Never Don’t Buy Version 4.0 of Anything

As I’ve mentioned before, TOAD is one of my regular tools for database work.  At least it used to be.

I’ve had to keep upgrading TOAD for DB2 to stay current with DB2 releases, but the 4.0 release is so buggy that it’s unusable.  The 4.7 Commercial Version has been out for awhile now, but there’s no sign of those fixes and enhancements coming to the freeware version anytime soon.  Folks have been asking in forums, but there’s no meaningful response.

It’s seems that since the TOAD first donned that Quest T-shirt, this formerly independent tool has become increasingly more constrained.  Ever more menu options are grayed out with the “(Commercial Feature)” taunt.  Simple things that worked in prior releases are broken in the 4.0 freeware versions.  Perhaps they work just fine in the paid commercial version.

I’ve purchased Quest tools in the past, so cost isn’t the issue: availability is.  TOAD is one of those tools that I’ve frequently recommended largely because it was just one free download away.  If freedom and ubiquity weren’t so very important, we might all be coding in CFScript.

Quest is a great company, but TOAD has not done well lately under its ownership (don’t get me started on the lack of a *ix version).  I only wish there was a TOra for DB2.

This happens with some companies that take over a free, independent, or open source project: they take it in under their wing, lock it down, and look for improper ways to capitalize on it.  It can make money in the short run, but let’s be up front about it: state your intentions and either spin off a community version or kill off the freeware version altogether.  This “slippery slope” behavior is right down there with snake oil salesman and Oracle.

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5 thoughts on “Never Don’t Buy Version 4.0 of Anything

  1. Derek Post author

    True, as was Star Wars IV (version 1.0). But by Episode I (4.0), the politicians and committees took over, and wrecked the whole thing through II (5.0) and III (6.0). So I rest my case. 🙂

  2. Jeff

    Sorry to hear you had some trouble, what specific issues are you having in the 4.0 freeware version? We realize that freeware is important to you and many other Toad DB2 users.
    We just have posted a new 4.6 freeware drop that is available following the download links on Going forward we will try to have a more regular freeware drop cycle.
    Remember that you can always download a trial of the most recent Toad for DB2 commercial product by visiting Like most freeware products, Toad DB2 freeware has certain limitations and is not meant to be used as a trial for the commercial edition, but it still is a pretty feature rich product. If you have any additional issues, feel free to post your questions in the forums at

  3. Derek Post author

    Thanks, Jeff, that’s good news that the 4.6 update is available. I will definitely try it and, if issues persist, report them in the forums.

    As I recall, some of the 4.0 issues I encountered were:
    – occasional crashes and hangs
    – connection manager weirdness (and why does it require me to catalog local DBs to find them? – I thought that was fixed)
    – popup menu in the explain view quit working so I couldn’t switch views.

    Some of these may have been DB2 issues ; I was primarily using DB2 9.7 on AIX and Windows.

    But the biggest issue was that so many things I wanted to do were grayed out as “(Commercial Feature)”. This is more noticeable to me now since I had used the commercial version on another gig. Since then, it’s been hard to get used to the freeware version again.

    Thanks for your recommendations, and I will definitely give the 4.6 update a shot.

  4. Jeff

    You should be able to switch explain plan view in the latest freeware drop.
    You still will need to catalog your local databases to be able to see then within Toad DB2.
    The reason is that Toad DB2 installs and runs under its own DB2COPY. The freeware uses this DB2COPY:’ToadF46′. So the ToadF46 DB2COPY has its own database directory and you will need to catalog any other local DB2COPY databases for Toad to be able to connect to those. I can understand that there are noticable differences between what is available as a freeware feature vs. commercial features, and hopefully it won’t be too difficult to get used to those differences.

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