DB2/400 Storage Engine for MySQL Now Available as Public Beta
Published: March 10, 2009
by Alex Woodie
MySQL and IBM last week started a public beta for the new DB2 for i (IBMDB2i) Storage Engine for the MySQL database, a long-awaited product that will allow System i shops to care and feed for their MySQL-based PHP applications running on their i OS server just as they do for ordinary DB2 for i (DB2/400) applications. The Storage Engine will be available for customers at V5R4 and i 6.1 versions of the operating system, but they must install several PTFs first.
System i shops have been eagerly waiting for IBM and MySQL (now owned by Sun Microsystems) to deliver IBMDB2i Storage Engine for MySQL since IBM first announced plans to build the product nearly two years ago. A private beta of the product was released in October, and now the product is ready for testing among a wider group of users.
Before installing the public beta, which is available for download here, System i shops must first download and install several PTFs. To see which PTFs you must install, check out this IBM APAR.
The origins of the IBMDB2i Storage Engine can be traced to the introduction of PHP to the AS/400 platform, and the resulting popularity of the development language. While developers can use tools from Zend Technology to write PHP applications that utilize DB2/400, the vast majority of PHP applications already on the market were designed to access data from the free and open source MySQL database platform, which necessitated running MySQL on the System i.
While System i shops have been able to get support for running MySQL on their servers for the last two years, IBM and MySQL decided to take the partnership a step further, and develop a storage engine that would mask some of the complexity (or differences in technology, at the very least) that MySQL presented for System i shops.
With the IBMDBi for MySQL Storage Engine, customers can run MySQL-based PHP applications (or other applications written to MySQL), and the data is stored in DB2/400. This brings several advantages, including broadening the number of open source applications that will run (and be supported) on the System i; eliminating the need to learn how to manage the MySQL database; and simplifying data integration between MySQL applications and DB2/400 applications.
MySQL is unique among relational databases in that it has a pluggable architecture that supports multiple database engines and allows users to customize the database for specific tasks, such as running transactional applications, data warehouse programs, or in-memory business intelligence systems. Popular MySQL database engines include Oracle's InnoDB, Solid Information Technology's SolidDB, NitroSecurity's NitroEDB, and Infobright's BrightHouse, among others.
The IBMDB2I Storage Engine for MySQL works with MySQL version 5.1. For more information, see solutions.mysql.com/engines/ibm_db2_storage_engine.html.
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