Monday, March 17, 2014

Types of DB2 Tools

As a user of DB2, which I'm guessing you are since you are reading this blog, you should always be on the lookout for useful tools that will help you achieve business value from your investment in DB2. There are several categories of tools that can help you to achieve this value.

Database Administration and Change Management tools simplify and automate tasks such as creating database objects, examining existing structures, loading and unloading data, and making changes to databases. Without an administration tool these tasks require intricate, complex scripts to be developed and run. One of the most important administration tools is the database change manager. Without a robust, time-tested product that is designed to effect database changes, database changes can be quite time-consuming and error prone. A database change manager automates the creation and execution of scripts designed to implement required changes – and will ensure that data integrity is not lost.

One of the more important categories of DB2 tools offers Performance Management capabilities. Performance tools help to gauge the responsiveness and efficiency of SQL queries, database structures, and system parameters. Performance management tools should be able to examine and improve each of the three components of a database application: the DB2 subsystem, the database structures, and the application programs. Advanced performance tools can take proactive measures to correct problems as they happen.

Backup and Recovery tools simplify the process of creating backups and recovering from those backup copies. By automating complex processes, simulating recovery, and implementing disaster recovery procedures these tools can be used to assure business resiliency, with no data being lost when the inevitable problems arise.

Another important category of DB2 tool is Utilities and Utility Management. A utility is a single purpose tool for moving and/or verifying database pages; examples include LOAD, UNLOAD, REORG, CHECK, COPY, and RECOVER. Tools that implement and optimize utility processing, as well as those that automate and standardize the execution of DB2 utilities, can greatly improve the availability of your DB2 applications. You might also want to consider augmenting your utilities with a database archiving solution that moves data back and forth between your database and offline storage.

Governance and Compliance tools deliver the ability to protect your data and to assure compliance with industry and governmental regulations, such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and PCI DSS. In many cases business executives have to vouch for the accuracy of their company’s data and that the proper controls are in place to comply with required regulations. Governance and compliance tools can answer questions like “who did what to which data when?” that are nearly impossible to otherwise answer.

And finally, Application Management tools help developers improve application performance and speed time-to-market. Such tools can improve database and program design, facilitate application testing including the creation and management of test data, and streamline application data management efforts.

Tools from each of these categories can go a long way toward helping your organization excel at managing and accessing data in your DB2 databases and applications...

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