I understand that the database is integrated with OS/400, and it is the relational DB2 UDB. I also read that in the past it wasn't the same (they used flat files to store information) because DB2 for iSeries has existed just since V4R4.
My questions are:
1. How do you define flat files with DB capability?
2. How do you interrogate flat files?
3. What is the trend now? Do application developers use DB2 or do they still use flat files?
Actually DB2 UDB for iSeries existed before V4R4; it was just given a new name in V4R4. Flat files are actually DB2 UDB tables (or physical files). "Flat Files" is a term that some people use to describe a form of programming where they didn't fully utilize the relational capabilities of DB2 on iSeries even though the data was stored in normal DB2 tables. For example, the data might not be normalized or they might enforce referential integrity with their applications instead of using the built-in support.
More and more developers are moving away from this "flat file" approach and utilizing the relational capabilities of DB2 on iSeries. Since DB2 UDB is integrated, you can choose whatever approach you want on iSeries and still be using DB2.
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This was first published in May 2003