IBM Close to Delivering DB2/400 Storage Engine for MySQL
October 14, 2008 Alex Woodie
IBM is nearing completion of new software that will enable DB2/400 to power the open source MySQL database, according to industry sources. When complete, the new software will enable organizations that run PHP applications running on MySQL on i OS to access data stored in DB2/400, the i OS’s native database, without modifying MySQL or PHP. The software reportedly is in beta tests, with a formal announcement expected soon.
IBM first noted its intention to deliver a so-called DB2/400 “storage engine” for MySQL more than a year ago, when it formally announced support for MySQL running on i5/OS V5R4. However, when pushed for specifics on the product–such as a delivery date–the company went mum. Months went by, and IBM still refused to talk about it, leading to speculation that the project had run into problems and would be dropped.
Despite the silence from IBM and its development plans (which isn’t anything unusual), it appears that IBM and MySQL have actually built a storage engine that turns DB2/400 into the workhorse powering input and output to transactional MySQL applications. What’s more, IBM has begun showing off the product at industry events, and it apparently is nearly ready for a formal launch.
IBM demonstrated the DB2 storage engine at the recent ZendCon conference, according to Jon Paris, a respected RPG developer. Writing to the Midrange L mailing list, Paris says: “IBM would not make any formal statements on availability except to note that it is currently in beta. I suspect there will be a formal announcement some time this month.”
Another Midrange L poster spotted a suspicious looking PTF posted by IBM about 10 days ago that led him to believe the DB2 storage engine is nearing completion. The sharp eyes of Bryan Dietz found a PTF, SI33261/SI33264, which carried the title “OSP-DB-UNPRED Storage engine support.”
Contacted to comment about the apparent unveiling of the DB2/400 storage engine for MySQL, IBM did not respond before this newsletter’s deadline.
When it ships, the DB2/400 storage engine will join several other storage engines that plug into the MySQL database. MySQL, which was bought by Sun Microsystems earlier this year, is unique among relational databases in that it supports multiple database engines that allow the user to customize the database for specific tasks, such as running transactional applications, data warehouse programs, or in-memory business intelligence systems. While these engines do the heavy run-time lifting, the setup remains simple for programmers, who keep writing to the same MySQL API.
Earlier this year, a French System i software company, AURA Equipments, released a product called iStorage for MySQL that it says connects DB2/400 with MySQL in the same manner as IBM planned with its storage engine.
“We started iStorage development before IBM’s announcement,” said Julien Noiret, communication manager for AURA Equipments, back in January. “When IBM announced their wish to implement a storage engine for MySQL, we decided to hold the project. However, we noticed that nothing was coming, so we decided to finish it.”
Hopefully now IBM is nearing the finish line for the DB2/400 for MySQL storage engine.