COMMON Poll: DB2/400 Support for Domino 8 Matters
September 4, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As we all know by now, IBM has decided to not support the storage of data for Notes and Domino applications inside DB2/400 databases on the i5/OS and OS/400 platform–something that end users had been anticipating since this capability was provided for other platforms nearly two years ago. The North American COMMON midrange user group and its counterpart in EMEA, COMMON Europe, surveyed their constituencies in the wake of IBM’s pulling the plug on NSFDB2 support on i5/OS.
The results of these surveys seem to suggest that when Rob Ingram, Domino product manager at IBM’s Lotus division, gets back from his vacation, he is going to have to wade through a lot of email complaints.
“The message many of our members received from IBM [after the Domino 7 announcement] was that the support would be available in the next release,” explained Olga Miralles Mulleras, president of COMMON Europe, in a statement accompanying the survey results last week. “We had no indication that IBM’s plans had changed.”
If the survey data from COMMON and COMMON Europe is representative of the i5/OS and OS/400 base at large, IBM may have made a mistake. Or the company might have made a calculation that it would lose a certain number of System i customers and not have to spend money porting NSFDB2 support from DB2 Universal Data Base (the version of DB2 for Windows, Unix, and Linux servers) to DB2/400 (the name most of us use for the radically different, earlier, and incompatible database that is at the heart of OS/400 and i5/OS). IBM may be figuring that companies that want the NSFDB2 functionality will move to Linux or AIX partitions, or outboard Windows servers.
According to the surveys, 41 percent of COMMON members in North America who responded to the call for input have Domino hosted on an OS/400 or i5/OS platform, and 72 percent of them said that IBM’s decision to spike native NSFDB2 support on the System i would affect their businesses and have an impact on their use of Domino. Among those polled from the COMMON Europe base, 58 percent use Domino on i5/OS or OS/400 platforms, and all of those that do said IBM’s decision would affect their business.
Across both communities of i5/OS and OS/400 users, 28 percent of those polled who also have Domino running on the platform said they would be forced to move Domino to another operating system, and another 25 percent said that planned development projects that would employ the NSFDB2 technology would be delayed; another 17 percent said they would boot Domino out as their messaging and groupware software.
“Domino is a key technology for our members and the reason for that is their ability to use existing servers for Domino,” said Randy Dufault, president of COMMON, in the same statement. “We believe i5/OS to be the most stable, most reliable, easiest to manage business operating system available today and those attributes extend to the software that runs on it.”
Miralles and Dufault have drafted a letter to Steve Mills, general manager of IBM’s Software Group, asking IBM to reconsider its decision and get NSFDB2 support for Domino running on i5/OS. Let’s hope that Ross Mauri, general manager of the new Power Systems unit that controls the System i business, was also brought into the discussion, too. And if there was ever a time for Mark Shearer, the former general manager for what used to be the System i division and now the person charged with being the voice for and advocate of the System i platform inside Big Blue to make a case for the platform, now is that time.
If you have an opinion in the NSFDB2 issue, hit that Contact button at the top of this page and let me know what you are thinking.