More Details Emerge on Query/400’s Java-Based Replacement
April 17, 2007 Alex Woodie
As part of the latest round of System i announcements last week, IBM provided more details on the new Web-based query tool that it’s developing with OEM partner Information Builders as a replacement to Query/400. The new product will be called DB2 Web Query for System i, and it should ship later this year, IBM says.
In March, IBM and business intelligence software developer Information Builders announced plans for IBM to sell a version of Info Builder’s WebFOCUS software to buyers of new i5/OS servers and upgrades. The software would be bundled with the increasingly outdated (but still popular) Query/400 green-screen reporting tools, and provide customers with a more sophisticated, Java-based analytical functionality.
Last week, IBM provided more information about DB2 Web Query’s release schedule and how it will fit into customers’ existing environments.
For starters, IBM currently plans to make the product generally available sometime in the second half of 2007. When it becomes available, customers who have already bought Query/400 will be offered some type of discount for upgrading to DB2 Web Query, IBM says. In the meantime, a limited beta test is planned. A Redbook is also in the works, and should be ready by the time IBM is ready to announce general availability of the product, according to a new FAQ available at www.ibm.com/systems/i/db2.
IBM cites several benefits that DB2 Web Query will have over Query/400. At the top of the list, DB2 Web Query will be much more flexible than Query/400 when it comes to how users will consume report data. The software will provide output options for native HTML, Web-based dashboards, scorecards, PDFs, and spreadsheets. Also, DB2 Web Query contains features that could substantially reduce the number of reports that have to be maintained individually, thereby reducing the backlog of report writing requests, IBM says.
Some reports will also run faster with DB2 Web Query, which supports the query optimization technology that IBM has built into the latest releases of DB2/400, called SQE. Query/400 does not support SQE.
DB2 Web Query also trumps Query/400 when it comes to supporting multiple data sources. In addition to importing existing Query/400 reports and sprucing them up with graphical output capabilities, DB2 Web Query will also integrate data from non-DB2 data sources (via connectors), providing cross-system data federalization. The tool will also provide online analytical processing (OLAP)-like slice and dice functionality (called OLAP views), APIs to SPSS‘ advanced OLAP and data mining products (ESSBASE/400 and Clementine, respectively), and its own a lightweight extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool.
For more information, go to www.ibm.com/systems/i/db2.