Alright, I have to admit… I like to whinge as much as the next person. And for the past couple of years, one of my favourite topics has been how much I don’t like the DB2 developer tools. I like DB2 as a platform, but the tools used to work with DB2 databases and data warehouses have been clunky Java-based memory hogs that have made developing on DB2 not a fun experience.

So when I installed the release candidate of DB2 9 (formerly code-named “Viper”) recently, I was pleasantly surprised.

The new DB2 Developer Workbench is an Eclipse-based environment for developing SQL scripts, XML queries, stored procedures, XML documents and user-defined functions. The Eclipse integration is tight, the tools are easy to use and there are wizards to guide you through common tasks.

So I have to give a gong where it’s due — the new DB2 Developer Workbench does rock and is light years ahead of the tools that shipped with previous versions of DB2. Now, if I could only get the equivalent of a few Oracle-specific functions in DB2, I wouldn’t have anything to whinge about!