DB2 is a Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS) originally introduced by IBM in 1983 to run on its MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) mainframe platform. The name refers to the shift from the then prevalent hierarchical database model to the new relational model. Although DB2 was initially designed to work exclusively on IBM mainframe platforms, it was later ported to other widely used operating systems like UNIX, Windows and presently in Linux.
DB2 is an integral part of IBM’s information management portfolio. It is a full-featured, high-performance database engine capable of handling large quantities of data and concurrently serving many users.
A relational database allows for a declarative model of the data and access to it via queries. For that purpose, IBM invented the now de-facto standard SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is a very simple, English-like language which facilitates table creation, accessing and the manipulation of the data contained herein. Multiple entries in tables (called “records”) can be inserted, deleted and updated at the same time by concurrent users using commands specified in SQL.
In the 1990s, a version of DB2 called LUV (Linux, Unix, Windows) was introduced, marking the porting of the database to smaller-type computing platforms. The range of computing platforms that DB2 runs on is wide, from mainframes and large distributed platforms to smaller scale PCs. DB2 Express-C, a free-of-charge version similar to the open source MySql, albeit not open source, is offered to the developer community.
DB2 can be administered either through a command-line prompt or a GUI. The highly advanced features and security of DB2 makes it a widely used database in the modern software industry.