DB2 Web Query For i Now Supports External Databases
April 18, 2016 Alex Woodie
New OLAP and temporal data capabilities in DB2 headlined the launch of IBM i 7.3. But those weren’t the only analytic functions delivered last week by IBM. Tucked inside the announcements was a new release of DB2 Web Query for i that will make it easier to bring data from outside databases into an IBM i-based data warehouse.
IBM is including new data adapters with DB2 Web Query for i Standard Edition version 2.2 that support PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and MySQL. The new release also includes support for generic Type 4 JDBC drivers, which will make it easier to get data out of Oracle‘s eponymous database.
The open source PostgreSQL and MySQL databases have become extremely popular over the past decade as enterprises seek alternatives to the expensive and proprietary databases from IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. More recently, MariaDB, which is a drop-in replacement for MySQL, has emerged as an open source successor to that database, which is controlled by Oracle.
IBM also spruced up the look and feel of DB2 Web Query version 2.2, including the “clean, simple look” of the refreshed BI Portal sign-on screen. The new release also sports enhancements to the Developer Workbench tool that should make it easier to create HTML reports and dashboards for client devices. IBM says improved testing capabilities will “eliminate surprises” in how dashboards and reports appear in different Web browsers, while HTML-based reports now support auto-sizing.
IBM also released version 2.2 of DataMigrator ETL extension, an extract, transform, and load companion product that IBM launched a year ago. When used with DB2 Web Query for i Standard Edition version 2.2, the new version 2.2 release of DataMigrator lets users pull in data from PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB databases, as well as from Oracle via a Type 4 JDBC driver.
While DB2 Web Query customers can access these databases directly, customers who have heavier data needs may opt to use DataMigrator. The product’s capability to perform bulk loads, transformations, and incremental updates of data (via either journaling or SQL processes) make it more powerful option for customers who are creating a data mart or a data warehouse on the IBM i server.
DataMigrator also gains support for running data flows directly from CL, which means running and scheduling of data flows can be integrated with existing business processes, IBM says. The company has also made various improvements to the journaling-based change data capture (CDC) functionality, including support for direct joins.
IBM is upping its analytic game for IBM i, which is evident in the new OLAP and temporal capabilities that IBM is adding to the DB2 for i database. The company is working to ensure that DB2 for i and its Cognos suite of enterprise BI tools play nicely, which is critical for customers that want to perform predictive analytics. But for customers on a lower budget (which means 95 percent of the installed base), DB2 Web Query can satisfy the BI demands.
IBM is now working to get the word out about DB2 Web Query, says Scott Forstie, the business architect and SQL development leader for the DB2 for i team. “DB2 Web Query has had a number of product enhancements in the last couple of years that I think are not widely known,” Forstie tells IT Jungle. “Part of the challenge for our team now with this major step up in analytic capability is to tell some of the story of what can be used and for what purpose.”
DB2 Web Query for i version 2.2 runs on IBM i versions 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3. However, DB2 Web Query for i customers that are moving to IBM i 7.3 must use the new version 2.2 release. It’s also worth noting that, while the new outside database capability is supported in DB2 Web Query Standard edition (5733-WQS), customers who are using the Express (5733-WQE) edition can replicate data from other members of the DB2 family.
For more information see IBM United States Software Announcement 216-134.