IBM Makes DB2 Web Query More Affordable
February 5, 2008 Alex Woodie
IBM last week modified the licensing terms for DB2 Web Query for System i, a move that should make the new Web-based query and report writing tool more affordable for some users. By introducing a new run-time user license, customers won’t have to buy expensive named-user licenses for people who are just accessing reports and not creating them.
While System i users have applauded the capabilities of the new DB2 Web Query product–especially as it compares to the limitations of the old green-screen Query/400 offering–some users have expressed misgivings. Specifically, they’re concerned that the new DB2 Web Query offering is too expensive for them.
The pricing, which IBM included in last August’s announcement, started at $1,600 for the base Web Query for System i product running on a P05 machine and two named users. However, for every additional user license, the customer would have to pay $400. For companies with dozens of employees needing access to reports, the user licensing costs could quickly escalate past $10,000.
IBM addressed those concerns last week when it announced the new Run Time User Enablement feature for DB2 Web Query. This offering, which becomes available March 21, will allow customers to support a group of users with a single run-time license. That’s right: one license supports an unlimited number of people. However, this run-time group is only allowed to access reports–it can’t create or modify them. There are also some restrictions on what reports those users can access.
The Run Time User Enablement Feature starts at $3,200 for a customer with P05 machine. This license would allow an unlimited number of workers to access a set of reports created with DB2 Web Query. Alternatively, the run-time license can be used by a single person who’s entitled to the full functionality of the product.
By doing the math, it would make sense for a customer with a P05 machine to buy the User Enablement Feature if they have more than eight employees accessing the reports. The cost of a run-time license for a P10 machine ($6,400) increases that break-even point to 16 users. It increases to 24 users for a P20 machine ($9,600), to 48 users for a P30 machine ($19,600), to 72 users for a P40 machine ($28,800), to 96 users for a P40 machine ($38,400), and to 120 users for a P60 machine ($48,000).
The one catch is the reports that the group of run-time users are allowed to access must be linked by a common underlying theme. Reports must be organized into domains specific to that group, and the group is only allowed to access those reports. In other words, you have to segment reports into groups, such as accounting, sales, marketing, human resources, or operations, and people of one group can’t access reports of another group.
This licensing approach makes even more sense when you consider how DB2 Web Query is actually used.
Unlike with the old Query/400 product, which requires users to have a certain level of technical proficiency and to get their hands dirty to create reports they need, DB2 Web Query is more of a “set it and forget it” type of tool. Sure, the developers who create the reports in DB2 Web Query need to have the technical knowledge to use the tool. But once those reports are created, there is little technical manipulation required by users to consume the reports.
In this regard, it made little sense for IBM to charge the same amount for developers and non-technical end users. The Run Time User Enablement Feature fixes that mistake, and that’s good for IBM and its customers.