06 June 2011

IBM signs on as PL/SQL Challenge Premier Sponsor

As you may have noticed last week, IBM is now a premier sponsor of the PL/SQL Challenge!

You might think it odd, at first glance, that IBM, with its own competing relational database technology (DB2) , would sponsor an Oracle PL/SQL-focused website.

In fact, it makes perfect sense, because as you can read right here, DB2 9.7 can run Oracle applications on Linux, UNIX, and Windows! 

To quote the link above:

"IBM DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows has out-of-the-box support for Oracle's SQL and PL/SQL dialects. This allows many applications written against Oracle to execute against DB2 virtually unchanged. In this article, get a high-level overview of what Oracle compatibility means in DB2. Whether you want to switch your custom application to DB2 or extend your DBMS vendor support to DB2, now is your time."

That's right - IBM has implemented support for compilation and execution of PL/SQL program units in the DB2 9.7 database!

IBM's motivation for doing this is clear: they want to make it easier (and far less expensive) to convert from Oracle to DB2. You might then ask: "Why would the PL/SQL Challenge help IBM move customers off of Oracle?" That answer should be clear enough: this website is all about helping PL/SQL programmers make the most of this database programming language. It shouldn't matter if you are building or maintaining applications in an Oracle database or an IBM database. PL/SQL is PL/SQL.

And while from the standpoint of Oracle Corporation, it may not be the greatest thing in the world that PL/SQL programs will become increasingly portable outside of Oracle, that could be a very good thing for the careers of PL/SQL programmers.

IBM does not yet support every single nuance of PL/SQL syntax, built-in packages and underlying architectural elements, but they are working hard on extending their compatibility.

We encourage you to check out IBM's detailed explanation of what they support and how they've gone about implementing their PL/SQL compatibility.

Finally, many thanks to IBM for joining our list of premier sponsors!

Steven Feuerstein
Founder, PL/SQL Challenge


  1. Is IBM still the sponsor?

  2. No, IBM terminated its sponsorship last year.