There was a feature called DataLinks that allowed to access data in files from SQL. This was introduced in Db2 V5.2 and removed in V9.7. However, in v11.5 there is a "new" feature called external tables.

What is the difference between these two approaches?

  • If you don't mind me asking, since data links manager has been long deprecated, why does the difference matter? Is there an X-Y problem here? – mustaccio Nov 27 '19 at 14:00

If I remember correctly, Data Links Manager attempted to manage external files that were referenced in a database, rather than providing relational access to the data in those files. Think of an image or PDF document that would be related to a record. You could store those documents in the filesystem (instead of in a LOB inside the database). The files could be accessed outside of the database, but Db2 would also (supposedly) provide some control to prevent files from being deleted or moved.

It was, perhaps, closer in function to products like Content Manager OnDemand or Filenet.

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