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UNIX Review: The Promise of DRDA

“It started off as a pressing need to have a simple, consistent
way to obtain and manipulate data from DBMSs from multiple vendors.
In the past, if users wanted to exchange data from different
databases, they had to use a convoluted mix of proprietary
gateways, host software, and non-standard programming interfaces.
Today, users want to look at the best application software
regardless of proprietary hardware solutions, and they want to
eliminate the cost associated with having different drivers for
different databases. The answer is Distributed Relational Database
Architecture (DRDA). The question is, will it be able to grow and
fill important additional functions in the data enterprise?”

“In 1998 when The Open Group, an IT industry consortium for
promoting open technologies, announced its adoption of the DRDA
protocol, it was looking at an industry standard for database
access interoperability. IBM first offered the DRDA protocol to The
Open Group three years earlier and certain vendors vehemently
opposed its adoption. Specific demand by customer-members of The
Open Group helped to push it onto the fast track for review. Many
international companies that originally wrote letters in support of
DRDA1 were already using products that supported it.”

“For corporate customers maintaining many different database
systems-for example, IBM’s DB2 on the mainframe, Oracle on UNIX,
and Microsoft’s SQL Server on Intel platforms, a single standard
will simplify communications between applications and databases and
between different databases. The DRDA protocol
includes
features for thread-safe, high-performance, SQL-based relational
database access, and high-performance optimized network flow based
on compact encoding techniques. DRDA fully supports two-phase
commit, a foundation principle in online-transaction-processing
systems like IBM’s Customer Information Control System (CICS) and
Microsoft’s Transaction Server (MTS), and a crucial feature as
application developers start to deploy a new generation of client
server solutions based on three-tiered architectures.”


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