Db2 Database

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Db2 Database
IBM logo.svg
Initial release1987; 33 years ago (1987)
Stable release(s)
Db2 11.5 / June 27, 2019; 9 months ago (2019-06-27)
Written inC, C++, assembly, Java
Operating systemLinux, Unix-like, Windows
Platformx86-64, x86, Sparc, IBM POWER microprocessors, IA-32
Size1.6 GB
Available inEnglish, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese
LicenseProprietary commercial software, Proprietary EULA

Db2 Database formerly known as Db2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows is a database server product developed by IBM. Also known as Db2 LUW for brevity, it is part of the Db2 family of database products. Db2 LUW is the "Common Server" product member of the Db2 family, designed to run on most popular operating systems. By contrast, all other Db2 products are specific to a single platform.

On June 27, 2019, IBM released Db2 V11.5, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Database. It is both powered by and built for AI. The powered by AI component of Db2 11.5 is derived from features that replace manual optimization with Machine Learning based optimization, as well as the inclusion of natural language in the querying process. The built for AI attribute of Db2 11.5 pertains to the functionality included in Db2 11.5 to support AI application developers.

Db2 11.5 is built for AI through the enhancements to support popular languages and frameworks used by AI developers; Db2 11.5 has native language support for Python, Ruby, Go, Java, PHP, Node.js and Sequelize, and it supports popular frameworks such as Visual Studio Code and Jupyter notebooks. Db2 11.5 is powered by AI since it includes features such as machine learning-based (ML) optimizer and Augmented Data Explorer (ADE). The ML Optimizer will supplement the existing cost-based optimizer. ADE uses natural language querying, faceted search and natural language generation capabilities to make it easy for users to easily explore the data stored in Db2.

Db2 is part of the Hybrid Data Management Platform offering. This is a higher level of data management that enables all structured, semi-structured, or unstructured data to be accessed and analyzed, whether it is stored on premises, in a public cloud, in a private cloud, open source, or in any combination of those deployments.


The first release of Advanced Db2 LUW was as Db2 Universal Database version 5, available on UNIX, Windows and OS/2 platforms. This product stemmed from two earlier products, Db2 Common Server version 2 and Db2 Parallel Edition. Db2 Universal Database version 5 continued IBM's new direction of using a common code base to support Db2 on different platforms, while incorporating the shared nothing features of Db2 Parallel Edition to support large data warehousing databases.

Db2 LUW was initially called Db2 Universal Database (UDB), but over time IBM marketing started to use the same term for other database products, notably mainframe (z-Series) Db2. Thus the Db2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows moniker became necessary to distinguish the common server Db2 LUW product from single-platform Db2 products.

The current Db2 LUW product runs on multiple Linux and UNIX distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux, IBM AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris, and most Windows systems. Earlier versions also ran on OS/2. Multiple editions are marketed for different sizes of organisation and uses. The same code base is also marketed without the Db2 name as IBM InfoSphere Warehouse edition.

In 2017, the "Db2 UDB" name became just "Db2".

Key features[edit]

In addition to standard ACID-compliant row-organized relational database functionality, some of its key features are:

  • IBM BLU Acceleration: OLAP oriented column-organized tables,[1] compressed with order-preserving "approximate Huffman encoding",[2] exploiting SIMD vector processing of compressed data. Because the compression is order preserving, a greater range of operations can be performed on compressed data.
  • pureScale: A data-sharing clustering of the database over multiple servers for scalability and resilience. This technology was taken from the mainframe (z-Series) Db2 product. This form of clustering suits OLTP workloads.
  • Database partitioning feature: A shared-nothing approach to clustering, with data hashed across multiple partitions on the same server or different processors. With the right database design, this approach allows near-linear scaling. This form of clustering is generally employed for large data warehouses rather than OLTP workloads.
  • XML support: XML-specific storage and indexing, accessible by both SQL and also XQuery.
  • NoSQL support: Currently graph triple stores[3] and JSON support[4]
  • Storage Optimization
  • Data Federation
  • Federation Server
  • Continuous Data Ingest


IBM offers three editions: Db2 Community Edition, Standard Server Edition, and Advanced Server Edition.

IBM Db2 Community Edition[edit]

IBM Db2 Community Edition
IBM logo.svg
Initial release2019 (2019)
Stable release
Db2 Community Edition (11.5) / June 27, 2019; 9 months ago (2019-06-27)
Written inC, C++
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inEnglish
LicenseProprietary EULA
WebsiteDb2 Community Edition homepage at ibm.com

IBM Db2 Community Edition is a free to download, use and redistribute edition of the IBM Db2 data server, which has both XML database and relational database management system features.[5] It is limited to four CPU cores, 16 GB of RAM, a database size of 100 GB, and no Enterprise support and fix packs. Db2 Community Edition has no limit on number of users.

On June 27, 2019, IBM released Db2 V11.5, a Db2 update designed to deliver enhancements to help automate data management, eliminate ETL, and support artificial intelligence data workloads. Along with the update, IBM unveiled streamlined offerings. The free version of Db2 is the Community Edition. This version of Db2 contains all features, does not include an expiration. The caps on this version of Db2 is four CPU cores and 16 GB of RAM. IBM Db2 Community Edition replaces the Db2 Express edition.


On June 27, 2019, IBM announced a special free version of Db2 Database called Db2 Community edition. The Db2 Community edition was created for the 11.5 release of IBM Db2. The Db2 Community edition replaced the previously free version of IBM Db2 known as DB2 Express-C.

On January 30, 2006, IBM announced a special free version of DB2 Express edition called DB2 Express-C. The DB2 Express-C edition was created for the 8.2 release of IBM Db2. After this Db2 Express-C was created for all new DB2 versions: 9.1 (codenamed "Viper"), 9.5 (codename "Viper 2"), 9.7 (codename "Cobra"), 10.01 (codename "Galileo"), 10.5 (codename "Kepler") and 11.1.

The IBM DB2 pureXML implementation of XML database features was introduced in the beta of DB2 9.

Supported environments[edit]

The Community edition download is available for the following platforms: IBM Db2 11.5 Edition for AIX, IBM Db2 11.5 Edition for Windows on AMD64 and Intel EM64T systems (x64), IBM Db2 11.5 for Linux on AMD64 and Intel EM64T systems (x64), IBM Db2 11.5 for Linux on POWER little endian systems. There is also a Docker Image download available for the Community edition.


IBM Db2 Community edition is limited to use up to 16 GB RAM and four CPU cores. The database engine does not limit the number of concurrent user connections. The prior version of IBM DB2 Express-C was limited to use up to 16 GB RAM (increase from 4 GB with v10.5) and two CPU cores.

The Db2 Community edition feature set is similar to Db2 Standard and Advanced editions. The main difference is that the Community edition has lower CPU and memory limits, and is unsupported. It has the following extra features enabled:

  • Backup compression
  • Homogeneous federation – only DB2, Informix Data Server and Oracle targets are supported
  • Homogeneous SQL replication
  • Net Search Extender
  • XML storage
  • Spatial extender


Db2 Community edition is unsupported and regular Db2 fix packs can not be applied to it. IBM does not release any fixes, but they do publish updated installation images and remove old ones. Unix versions need to be reinstalled, but it is possible to perform in-place updates on Windows versions by just running the installation program of a newer version. If you need access to regular Db2 fix packs, which are released several times per year, you need to buy Db2 Standard or Advanced editions. Installation images are traditionally refreshed once for every major Db2 release to sync code with second fix pack.


For Db2 Community editions there are no annual subscriptions, instead the free trial is available indefinitely. Users who want to scale beyond four cores and 16 GB of RAM do not need to migrate their workload to an upgraded environment, instead users apply a license key against the existing implementation to access additional capacity.

IBM Db2 Standard Edition[edit]

The Db2 Standard Edition is available as a perpetual software license for production and non-production use for up to 16 processor cores and 128 GB RAM with IBM support. For production use, Db2 Standard Edition can be licensed based on a Virtual Processor Core metric, wherein it is licensed by the total count of processor cores in a non-partitioned physical server, or virtual cores assigned to a virtual server. For non-production use, Db2 Standard Edition can be licensed based on the total count of authorized users.

IBM Db2 Advanced Edition[edit]

The Db2 Advanced Edition is available only as a component of the IBM Hybrid Data Management Platform (HDMP). Within HDMP, Db2 is available both as a perpetual software license AND a monthly subscription for unrestricted production and non-production use with premium IBM support. For both HDMP perpetual license and subscription offerings, you need to buy FlexPoints. Flexpoints are generic licensing credits that can be used to deploy any Db2-family software product or cloud service offering.

Db2 Advanced Edition offers these benefits:

  • Improves application performance and analytics for faster decisions.
  • Delivers high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Provides a secure, flexible environment
  • Interfaces with a variety of data more efficiently.
  • Improves productivity and reduces administration efforts.


  1. ^ "Column-organized tables". IBM. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Eaton, Chris. "Actionable Compression in Db2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration". Toolbox. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "RDF application development for IBM data servers". IBM. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "JSON application development for IBM data servers". IBM. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "IBM Db2 Database - Community Edition for Developers". IBM. December 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-03.