from the book

DATABASE 2 (DB2) Universal Database (UDB) for Linux, UNIX, and Windows is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by IBM. Version 8.2, available since September 2004, is the most current version of the product, and the one discussed in this book.

In this chapter you will learn about:

  • The history of DB2
  • The DB2 portfolio of information management products
  • How DB2 is developed
  • DB2 server editions and clients
  • How DB2 is packaged for developers
  • Syntax diagram conventions

1.1 A Brief History of DB2

Since the 1970s, when IBM Research invented the Relational Model and the Structured Query Language (SQL), IBM has developed a complete family of RDBMS software. Development started on mainframe platforms such as Virtual Machine (VM), Virtual Storage Extended (VSE), and Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS). In 1983, DB2 for MVS Version 1 was born. "DB2" was used to indicate a shift from hierarchical databases&8212;like the Information Management System (IMS) popular at the time&8212;to the new relational databases. DB2 development continued on mainframe platforms as well as on distributed platforms. [1] Figure 1.1 shows some of the highlights of DB2 history.


Figure 1.1 DB2 timeline

In 1996, IBM announced DB2 UDB Version 5 for distributed platforms. With this version, DB2 was able to store all kinds of electronic data, including traditional relational data, as well as audio, video, and text documents. It was the first version optimized for the Web, and it supported a range of distributed platforms&8212;for example, OS/2, Windows, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris&8212;from multiple vendors. Moreover, this universal database was able to run on a variety of hardware, from uniprocessor systems and symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) systems to massively parallel processing (MPP) systems and clusters of SMP systems. IBM included the term "Universal" in the name to represent the new capabilities of this version. All versions of DB2 on distributed platforms and on MVS, AS/400, VM, and VSE have adopted the name DB2 UDB.

Today, DB2 represents a portfolio of information management products. Table 1.1 shows the DB2 Information Management portfolio and the product offerings under each classification. To specifically refer to database servers, "UDB" needs to be added to the name, as in DB2 UDB . In most books and documents, including this one, the terms "DB2" and "DB2 UDB" are used interchangeably. Unless otherwise noted, when we use any one of these terms in this book, we are referring to DB2 running on Linux, UNIX, or Windows.

Table 1.1. DB2 Information Management Products

Information Management Products


Product Offerings

Database Servers

Store electronic data and enable the sharing of information across multiple platforms.


IBM Informix


IBM Red Brick Warehouse


IBM Cloudscape

DB2 Business Intelligence

Help customers collect, prepare, manage, analyze, and extract valuable information from all data types to help them make more insightful business decisions faster.

DB2 Warehouse Manager

IBM DB2 Information Integrator

DB2 OLAP Server

DB2 Intelligent Miner

DB2 Text Miner

DB2 Search Extender

DB2 UDB Data Warehouse Edition

DB2 Cube Views

Query Patroller

DB2 Content Management

Manage content (unstructured data) such as images, digital media, word processing documents, and Web content.

IBM DB2 Content Manager

IBM DB2 CommonStore

IBM DB2 CM OnDemand

IBM DB2 Document Manager

IBM DB2 Records Manager

DB2 Information Integration

Bring together distributed information from heterogeneous environments. Companies view their information as if it was all residing in one place.

IBM DB2 Information Integrator

IBM DiscoveryLink for Life Sciences

DB2 and IMS Tools

Automate functions to help companies reduce administrative costs.

IMS & DB2 Tools & Utilities

DB2 Multiplatform Tools

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