Friday, July 07, 2006

New Red Paper on DB2 and Storage

Disk storage has changed rapidly over the past few years with the delivery of new functions and improved performance. DB2 has made many changes to keep pace and make use of the disk improvements. In fact, there is a new "red paper" that outlines these changes titled Disk storage access with DB2 for z/OS.

A red paper is similar to a redbook, but it is shorter (in length) and focuses on a more limited subject matter. They are kind of in between a white paper and a redbook. But they are still free to download - and they are easier to digest quickly than a redbook.

If you don't know what a redbook is, check out my earlier blog posting on the subject: Can You Write a Redbook?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Messages & Codes" Now "Messages" and "Codes"

Has anyone noticed? What used to be a single IBM DB2 manual is now two separate manuals. IBM has split the Messages & Codes manual into one manual for Messages and a separate manual for Codes. The links in the previous sentence take you directly to the web versions of the manuals. If you prefer to download PDF documents, use this link for DB2 V8.

So, if you are looking for the meaning of a DSN message you would use the Messages manual; if you are looking for a SQLCODE or SQLSTATE, use the Codes manual. I kinda liked them both in one manual, but I guess the combined manual was getting a bit too big to manage...

Also, if you haven't used it already you might want to become familiar with LookAt. LookAt is an online facility for displaying explanations for most IBM messages, as well as for some system abends and codes.

You can use LookAt on the web at:

Or, you can use it from anywhere you can access a TSO/E command line. Of course, to use LookAt as a TSO/E command, LookAt must first be installed on your system. You can get the LookAt code via ftp at

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Free DB2 Webinars

Well, everyone in the US should be recovered from the 4th of July holiday by now and be back to work... unless you took a vacation, in which case, you'll be reading this later. It rained here in Texas on the 4th, but that didn't stop the barbecues. Hope your 4th was relaxing (and for my international readers, I hope you'll forgive the brief discussion of a US holiday)...

Anyway, I wanted to take this opportunity during this holiday week to point you to a couple of pre-recorded webinars that I conducted earlier this year. Both are available to be streamed free-of-charge over the Internet.

The first one is titled Managing Common DB2 Performance Problems . In it I discuss some of the more common performance issues with DB2 -- and I also offer some guidance on how to manage DB2 performance at your site. Every DBA and data management professional knows that database performance is an on-going mission, and if you pick up tip or two in this session your time will be well spent.

The second webinar is titled Using Real Time Statistics to Improve DB2 Administration. Even though the Real Time Statistics (RTS) feature was delivered in DB2 Version 7, the number of organizations using them is still slim. This is unfortunate because RTS can be extremely beneficial in terms of analyzing and automating your DB2 maintenance tasks. This webcast offers an overview of RTS, including discussions on implementing them, integrating them with traditional statistics, and using them to help automate utility processing.

These webinars were sponsored by NEON Enterprise Software - and they offer some good tools for managing DB2 performance, automating DB2 administration, and managing changing DB2 access paths and BINDs.

Finally, you might want to hear what Roger Miller has to say about the next version of DB2 for the mainframe -- DB2 for z/OS Version 9. You can listen to a free replay of his webinar outlining this new version here. This webcast talks about many of the new features of the upcoming V9 release of DB2 for z/OS and it offers a great opportunity to learn from Roger - that jack of all trades and master of several...

As of late 2011, the webinars referenced in this blog post are no longer available for replay.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Scoop on z/OS v1.8

Earlier this year IBM announced details of the next version of z/OS and z/OS.e - Version 1.8. It seems to me that the hallmark of this new version is availability. There will be new features that enable more granular options for fast replication of data and improved recoverability options in a sysplex. And logical support for up to 4 terabytes of real storage that can be exploited by a single LPAR or z/OS image is a big availability improvement.

What else? Well there are a lot of improvements being offering in z/OS V1.8. For example, it provides improved XML support with XML System Services. It offers the ability to parse and process XML documents. And RACF will support pass phrases - or passwords over 8 characters. And the Unicode 4.0 standard is supported. Of course, these are just a few of the improvements.

But why am I writing about this now? Well, v1.8 is planned for general availability in September 2006 - so it can't hurt to do some up-front planning now in order to be prepared to move to the new version of the operating system in a couple of months.

For those looking for some additional information, there is an interesting article in IBM Systems Magazine called z/OS v.1.8: More of the Same, and That's a Good Thing by Jim Schesvold that offers a quick synopsis of the z/OS and z/OS.e V1.8 announcement.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A New Online DB2 Community

Just a quick posting today to inform my readers of a new, online DB2 community that I stumbled across while surfing the web. It is called DB2 Noise and it is an independent community -- meaning it is not affiliated with IBM or any other IT vendor.

The site, at, is designed to provide DB2 professionals a meeting place to help others, learn and encourage the effective use and development of the DB2 product range.

Check it out when you get a chance.