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IBM Guns for SQL Server

IBM on Thursday released a new version of its DB2 database designed to compete with Microsoft SQL Server for the fast-growing cost-sensitive end of the database market.

The product is called IBM DB2 Universal Database Express Edition 8.1 or DB2 UDB Express for short. Giving it the same version number as other editions of DB2 underlines IBM's message that the product is a full-function version of the database. But IBM is primarily positioning DB2 UDB Express as having a low sticker price and an emphasis on ease-of-deployment, two hallmarks of Microsoft SQL Server's reputation. DB2 UDB Express will run on Windows and Linux.

"With today's announcement of DB2 Express, our Partners can now tell small and medium-sized business customers that there is a database alternative that costs less to own, is easy to use, offers better support, and co-exists with a variety of computing platforms," Janet Perna, general manager of data management solutions for the IBM Software Group, said in a statement.

On price, IBM claims a 30 percent cost advantage over SQL Server. Big Blue's math works like this. DB2 UDB Express will cost about $500 with an additional $100 per user license. In a scenario with a server and 50 users, IBM says DB2 UDB Express costs about $5,500 to SQL Server's $8,000.

In ease-of-use, IBM points to no mouseclick installation and 65 automation tools, automated system health monitoring and numerous wizards.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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