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IBM Previews Next-Generation DB2 "Viper" Database


Beta Testing Program Announced at XML 2005 Conference

ATLANTA -- Nov. 16, 2005 -- IBM today unveiled details of the next-generation DB2 database--code-named “Viper”--which is designed to help customers manage and access data across a service oriented architecture (SOA) with unprecedented flexibility and speed.

In a keynote address today at the XML 2005 Conference, Bob Picciano, vice president of database servers for IBM, outlined the company’s plans for DB2 Viper--the industry’s first database designed with both native XML data management and relational data capability. Picciano also announced that Viper is entering open testing and evaluation by qualified customers, developers and partners.

Scheduled for release in 2006, DB2 Viper is expected to lead the way to a new era in data management by creating unparalleled opportunities for users to extract value from their business information.

“DB2 Viper will fundamentally change the rules of the database game,” said Picciano. “With Viper at the heart of their information infrastructure, customers will rapidly transition from conventional data management practices to unprecedented information management techniques that enable them to leverage information as a service.”

Viper is expected to be the only database product able to seamlessly manage both conventional relational data and XML data without requiring the XML data to be reformatted or placed into a large object within the database. This breakthrough will enable customers to increase the availability, speed and versatility of their information, while dramatically reducing administrative costs associated with existing data management techniques. It also will significantly reduce the complexity and time a typical developer spends creating applications able to access both relational data and XML repositories.

Viper’s native XML capability also will greatly benefit service oriented architecture (SOA) implementations, which rely upon the ability to access a myriad of data stored across multiple formats. By freeing data from the static form it has been forced into by relational-only database products, Viper can deliver information as a service that is readily accessed in SOA environments.

“Our development time using Viper’s native XML store is a radical improvement over existing XML ’shred’ technology,” said Thore Thomassen, senior enterprise architect for Storebrand, a major supplier of insurance and financial services. “We are now able to make schema changes in minutes rather than days and will dramatically improve our customer response time.”

In addition breaking new ground with its native XML capability, DB2 Viper also will be the first database to support all three common methods of database partitioning at the same time - a major innovation in improving data management and information availability. By simultaneously handling range partitioning, multi-dimensional clustering and hashing, Viper will enable organizations to arrange and order their information in the way that best suits their individual business requirements and demands.

Viper’s native XML technology also will provide XQuery support. XQuery is a powerful emerging industry standard language that extends XPath and is specially-designed for processing XML data. Applications can use XQuery, standard SQL or both to retrieve documents from either or both underlying storage formats.

IBM today also confirmed that it plans to extend early support of Viper to the PHP development community using Zend Core for IBM. The availability of the Viper beta with Zend Core for IBM will significantly enhance developer support, as PHP is one of the most popular Web programming languages in the world. According to the research firm Netcraft, PHP is used in over 23 million domains..

Customers, developers and partners can register for DB2 Viper open beta program at

About IBM
The need to access, manage and deliver information more effectively is driving rapid change in the IT marketplace. Companies grappling with increased business demands and government compliance mandates are striving to capture and integrate data in a more seamless, real-time fashion across their enterprises, regardless of the underlying format or structure. IBM’s approach combines industry expertise with open standards, advanced storage systems and software to integrate, manage, secure and deliver information in the form of services that perform business functions. For more information about IBM, visit


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