Migrating from Query/400? Avoid Unnecessary Costs, Complexity, and Confusion

Business Intelligence
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DB2 Web Query (QU2) is not your only option and may not be the best one.


Editor's Note: This article introduces the white paper "Replacing IBM Query/400: Understanding Your Options" available free from the MC Press White Paper Center.


If you're like most IBM i (System i, iSeries, AS/400) customers, your staff members have relied on IBM Query/400 for years to generate simple queries of your DB2 database. Since its introduction with the AS/400 in1988, Query/400 has remained essentially unchanged and has its limitations. But since it's familiar, you may still be running hundreds of Query/400 queries.


However, in late 2007, IBM decided it was time to replace Query/400 and withdrew the standalone Query/400 application from marketing. To encourage you to voluntarily migrate off Query/400, IBM announced that beginning at i5/OS V5R4, Query/400 is only available when you license the new DB2 Web Query software, designed and developed by IBM and Information Builders, Inc. (IBI). DB2 Web Query (QU2 for short) is a less-functional, OEM version of IBI's WebFOCUS software product, which originated on another platform and was ported to the IBM i.


Because of New Generation Software, Inc.'s (NGS) position as a respected developer of IBM i reporting and business intelligence software, numerous customers, business partners, and the editorial press asked for our analysis of DB2 Web Query's capabilities. We did comprehensive, unbiased research to intelligently assess this product and presented the findings in our white paper "Replacing IBM Query/400: Understanding Your Options" available free from the MC Press White Paper Center. Our research indicates that you should not just assume that QU2 will be the best solution to satisfy your reporting and business intelligence requirements. To assist you, we've examined the critical factors--the same ones you typically evaluate during the selection process of any new software solution--as they relate to DB2 Web Query:


  • Total Cost and Licensing Terms
  • Learning Curve
  • Number of Providers
  • Complexity
  • Setup and Ongoing Administration Requirements
  • Performance
  • Disk Space Requirements
  • Training and Consulting Costs
  • IBM i Operating System Release Compatibility


There are many BI product offerings in the market, and the white paper provides you with the factor comparison of DB2 Web Query to NGS' own enterprise reporting and business intelligence solutions, NGS-IQ.


QU2 offers many functions provided in most BI solutions; however, there are significant differences in licensing and support of additional modules. Contrary to what you may have heard, QU2 is not free. Although IBM offers a base, named user license determined by your IBM i processor group, considerable costs can incur when you require additional named user licenses for anyone who develops queries, regardless of their frequency of use. Also, significant fees and additional licenses can result if you opt for IBM's "runtime enablement" feature, online analytical processing (OLAP) software, "Active Reports" offline report viewing, and the DB2 Web Query Software Development Kit (SDK). To use the OLAP feature, it's necessary to also license at least one copy of QU2's Windows Developer Workbench, which is licensed by the individual PC. If you want to automate report scheduling and distribution, you must also license the IBM DB2 Web Query Report Broker (QU3). Customers who want to go beyond query and reporting must upgrade the base license and engage with IBM or IBM's consulting organization to support that implementation and in some cases may require a complete migration to IBI's WebFOCUS software.


QU2 software maintenance is also a cost factor. DB2 Web Query software maintenance is not included in your operating system software maintenance. Also, the new IBM DB2 Web Query Report Broker and SDK have separate maintenance fees.


Unlike DB2 Web Query users, NGS customers do not pay separate license and maintenance fees for email and FTP output distribution features, as well as job scheduling through standard IBM and third-party utilities; these functions are built right into the NGS-IQ solution. Your NGS-IQ license allows you to install our IQ Server query software on your IBM i and the companion Windows modules (including OLAP) in either connected or offline mode on a designated number of PCs. Most companies can support a large number of offline users with a small number of concurrent users. Consulting is typically not needed to implement NGS solutions.


For more detailed information on QU2 licensing terms and the other factors to consider, please request "Replacing IBM Query/400: Understanding Your Options" from the MC Press White Paper Center. Also, visit our Web site, http://www.ngsi.com/, to view a playback of a recent Web demonstration comparing DB2 Web Query with NGS-IQ and download a copy of our DB2 Web Query Cost Estimating spreadsheet to find out in seconds exactly what DB2 Web Query could cost your organization.


Legal Notice: NGS believes all of the above information is accurate at the time of publication. However, IBM software products and marketing policies are subject to change at any time, without notice. Speak to your IBM or IBM Business Partner representative for current product, pricing, and support information.