09 May 2007, 01:17 AM EDT
Msg. 184539 of 185127
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*** A possible IBM connection, we wait to find out but from the TIME FRAME of events from 2000 (do NOT buy the stock from reading this post or any posts on RB, do your own research first):
Time frame of events for VCSY and IBM... I started to have a 'gut' hunch the VCSY XML products were in 'Viper' last year but just couldn't figure out the time line since I didn't think it would take IBM four years to develop a product with VCSY software as the 'core' technology. But, recently after IBM started to issue news and interviews and then stated that DB2.9 (viper) was in development for FIVE years, the pieces fell together and it was icing on the cake to see what happened when I looked at the time line for both. I still could be wrong and IBM went on to develop their own products without VCSY but...I just don't see how with the XML patents of VCSY. If anyone else does, please let me know I am wrong and how...I will appreciate it..sincerely.
So read this and remember, it is only my opinion and how I see the facts...do your own research before buying this stock or any stock.
I guess the best way to start is with the timeline of events for VCSY …and IBM
• March 2000 Vertical Computer Systems buys XML ‘Emily’ and hires the inventor, Jeff Davison
“LOS ANGELES, Mar 7, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board : VCSY) announced today that it has acquired Emily Solutions, a web technology company (Emily). Emily Solution's "The Emily Framework" consists of executable programs, files, configuration data and documentation needed to create websites that intercommunicate via XML and HTTP. The Emily Framework is intended to be an engineering package comparable to other web development tools such as Allaire Cold Fusion or Microsoft Frontpage. The primary component of Emily is MLE (Markup Language Executive), a programming language that already runs on WindowsNT, Linux and several UNIX platforms. The MLE Emily Solution is intended to be both a complement and possibly an alternative to Java on the server side. Emily implements XML explicitly designed for server-to-server communication. (XML is the industry- endorsed format for business-to-business communication.) Luiz Valdetaro, Vertical's Chief Technology Officer, stated, "The Emily Framework should allow Vertical to integrate its international portal linkage without the need for a centralized database…
"Additionally, Vertical Computer Systems has retained Jeff Davison, the developer of The Emily Solutions platform, as a consultant. Furthermore, Jeff Davison is the developer of both SNMX Scripting language and Ace-SNMP, owned and offered by Diversified Data Resources, Inc., and also SNMP-NMS that is offered by Scientific Atlantic, Inc. Jeff Davison has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from California State University.
• Announcement on the inventor, Jeff Davison being named Chief Software Officer at VCSY. Note his resume and reason it is mentioned here.
LOS ANGELES, Jun 6, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE)
Vertical Computer Systems Inc. (OTCBB:VCSY), a leading multilingual portal provider, software developer and e-commerce solutions company, today announced that it has appointed Jeff Davidson as chief software officer.
Davidson will direct the development of VCSY's proprietary Markup Language Executive (MLE) software, known as Emily. Emily is a programming language that allows Web-page builders to design Web sites that intercommunicate via XML and HTTP.
Davidson designed and invented the Emily scripting language and framework. He has been acting as a consultant to VCSY since the purchase of Emily Solutions technology in March 2000 and began working for VCSY as a full-time employee on June 1, 2000.
Davidson is a professional engineer, certified in electrical and electronic engineering, with 20 years of Internet software and product development. He is the author of various software products, including the popular SNMX scripting language for network management and automation, offered by Diversified Data Resources, currently downloaded by more than 50,000 sites worldwide.
Additionally, Davidson is the author of the ACE-SNMP Web-based management system, also offered by Diversified Data Resources, and SNMP-NMS network management system offered by Scientific Atlanta Inc.
As well as consulting on various commercial projects, Davidson has worked on various large-scale government software systems, including contract work on military simulation and training software for Lockheed Martin, flight simulators and trainers for Ferranti International Defense Systems, and the network management system for the NASA Space Shuttle Launch Facility.
Davidson graduated with high honors from California State University, Los Angeles.
• June 2000 VCSY announces new software tool. The XML Enabler agent. So the world is now aware of what VCSY has in the way of XML products.
LOS ANGELES, Jun 28, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE)
First-to-market cutting edge software XML agent tool which enables advanced interoperability in B2Bi/B2Gi e-commerce Allows different computing systems to cohesively talk to one another and lowers cost of doing business
Capitalizing on the rapid emergence of standardization to XML and a growing need for seamless exchange of information and data from enterprise to enterprise, Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. VCSY unveiled today its first in a series of XML-based solution tools, the Emily XML Enabler Agent(TM) (patent pending).
The Emily XML Enabler Agent, a server-based software tool, will allow businesses to easily extend their scope of B2Bi (business-to-business integration), and B2Gi (business-to-government integration) capabilities. In addition, with the XML Enabler Agent tool, users will gain a higher level of productivity and advanced platform interoperability when used on its own or in conjunction with other recently announced programs such as Microsoft's BizTalk.
Using the Emily XML Enabler Agent, enterprises can securely share relational database information with XML application programs, Web crawlers and other XML clients over the Web. In particular, enterprises can easily create B2B systems directly from their SQL databases, making, for example, product catalogs seamlessly available to XML-based buying programs.
• February 12, 2001. Vertical computer systems and IBM announce VCSY selected as top innovator and put on IBM website to showcase the XML products of VCSY. The website is now not available and is not archived for retrieval. MSFT is also aware of this award by IBM for VCSY…VCSY put an ad in the Redmond magazine for MSFT to view.
Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. featured on new IBM web site as an innovation leader
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 14, 2001 – Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. (OTCBB:VCSY) today announced that it has been selected by IBM to be one of 40 companies now featured as innovation leaders on IBM’s new showcase Web site at: www.IBM.com/framework/innovations
IBM’s Web site provides background information and streaming video describing VCSY’s Home Country Gateways (HCGs), particularly focusing on theIndiaBridge.com, which is powered by Emily™, VCSY’s powerful new proprietary XML-based technology.
“IBM has clearly been the leader in promoting XML as the new global open standard. We are particularly proud to be highlighted on this Web site alongside such companies as Ameritech, Primerica, and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young,” stated Richard Wade, President of Vertical Computer Systems, Inc.
• VCSY announces the XML products are available for sale to the public…only no one can buy one and no one was able to ‘beta’ test the product and many tech people tried to sign up to ‘Beta’ test the product. I tried but the company wouldn’t respond to a request for me to use it…why not? Other higher tech experts tried to get the product and also turned down. Why make the announcement when they knew they were NOT going to sell it or allow anyone to beta test it? The answer is obvious.
Vertical Computer Systems Inc. Announces Availability of Emily™ XML Enabler Agent for Purchase, Public Download Will allow small businesses to compete with large organizations in e-commerce
LOS ANGELES – February 20, 2001 — Vertical Computer Systems Inc. (OTCBB: VCSY), a leading provider of Web commerce solutions, today announced that its Emily™ XML Enabler Agent is available for public purchase and download. It is available at http://www.emilysolutions.com for Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems.
Emily XML Enabler Agent is new XML system software that radically speeds the creation of business Web sites. XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is recognized as a vital standard for Web sites created by businesses and government agencies worldwide. The software allows users to create XML content from relational databases faster and easier than with traditional XML programming techniques, and then to publish this content to XML broker sites on the Web. IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM) recently featured VCSY’s EMILY technology as an innovation leader on IBM’s new showcase Web site, www.ibm.com/framework/innovations.
Emily XML Enabler Agent brings the power and flexibility of a very high-level language, or VHLL, to the creation and management of business Web sites. Large corporations and U.S. government agencies have made substantial commitments to using XML in creating sites accessed by commercial partners and the general public. Enterprises with data repositories – from product catalogs to public records and beyond – can now publish that data, including that found on some legacy systems – into a Web-based XML format.
“This represents a significant step forward in our deployment of Emily,” said Jeff Davison, Chief Software Officer for VCSY. “In addition to offering a first look at a 100-percent Emily application, the XML Enabler Agent provides important functionality to the Web at large. For the first time, ordinary users will be able to publish product catalogs, scientific data, and other XML documents for general use on the World Wide Web. We see this as an important step forward in wiring the Web with XML. In particular, the XML Enabler Agent will allow small businesses and enterprises to compete with large organizations in the e-commerce arena.”
• VCSY did not proceed with any sales of the software while still developing the ‘XML Enabler’ agent over the next years. I think this PR was a ploy by VCSY to get IBM to jump on the software and make a deal for it. IBM liked and wanted the VCSY XML software since they didn’t have anything XML and IBM didn’t file anything against the VCSY XML patents (two of them, one for ‘Emily’ and one for ‘XML Enabler’ agent. This is where it starts and the business relationship becomes solid enough for IBM to proceed with the development of ‘viper’ that took them the next FIVE years to develop…according to the news release from IBM about DB2.9.
• This is redundant but worth repeating. IBM also had in development their own ‘XML Enabler’ agent which they stopped working on after VCSY announced their ‘XML’ agent was available for sale. No further info is available that IBM started to work on their own XML product again. Also, about this time is when IBM added VCSY as a business partner on their website. This, by itself, isn’t important since IBM had 100’s of companies as ‘business partners’ at that time. But, this is also about the time IBM must have started to work on the DB2.9 (viper) product line since IBM recently stated they have been working on the development of the DB2.9 (viper) product for over 5 years. This would be the time frame when IBM made a deal with VCSY to use the VCSY products as the core technology in Viper and later, in DB2.9.
• So, where did IBM get the core technology for Viper since they gave up on their own XML project? How did they go forward with development without core technology as the glue to hold the future IBM product together? How would IBM get around the patent for the VCSY products? Only one answer makes sense, otherwise IBM would be in the dark for years like MSFT and looking for a way developing something and not infringe on the VCSY patents. The answer is a business deal with VCSY for their products.
• VCSY isn’t selling their XML products and according the SEC filings by VCSY…marketing of ‘Emily’ and ‘enabler’ is still on hold even now. VCSY isn’t selling or licensing this important technology to anyone and the next question, why would VCSY put good products on the shelf and risk allowing other companies to pass them by with new tech? A deal with IBM would put the products out of reach. Is the deal for IBM to buy the VCSY subsidiary that has the XML products, Vertical Internet Solutions (VIS)? Is IBM going to license the VCSY technology or, and this might be considered, is IBM infringing on the VCSY patents and VCSY is waiting for the massive publicity campaign by IBM to start a case against IBM for using them, in any way, shape or form.
It is understandable why NO revenue has been received by VCSY from IBM...IBM wanted to wait until the 'Finished' product was completed and IBM collecting money on the new DB2.9 ('V'iper) product. This would be make sense for VCSY to make the deal and wait for the money until the client makes money. No revenue would show on the books for VCSY - probably not until the 4th quarter 2006.
• It is very difficult to get around the patents of VCSY. If you read a little about the patent, you now know that most XML stuff belongs to VCSY with their patent and 41 claims and this doesn’t count the patent pending software of ‘Emily’. Portuno has pointed out well that MSFT has tried for years to get around them since they didn’t read the newspaper in 2001 when VCSY put an add right in the front door of MSFT in an add for the VCSY ‘XML’ products. Was VCSY giving MSFT the finger knowing they had a deal with IBM and wouldn’t sell it to MSFT? It was a right in your face add and MSFT knew about the VCSY technology because MS filed a challenge to the VCSY patent which the patent office rejected outright. VCSY also put in the advertisement IBM was showcasing their XML tech and company as a ‘Top Innovation’ company of the year. Was VCSY telling Microsoft not to use their tech and it wasn’t available to MSFT since they didn’t license it before the IBM deal?
• So, we know that MSFT knew about the VCSY products and we think MS couldn’t get around the patents but tried for years and spent billions of dollars trying. We think MS saw they couldn’t develop much without the infringement on the patents or ignored they existed and decided to take the software and use it illegally in the MSFT products.
• June 15, 2001 VCSY applied for the ‘XML’ patent and issued, published in July, 2006. Link to the patent below:
• Another business link with IBM is the VCSY subsidiary, NOW Solutions, which announced their software ‘emPath’ available for IBM and DB2. Plus, the link to IBM with NOW Solutions on the IBM site:
NOW Solutions, Inc. Announces HRMS Solutions for DB2
Envisioning The Future, Leading The Way.
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 7, 2005 -- NOW Solutions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Vertical Computer Systems, Inc., today announced that the company's premier Human Resources Management System (HRMS) and payroll solution suite emPath® is now available for the IBM DB2 Universal Database.
emPath® for DB2, consists of a fully secure web based HRMS suite including: recruiting, position control, benefits, absence and attendance tracking, employee reviews, career planning, payroll, employee/manager self service and a powerful full featured workflow engine to reduce or eliminate paper.
NOW Solutions' HRMS suite offers a unique and powerful formula builder capability optimizing ease of use and flexibility for organizations that need to handle complex payroll and benefits without the need for costly modifications.
emPath® can now be enabled with DB2 on IBM eServer systems running Windows, Linux or Unix. Support for DB2 Connect to use DB2 databases running OS/400 on IBM's eServer iSeries systems is also available.
NOW's emPath® with its proven and highly flexible solution set, can help streamline HRMS operations for DB2 users, leading to a reduction in costs, increased productivity, and improved employee satisfaction.
"According to leading market research firms, one third of the current marketplace uses DB2,'" says Kent Orgain, Vice President of Development. "We believe our emPath® HRMS solution offers a tremendous value add to this segment in a fully web-based HRMS offering, particularly where you have complex payroll calculations involved for benefits."
New updates to emPath® for DB2 Connect to support DB2 databases running on the IBM eServer zSeries systems (and Z/OS operating system) are currently in development.
NOW Solutions Inc is an authorized member of IBM PartnerWorld.
• Also, another article by Alex Woody on NOW Solutions ‘emPath’ and DB2 byIBM. Here is the link:
• Now, I think we can safely go back in time to June 17, 2001 and a report from ############ and an article they did at that time. It is somewhat ironic that they wrote a comment from Steve Ballmer, MS, which stated “The technology, called XML, has been hailed as a revolution by Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer.”. And, Stock prowler also seemed to be in the know about a business relationship between IBM and VCSY when they state in this article “Earlier this year, Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. was featured on IBM’s web site as an innovation leader. “As a part of the effort to move XML into the business mainstream, IBM is working with companies like Vertical Computer Systems to develop tools and solutions based on this exciting technology.”. The report discusses the new technology XML and VCSY. Worth a reading, here is the link to the story:
http://www. ############. com/previous_picks/6-17-01.shtml
• And, if you want a quick look at what IBM stopped working on in 2001, here it is…the XML enabler, only it is for IBM and retired after VCSY filed the patent for theirs.
http :// sunsite. unam. mx/ archivos/ xml/ xmlintroibm. Pdf
• Put the time line together and you have a case that IBM is using VCSY technology in DB2.9. VCSY had the products, IBM knew about and liked the products, VCSY never sold the products, FIVE years later IBM says it took FIVE years to develop DB2.9 when they stopped their XML after VCSY filed for the patent. A business relationship existed between IBM and VCSY and between IBM and the VCSY subsidiary NOW Solutions. VCSY isn’t talking to anyone.
And, when you look at what IBM says DB2.9 can do and you look at what VCSY on their website says the XML products can do and then take even a quick look at the patent with 41 claims for any company to avoid…The two products look like mirror images of each other. One by IBM and the other by VCSY. Either there is a business relationship or IBM is using the technology by infringement of the patent. I think it is a business relationship but with no one talking, it is difficult to say for sure.
If you need a comparison between DB2.9 and the VCSY products, read what is said about DB2.9 and what is said on the VCSY website and XML patent and compare the two which say the products do the same damn thing.
David McAmis July 27, 2006
As the database market continues to grow and mature, it's sometimes hard for developers to get excited when a new version of a database server is released. The day after the upgrade, you're still writing the same SQL using the same tools you did before. And if you're a command-line junkie, chances are you won’t notice a lot of difference anyway. With the release of DB2 9 (formerly code-named 'Viper'), IBM has finally given developers something to get excited about. In this release, IBM now provides native XML support, an updated set of developer tools and enough enhancements in administration, security and memory management to make even the most battle-worn DBA give it a second look. In this review, we'll examine some of the new features in DB2 9 from a developer’s perspective, starting with the tools provided in this release.
Updated developer tools
If you have used DB2 before, you will have either loved or hated the developer and administrative tools provided in previous versions. Devotees will be happy to know the tools are all still there and have been updated for this release. You can still use the Control Center to manage your database and the command line is still at your beck and call if you need it.
However, if you weren’t too impressed with the tools previously provided with DB2, you definitely need to have a look at the new DB2 Developer Workbench (DWB). The DWB is based on the Eclipse framework and provides an environment where you can create XML queries, SQL scripts, stored procedures, XML schema documents and user-defined queries.
Using the DWB, developers and administrators can create projects that can be used to create and work with most database objects within a familiar environment. When you first enter the DWB, you will be in the 'Data' perspective, which you can use to create new projects to design databases, XML schemas and so on. and any projects you create will be shown in the Data Project Explorer.
From the Data Project Explorer window you can create a number of different database models, including the physical, logical, domain and glossary models for your database, as well as the DDL statements that will be used to create the physical database itself.
There is also a Database Explorer window, which can be used to connect to your database and browse the objects that is contains. You can filter the database contents from the Explorer, as well as invoke a SQL editor directly from the Explorer menu.
And because the DWB is built on Eclipse, there are a number of other fantastic developer features included, among them the ability to track tasks, problems, errors and so on, directly from within the workbench, as well as a number of wizards for querying data with XQuery and SQL, creating new stored procedures, user-defined functions and more.
The workbench is also tightly integrated with CVS, which makes working in a team environment easier, in addition to providing much-needed support for source control. Leveraging the Eclipse framework was a smart move for IBM and developers who are already familiar with the Eclipse environment should feel right at home.
For developers who need to integrate DB2 into their .NET applications, there is also an updated DB2 data provider included with this release, as well as add-ins for the Visual Studio.NET design environment.
With this release, DB2 now includes two different processing engines, one for relational data and one for XML. IBM has labelled this technology 'PureXML' and now stores XML directly in the database, enabling developers to use SQL or XQuery to access the data. This will have a real impact on XML-intensive applications and cut down on development time.
IBM has also introduced additional support for database partitioning, with support for range or table partitioning, hashing and multi-dimensional clustering. For experienced database developers, these partitioning options provide more flexibility in storing data across different servers, managing updates or backups by partition and more. In addition to partitioning improvements, DB2 9 is also optimised for data storage and claims the new technology can reduce required disk space by 45 to 69 percent. This should reduce the need for additional disk space and the compression algorithms used ensure that you won’t lose any data in the process.
On the management site, DB2 9 also includes self-tuning memory settings that can determine the best configuration automatically based on server usage patterns. The memory tuner should eliminate some of the manual tweaks database administrators may have made in the past, in addition to increasing the performance of each server.
There are also new features aimed at day-to-day administration, including restarting recovery operations, redirected restores and database rebuilds from table space backup images. Administrators will love the ability to change table attributes without actually having to drop and recreate the table, while new templates make it easy to copy database and model schemas. This is especially handy when you need to take a production database schema and make multiple copies for testing, migration and so on.
From the security side of things, DB2 9 includes 'Label-based Access Control', which allows administrators to create labels on rows of data which can be used to control security access. There are also several security enhancements designed to cut down on round-trips to the database to check security credentials.
One of the nice features of DB2 is that it supports a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Linux and AIX in both 32-bit and 64-bit implementations. There are four versions of DB2 9 that are shipping, including Express, Workgroup and Enterprise and pricing varies (IBM has so far quoted $4,874 per processor or $165 per user for the Express edition). The fourth version of DB2 9 is the 'Express-C' edition, which is free and includes the ability to redistribute the database and server.
The Express-C edition is the logical choice if you're looking to develop your own applications on DB2 and eventually distribute them to other users, or if you are looking to get up to speed with the new version before upgrading.
DB2 9 has significantly raised the bar for database development. The introduction of a pure XML solution and the Express-C edition will make DB2 competitive among developers creating and distributing XML-based applications. For existing DB2 customers, the enhancements to administration features and functionality could make it a compelling upgrade.
Besides, who can ignore the slick new Developer Workbench? With the DWB, IBM should be able to claw back some ground from developers who in the past may have looked past DB2 for a platform that was easier to develop on.
When put up against recent database server releases from Oracle and Microsoft, DB2 is still a solid contender and can go head-to-head with both platforms. The XML features in DB2 9 could definitely swing more licenses IBM’s way, and with the world focused on XML and SOA-based applications, it may be a good bet.
XML in Focus
By Ken North
DB2 9's "pureXML" technology is speeding development for early customers, including financial-services giant Storebrand. Explore the developer-friendly features behind the radical improvements.
Since IBM introduced object-relational technology with DB2 Universal Database 5.0, Internet technology, distributed computing, and, most recently, Extensible Markup Language (XML) have exerted a major influence on computing. XML turns a spotlight on document-centric computing, new standard formats for office documents, and SQL/XML:2003, the successor to the SQL standard.
Content management and Web-facing applications often involve storing and retrieving XML data. XML provides the underpinnings for data integration, process integration, and enterprise information integration. XML also provides enabling technology for a new distributed computing model that includes Web services, grid services, and service-oriented architectures (SOA).
DB2 9's ability to process both XML and SQL is a substantial benefit. It enables the use of a single database platform for data processing, document processing, and SOA. To someone grounded in SQL and tabular structures, XML opens the door to a structured document mindset and new query technology.
pureXML in Action
IBM provided a test drive of DB2 9 to enable early adopters to test their software with the new DB2 SQL/XML platform. In the technology adoption cycle, early adopters are typically adept organizations and independent software vendors (ISVs) developing tools and middleware. Some of these early adopters shared their experiences with the new technology.
One such company is The Storebrand Group, a Norway-based financial services company that offers pension plans, life and health insurance, banking, and asset management. In Norway, pension plans are mandatory; 1,400 companies have entered into pension agreements with Storebrand. In 1996, Storebrand adopted a service-oriented architecture using the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) to format messages. It uses DB2 to store messages for synchronization, audit, and other purposes. Prior to DB2 9, Storebrand decomposed (shredded) the XML data or stored complete documents as CLOB columns. Moving to DB2 9's pureXML technology, which stores XML documents in their native format, provided several advantages.
Storebrand's senior enterprise architect Thore Thomassen notes that storing XML natively reduces the I/O code in applications and requires fewer database skills than the shredding or CLOB method. DB2 9's XML type also provides more flexibility for searching and manipulation. "We have several cases where we know we have business-critical data in XML format in a CLOB, but can't access it without writing an application to do so," Thomassen explains.
The XML Query Language (XQuery) from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) supports querying documents based on content and structure. To locate parts of documents, queries involve logic for traversing or matching a pattern in a tree structure. Maintaining the order of rows is not integral to an SQL INSERT query, but preserving the order of tags is essential when storing an XML document in its native format. Preserving document structure makes it possible to use locations in documents as search criteria.
Thomassen says the ability to use XPath and XQuery simplifies application development and provides greater transparency and reuse within pureXML applications. His team has found the ability to mix XML and SQL queries "very powerful."
OpenLink Software, an ISV specializing in middleware, also tested DB2 9. The company's CEO, Kingsley Idehen, explains the value this way: "Native XML data type support in DB2 provides a major contribution to the emerging standardization of SQL and XML integration at the data access middleware layer across ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.Net."
DB2 has supported XML since 1999, so what's so revolutionary about DB2 9?
pureXML and the DB2 XML Extender
IBM's early XML support came in the form of the DB2 XML Extender, which treated XML as xcolumns or xcollections. Next came stored procedures and functions for processing XML in message queues. DB2 9 introduces a new XML storage model.
DB2 XML Extender treats XML as a CLOB or a variable-length character string (VARCHAR), but DB2 9 implements XML as a first-class data type. This means you can use the XML type in Data Definition Language (DDL) statements, stored procedures, and functions, including SQL/XML:2003 XML publishing functions. Although IBM will support DB2 XML Extender going forward, its capabilities are superceded by the pureXML support in DB2 9.
A common approach to integrating XML into an SQL platform is to support queries over XML by mapping to relational algebra. This approach uses the existing relational engine, which DB2 XML Extender has done since DB2 UDB 6.1. In DB2 9, a single engine (optimized for both XML and relational data) processes relational and XML (hierarchical) data; however, the two data types reside in separate storage layers. The new engine treats an XML document as a parsed, annotated tree structure and supports indexing parts of documents.
Hand-in-hand with the new XML data store, DB2 9 supports the SQL/XML:2003 XML type, SQL/XML functions, and XQuery. DB2 9 lets you query XML data using XQuery alone, SQL alone, XQuery that invokes SQL, and SQL/XML functions that execute XQuery expressions.
DB2 9 provides flexible capabilities for indexing XML data. An XML index can be defined on any path or subtree of the document in an XML column by specifying an XML pattern. This approach provides fine control over which data is indexed and which isn't. DB2's XML indexes map path and values to document and node instances.
Alternatively, DB2's Net Search Extender provides indexes for full-text searches by mapping text tokens to the documents that contain them. Full-text indexing and full-text search can be applied to full or partial documents.
Encoding and Serialization
In the DB2 world, it's not uncommon to have a mismatch of character sets for mainframes (EBCDIC), Linux, Unix, and Windows (ASCII), and XML, Java, and .Net applications (Unicode). But Unicode is popping up everywhere in DB2. Since version 8.1, DB2 uses Unicode for catalog information, SQL parsing, and string comparisons for queries involving multiple character sets. Also, the DB2 pre-compiler converts embedded SQL program source code to Unicode before compilation.
When transferring data between machines, DB2 must often do character set conversions to put the data in a usable form for a receiving machine. The Coded Character Set Identifier (CCSID) definitions are unique values that identify a code page. They provide bidirectional layout transformations in DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows. When two machines have different code pages or CCSIDs, DB2 converts input and output character data, such as from a DB2 Connect server code page to a host CCSID and vice versa. The receiving machine performs the conversion on incoming data.
When serializing XML, DB2 may add an encoding declaration at the beginning of the XML output. When storing application variables or encoded XML types in an XML column, the DB2 database manager will check for an encoding declaration and map it to a CCSID.
Support for Unicode and CCSIDs also includes changes to DB2 client/server connectivity and programming APIs, such as the call-level interface (CLI) and embedded SQL. Embedded SQL programs with dynamic SQL use the SQL descriptor area (SQLDA) for host variables. To support XML data, embedded SQL programs must update the sqlname field of the SQLVAR to indicate that a base type contains XML data.
Annotated XML Schemas
When executing a CREATE DATABASE command, users can choose whether to include XML support in a DB2 database. If you choose to include database objects, DB2 creates a database with the Unicode character set. Exercising the XML option precludes partitioning a database. A second decision when generating a database is whether to use system-managed space or database-managed space. The best choice, whether for relational only or XML databases, is database-managed space.
In addition to a new XML type for SQL access, DB2 9 includes W3C XML Schema types. The XML Schema Language has more primitive types than SQL and it supports complex types by derivation. Data integrity and type safety are a byproduct of intelligent use of SQL Data Definition Language (DDL). The XML Schema Language provides a similar benefit for XML applications and XQuery, although XQuery can also operate on documents without a schema.
Documents with multiple schemas, including versions of the same schema, can coexist in a single XML column. An XML document can include multiple types and can be validated using XML schemas. DB2 9 provides registration of schemas for validating documents. It maintains an XML schema repository (XSR) in the database catalog, consisting of catalog tables, views, and stored procedures.
When validating schemas, the XML schema registration engine produces type annotations. Therefore, XML-enabled DB2 databases include documents and annotated XML schemas for use during the execution of queries. Using annotated schema decomposition, it's possible to convert XML to relational data. DB2 uses the annotations to map elements and attributes from an XML document to target database tables. To assist with annotated schema decomposition, DB2 9 provides six new stored procedures (xdbDecompXMLxxxxx).
Creating an XML-enabled database and registering XML schemas can impact application memory requirements. Developers may need to increase the application heap (APPLHEAPSZ) for large schemas.
SQL DDL, External Routines, UDFs, Stored Procedures, and Triggers
Because DB2 9 implements XML, you can use it in SQL DDL statements, stored procedures, and functions, including SQL/XML functions. DB2 stores the value of an XML column in an internal format but the XMLSERIALIZE function can convert it to a string value.
You can create triggers on XML columns and use the XML type with external functions and stored procedures, although you can't reference the before or after value of the XML column in the trigger. To use the XML type with stored procedures, you include parameters of type XML in CREATE PROCEDURE parameter signatures. The process is similar for a scalar or table function using CREATE FUNCTION, although the XML type is not valid for an external OLE DB function. DB2 implicitly parses and serializes XML used as parameters passed to external routines. You can also use an XMLPARSE function to explicitly parse XML data.
You can use the XML type with programs written in C, C++, C#, Cobol, Java, and Visual Basic (VB). C and C++ programmers can access the XML type with embedded SQL or CLI; C# and VB programmers, with the DB2 .Net Data Provider; and Java programmers, with JDBC or SQLJ. If you're writing external routines used by stored procedures and functions, you use the XML type in the same way you use a CLOB. You declare external routine parameters to be type XML and use CREATE PROCEDURE and CREATE FUNCTION statements to register them with the database. They specify that the XML type is stored as a CLOB and DB2 serializes the XML before passing it to an external routine.
Types and Data Access
C/C++ and scripting solutions such as PHP and Perl often use an ODBC interface to SQL data. The DB2 CLI extends the ODBC 3.51 API with support for additional types, including the new XML type.
When writing CLI programs, the symbolic SQL data type for XML columns is SQL_XML and the default symbolic C data type is SQL_C_BINARY. Permissible conversions include SQL_C_CHAR, SQL_C_WCHAR, and SQL_C_DBCHAR. The default precision for XML columns is 0, but it's a defined length for external routines.
IBM is deprecating the type 2 JDBC driver for DB2 9. It suggests moving to the IBM DB2 Driver for JDBC and SQLJ, a single driver that combines type 2 and type 4 features. It supports the Java Transaction Service (JTS), Java Transaction API (JTA), JDBC 3.0 API, and SQLJ capabilities that have JDBC counterparts.
To access DB2 from Java, developers can use static SQL with SQLJ and dynamic SQL with JDBC. Java does not have an XML type, so invoking the JDBC GetTypeInfo metadata method will report the type of an XML column as java.sql.Types.OTHER.
Using JDBC ResultSet.getXXX methods, you can retrieve an entire XML column or a sequence from the column. When you retrieve XML data using a JDBC getXXX method, it's in a serialized string format. The getXXX method will output the result in the format corresponding to the method name (for example, getAsciiStream). In the case of ResultSet.getObject, you can cast the object to the DB2Xml type, assign it to a DB2Xmlobject and use a DB2Xml.getDB2XXX method to output the data to the desired type.
An enhanced set of add-ins for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 include support for building and testing .Net applications using XML data stored in DB2 9. DB2 includes providers for OLE DB and ADO.Net, including the DB2 .Net Data Provider, the OLE DB .Net Data Provider and the DB2 Data Provider for .Net Framework 2.0. The OLE DB Provider and OLE DB .Net Data Provider don't support the new XML type. To access an XML column with use the ODBC .Net Data Provider, you map it to SQL_LONGVARCHAR.
Querying with SQL and XQuery
As Storebrand's Thomassen mentioned, DB2 9 provides the ability to use SQL, XQuery, or a combination of the two. A detailed comparison of SQL and XQuery isn't a trivial exercise, so you can imagine the complexity of integrating the two languages. To understand XQuery, you must also grasp concepts defined in a variety of specifications (recommendations) from the W3C, including namespaces, schemas, and XPath expressions.
SQL and XQuery have similarities, such as join operations and user-defined functions, but there are essential differences. XQuery involves two-valued logic but the possibility of a null value puts SQL in the three-valued logic arena. XQuery names are more complex than SQL, and XML schemas can evolve. XML schemas provide type checking, but XQuery can operate on documents without a schema. Update capabilities and full-text searching are a work-in-process for a future version of the XQuery specification.
DB2 supports XQuery and SQL with separate parsers and there is no translation from XQuery to SQL. There is a common query compiler, and queries from either language produce an execution plan using a query graph to model queries. The DB2 cost-based optimizer can use both XML and relational indexes when generating an execution plan.
The SQL/XML standard introduced a group of functions (XMLQUERY, XMLEXISTS, and XMLTABLE) that operate on instances of XML data. DB2 9 also uses these SQL/XML functions: XMLParse, XMLValidate, XMLSerialize, XMLCast. The SQL/XML standard introduced functions for converting relational data to XML. The publishing functions in DB2 9 include XMLElement, XMLAttributes, XMLForest, and XMLAgg.
Since it unveiled Web services technology in 2000, IBM has participated in developing specifications and software solutions to spur SOA adoption. Web services and grid services exchange XML-encoded messages between providers and consumers, using SOAP. Web services and grid services use an XML vocabulary known as the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) to describe services. DB2 includes a Web service provider and it can consume Web services.
Because XML is integral to the operation of Web services and grid services, the overhead of XML processing can incur a performance penalty. DB2's native XML engine, parsed documents, and annotated schemas will diminish that overhead by reducing the amount of parsing and validation required to exchange XML-encoded messages and to query them on disk and in message queues.
DB2 includes an embedded application server to run the Web services packaged with the product. IBM has also developed software, the Web Object Runtime Framework (WORF), which enables the use of DB2 as a Web services provider. WORF can generate the WSDL for a service and it supports accessing the service with HTTP GET, POST, and SOAP bindings.
WORF supports multiple modes for retrieving data from DB2 databases. WORF users create a Document Access Definition Extension (DADX) file, an XML file describing mappings between XML document nodes and relational data. The DADX file supports SQL operations and operations with XML collections. If you don't use WORF, you'll have to write code to create a provider, including generating the WSDL service descriptions.
The Learning Curve
Developers and DBAs adopting DB2 9 will experience new functionality that affects data access APIs, document queries, SQL grammar, query optimization and so on. There will be a learning curve, but the added capabilities provide power, flexibility, and ease of development for SOA, Web services, grid services, and document management applications.
Ken North is a consultant, industry analyst, and editor of www.SQLSummit.com. He teaches Expert Series seminars, frequently speaks at conferences, and has chaired the XML DevCon 200x conferences
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