Feeds

IBM database strategy chief on DB2: Devs are people too

Big Blue looks beyond DBAs for input on features

Boost IT visibility and business value

Developers are exerting greater influence on new versions of IBM’s DB2 database, according to one of Big Blue's information management strategy chiefs.

Bernie Spang, director of strategy and marketing for database software and systems, said while IBM has historically consulted DBAs on new features they’d like in IBM’s mighty database, that has changed.

In an interview with El Reg, Spang said IBM is now taking a more balanced approach. “It’s not shifted from one to the other, it’s got to be both,” he told us.

Driving the change is a need to make DB2 more comfortable for developers building web and big data apps that suck on the DB2 data store.

One recent consequence of the shifting approach was the addition of tripled graph-store capabilities for graph analytics in DB2 10.1, which was released in April.

Graph stores find connections between data, so you don’t have to search through piles of relational tables or raw info using Hadoop. Graphs are popular with social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn trying to establish connections between individuals on their sites.

Looking ahead, Spang called key-value pairs a “hot area”. This might be one possibility for future inclusion in DB2.

“It’s going to be driven by the application developers, that’s what’s pushing this, which is different historically – historically we’ve spoken to the DBAs,” Spang said of the recent and future changes.

“I got asked in one interview: ‘Did the DBAs ask for the RDF triple store?’ No, the DBAs didn’t ask for that, it’s for those who want a simpler structure to do things in a different way,” the strategy boss said.

“It was same with XML,” he said. IBM announced XML in DB2 10 years ago with XQuery – the programming language to query XML.

Spang continued: “The DBAs said: ‘I don’t want to put XML in my relational database' and we said: 'Right – we are giving you the same software, it’s just a different structure.' It’s a way for the app developers to find ways that are going to be faster, simpler easier for them.”

Support for XML gave DB2 and its associated tools the ability to combine structured and unstructured data, with the ability to search the data’s metadata.

IBM’s feeling its way on new capabilities like RDF data store in DB2.

Graph data is stored using the Resource Definition Framework (RDF) and queried using the SPARQL query language to look for triple patterns, conjunctions, disjunctions and optional patterns.

“We will bring it [RDF] in, see how it goes, and if this turns out to be a relatively small niche or a passing fad, because the next thing comes along and supersedes it, we will evolve,” Spang said.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Risky business

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.