Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DB2 Symposium 2011 – Round Two

Today's blog post is about the DB2 Symposium, a three day training event with one day seminars presented by well-known DB2 consultants. I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate this year by the primary organizer of the event, Klaas Brant. (Klaas is a respected DB2 consultant based in the Netherlands.). Earlier this year, the DB2 Symposium event was held in Dallas, TX and was well-received by attendees. So a second round is planned, this time in Chicago, IL!

What is the difference between DB2 Symposium and events like IDUG and IOD? Well, DB2 Symposium fills the gap between a conference and a multi-day training course. The DB2 Symposium is unique because you can participate for 1, 2, or 3 days, depending on your needs and budget.

Round two of the USA DB2 Symposium is happening soon, so you'll need to act fast if you want to participate. It occurs September 21-23, 2011 in the Chicago, Illinois area. More precisely, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Downers Grove, IL (in the Western suburbs of Chicago). Each day the training sessions start at 9.00am and end at around 5.00pm.

But registration on site is not possible, you must pre-register online... so plan ahead!

My session is on September 23rd and it is called DB2 Developer's Guide Comes Alive! This one day session, covers tips, techniques, and procedures you need to know in order to excel at administering and using DB2 on the mainframe. The material is based upon DB2 Developer's Guide, the best-selling DB2 for z/OS book on the market. Additionally, the course material will contain references to sections of the book for students to find additional material on each topic after the sessions. Topics to be covered will include:

  • A performance tuning roadmap for managing DB2 application, database and system performance. You will learn SQL coding and tuning techniques, guidance for database optimization and reorganization, coverage of buffer pool settings and parameters for performance.
  • Logical and physical database design recommendations for DB2, so you can build and maintain effective DB2 databases immediately. Includes discussion of standards, logical to physical translation, data types, usage of nulls, and more.
  • Information and guidance on BINDing and REBINDing, along with a discussion of the most important parameters.
  • Along the way we'll look at locking, access paths, statistics, indexing and more.
  • And even though the current edition of the book covers through DB2 V8, this course adds coverage of some of the newer features added to DB2 in versions 9 and 10 that can boost your productivity and performance.

If you own the book already, bring it along and I'll be happy to autograph it for you. And then you can use it along with the course materials... and if you don't own it already, you'll probably want to grab a copy after attending the seminar... you can always find a link to buy my books on the front page of my web site at

So register for the DB2 Symposium today... and I'll see you in Chicago!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Plan to Attend IDUG This November to Improve Your DB2 Skills

It is almost that time of year again, time for the annual European IDUG conference. And as anyone who has ever attended this conference can tell you, it will be chock full of news, education, and networking opportunities for DB2 programmers, DBAs, sysprogs, and users! And you can take advantage of great offers including FREE IBM certification training and DB2 migration workshops!

So be sure to register for the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 13-18 November 2011, at the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague. If you register on or before 17 October 2011 and receive a discount of EUR 275.

IDUG is also extending the following special offers:

  • Multiple Delegate Discount
    For every three individuals who register from the same organisation, a fourth may attend at the discounted rate of EUR 730.
  • Mentor Program
    If you have attended three previous IDUG DB2 Conferences, you are eligible to bring a first-time colleague to Prague for an 80% discount off the full registration fee.
  • One-Day Educational Seminars - Friday, 18 November 2011
    Registration for paid full conference delegates is EUR 450; the cost for just the one-day seminar is EUR 495. Select from the following session topics:
    - DB2 10 for z/OS - In Depth, Phil Grainger, Cogito
    - DB2 Intermediate and Advanced SQL, Daniel Luksetich, Yevich Lawson & Assoc Inc.
    - I Didn't Know DB2 did THAT!, Bonnie Baker, Bonnie Baker Corporation
    - Optimising DB2 for z/OS System Performance Using DB2 Statistics Trace, John Campbell, IBM Corporation
    - Rocket Science: DB2 for LUW Performance Analysis and Tuning Workshop, Scott Hayes, DBI

Register Today!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do You Still Use That DB2 Program?

A recurring problem for programmers and IT folks in general is determining whether or not a particular program is still required. As your organization grows and the number of programs increases, keeping track of them all can become quite difficult.

As administration and management burdens increase, a common desire is to get rid of programs that are no longer being used. But it can be difficult to determine which programs are no longer used.

You can always “ask around,” but few IT professionals would be willing to delete anything based on such a general tactic. Another common method is to review performance reports or extracts from a performance warehouse. But perhaps your performance traces are not turned on all the time.

The question is probably more common in DB2 environments because of the plans and packages that consume storage and "sit around" taking up space if their associated program is no longer being used.

Well, for DB2 professionals this type of question becomes easier to answer once you migrate to DB2 10 for z/OS. DB2 maintains a new column, LASTUSED, in the DB2 Catalog. The column exists in both SYSIBM.SYSPACKAGE and SYSIBM.SYSPLAN and is defined as a DATE data type. The date is changed when the package header is requested from EDM. The column is also maintained for triggers and stored procedures. After BIND (REPLACE) this column is reset to the default value (CURRENT DATE).

This is similar to the LASTUSED column added to SYSIBM.SYSINDEXSPACESTATS in DB2 9, which is used to show the last time an index was used.

Of course, you will have to give it some time –- because you might have a program that is used only rarely, yet still used. Most shops have queries and programs that run quarterly, or even annually, but nevertheless are very important. So don’t just start freeing packages a month after you’ve migrated to DB2 10!

But it is good to know that we now have additional usage information at our fingertips in the DB2 Catalog, isn’t it?