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Well, IBM really has set DB2 free. As Domino admins and developers, we are very well positioned to take advantage of this. So, how do we get started?

By Andrew Pollack on 01/31/2006 at 01:06 PM EST

First, I have to say that setting DB2 free was a fantastic move. PC based servers have never been the large part of the revenue stream for DB2 anyway, though it is for Microsoft's MSSQL. DB2 is very well regarded in the I.T. industry and compares very favorably at the top end. Even the Slashdot community which is heavily biased toward MYSQL has good things to say about DB2 and has taken this news favorably.

IBM is effectively saying "If your product is targetted at x86 servers -- even multiprocessor/multi-core -- you don't really have a product." Microsoft's market is exclusively (or nearly so) now forced to compete against a product that most of the industry considers vastly superior, and yet is free to anyone using it on a scale that Microsoft typically sells to. IBM Isn't, and has never been effective at selling DB2 to SOHO. By giving away this market, they have the opportunity to capture some of it, poison the water supply of their competitor in Microsoft SQL, and for those successful companies that grow from PC based servers to serious hardware they can easily migrate them to iSeries or zSeries big boxes with lots of zeros on the price tag. Its a solid strategy and a good product.

Given that, we as Domino centric partners have the most to gain here. The vast majority of our servers are capable of hosting a DB2 instance and fall under the free licensing category for doing so now. In my considered opinion, IBM has just passed us the ball and set up the play. The big question is, will we pick up the ball and run with it?

Here's catch -- most of us know very little about the DB2 product line. I've installed it and created some simple databases. I've even written some fairly interesting script to handle the SQL / Object conversion once or twice. Beyond that, I don't even know enough to know what I can do, let alone how to accomplish it.

I'd like to install a DB2 instance on my linux based Domino 7 server. I'd like to have a good reporting tool to point at it, so that when I fill database tables with log data and other such things I can use DB2 as the back end for reporting -- preferebly web based reporting.

What specifically do I need to install?
What optional tools & products are the de-facto standard for this?
What do I need to open for ports to the machine?
How secure are those ports if I open them up?

Where can I get up to speed quickly, as a partner, to add this to my toolbox?


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