Q

Access for the DB2 database

I'm trying to gain access for DB2 within a iSeries where the applications are in VB6 and ASP -- soon to be ASP.net. I'm familiar with ADO and SQL, however, there is also a tool by ASNA, the ASNA Tookit that allows the VB or ASP application to access the database natively as you would in an RPG program using Chain.

Asna has documentation claiming that their speed surpasses that of ADO, however, Asna does not support SQL and to me that is a huge disadvantage, creating very messy code when accessing multiple tables that could be easily handled in a join statement.

I have looked around on IBM's site and it acknowledge that SQL is an industry standard and that future enhancements to DB2 will be geared towards SQL use, as opposed to native access. Can you give any insight on which method should be used? Is there a faster alternative to ADO that allows the use of SQL?

From a performance standpoint, SQL access versus native (non-SQL) access is very close. You are always going to be able to find operations that SQL is faster at and that native access is faster at. IBM is primarily investing in SQL as it's strategic interface - over time that means the SQL interface will have many more functional & performance enhancements compared to native. The SQL Query Engine (SQE) rolled out in V5R2 is a good example of that -- applications using native interfaces will not be able to benefit from the performance improvements provided by SQE.

There are many iSeries customers & software vendors that are successfully using SQL as their data access interface in their applications. The key is to make sure the application and database are properly designed, optimized, and tuned for performance. We highly recommend that new SQL users attend the DB2 Performance Workshop to get educated on the SQL best practices. Portions of this workshop can be found online here.

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This was first published in March 2005

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