March Spotlight – Db2 Developer C

By Martin Hubel posted Mar 04, 2019 10:53 AM


March Spotlight – Db2 Developer C

If you are a serious Db2 user, chances are you have downloaded and used free Db2 versions for a few years. Db2 Express-C was a free way to learn Db2 on Linux, Unix and Windows, to practise and test your SQL skills and in later versions even implement or ship Db2 with your small production application.


Db2 Express-C is a legitimate platform for learning Db2. The only downside is some of the high-end, cool features are not available. Some of the missing features include many of my favorites like Db2 BLU, MQTs, MDCs and partitioning. A complete list and a good comparison reference can be found on Ember Crooks's blog, While there might be a version of Db2 Express available in version 11.1, it is more likely that it will become harder to find.


Db2 11.1 has a new free offering called Db2 Developer-C (Db2DevC). Db2DevC is better than Db2 Express-C because there are no limitations on functionality. You can now use all features of Db2 including partitioning, encryption, HADR, compression and my favorites I listed above. Another valuable reference is IBM’s video produced by George Baklarz:


The only limits on Db2DevC are machine limits: 4 cores, 16 GB memory and 100 GB limit per database. Also, the initial restriction on development use only has been removed so that production use is now possible.


Db2 Developer C Can Now Be Used For Production

If you develop a prototype that turns out to be useful, you can implement it as a production application under the Db2DevC licence. This is a recent change to licensing that is not documented in all places of the IBM website.

If you compress the data and indexes, you can have a decent sized database that fits under the 100 GB limit. My personal experience using Db2 adaptive compression is to expect at least 70 percent compression. This is certainly large enough for a small operational application, whereby the limit of 4 CPUs and 16 GB of memory would then be a factor. Let’s hope your applications become successful enough that you will want and be able to upgrade to chargeable license.

As far as modern analytics go, 100 GB is a pretty small database, so chances are you would be unlikely to use your Db2DevC. Your analytics database should likely just be considered a sandbox.



 Db2DevC comes in two formats for various operating systems: container and “bare metal”. The “Community Edition” is a container version for use with Docker on MacOS or Linux. The Windows version for Docker was available, but it was withdrawn, at least temporarily, due to problems with Docker.


The bare metal version is called “IBM Db2 Developer-C” and is available for all platforms where Db2 runs. As a diehard Db2 fan, I usually install this version. It is also a favorite amongst mainframe DBAs who want to learn Db2 LUW on their home computers.



So there you have it: Db2DevC is a full function, production ready database for you to play with, learn and even implement small production applications. Db2 continues to delight me with its innovative technology, considering that I started using it nearly 34 years ago.

 Even if you have spent your career on the mainframe, Db2 for LUW is an easy way to learn a distributed database.


Martin Hubel

MHC inc.
IBM Gold Consultant

IBM Information Champion

Host of the DB2Night Show for z/OS 

1 comment


Mar 06, 2019 06:53 PM

Hubel very nice article on free db2

Very nice and informative Blog 


Renu Sharma