So, you downloaded the free DB2 Express-C and you have started to play around with it. Maybe you created sample database and started to explore it using DB2 Control Center. If you are a developer, you may find that DB2 Control Center does not quite fit what you think of a a development tool. It is more in tune with what a DBA might want to do. So, you may have taken our advice and downloaded the new IBM Data Studio. After all, it is free so why not! If you have not done this already, go get it from the DB2 Express-C download page. Give yourself a bit of time and have at least 600MB free on your hard drive to hold Data Studio installer as this is not a small download. Don’t say I did not warn you.

Let’s say you downloaded and installed the Data Studio. This is where the first surprise may come in. If you install products like most people i.e. click on Next button until you get to the finish button without reading much on the way, you may be surprised to find that there is no shortcut for Data Studio in your Start/All Programs/IBM DB2 folder. Don’t panic. Your install in all likelyhood has indeed succeded and you do have Data Studio on your machine. So, where is it? Go to Start/All Programs/IBM Software Development Platform and you should see IBM Data Studio Folder and in it a shortcut for launching Data Studio.

At this time you are probably wondering “why in the world would IBM do this; doesn’t IBM DB2 folder make a lot more sense?” Yes it does … if you are using DB2. Notice however that we did not call this product “DB2 Data Studio”. That is because in addition to DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows, DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for i5/OS, Data Studio also supports IDS (Informix Dynamic Server) databases. In the future, it is also not unreasonable to expect Data Studio to work with other databases say MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server etc. As a matter of fact, in a way it already does. Just take a look at the Rational Data Architect products in the Data Studio portfolio which already supports a number of non-IBM database servers.

This brings me to the second reason why Data Studio is in the IBM Software Development Platform
folder. If you have any of the IBM Rational products installed on your machine you will find them in the same folder. IBM Software Development Platform is IBM platfrom for delivering a set of tools that implement a complete software development lifecycle. Data Studio handles the data lifecycle within the scope of appilcation development. I know this sounds like marketeering but there is actually a lot of meat to this. For example, if you do have any of the Rational software development tools, you will find that Data Studio you just installed, plugs itself right in to these tools (e.g. RAD – Rational Application Developer, RSA – Rational System Architect). As a Java developer you will find this very convenient as both your Java programming and your database developement tasks can be done from a single IDE without having to start multiple copies of Eclipse and minimizing your risk of developing a curpal tunnel syndrome from switching between IDEs all the time (yes, it is my lame attempt at a joke).

OK, so you may now understand why Data Studio it is where it is but none of these points apply to you. You don’t do Java, Lifecycle is the name of your stationary bike that you use to excercise, and you are just happy to be working with DB2 and don’t need another database, thank you very much. No problem. Just create a shortcut on your Windows desktop, or the Quick Launch toolbar and you have a one click access to the Data Studio.

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