I have been speaking with many customers about the various DB2 Connect Editions, and license management for each edition. I wanted to try and provide some visibility into a recent enhancement we made that makes license management much easier for our largest DB2 Connect customers.
Customers that have DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for z/OS basically license their DB2 for z/OS to be “open for business” to all users. Users can connect directly (eg. someone using a spreadsheet app from their laptop), app servers can connect on behalf of a multitude of users, and either of these can be direct connect or utilizing a DB2 Connect Server.
Up until recently, direct connect carried with it the burden of having to supply a license file at the driver side – either a jar file for Java, or a .lic file for non-Java. This can be a bother to implement, as DB2 Connect is licensed per version, and thus version upgrades require license file updates, etc. Note that moving across FP levels (eg. V9.7 FP5 -> V9.7 FP6) does not require a license upgrade.
What we have recently done is enabled DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for z/OS customers to effective store their proof of entitlement at the host itself. This is done once per data sharing group, and effectively creates a “token” in the catalog to represent the DB2 Connect license. All our drivers at V9.7 FP3 have been updated to search for this token, thus enabling direct connect without requiring license distribution to the individual drivers.
For customers upgrading their DB2 Connect from V9.7 -> V10.1 – they simply update the “token” at the host – our drivers have been coded to support a token at current level or higher (eg. a V9.7 driver will recognize a V9.7 level token or any higher level). A V10.1 driver will not recognize a token before V10.1.
This can greatly reduce the effort associated with distributing license files for a DB2 Connect version upgrade – the token upgrade can be performed in advance of any planned driver upgrades, and when drivers are later upgraded, the new token is in place.
The “fine print”:
- this server based activation only applies to DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for z/OS
- responsibility still rests with individual customers to only activate systems that are part of their entitlement
- drivers must be at V9.7 FP3 or later to be able to “call home” and look for this token
- this only applies to drivers connecting directly to DB2 for z/OS – connections utilizing a DB2 Connect Server still require licensing to be present on the DB2 Connect Server