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IBM Aims "Stinger" at PDC Buzz

As Microsoft floated some of its first real details on "Longhorn," "Yukon" and "Whidbey," IBM moved to pop Microsoft's buzz balloon with a code-named project of its own called "Stinger."

In an announcement Monday timed to coincide with the start of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, IBM unveiled a preview of enhancements to its IBM DB2 software -- database technologies and development tools aimed at Microsoft's upcoming Yukon version of SQL Server and upcoming Whidbey version of Visual Studio.

The preview, available for download at IBM's developerWorks Web site, is the first of a series of new features for future versions of DB2 designed to enhance the reliability, manageability, integration and scalability of the database.

In pointed jabs against Microsoft, an IBM statement on Stinger noted that the capabilities come well ahead of Yukon, which is due in late 2004. Big Blue also claims the capabilities will allow DB2 users to take better advantage of Windows and .NET than Microsoft currently provides for its own Microsoft SQL Server 2000 customers.

Included in the preview are DB2 add-ins for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, an enhanced DB2 .NET Data Provider and tighter integration with development tools from Rational, which IBM acquired earlier this year.

Stinger also gives DB2 the ability to host the Common Language Runtime (CLR), a highly touted feature of Yukon. IBM says its inclusion of the CLR will leverage programmers' Visual Basic .NET and C# skills by allowing them to build both client and DB2 server-side applications using those familiar programming languages.

"Using Stinger, the large community of Visual Studio .NET and Rational developers will benefit from our advancements all through the context of their natural development environment," Bob Picciano, IBM's director of database technology, said in a statement.

Also on Monday, IBM planned to demonstrate a 64-bit version of a DB2 server running on AMD processors and the beta version of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems.

About the Author

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

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