IBM took the chance to do a spot of Informix-bashing on day one of the DB Expo trade show in San Francisco, with the introduction of a scheme to win the troubled database supplier?s customers over to DB2.
The programme consists of migration costings and applications conversions using a new SQL Conversion Workbench from IBM business partner Mantech Systems Engineering, which translates applications to native DB2 code automatically.
Tom Kendra, vice president of data management marketing at IBM Software Solutions, said it was not for him to highlight the problems of other companies, but said that the new scheme reflected IBM?s belief in the theory that the database market will consolidate around IBM, Oracle and Microsoft. "Customers can buy DB2 with confidence," he said.
The SQL Conversion Workbench will be generally available in the third quarter. Converted applications will run on DB2 on OS/390, various Unix flavours, NT and OS/2. The toolkit will work with the DB2 Universal Database, currently in beta.
The scheme is also targeted at Sybase and CA-Ingres customers, but the main target is clearly Informix, still reeling from its recent $140 million losses. IBM is the only company which Informix acknowledges as offering a comparable object-relational product to its own Universal Server.
Meanwhile rumours are gaining strength in Silicon Valley that Informix will be the subject of a takeover bid within the next few weeks. Company insiders claim that Microsoft representatives have been in contact with Informix bosses, but discussions have faltered on the issue of how large a premium should be paid on the market share price. A second rumour centres on Netscape, which is said to regard Informix server software as a valuable asset in fending off Microsoft.
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