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May 21, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

New release of DB2 adds SAA interface

Having pretended for the first couple of year’s that it would probably never be any such thing, IBM is forging ahead rapidly – and belatedly – with its efforts to make its relational DB2 a production database manager, and the latest release, MVS only, adds productivity and usability enhancements through addition of new data types and other extensions to Structured Query Language, and, most notably, the first mainframe implementation of a Systems Applications Architecture feature in the form of an SAA Database Interface. DB2 operates is designed to operate in a highly parallel fashion, using MVS multiple address space architecture, cross memory services, 31-bit virtual addressing under MVS/XA and large real storage. Cobol, PL/I, Fortran and Assembler supported by DB2 have data types corresponding to the DB2 single precision floating point data type. The new release will be out in the US in June, and costs $16,050, and $2,675 a month; for new low-end users there is a first time licence charge of $3,200 plus one-time charges of $93,625; $93,625 and $149,800 depending on the size of processor on which it is to run.

SQL/DS takes over on 9370s under VM

SQL/DS was originally no more than a relational table-building feature under DOS/VSE, but has since been elevated to full database management system status and is now the preferred relational database for VM/SP as well as DOS/VSE. The new SQL/DS V2.1 release provides additional productivity and usability enhancements for application programmers and users, through addition of new data types, enhanced language support and other extensions to SQL. It also supports the new IBM SAA Database Interface, and will be available in the US in December at$725 a month, as well as on a graduated one-time charge basis for the four levels of 9370 processor of $8,700; $15,225; $21,750; and $34,800.

Enhancements to Query Management

The Query Management Facility has also been enhanced in v2.2 with support for transfer of data into and out of QMF in the Integration Exchange Format as well as time and time-stamp data types and new ANSI SQL syntax for DB2 and SQL/DS; SQL queries support scalar functions, concatenation operator, removal of restriction by the database, and new options for merging tables and single precision floating point. Query By Example queries also now support removal of restriction by the database, and merging tables and single precision floating point; Extracted data may be downloaded to an MS-DOS machine and data made available to a wide variety of Personal Computer products, when using the Host Data Base View, the Conversational Monitor System within VM/370, or the TSO/E Time Sharing Option Extension Servers/Requesters via IXF formatted data. Out next month in the US, it is available at between $1,250 and $1,500 a month, or a one-time $15,000 to $72,000 according to processor size. Data Extract also has a new 2.2 release that adds support for new DB2 and SQL/DS-VM data types as well as enhanced End-User Dialogues Administration Facilities; full Boolean logic support for extracts from non-relational data; National Language Support for Japanese translation and a bridge to the DXT Assist Tool; out June, it is $3,600 to $14,400.

New Relational Application Directory

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Completely new is the rather vital-sounding Data Base Relational Application Directory, a program providing a directory for storage of information about an organisation’s application objects and data definitions in the MVS and VM environments. It provides centralised view of use of application objects and mechanisms for retrieval of information about these objects and the relationships that exist between them. IBM says it is designed to simplify applications development, minimise data security concerns, and assist in data and system administration. It provides information on the data in the DBRAD directory – and in this context, IBM defines an object as anything from a record or a table, to a view or an entire application; System 38 has an object-oriented architecture, bu

t objects are a fairly new concept in the MVS world. The DBRAD directory is an extension of the DB2 system catalogue that contains additional information about the organisation data. It includes object definitions and storage locations, subordinate objects contained within objects, and relationships between objects. It provides comprehensive batch-mode facilities and security features to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data, and also generates summary and detailed reports from the DBRAD tables about applications and their interrelationships. It will be available in the third quarter and DBRAD/MVS – is $14,000 while there are graduated charges for the DBRAD/VM version for the 9370 which range from $3,500 right up to $14,000.

DB2/VSAM Transparency for VSAM access

Another new and rather vital program is DB2/VSAM Transparency, enabling data stored in IBM DB2 tables to be accessed by VSAM applications as if it were stored in VSAM data files. IBM notes that – surprise surprise – many existing VSAM application programs will continue to be used after users have migrated their data to DB2, and suggests that the new program enables rewriting of existing VSAM applications supported by DB2/VSAM Transparency to be done in orderly manner. It does not require recompilation or re-linked editing of existing applications, although minor JCL modifications are required, and it enables VSAM applications to continue to access native VSAM datasets concurrently with ones that have been migrated to DB2. The new program, set for March 1988 in the US, runs in TSO, CICS and/or batch attachment to DB2; $11,000.

SolutionPacs for VSE to MVS, DB2 design

IBM also announced two SolutionPacs, which are bundles of software and services intended to make life easier for sites making major transitions. The SolutionPac VSE/MVS Migration Assistant is designed to take a little of the pain out of making the giant leap from limited DOS/VSE to mighty MVS/XA, and bundles on-site services with the MVS Migration System program, with Project Initiation Services and a follow-on optional Switchover Assistance aid; it starts in November in the US. The SolutionPac – Database Application Development similarly bundles On-Site Education, On-Site Consulting Services and Remote User Support with migration programs for users setting out to implement DB2 or SQL/DS relational databases under MVS/XA, VM or DOS/VSE. The US programme will start in October.

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