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March 18, 2008

Free DB2 for z/OS Web Services Development Tool with pureQuery

Last week I noted that IBM is aggressively trying to make DB2 for z/OS the database platform of choice for businesses. To help remove the roadblock of high cost traditionally associated with z/OS, IBM is providing lower-cost hardware, a one-time charge for DB2 and, now, free development software.

The software, Data Studio for Web services development, is an integrated data management environment used to create and test database applications.

What's really unique about Data Studio is not only its ability to manage the full life cycle of application development (design, develop and deploy), or that it's free, but that it allows you to deploy much faster Java data access modules with static SQL through pureQuery.

Why am I so excited about pureQuery? Because in the early days of Java development on the mainframe, DBAs had to deal with lots of different performance-related problems, one of which was dynamic SQL. With the performance outcry, IBM worked with the ISO standards committee to provide a language extension called SQLJ. With SQLJ, programs must run through a preprocessor (SQLJ Translator) before they can be executed.

As a DB2 for z/OS DBA I was really excited about SQLJ. But, little did I know, for various reasons most Java developers refuse to learn SQLJ. For one thing, the syntax for data access with SQLJ is different than it is using standard Java JDBC. As a result, SQLJ requires an extra step to bind the access path to the database. In addition, most IDE development tools don't support generating code with SQLJ.

However, pureQuery is free of SQLJ's limitations. With pureQuery you can continue to use JPA (a J2EE standard) or popular open source projects such as spring and iBatis.

To get started with Data Studio development using pureQuery, download the product and check out the IBM Information Center section on developing pureQuery applications. Included are step by step instructions on using the workbench with pureQuery.

I also recommend this very good article that describes the pureQuery architecture.

IBM continues to provide innovative solutions that reduce the cost of designing, managing and deploying software running on the z/OS platform. This is an exciting time; I can’t wait to see what’s next for z/OS and the mainframe community.