A technology agreement with Netscape marks the latest step in IBM's quest to integrate its legacy data with the Web. The companies will next month announce native support for DB2 in Netscape's Enterprise Server 3.0, the browser maker revealed, and there will also be collaboration on transaction processing and message-based middleware.
The upshot of these joint efforts will be closer links between legacy data and Intranet applications.
Native support for DB2 on Unix and NT servers, via Netscape's Livewire service, will begin beta testing later this month. Connectivity to mainframe DB2 will be via IBM's Distributed Relational Database Architecture protocol. Both will offer improved performance over the version of Enterprise Server 3.0 that is just about to complete beta testing, which only supports DB2 using the ODBC interface, slowing down the database. This version does, however, provide native Livewire support for Oracle, Informix and Sybase databases.
The main significance of the deal for Netscape is to make it more credible in corporate sites, which have been heavily targeted by arch-rival Microsoft. Until now, legacy access has been a serious weakness in Netscape's corporate Intranet strategy, analysts agree.
For IBM, such moves support its positioning of the mainframe as an Internet server and central database linked to Intranet applications.
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