Don’t Miss IDUG Blog: Meet the Crusher

Posted by Kim May on July 18, 2019 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IDAA, TFG Blog.

The Fillmore Group has had the pleasure of working with Steve Cricchi for the past several years.  Steve is a database administrator and technical problem solver who has done some amazing work with the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator.  In December he delivered a presentation on his successful efforts with the IDAA to the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group, and an article he wrote about his experiences was recently published on the IDUG blog.

Anyone who has considered an IDAA acquisition understands that this tool is not inexpensive, so there’s an urgency to ensure it delivers value once it’s purchased and installed.  It also requires – like many technical challenges – a certain degree of creativity.  Steve’s done a terrific job delivering and his article explains how.  Please take a moment to read it!

Meet “the Crusher” – or How We Learned to Love Query Acceleration

 

 

 

Vote for me! Replication Enhancement to Support ASM

Posted by Kim May on June 17, 2019 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Analytics Software Sales, Replication, TFG Blog.

IBM recently introduced the Data and AI ideas portal for clients where users are invited to request enhancements.   And vote on them – sort of like voting for class president.

I submitted a request earlier today for the addition of Oracle ASM support in IBM InfoSphere Data Replication/Change Data Capture.  I did this because I was introduced to an Oracle customer currently using Informatica replication who needs to find an alternate replication solution, as Informatica is moving replication to the cloud.

IBM’s replication solutions are quite strong compared to other vendor options.  The list of ICDC supported database sources and targets continues to grow, with Postgres and Kafka being recent additions.

I think IBM should continue to enhance ICDC by adding support for ASM so we can introduce more Oracle customers to ICDC.

PLEASE!  Vote for my enhancement – I believe it’s I-83 at this link.  It’s currently in “under consideration” status so I may need to update the link when I have confirmed it’s available for voting.

I’ll post some signs up in the hall announcing my enhancement’s candidacy.  Vote early and vote often!!  Thank you for your support!!

IBM Highlights Gold Consultants on IBM.com

Posted by Kim May on May 31, 2019 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, IBM Champion, TFG Blog.

Thanks to the combined efforts of several Gold Consultants, notably Julian Stuhler and Ted Alexander, IBM Gold Program sponsors and advocates Jim Reed and Reid Gerson, and The Fillmore Group’s Megan Byrne, a new page highlighting the Gold Consultants program is available on IBM.com.

The page provides links to consultant specialty and contact information.  The directory is attached here:  IBM Gold Consultants Profiles

Best of all, the page answers the frequently asked question, “What exactly are the Gold Consultants?”

An elite group of independent consultants with vast experience in IBM data repositories, unified governance, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

IBM Gold Consultants bring extensive industry experience and technical expertise to help IBM clients define and implement strong strategies for their data and analytics initiatives using IBM Db2® on all platforms, IBM Informix, IBM InfoSphere®, IBM CICS® and related technologies. This group is recognized as some of the world’s most experienced independent consultants for these products. With in-depth technical knowledge and communication skills, the consultants can fill in skill gaps within a client’s organization and facilitate better performing solutions, optimal database designs and high availability.”

The new page link is:  https://www.ibm.com/analytics/ibm-gold-consultants

Check it out – it looks much better on screen!

 

 

 

Mid-Atlantic Db2 LUW Meeting – Bethesda, May 7th

Posted by Kim May on May 2, 2019 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, pureScale, TFG Blog.

Thank you to the IBM Technical Team, Kay Groski and Warren Heising, for coordinating this terrific agenda and group of excellent speakers for the Mid-Atlantic Spring Db2 LUW Users Group Meeting!

The is no cost to attend (again thanks Kay and Warren).

Registration is required.  Register here.

Date:                            Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Time:                            9:00am – 2:30pm
Location:                      IBM Bethesda, Room 02-2A304, 6710 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD  20817

Agenda:
09:00-10:30    SESSION 1:  Futures (vNext coming soon!) presented by Jon Lind
10:30-10:45     BREAK
10:45-12:00     SESSION 2: IBM Streams presented by Roger Rea
12:00-12:45     Networking Lunch
12:45-2:00       SESSION 3:  Demystifying the Db2 Logger presented by Dale McInnis
2:00-2:15         BREAK
2:15-2:30         IDUG Overview

Free Hands-on IDAA Class Announced – July 18 & 19, Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Kim May on April 9, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Join us for this new and improved for 2019 class to be delivered by IBM Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore. Contents include IDAA v7 early experiences, best practices, and v5 to v7 migration tips. Attendees will learn how an IDAA v7 (aka “Sailfish”) can extend System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).  For IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase, this class provides an overview of the architecture, use cases delivering value, and insight into the administration of the accelerator.

Class is free to IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase.  The Fillmore Group will provide breakfast and lunch each day; attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Registration is required – Register HERE

Dates (2 days):            Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, 2019

Location:                      IBM, 6060 Britton Parkway, Building 1, Dublin, Ohio, 43016

Time:                           9:00am – 4:00pm EDT

Cost:                            Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:                    Frank Fillmore

Topics:

  • An introduction to the V7.1 architecture and Integrated Analytics System (IAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment: what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition: Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to v7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities

  • Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
  • Table acceleration
  • Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem

  • Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
  • Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
  • Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation

  • Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
  • Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

 

Conference & Conference & Conference Oh My!!

Posted by Kim May on April 1, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: .

The buildup and push for the Think Conference was manic. The “EXCITEMENT!!” seemed to come from a small group of IBM marketing folks and the focus on attendance numbers (tough to confirm or deny) was odd.

Customers and Business Partners focused on the data management component of the Analytics portfolio, and with a limited budget to attend conferences, seem to have shifted from the IOD/Insight/Think Conference to the International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) conferences. IDUG North America is held in the Spring, this year in Charlotte, South Carolina, from June 2 – 6. The conference focus is education for IBM database technologies solutions.  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning aren’t the dominating topics, and session selections and content are managed by IDUG volunteers.  IDUG NA 2019 costs $2165 to attend, with a $300 early bird discount available until April 22nd.

Having IDUG to counterbalance Think makes sense to me.  Also, the IDUG community is very user friendly.  There are several discount options to make attendance affordable, and as has been the case at most technical conferences, presenters receive a free pass.

Now – the wild card.  IBM, through their marketing collaboration with IDG, has scheduled another conference, this one called IBM Data and AI Forum, for Miami, Florida, from October 21 – 24.   This event is the former IBM Analytics University, which I believe evolved from the Db2 Technical Conference.

It seems to be IBM’s attempt to cross pollinate Db2 users with AI, not necessarily a logical partnership in my opinion, as the potential benefits of AI and Machine Learning seem to be in the conceptual sales stage, being pitched to senior management, while the technical teams running data centers aren’t setting the analytics vision.  The conference pass cost is far lower than IDUG or Think, at $1295 for a full price pass and $1095 with the early bird discount through July 31.

The call for speakers is open and I understand selected speakers will be compensated for presenting.

It will be interesting to see how the community responds to all these conference offerings.  Hmmm…

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group March Education Session

Posted by Kim May on February 12, 2019 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

The Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group will be holding our annual education session on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at the BWI Hilton.  Please note the date is the third Wednesday in March, not the second, when meetings are typically held, as several members will be attending SHARE.

As a very special 2019 offer, the group will have two session tracks and two terrific presenters.  You are invited to sign up for one of the two tracks.  The cost per attendee is $100 and includes session materials and a sit down lunch with the entire group. 

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm (Registration and continental breakfast at 8:30am)

Location: BWI Hilton, 1739 W Nursery Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

Register: HERE

For DBA’s IBM’s Robert Catterall will present, and for developers, Tony Andrews from Themis.  Abstracts for their day-long sessions are below.  

Track 1:

Db2 Database Administration Db2 for z/OS DBA’s: News You Can Use This day-long session for DBAs delivers updates on four topics pertinent to database administration. Each unique segment will provide up-to-date information on:

  1. Leveraging large z/OS LPAR memory resources for improved Db2 application performance.
  2. Key metrics for Db2 subsystem and application performance monitoring and tuning.
  3. DDF application architecture and workload management.
  4. Modern Db2 for z/OS physical database design.

Presenter: Robert Catterall

Robert Catterall is an IBM Senior Consulting Db2 for z/OS specialist. He started his IT career with IBM in 1982, and worked throughout the 1990s as a member of the Company’s Db2 for z/OS National Technical Support team. From 2000 to 2007, Robert worked as a database technology strategist for CheckFree (now part of Fiserv). After working for three years as an independent Db2 consultant, he rejoined IBM in 2010.

Robert is a past President of the International Db2 Users Group (IDUG), and a member of IDUG’s Speakers Hall of Fame. He presents frequently at conferences and user group meetings, and blogs about Db2 for z/OS at http://robertsdb2blog.blogspot.com/.

Track 2:

Db2 Developers New Application Features for Db2 12

Are you still coding and designing SQL from the 90’s? The last several releases of Db2 have brought quality new features that can be used to improve both functionality and performance for today’s complex applications. This event will help catch you up!

Morning Segment: • Global Variables: Creation, Usage, Rules, V12 Enhancements • Transparent Archiving: Automatic Archiving of Data, Data Retrieval Options, Global Variables for Archiving • Sequence Objects: Creation, Usage, Sequence vs Identity • Advanced Groupings: Group By / Having Review , Grouping Sets, Rollup, Cube • OLAP Ranking Functions Upgrades: o Rank, Dense_Rank, Row_Number Review o Ranking Moving Sums and Avgs o Rows Between o Range Between o Partition By • SQL Set Operations: Union/Union All Review, Intersect/Intersect All, Except/Except All, Union Select Into

Afternoon Session: • SQL Merge: Overview, V12 Enhancements • SQL : Select From Update, Select From Insert • SQL Piece-Wise Delete: V12 Enhancement • SQL Pagination: V12 enhancement • SQL QUERYNO: Review • SQL Procedural Language: Piece Wise Delete, Autonomous Processing, SQL PL support for Triggers • Performance Enhancements: o New Stage 1 Predicates o V10, V11 New Performance Review o V12 Performance Enhancements o Sparse Indexing o V12 Runtime Adaptive Indexing o V12 Fast Traverse Indexing

Presenter: Tony Andrews

Tony Andrews has more than 25 years’ experience in the development of relational database applications. Most of this time, he has provided development and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Tony has written literally thousands of queries and programs during his development years, and has also served as a database analyst. For the last 10 years, Tony has been splitting his time between performance and tuning consulting engagements along with training. His main focus is to teach today’s developers the ways of RDBMS application design, development and SQL programming — always with a special emphasis on improving performance.

He is a current IBM Champion, and regular speaker at many regional user groups, IDUG NA, and IDUG EMEA. He is also the author of a book for developers titled ‘DB2 SQL Tuning Tips for z/OS Developers’. *the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group is a non-profit organization funding a portion of this meeting. If registration levels exceed our funds the per attendee cost will need to be raised to offset expenses.

IBM 2019 Replication Updates – 4 in 45 Minutes – Featuring Kafka!

Posted by Kim May on January 8, 2019 under Attunity, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, pureScale, Q-Replication, Replication, TFG Blog, Webinar. Tags: .

Join replication experts Frank Fillmore and Ed Lynch for this information-packed webinar with news and announcements about IBM’s replication solutions. Whether you are a current IBM replication user, investigating replication for a new deployment, or working with a competitor’s solution, this webinar will help you understand what IBM offers today, and the enhancements that will help you succeed with replication in 2019.

At a sprint!

In forty-five minutes Ed and Frank will deliver an overview of IBM’s current offerings, the four most important 2019 enhancement announcements, and 3 special pricing offers that can help your organization realize significant savings. We know you want your data to be available when you need it and where you need it, and fast. We can help.

Registration is required. Please register HERE.

Date: Thursday, 2/7/19

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Presenters:

Frank Fillmore is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., an IBM Business Partner specializing in replication solutions in the IBM Analytics portfolio. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and is currently an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank frequently presents on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and is an IBM authorized instructor for delivery of replication courses including Q Replication, ICDC and pureScale. Frank leads a team of expert consultants delivering presales, implementation and enablement support to IBM customers. Frank is currently supporting a pureScale implementation for a US Federal agency.

Ed Lynch was with IBM for over 25 years as a leader and innovator in Data Analytics and Information Integration.  Leveraging his balanced and diversified knowledge of data and Information Technology with business needs and capabilities, Ed consistently recommends and delivers best of breed technical solutions. A trusted advisor to his customers and colleagues, Ed’s cross-industry knowledge enables him to be an effective go-to resource, particularly for difficult and complex challenges, and his success in many diverse roles at IBM, including development, technical team management, marketing and sales, showcase his flexibility. Ed is currently supporting a complex replication implementation for a large, US-based financial institution.

SQL to Aid #Db2 for z/OS EBCDIC to Db2 for LUW Unicode Conversion #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 2, 2019 under DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion. Tags: , , , .

Dr. Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” regularly records a YouTube video called “Fun with Flags” so I’m going to call this blog post “Fun with SQL”.  Sheldon may be a future Nobel Prize winner, but I’ve been named an IBM Champion for Analytics and System z for 2019. 🙂

The problem statement: a large US government agency is contemplating migrating a packaged application from System z to Linux.  The current and future database repositories are Db2 for z/OS and Db2 for LUW respectively.  As a System z Champion I’ve presented on the continued relevancy and efficacy of the IBM mainframe, but that’s not the focus of this post.  One of the challenges of porting data is the conversion of character encoding from EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code) which is the legacy encoding protocol used on IBM mainframes and System i to Unicode.  Db2 for z/OS supports Unicode, but I’m not going to address anything other than EBCDIC encoding at the source and Unicode at the target (Sorry, ASCII).  In brief, EBCDIC represents an 8 bit binary encoding scheme that can represent 256 different characters.  For example: the letter “F” (one of my faves) is represented as 1100 0110 in binary and C6 in hexadecimal. For national language support amid the variety of Single Byte Character Sets (SBCS) used around the world – think the German umlaut (i.e. ä ö ü) – the 256 byte universe of EBCDIC wasn’t nearly enough.  The Unicode solution is to use more than 1 byte to represent some characters.  For example: the “¢” cent sign takes one byte to represent in EBCDIC, but 2 bytes in Unicode.

select length(ebcdic_str('¢')) as EBCDIC, length(unicode_str('¢')) as Unicode from sysibm.sysdummy1;
EBCDIC    UNICODE

     1          2

This problem has manifested itself as an error when moving a CHAR(5) column of data from Db2 for z/OS to Db2 for LUW.  If, say, the pesky “¢” is present in the string and all 5 characters are significant (i.e. no trailing blanks), the string won’t fit in the same column width on the target platform.  Most customers find this out the hard way when the Db2 for LUW LOAD command or IMPORT utility posts errors.  There are two possible solutions:

  • data cleanup (Do we really need the pesky ‘¢’ in a Comments column?)
  • lengthen the target columns to accommodate Unicode expansion

Both can be time-consuming and expensive and will depend on a variety of factors beyond the scope of this blog post.  The purpose here today is to identify the extent of the problem before you actually try to port the data.  I’ve constructed this SQL statement to do just that. Read More…