IBM has just released version 10.1 of DB2 Express-C for Linux, Unix, and Windows. This is a major upgrade that boasts a number of additions and improvements.
The already excellent performance has been improved further (including XML performance), and the free edition now takes advantage of up to 4 GB of RAM (but you can have as much RAM on the server as you wish). As usual, there are no limits on database size, number of users, etc — unlike other free versions of commercial databases that are offered by Microsoft and Oracle.
||DB2 Express-C 10.1
||SQL Server 2012 Express
||Oracle 11g Express Edition
||1 (Up to 2 Cores)
||1 (Up to 4 Cores)
|Max DB Size
||Windows/Linux/Unix & Mac*
By buying a completely optional subscription for $2,150 a year, DB2 Express-C FTL (Fixed Term License) will use up to 8 GB of memory, 4 cores (as opposed to the 2 cores used by the free edition), adds 24/7 support, and a bunch of high-end features such as HADR (High-Availability and Disaster Recovery), row, column, and label access control, etcetera.
Among the numerous new features present within the free edition, you’ll find:
- Support for historical reporting through Time Travel Query. In a nutshell, this cool new feature allows you to query the database at the state it was in at a given time or within a given period in the past.
- Compatibility with Oracle is now up to 98%, which means that you can easily switch most applications without running into any headaches.
- Support for SPARQL and RDF has also been baked in, allowing DB2 to act as a NoSQL storage solution.
- Control Center has been discontinued in favor of the much more powerful IBM Data Studio.
You can read a detailed list of what’s new in Leon Katsnelson’s article on developerWorks.
Before you ask, no DB2 Express-C 10.1 is not currently available for Mac OS X. (That’s why you see an * in the table above.) However, Mac users who reported issues with Lion, will be happy to know that a recent version aimed at addressing such issues has been released as well. It’s still DB2 Express-C 9.5.2, but it’s an out-of-beta release that should make things much smoother.
If you’d like to learn more about DB2, I invite you to check out the courses available for free on Big Data University.
Download DB2 Express-C for your OS now and give it a shot. Alternatively or in addition, you can also try DB2 Express-C in the cloud through RightScale.