Saturday, 17 August 2013

DB2 Early Vendor Implementations

The work done at the IBM research lab during the 1970s was followed with great interest in various technical journals, and the merits of the new relational model were briskly debated at database technology seminars. Toward the latter part of the decade,it became clear that IBM was keenly interested in and committed to developing products based on relational database technology and SQL.
This, of course, led many vendors to speculate how soon IBM would roll out its first product. Some vendors had the good sense to start work on their own products as quickly as possible and not wait around for IBM to lead the market.
In 1977, Relational Software, Inc. was formed by a group of engineers in Menlo Park, California, for the purpose of building a new relational database product based on SQL. They called their product Oracle. Relational Software shipped its product in 1979, beating IBM’s first product to market by two years and providing the first commercially available relational database management system (RDBMS). One of Oracle’s advantages was that it ran on Digital’s VAX minicomputers instead of the more expensive IBM mainframes. Relational Software has since been renamed to Oracle Corporation and is one of the leading vendors of RDBMS software.
Meanwhile, Michael Stonebraker, Eugene Wong, and several other professors at the University of California’s Berkeley computer laboratories were also researching relational database technology. Like the IBM team, they developed a prototype relational database and dubbed their product INGRES. INGRES included a database language called Query Language (QUEL), which, in comparison to SQL, was much more structured but made less use of English-like statements. INGRES was eventually converted to an SQL-based RDBMS when it became clear that SQL was emerging as the standard database language. Several professors left Berkeley in 1980 to form Relational Technology, Inc., and in 1981 they announced the first commercial version of INGRES. Relational Technology has gone through several transformations and is now part of Computer Associates International, Inc. INGRES is still one of the leading database products in the industry today.
Now we come full circle back to IBM. IBM announced its own RDBMS called SQL/Data System (SQL/DS) in 1981 and began shipping it in 1982. In 1983, the company introduced a new version of SQL/DS for the VM/CMS operating system (one of several offered by IBM for their mainframe systems) and announced a new RDBMS product called Database 2 (DB2), which could be used on IBM mainframes using IBM’s mainstream MVS operating system. First shipped in 1985, DB2 has become IBM’s premiere RDBMS, and its technology has been incorporated into the entire IBM product line. By the way, IBM hasn’t changed—it’s still IBM.

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