Two decades ago, I made my living as a DB2 developer working for GTENW (now Verizon). In this year's spring-cleaning, I came across my old DB2 certificates; perhaps it is time to do a spring-cleaning of perceptions about DB2 and SQL Server. As a developer, I have become hopelessly biased for SQL Server because I am far more productive with SQL Server than with DB2. The modern term for this is the developer ecosystem around the database. In the early days of SQL Server, DB2 ruled for scalability. If you needed high volume, you bit the bullet and used DB2 with your applications written in assembly.
Technology is in a constant state of change. Past evaluations become stale after a year. The Crimson Consulting Group has just published a white paper worth reading: Comparing the Business Value of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and IBM DB2 9.7, Perceptions vs. reality in the RDBMS marketplace (April, 2011). They identify several key points:
- SQL Server has a much larger range of users who can effectively use it
- I have seen administrative assistants create reports off a SQL Server database
- SQL Server has a low entry price and a lower total cost of ownership when you scale up
- SQL Server Express is free and supports a database size up to 8 GB.
- Professional and Information Technologist services are often not needed. You want a report by the end of day? You can get it! There is strong integration with standard office tools
- Microsoft Access
At one time SQL Server ran on a single core. Today, SQL Server 2008R2 will run on 256 cores. The litte steam engine that could has become a powerful diesel engine.
There is a lot of good information in this white paper, read it here.