Why the Db2 for i ODBC Driver Matters
Learn what performance gains you can experience by upgrading.
Q: Why does the Db2 for i ODBC driver matter for my business?
ODBC is a standard API for accessing database management systems (DBMS), such as Db2* for i. ODBC defines a set of functions that are implemented through drivers, and each driver is tailored for the DBMS
Because Db2 for i ODBC drivers work from Windows*, Linux*, and now IBM i, developers no longer have to rely on IBM to create Db2-specific connectors. Instead, they can use any generic ODBC connector to connect to their IBM i Db2 for i databases. This not only increases portability of software, but also reduces work for the IBM i open-source software community, allowing us to focus on more interesting packages to deliver to users.
ODBC is the preferred method of database connectivity for open-source software on IBM i or connecting to IBM i, and any IBM i shop interested in using open-source software will have to become familiar with ODBC. Luckily, setup is easy, and once completed, it requires little to no maintenance. Every ODBC connection made from that system to Db2 for i will “just work” no matter which open-source language or technology you’re using. To learn more about how to download the Db2 for i ODBC drivers and define connections, see the recent post or consult the ODBC guide.
Integration for IBM i
Recently, IBM released a version of the Db2 for i ODBC driver that works directly on IBM i. This enables developers to write applications on their Windows or Linux development systems while still accessing Db2 for i through ODBC, and then move those applications to IBM i when they’re ready to deploy.
As an example, if you set up a Db2 for i connection on a development system, you can access Db2 for i remotely. On this development system, you have access to all of the tools that enable you to write great software, such as IDEs and debuggers. Then, when you’re ready to deploy your application and want it to run directly on IBM i, you simply move your application to that system and access Db2 for i locally using the same ODBC APIs. When you move the application, you just need to be sure that the ODBC driver manager and driver are installed, and you may need to update your connection string to point to a valid connection defined on that IBM i system. With the environment set up correctly, all of your database calls will work identically with no code adjustments. Pretty neat!
Although developers may worry that a standard like ODBC will only allow for generic connections, the Db2 for i ODBC driver has many connection options that are IBM i-specific. This allows connections to be highly customizable. These options include default transaction isolation level, defining the library list for the job, the naming convention and many more. A complete list of connection options available on the Db2 for i ODBC drivers.
If your business is currently using or interested in using open-source software on IBM i but isn’t using ODBC connections, now is the time to make the switch. ODBC is a powerful technology that will make development of IBM i applications easier, and we’re sure your developers will see the benefits when they begin using ODBC.