Business Benefits of DB2 9 for z/OS
November 11th, 2009

Many of today's enterprise IT systems are comprised of a bewildering array of technologies.  The advent of Service Oriented Architectures and "loosely coupled" systems means that it is often impossible for the end-user to tell which back-end systems are being used.

In such an environment, it is tempting to think of the data server as a commodity item; a dumb database engine responsible only for performing simple queries in a reasonable time.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

As IT systems continue to evolve and expand beyond their traditional boundaries, so too must their data search and retrieval capabilities.  The database is being asked to form the core of a true "information server", able to seamlessly integrate traditional data and new structures such as XML documents.  At the same time, security and regulatory compliance remain key issues, with evermore demanding standards being set.

Integrated XML Support
The availability of pureXML features in DB2 9 mean that it is now possible to build a whole new class of XML-based enterprise applications without the performance and flexibility compromises inherent in previous implementations.

Improved Large Object Support
DB2 9 is a more attractive host for LOB data, allowing a greater range of applications to take advantage of the resilience and security offered by DB2.

Native SQL Features
DB2 9 significantly broadens both the scope and appeal of SQL procedures, allowing them to be deployed more efficiently and executed more quickly and at lower cost than before.

Enhanced ERP Support
DB2 for z/OS is well established as the premier data server for high-end ERP systems such as SAP.  DB2 9 contains a large number of new features and enhancements to improve the performance and reduce the costs associated with these demanding applications.

Business Intelligence
The availability of timely and accurate business intelligence can be a key factor in the success of any enterprise.  A number of significant BI-related enhancements in DB2 9 reinforce its BI credentials on the System z platform, improving performance and reducing operating costs.

Improved Security & Auditing
The System z platform has a long history of providing a safe and secure environment for data but tough new regulations have raised requirements for new features within the operating system and other system software.  DB2 9 has responded to these requirements with enhancements designed to significantly improve security and auditability in several key areas.

Enhanced developer & DBA productivity
As overall IT costs are driven down, people costs are becoming an increasingly large proportion of the total.  DB2 9 contains a number of features that should improve the productivity of DB2 developers and support staff, yielding significant cost savings while improving business agility.

Improved Performance
Improved performance translates directly to better customer service, reduced resource utilisation and lower operating costs.

"Despite several key performance enhancements delivered in DB2 version 8 some new customers saw little or no overall improvement due to the overheads inherent in the move to a 64-bit architecture and other architectural changes.  DB2 9 reverses this trend, delivering another set of significant performance enhancements without any associated overheads." Says Julian Stuhler, Triton Director and IBM Gold Consultant

DB2 9 for z/OS in one of the first of a new breed of hybrid relational database management systems, optimised for today's highly demanding and complex IT systems and able to seamlessly integrate relational and XML data.

The new features within DB2 9 represent yet another significant advancement in DB2's capabilities.  The product offers real financial and technical benefits, free from major challenges such as CCSID issues or Unicode conversions.

Looking forward to DB2 X
The latest news on what's to come in the next version of DB2, currently named DB2 X is largely around CPU savings.  There is also a major push on analytics as part of the Information-Led Transformation Strategy that IBM have developed.  As a result there have been extensions to the core database engine in DB2 X to support warehousing queries and IBM has begun to talk of a much more fundamental and exciting development in the shape of its "Smart Analytics Optimizer".  This is essentially a BI/analytics appliance aimed at boosting the database query performance of the servers that it is attached to.  The really big news is that it will be available to connect to system z servers very soon, allowing DB2 for z/OS to offload suitable workload to the SAO for processing thus bringing performance and cost advantages to the business.