IBM could release a free version of its DB2 database next year, according to a company executive.
Teo Wan Ping, IBM Singapore’s brand manager for information management, told ZDNet Asia that IBM could “potentially offer” a free starter edition of DB2, as part of the company’s strategy to win over developers to its database product.
Although Big Blue’s existing entry-level DB2 database–the DB2 Universal Database Express Edition–is not free, Teo pointed out that IBM already has a free product in its veins: the Java-based Cloudscape database, which the company contributed to the open-source community last year. Also, earlier this year IBM released a package called Zend Core for IBM, a PHP development package which includes a free DB2 license.
While Teo acknowledged that the database engine used by Cloudscape is different from the one used by DB2, businesses can migrate to the DB2 easily, he asserted.
Commenting on IBM’s impending move, Gartner Vice President Donald Feinberg told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview that it had been just a matter of time before IBM released a free version of DB2.