Repost: "Hands on Databases - Room to Manoeuvre" (PC World, UK 9/1/99)

J. Michael Morrilll

Repost: "Hands on Databases - Room to Manoeuvre" (PC World, UK 9/1/99)

Below is a posting from Mike Swift's DB2 Interested Parties mailing list. If you would like to join his list, you can e-mail him at
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J. Michael Morrill
Chief DB2-L List Owner


Dear DB2 Interested Parties,

Below is a brief article about DB2 Universal Database Satellite Edition and DB2
Everywhere, "Hands on Databases - Room to Manoeuvre" by Mark Whitehorn
(published in PC World, UK 9/1/99).

You may also recall from a bulletin sent some months ago that Mark and Mary
Whitehorn published a book earlier this year, "IBM Business Intelligence: The
IBM Solution". The book is nearly 300 pages and includes a full description on
how to install and use Visual Warehouse and DB2 OLAP Server. It also includes a
product CD with a trial version of Visual Warehouse and a URL to request DB2
OLAP Server code. The ISBN number is 1-85233-085-6.

DB2 Satellite Edition is in beta test and will be available later this year.

DB2 Everywhere is available as a free download from the DB2 Everywhere Web site

Regards, Mike

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PC World, UK:
Hands on Databases - Room to Manoeuvre
By Mark Whitehorn

(from, follow links to "Hands on - Databases - Room to Manoeuvre")

Mark Whitehorn reports on building a bigger text file, and looks at smaller
database engines.

Mobile databases

Last month we started to look at mobile access to corporate data. This process
generates three delectable challenges: first, the size of the RDBMS engine;
second, the size of the data; and third, how to resolve conflicts during data
replication. Let's start with the size of the engine: RDBMS engines are
typically huge, complex, lumbering pieces of software - so how can one possibly
fit on a portable device? The trite answer is that laptops are becoming
unbelievably powerful, so use one of those as the mobile device.

But this is to miss the point: laptops are very expensive, and we have the
technology to run on much smaller, and much cheaper, devices. Ask yourself why a
client-server RDBMS is so big: the answer lies mainly in two areas - multi-user
access to the data, and security. To ensure that you and I don't edit exactly
the same data at the same time, the RDBMS has complex locking mechanisms: on a
single-user device, all of this can be shed. Secondly, RDBMS designers are
paranoid about data security. Every transaction is logged, the log files are
kept on separate disks, and the data is periodically backed up. Why? Because
this database is the datastore for the entire company, and a lunched database
could literally mean the end of the company. Losing all of the data on a mobile
device is sad, but unlikely to bring the entire company to its knees. So, we can
trim that fat off the RDBMS engine as well.

I discussed Oracle Lite in the Hands On PDAs column last month, but IBM has been
doing even more drastic liposuction on DB2 (pictured, above). There are two
versions coming: DB2 Satellite is a cut-down version of the standard DB2
Universal database and runs in under 1Mb on Windows NT, 95 and 98, with the
delivery of the server-side tools being on NT and AIX. But there is the
unbelievably tiny DB2 Everywhere (coyly abbreviated to DB2e) which is designed
for Windows CE, Epoc-32 and PalmOS. This runs in 50K - tiny, or what? Unlike
Satellite, DB2e is a total redesign which sits on top of the file structure of
the target device. All IBM has added is a thin layer that understands basic SQL
(Select, Insert, Update and Delete). For the synchronisation back to the server,
IBM Mobile Connect is used. So, small RDBMS engines are possible after all. More
next month ...

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Mike Swift
Internet: [login to unmask email]
IBM Santa Teresa Lab - 555 Bailey Avenue - San Jose, CA 95141
Phone: 408 463-4105, Fax: 408 463-4633

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