Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On Date Formats

Regular readers of my blog know that from time to time I use the blog as a forum to answer questions I get via e-mail. Today, we address a popular theme - dealing with DB2 date data...

Q:I have a DATE column in a DB2 table, but I do not want it to display the way DB2 displays it by default. How can I get a date format retrieved from a column in a table from DB2 database in the format MM/DD/YYYY?

A:The simplest way to return a date in the format you desire is to use the built-in column function CHAR. Using this function you can convert a date column into any number of formats. The specific format you request, MM/DD/YYYY, is the USA date format. So, for example, to return the date in the format you requested for a column named START_DATE you would code the function as follows:


The first argument is the column name and the second argument is the format. Consult the following table for a list of the date formats that are supported by DB2.
















Locally defined layout


You may also have an installation-defined date format that would be named LOCAL. For LOCAL, the date exit for ASCII data is DSNXVDTA, the date exit for EBCDIC is DSNXVDTX, and the date exit for Unicode is DSNXVDTU.

Of course, this is a simple date question... I will follow-up with some additional date-related questions and answers in my next couple of blog posts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bad Standards

Just started a new series on bad standards over on my Data Management Today blog.

Check it out when you get a chance and share your favorite "bad standards" either here or there... or by e-mailing me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

DBA Rules of Thumb

Database administration is a very technical discipline, but it is also a discipline in which the practitioner is very visible politically within the organization. As such, DBAs should be armed with the proper attitude and knowledge before attempting to practice the discipline of database administration.

Just as important as technical acumen, though, is the ability to carry oneself properly and to embrace the job appropriately. With this in mind, I wrote a series of blog entries on DBA Rules of Thumb over at my Data Management Today blog... and I thought the information I wrote there may be helpful to my DB2 and mainframe readership here, so I'm sharing the eight rules of thumb (with links) here on my DB2 Portal blog:
  1. Document Everything!
  2. Automate Ingelligently
  3. Share
  4. Don't Panic!
  5. Focus Your Efforts
  6. Invest In Yourself
  7. Diversify
  8. Develop Business Acumen
What do you think? Did I miss anything important?

P.S. Just a reminder that I will be presenting a webinar on assuring DB2 recoverability with my colleague, Michael Figaro, this Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 10:30 Central time. If you are at all interested in the topic, be sure to register today - and attend this Thursday!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Assuring the Recoverability of Your DB2 Databases

Availability requires much more than just having a reliable hardware and database platform. Most companies cannot afford significant downtime, and some cannot afford any! As such, it is crucial for unplanned outages to be as short as possible. But it is not just a business requirement, in many cases assuring a speedy recovery is also a legal mandate. Regulations such as SOX and Basel II dictate that any outage is resolved within a predefined period of time.

But how many of us can answer, with any degree of certainty, the question “How long will this outage last?” There are many variables that need to be considered when estimating a DB2 recovery time: backups available, quality, point-in-time requirements, amount of log processing, disk speed, tape mounts, and on and on and on...

With these thoughts in mind, Michael Figaro and I will be delivering a webinar titled Assuring the Recoverability of Your DB2 Databases, on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 10:30 am CDT.

We will tackle issues ranging from regulations, IT complexity, and business continuity, to DSNZPARMs and backup/recovery planning. We’ll also make the case that planning for database recoverability is the most important task among the many tasks of the DBA.

As part of the webinar we will introduce and demonstrate Recovery AssuranceExpert, a new technology to help you ensure that all of your critical DB2 objects are recoverable within your recovery time objectives. Recovery AssuranceExpert is an automated solution to perform daily health checks of data availability and recoverability, as well as provide actual recovery times required for a DB2 object, a complete application, or even a whole DB2 subsystem. Join us on October 23rd to find out how you can insure that your actual recoverability times fit into your SLAs.