IBM has launched the latest version of its DB2 database, code named "Viper," touting the software's capability to store XML data natively enabling users to reduce storage costs.
Unlike earlier versions, DB2 9.1 retains XML documents in their native format rather than breaking them up and storing them in relational tables. Any data stored in the server -- whether relational or XML -- can be retrieved using either SQL or XQuery.
This "hybrid" capability allows users to save up to 75 per cent due to reduction in lines of code, director for worldwide sales for IBM Information Management Software, Alyse Pasarelli, said.
IBM took almost five years to develop the latest version of DB2 and is betting on an explosion in XML data due to new computing principles such as service-oriented architecture (SOA).
"XML is that next inflection point," Pasarelli said, adding that XML will grow as much as twice of other data formats. In contrast, IBM's rivals like Oracle and the Microsoft derive bulk of revenues from relational database.
IBM also added new data compression and security features and optimized the database for SAP application environments.
Pasarelli touched on Viper's virtualisation capabilities and connected to independent storage systems, whether handling XML or relational data but noted additional DB2 licenses for added storage nodes.
"For users, there is nothing inherently different they need to do with their existing data," she said.
IBM launched in January a free version of DB2, called DB2 Express C, which can run on limited computing resources.
It carries some of the new features in Viper, Pasarelli said.
IBM did not give pricing details. But, according to IDG reports, pricing for Viper starts at $US165 per user or $4874 per processor, including first year of support and service.