Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Come See Me at IDUG!

Just a quick blog post today to let all of my readers know my schedule for the IDUG DB2 Technical Conference being held next week in Austin, TX. With this information you can track me down in multiple places if you want to ask me a question, catch up, or just say “Hi!”

First of all, you can find me on Tuesday at the Expo Hall in the CorreLog booth (#300) from 12:00 to 1:00 and from 5:00 to 6:00. CorreLog will also be raffling off copies of my book, DB2 Developer’s Guide, to 4 lucky winners… so be sure to stop by. And chat with CorreLog about their SIEM and auditing solutions for DB2.

You should also make sure to attend my IDUG session titled “It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2!” on Wednesday at 3:30 PM (session B13). The general idea of the session is that DB2 is changing and you should be changing with it. Over the course of the past few releases of DB2 for z/OS, IBM has added many features and capabilities that are transforming the platform. I’ll take a look at the big changes that have been introduced to DB2 including new SQL, universal table spaces, improved security, and more. The session also offers guidance on how to continue improving your DB2 environment to keep up with industry, technology and DBA trends circa 2016.

But that’s not all. On both Tuesday and Wednesday I will be co-presenting with SEG at their VSP sessions. On Tuesday at 1:00 PM (Session V02) I will be co-presenting with Ulf Heinrich on DB2 audit and compliance issues and how they impact your DB2 data and database assets. In particular, we will focus on database auditing, talking about what is needed, the various methods of auditing, and a new offering from SEG that you can use to run audit analytics against a long-term repository. And on Wednesday at 10:30 AM (Session V08) I will co-present with Roy Boxwell about DB2 release incompatibilities and how they impact your DB2 applications. And I hear that SEG will have some of my books to raffle off, too!

And there’s still more! On Tuesday night (6pm to 9pm) I will be speaking at a DataKinetics event with Colin Oakhill on the topic of SQL quality assurance. Be sure to stop by the DataKinetics booth (#509) to get an invitation to the Tuesday night event where you can hear me and others speak about SQL quality and performance… as well as enjoy a tasty snack or beverage.

So if you’ll be at IDUG and you want to find me, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t be able to track me down at one or more of these places… 

See you in Austin!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

I'm Co-Presenting with a Couple of DB2 Experts at IDUG

I have the absolute pleasure of being able to co-present on a couple of great DB2 topics with two very knowledgeable and great speakers at this year's North American IDUG conference in Austin, TX. 

The first session is on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 1:00 PM (Session V02). In this session I will be co-presenting with Ulf Heinrich, the Director of Solutions Delivery at Software Engineering GmbH. Many of you know Ulf from his many technical DB2 presentation at past IDUG events and regional DB2 user groups. 

We will be talking about audit and compliance issues and how they impact your DB2 data and database assets. In particular, we will focus on database auditing, talking about what is needed, the various methods of auditing, and a new offering from SEG that you can use to run audit analytics against a long-term repository. If you need to be able to pinpoint who executed a query, when and from where, across your entire DB2 environment (and who doesn't?) then don't miss this presentation.

But that is not all... I also get the opportunity to co-present with Roy Boxwell. Many of you know Roy, too, from his many IDUG presentations and his valuable contributions to the DB2-L list server. Roy is a Senior Software Architect for DB2 product development at SEGUS Inc. He has been working for more than 30 years in the mainframe world, with 26 of these years strictly focused on the development of DB2 solutions in the realm of installation, migration, performance monitoring, and tuning.

Roy and I will be talking about DB2 release incompatibilities and how they impact your DB2 applications in our presentation on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 entitled Don't Let ICIs Put Your DB2 Application in the ICU!

This session will explain what an incompatible change is, offer assistance in how to identigy them and explain their potential impact on your applications. We'll also offer guidance on how to tackle the whole experience and learn how SEG’s Workload Expert technology makes it easier to manage and control these incompatible changes.

So, if you are going to IDUG this May in Austin, be sure to jot down the dates and times of these sessions so you don't miss them... and we'll see you there!

More details on the sessions can be found here on the SEG web site...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

IDUG is Coming to the Lone Star State

The weather is improving, Spring has sprung and that means it is, once again, time to start planning your trip to this year's IDUG North American DB2 Tech Conference. This year it is being held in Austin, TX at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. This is a very nice area and the hotel is great – I’ve stayed there numerous times in the past.

If you’ve ever attended an IDUG conference before then you know all about the fantastic educational and entertainment opportunities that IDUG offers. Of course there will be a ton of informative technical sessions on all of the latest and greatest DB2 technologies and features. The presentations vary in length from an hour to a half day to complete full day training sessions. 

And if you are looking to learn something completely new, but data-related, this year there is even a special opportunity to learn about Spark technology on Wednesday.

But IDUG is not just a bunch of presentations… it is so much more. There are countless networking opportunities to meet and talk with your peers, IBM developers, and industry consultants. And let’s not forget about the vendor exhibit hall where you can talk to the ISVs and learn all the about software and tools that can help you get the most out of DB2... not to mention picking up a few tchotchkes and mementos.

Additionally, there are Special Interest Groups (where you can discuss the latest industry trends and topics with other interested technicians), Hands-On Labs (delivering working training led by IBM), and the opportunity to take complementary IBM certification exams.

I’ll be there, too. So if you're going to IDUG be sure to find me and say “Hello.” I'll be delivering talking about the changing state of DB2 for z/OS in my session: It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! And I’ll also be talking at the VSPs this year… 2 of them. I'll be co-presenting with SEG on DB2 auditing and also on managing DB2 incompatibilities. So be sure to attend these informative sessions!

I am also planning to present at a special evening meeting being held by DKL. I’ll talk about SQL quality assurance and performance… but there will also be libations and snacks, too. So hunt us down on Tuesday night… stop by the DKL booth for an invitation.

The IDUG DB2 Tech Conference is the place to be to learn all about DB2 from IBMers, gold consultants, IBM champions, end users, and more. With all of this great stuff going on in Austin this May, why wouldn't you want to be there!?!?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Don’t let ICIs put your DB2 application in the ICU!

Those of you who have been paying close attention have probably already noticed, or indeed encountered, incompatibility issues with how DB2 for z/OS behaves from version to version. Oh, sure, we all know that there have been deprecated features, and we deal with those over the long periods of time it takes for the features to be completely removed from DB2. Sure, we don't like it, but it is not really a huge problem to manage.

But there are other DB2 incompatibilities that are more troublesome to manage. You see, over the course of the past several releases of DB2 for z/OS, IBM has been making changes that can modify the behavior of your DB2 application programs. Code that worked one way works differently after migration. The number of incompatible changes being introduced by IBM started off slowly in DB2 9 but has grown to a significant number today. So much so that there IBM has introduced ICIs, or incompatible change indicators that can be traced using IFCIDs. 

Additionally, there are ways to repress these changes from occurring, but it is not quite as simple as that. What ever is that simple, right?

Well, if you are at all interested in learning more about DB2 incompatibilities and how to manage them, join me and Roy Boxwell for our webinar, Don’t let ICIs put your DB2 application in the ICU! 

We will discuss the issues, how they impact your applications, and offer up some guidance on how to get your arms around the problem. And Roy will show us how SEG's Workload Expert technology can be used to make it easier to track these issues, as well as to manage and control their impact on your DB2 applications.

So register today and join us in this informative webinar scheduled for April 28 2016 at 1:00 PM Eastern time.

This session will discuss the incompatible changes, their potential impact on your applications, as well as provide guidance on how to tackle the whole experience. And you’ll also see how SEGUS’s Workload Expert technology makes it easier to manage and control these incompatible changes. With all of this information at your disposal, you can make sure that your DB2 applications do not wind up in the ICU (intensive care unit)!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Most Misunderstood Features of DB2 - Part 8: Do I have to pick just one?

There are so many misunderstood and misused aspects of DB2 for z/OS that it would be hard to choose only one. This series of blog posts, which concludes today with this one, has covered a wide variety of topics over 7 installments. So it would seem that there is no lack of misunderstanding out there!

So, if I had to pick just one thing as the most misunderstood thing, I think I’m going to have to cheat and say that the biggest problem in DB2-land is an overall pervasive lack of knowledge of what DB2 can do. Who among us can really say that we know everything there is to know about every last feature and function that our favorite DBMS supports?

Now don’t get me wrong? I am not trying to indict the technicians using DB2. Richard Saul Wurman wrote a book called Information Anxiety that details what I think many of us are feeling, which is a general uneasiness at being overwhelmed with a large amount of facts, figures and data that can be hard to master.

This situation has come about because DBMSs are becoming large and unwieldy as they adopt functionality that previously was performed outside of the database environment. This is certainly that case with DB2 for z/OS which has adding a lot of new SQL functionality, new types of table spaces, temporal support, IDAA, and on and on and on in just the past few releases. There is simply too much functionality in DB2 for anyone to be an expert on all of it (well, with this possible exception of some of those IBM developers).

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts in this series, here are links to each of the 7 prior installments in this series:

And now, with all of these misunderstandings out of the way, maybe we can focus on more understanding in upcoming blog posts!