DB2 on Mac to ship before Christmas

PC Vs. MAC, DB2 Edition

This is not an official announcement, but I must share the news with you. DB2 Express-C for Mac OS X Leopard will finally be shipping out (before Christmas), in all likelihood it could be as soon as early next week. You may recall how more than a year ago I blogged about how the work on porting DB2 to the Mac had started. It took admittedly longer than expected but DB2 on Mac is coming, and is absolutely free of charge, of course. The team is still playing with the bubble wrap, but DB2 on Mac is a reality.

What took IBM so long? DB2 is a database management system that’s highly optimized for each platform that it’s available for, so that it can take full advantage of the operating system at hand. In other words, porting DB2 from one platform to another, is not so trivial. The task is made more challenging by the extremely high standards set by IBM. You may be familiar with the whole scandal surrounding MySQL 5.1, which was released despite known fatal bugs. Something like that is simply not acceptable to IBM. Each release of DB2 has to go through a huge amount of regression and performance tests – for months. If the product does not pass all these tests and others, then DB2 is not shipped.

On top of this, a few months ago the decision to ship DB2 Express-C 9.5.2 (rather than 9.5) was made, and as you probably know, DB2 Express-C 9.5.2 was only released a little while ago for other supported platforms. So the first piece of good news is that you’ll get the latest version of DB2 on the Mac. It’s going to be a 64 bit version and will require Leopard to work:

$ db2level
DB21085I  Instance "acangiano" uses "64" bits and DB2 code release "SQL09052" with level identifier "03030107".
Informational tokens are "DB2 v9.5.0.2", "s081205", "DARWIN64", and Fix Pack "2".
Product is installed at "/Users/acangiano/sqllib".

The second good thing is that unlike MySQL 64 bit, you won’t have to jump though hoops to build the Ruby driver due to the fact that the database is 64 bits and Ruby ships on Leopard as 32 bits. We ensured that gem install ibm_db would work out of the box, so you don’t have to.

According to Apple, my personal Mac is broken for good (the video chip is dead), which is very bad timing. But I installed DB2 and played around with it on a work Mac Pro machine. I had some fun with Ruby and Rails as well. This is great news for many categories of developers, including those who have been trying to convince their managers to get them a MacBook Pro but didn’t have much of a case due to the lack of availability of a DB2 version. Now, you’ll have a good excuse to get yourself a Mac. 😉

Stay tuned for the official announcement and keep in mind that this is going to be a beta (perfect for development purposes) and extra features and performance improvements will be added in future releases.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represents the opinions of my employer, IBM.

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