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Which edition of DB2 is right for you?


DB2 is available in a range of editions from free to Advanced Enterprise.

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DB2 Express-C

DB2 Express Edition

DB2 Workgroup Edition

DB2 Enterprise Edition

DB2 Advanced Enterprise Edition

DB2 Editions and Features matrix (Compare Editions)


DB2 is DB2 is DB2

Each DB2 edition has the same code base across all the distributed platforms. A common code base offers portability and assurance that if you ever need to scale your DB2 solution, you can do so seamlessly without migration concerns or efforts.

DB2 Editions - click on link for more information


To further enhance the DB2 family value proposition, all DB2 editions include federation across the entire IBM relational database portfolio (DB2 Advanced Enterprise Edition includes the ability to federate to Oracle databases too with additional software). Federation allows you to write a single SQL statement that transparently joins data from DB2 on Windows, or DB2 for z/OS, or Informix - any supported combination you can think of.

What's more, you can add IBM InfoSphere Information Server software to solve cross-vendor information integration problems by extending the DB2 SQL API with transparent and optimized access to Hadoop, non-IBM relational databases (such as Oracle, SQL Server, and others), and materialize non-relational data sources (like XML streams, spreadsheets, message queues, VSAM, IMS, and so on) as relational tables, thereby truly creating a corporate-wide common data model.


DB2 Express-C

It's free to build, develop, and distribute

Supported through the community via forums. Although as your would expect in a free version, a few features are missing (eg high availability, replication) it still offers class leading benefits such as Oracle compatibility and Time Travel querying.

Unlike some competitors "Express" versions, DB2 Express-C has no database size or memory architecture limitations. However it is limited to 2 processor cores (physical or virtual) and 4Gb memory.

This is a good choice for:

  • Learning DB2
  • Developing applications for DB2 (Remember: DB2 is DB2 is DB2 is DB2...)
  • Production environments, subject to published limitations.

DB2 Express Edition

DB2 Express Edition (DB2 Express) is the entry level, fully supported DB2 server that is a specially tailored low cost, full feature, industrial strength, and open industry standards-based relational database. The target users for this DB2 edition are typically SMBs (small and medium businesses) and ISVs.

Because DB2 Express is a full-fledged DB2 server at its core, DBAs can leverage its built-in autonomic manageability features such as the Self Tuning Memory Manager (STMM), Optim management and development tooling, autonomic maintenance plans, automated backup tuning, backup compression, archive log compression (new in DB2 10.1), text searches, throttling, and more. Collectively, these services help to increase the performance and reliability of your DB2 solution, while at the same time minimizing administration complexity, required skills, and overall total cost of ownership.


DB2 Workgroup Server Edition

The best choice for departmental workload consolidation with high availability.

DB2 Workgroup is a DB2 server that includes the same features as DB2 Express. It also offers DB2's revolutionary high availability clustering technology for System X and POWER 7-based servers called DB2 pureScale that allows the addition of extra capacity without any downtime.

DB2 Workgroup can also handle more demanding workloads than DB2 Express thanks to higher memory (64GB) and processing core (16) limits.

DB2 Enterprise Server Edition

Unmatched scalability, resiliency, and flexibility DB2 Enterprise is a full-function, premier Web-enabled client/server database server. DB2 Enterprise is suitable for large and mid-sized departmental servers and is rich in base features and services. For example, services like intra-query parallelism, MDCs, MQTs, table partitioning, and more are all included in this edition of DB2.

There are no limits with respect to the amount of RAM you can leverage with this edition of DB2; in fact, one benchmark result that was run in our labs used almost 4 TB of memory for its buffer pools - that's more RAM than many companies have data. There is also no maximum PVU rating for the underlying server or virtualization session where the DB2 Enterprise software is running. One really exciting new feature added to DB2 Enterprise in version 10.1 is multi-temperature storage management. If you think of your most commonly accessed data as 'hot,' your least commonly accessed data as 'cold,' and data in between as 'warm,' then this feature allows you to allocate your most (or least) expensive storage to your hottest (or coldest) data in order to maximize I/O throughput and hence performance. For example, suppose you have a large table containing retail sales data. Data for the current quarter is inserted and updated frequently and those transactions need to happen quickly, whereas older data isn't accessed very often, and when it is, processing time can be delayed. With DB2's multi-temperature storage management, you can tell DB2 to put the current quarter data on fast SSD storage and everything else on slower disk storage. DB2 will then go about doing this for you in a way that is completely automatic and transparent to your applications.


DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition

DB2 Advanced is the ultimate IBM database server edition. DB2 Advanced is intended for large and mid-sized departmental servers and is fully stocked with all the features that come with DB2 Enterprise, plus features such as storage optimization (a separately priced add-on for DB2 Enterprise), customizable workload management, queue-based replication, continuous data ingest (which is new in DB2 10.1), rich administration, and development tools above all other editions. For example, data, index, temporary, and XML compression are now all included with DB2 Advanced to reduce total database costs. Also included are Workload Management (WLM) and Optim Performance Manager (OPM) which are crucial for controlling and monitoring work within DB2 to optimize your system. By the way, when combined with WLM, the new multi temperature storage management functionality described earlier becomes even more powerful because it allows you to also prioritize workloads according to the temperature of the data. As a result, even if you don’t have different storage types, the DB2 workload manager will still give priority to execution of workloads involving hot data. And that's not all, DB2 Advanced also includes Homogeneous Q Replication and Federation. Q Replication for DB2 Advanced can be used to replicate a single DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows source data server using the queue-based technology to up to two DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows target data servers. Federation can be used between DB2, Informix, and Oracle data sources without the need for an additional license.


DB2 Editions and Features Matrix

Some functionality is available in only certain DB2® database product editions. In some cases, the functionality is associated with a particular DB2 feature.

The table indicates which functionality is included in a DB2 product edition. If the functionality is not included but it is available in a DB2 feature, the name of the feature is specified. You must obtain a license for that DB2 feature as well as for the DB2 database product edition.


DB2 Editions matrix



  1. DB2 Express Edition including DB2 Express Edition Fixed Term License
  2. You can purchase all of the DB2 features that are listed in this column for use with IBM InfoSphere Warehouse Enterprise Base and Enterprise Edition products.
  3. DB2 Database Partitioning Feature (DPF) is no longer included in or available for any DB2 database editions. It is included in all IBM InfoSphere Warehouse product editions.
  4. Separately priced feature.
  5. DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition includes 10 InfoSphere Data Architect user licenses.
  6. Replication tools except the Replication Center are available on all supported operating systems. The Replication Center is available only on Linux and Windows operating systems.



The licensing and packaging information provided in this article is intended to give a broad view of the differences between editions only and is not to be construed as a contractual definition. Features may change between releases. For full details on DB2 packaging and DB2 license rights and obligations, please consult the DB2 license agreements.

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