Progress Adds DB2/400 Support to .NET Data Integration Tool
December 14, 2010 Alex Woodie
Organizations can now connect DB2/400 databases to .NET applications using a new data provider from Progress Software. Last month, the company unveiled a new release of DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET, its managed code data provider designed to make it easy for developers to connect data sources to .NET applications. With version 3.5, Progress added support for DB2/400, among other data sources.
Anybody who’s developing new Windows applications should be aware of the benefits of managed code. By developing in the .NET Framework’s managed code environment, developers can be assured that their Common Language Runtime (CLR) code will see fewer compatibility issues and greater performance than code that runs outside of the Microsoft Entity Framework, which, by definition, is unmanaged.
The DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET product from Progress Software (specifically, its DataDirect subsidiary) keeps developers from ranging into the unmanaged hinterlands to feed their .NET applications with data from non-Windows (and even some Windows-based) sources. The data provider eliminates the need for client-side libraries to be installed on the source database, which results in higher performance and scalability (through lower CPU, memory, and network utilization), tighter security, and fewer compatibility issues.
In early November, Progress announced DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET version 3.5, which added support for the Oracle database, SAP‘s Sybase, and IBM‘s DB2/400 (officially DB2 for IBM i) when using versions 4.0 and 1.0 of the ADO.NET Entity Framework.
“With the release of ADO.NET 3.5, Progress remains the only software company that not only delivers 100 percent managed code ADO.NET providers to Oracle, Sybase, and DB2, but now allows developers and architects who need to connect Entity Framework to have a superior option for better overall performance and increased usability,” states Progress vice president of engineering Rob Steward in a press release.
Other new features in version 3.5 include: better support for Windows Communication Foundation (WC/F), rich internet applications (RIA), and Silverlight EF (Entity Framework) deployments; enhancements to connection pooling for greater performance; and support for Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010, the .NET 4.0 runtime, and version 5.0 of the Enterprise Library, including pluggable support for the Data Access Application Block (DAAB) Logging Application Block (LAB), the company says.
Bedford, Massachusetts-based Progress supports DB2/400 with several other members of its Data Direct suite, including the Data Integration Suite, a two-part suite that includes a graphical data mapping tool and XML-driven data integration execution engine; Connect and Connect64 for ODBC, its collection of ODBC drivers; and Connect for JDBC, its collection of JDBC drivers.
Progress also supports 5250 access via Shadow z/Services Distributed, which was designed for mainframe applications but is often used with COBOL-based applications running on IBM i. The DataDirect data providers are also sold as part of the Sonic ESB, the enterprise service bus offering developed by Sonic Software, a unit of Progress.