Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free DB2 Education Webinar Series

Want to learn more about DB2 for z/OS but there is no money in the education budget? Can you spare an hour a week over the course of a month? Well then, you are in luck because SoftwareOnZ is sponsoring a series of DB2 webinars presented by yours truly, Craig S. Mullins

Each webinar will be focused on a specific DB2 topic so you can pick and choose the ones that are most interesting to you – or attend them all and receive a certificate signed by me indicating that you have completed The DB2 Education Webinar Series.

The schedule and topics for these sessions follows:

September 28, 2010 – DB2 Access Paths: Surviving and Thriving

Binding your DB2 programs creates access paths that dictate how your applications will access DB2 data. But it can be tricky to understand exactly what is going on. There are many options and it can be difficult to select the proper ones… and to control when changes need to be made.

This presentation will clarify the BIND process, enabling you to manage DB2 application performance by controlling your DB2 access paths. And it will introduce a new, GUI-based product for managing when your programs need to be rebound.

October 5, 2010 – Optimizing DB2 Database Administration

DB2 DBAs are tasked with working in a complex technological environment, and as such, the DBA has to know many things about many things. This makes for busy days. How often have you asked yourself, “Where does the time go?”

Well, the more operational duties that can be automated and streamlined, the more effective a DBA can be. This presentation will address issues that every DB2 Database Administrator and/or DB2 Systems Programmer faces on a daily basis. And it will introduce a new tool, DB-Genie, that will reduce the amount of time, effort, and human error involved in maintaining DB2 databases.

October 12, 2010 – DB2 Storage: Don’t Ignore the Details!

For many DB2 professionals, storage management can be an afterthought. What with designing, building, and maintaining databases, assuring recoverability, monitoring performance, and so on, keeping track of where and how your databases are stored is not top of mind. But a storage problem can bring your databases and applications to a grinding halt, so it is not wise to ignore your storage needs.

This presentation will discuss the important storage-related details regarding DB2 for z/OS, including some of the newer storage options at your disposal. And we will also introduce a new web-based tool for monitoring all of your mainframe DB2 storage.

October 19, 2010 – The DB2 Application Developer’s Aid de Camp

Building DB2 application programs is a thankless job. And it can be difficult to ensure that you have a effective and efficient development environment for coding DB2 applications. Can you easily identify which tables are related to which… and what indexes are available so you code queries the right way the first time? Do you have the right data to test your programs? Can you make quick and dirty changes to just a few tables or rows without having to write yet another program?

This presentation will discuss the issues and difficulties that developers encounter on a daily basis as they build DB2 applications… and it will present a useful programmer-focused toolset for overcoming these difficulties.


Certainly there will be something of interest for every DB2 professional in at least one, if not all, of these complimentary web-based seminars.

So what’s stopping you? Sign up today!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

DB2 Best Practices

With today's blog entry I'm hoping to encourage some open-ended dialogue on best practices for DB2 database administration. Give the following questions some thought and if you've got something to share, post a comment!

What are the things that you do, or want to do, on a daily basis to manage your database infrastructure?

What things have you found to be most helpful to automate in administering your databases? Yes, I know that all the DBMS vendors are saying that they've created the "on demand" "lights-out" "24/7" database environment, but we all know that ain't so! So what have you done to automate (either using DBMS features, tools, or homegrown scripts) to keep an eye on things?

How have you ensured the recovery of your databases in the case of problems? Application problems? Against improper data entry or bad transactions? Disaster situations? And have you tested your disaster recovery plans? If so, how? And were they successful?

What type of auditing is done on your databases to track who has done what to what data? Do you audit all changes? To all applications, or just certain ones? Do you audit access, as well as modification? If so how?

How do you manage change? Do you use a change management tool or do it all by hand? Are database schema changes integrated with application changes? If so, how? If not, how do you coordinate things to keep the application synchronized with the databases?

What about DB2 storage management? Do you actively monitor disk usage of your DB2 table space and index spaces? Do you have alerts set so that you are notified if any object is nearing its maximum size? How about your VSAM data sets? Do you monitor extents and periodically consolidate? How do you do it... ALTER/REORG? Defrag utilities? Proactive defrag?

Is your performance management set up with triggers and farmed out to DBAs by exception or is it all reactive, with tuning tasks being done based on who complains the loudest?

Do you EXPLAIN every SQL statement before it goes into production? Does someone review the acess plans or are they just there to be reviewed in case of production performance problems? Do you rebind your programs periodically (for static SQL programs) as your data volume and statistics change, or do you just leave things alone until (or unless) someone complains?

When do you reorganize your data structures? On a pre-scheduled regular basis or based on database statistics? Or a combination of both? And how do you determine which are done using which method? What about your other DB2 utilities? Have you automated their scheduling or do you still manually build JCL?

How do you handle PTFs? Do you know which have been applied and which have not? And what impact that may be having on your database environment and applications? Do you have a standard for how often PTFs are applied?

How is security managed? Do the DBAs do all of the GRANTs and REVOKEs or is that job shared by security administrators? Are database logons coordinated across different DBMSs? Or could I have an operating system userid that is different from my SQL Server logon that is different than my Oracle logon -- with no capability of identifying that the user is the same user across the platforms?

How has regulatory compliance (e.g. PCI DSS, SOX, etc.) impacted your database administration activities? Have you had to purchase additional software to ensure compliance? How is compliance policed at your organization?

Just curious... Hope I get some responses!