IBM brings relational XML tools to mainframes

Company has high hopes for its Viper engine as a way of moving relational-based software to XML

IBM has made its Viper engine available on mainframes, and the company predicts a bright future for Viper in driving through service-oriented architecture environments.

The Viper engine designed to make it easier to move data from legacy applications to XML.

The DB2 9 Viper data server runs on the mainframe under the z/OS operating system. According to IBM, z/OS has added a bunch of new features to Viper, including better security data-storage compression and, IBM believes, allows easy management, for the first time, of relational and XML data in the same database.

The management argument will be compelling for large customers looking for ways to marry the two worlds of "old" relational data and "new" XML.

IBM is already seeing considerable demand from clients for Viper running on mainframes, according to Bernie Spang, director of data services at IBM. "We see it across a broad range," he told ZDNet UK. "The most important area is SOA [service-oriented architecture], alog with dynamic warehousing, SAP and applications."

According to Spang, IBM customers see much of the promise in performance. "One customer, for example, had an application with a quarter of a million data reads on XML," he explained. "That would take a day to process. [With Viper] it takes less than an hour."

IBM believes that Viper is one of the tools that can help it pick up new business in the mainframe market. "We are finding new business from Oracle, Microsoft OpenSQL and My SQL," Spang said.

One IBM customer, the bank Citigroup, sees the benefits of Viper in management reporting. "The new security and compliance tracking capabilities of DB2 9 for z/OS will allow us to simplify our existing process for the management reporting of changes to our production database systems," said Bob Perih, Citigroup's senior vice president.

In addition to DB2 9 for z/OS, IBM has also released enhanced DB2 and IMS Tools including DB2 Optimization Expert and DB2 Utilities Suite under the operating systems. The Viper data server has been available for a year for Linux, Unix and Windows systems.

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