IBM produced a relational database management system called DB2 that was referred to as a ‘data server’ by IBM. In order to understand the history of DB2, we first need to be familiar with the term relational database. What is a relational database? This is a set of files that has been evaluated for all of the associations between fields.  Redundancy is minimized in the data being stored when the related fields are pulled out of the original fields. For instance, repeating TN as the state of Tennessee can be avoided by storing it once in a state code file when the information is pulled out of the original field.

History of DB2 started in 1970 when the idea of a relational database was brought up by one Dr. E.F. Codd. He did this by coming up with numerous algebraic rules, which he found to be practical to data manipulation.  The application of Codd’s principles was presented to a group of programmers by IBM, who then came up with a language referred to as (structured query language) SQL.  In 1982 the first database management system to use structured query language was given the name DB2.

Initially, the IBM mainframes was the only platform that used DB2 but as time went by, precisely in the 1990’s this database management system spread to other platforms such as PDA’s, mid-range computers OS/i5- previously  AS/400- and even LUW (Linux, Unix, Windows). Within the same time span, a universal server was introduced by IBM, which permitted developers describe their own data types from the former data types that were considered more primitive. The universal server allowed this by transforming the technology to an object-related SQL DBMS.

The DB2 product suite was then upgraded by IBM in 2001 by buying and incorporating most of Informix’s database features in this database management system. Later in 2006 ‘viper’, the codename for DB2 9 on z/OS and DB2 on distributed platforms was announced by IBM.  DB2 9 allows storage compression to save on disc space and also provides ability to store XML ‘natively’. The ability to store XML natively is referred to as pureXML(tm) by IBM. IBM has many competitors but the biggest of all are Oracle and Teradata for data warehousing. On the other hand competitors in the smaller environments include MySQL and Microsoft’s SQL server.

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