iSociety Hosts Chat on New DB2 Query Tool
August 20, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM is getting ready to ship the new DB2 Web Query for System i business intelligence tool on September 14, and last week the iSociety System i advocacy group hosted a Web chat to go over some of the features and field questions about the product. DB2 Web Query is a subset of the WebFOCUS tool from Information Builders and is a long-overdue replacement for IBM’s own Query/400 tool.
Doug Mack, the marketing manager for the System i DB2 products at IBM, hosted the Web chat. If you missed the chat, the transcript for the chat is posted here. The interesting bit that came out of the chat, aside from the feeds and speeds, was that IBM is working with Information Builders to extend DB2 Web Query either through application programming interfaces or through Web services calls so other applications can integrate into the tool to use it for reporting. At the moment, DB2 Web Query is a standalone product and it is only supported on i5/OS V5R4. It will, of course, be supported on the forthcoming i5/OS V6R1, and it will work in conjunction with the field-level security that this future operating system will have when it comes to market in early 2008. The product also ships with its own baby Web server, according to Mack, and does not require the Apache-based WebSphere Application Server that comes inside i5/OS. In fact, the specific Web server used is the one that IBM put inside iSeries Access for the Web many years ago.
It also bears reminding that DB2 Web Query includes a license for the older Query/400 green-screen query tool, so customers are not being forced to move to the new tool. However, IBM said in a separate announcement on July 31 that it will stop selling Query/400 (5722-QU1) as a standalone product as of January 4, 2008. To get Query/400, which cost from $800 on a P05-class box to $24,000 on a P60 box, customers are going to have to buy the more expensive DB2 Web Query tool, which costs from $1,600 on the P05 tier to $48,000 on the P60 tier. Customers who have Query/400 and who have an up-to-date Software Maintenance contract from IBM can upgrade to DB2 Web Query at no extra cost, according to Mack, but he did not say that new customers who want to get just Query/400 would not be able to do so beginning in the new year.