DB2 Connect Redux

Posted by Frank Fillmore on March 29, 2010 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS. Tags: , .

I’ve been seeing a lot of an old friend lately: DB2 Connect.  This is the software which enables Distributed Relational Database Architecture (DRDA) Application Requestor (AR) or “client” applications running on Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms to access DB2 “host” databases on System z and System i.  More precisely, DB2 Connect accesses an Application Server (AS) which can be DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Server for VSE&VM, or DB2 for i (Wait, shouldn’t that be DB2 for “me”?)

What we know today as DB2 Connect started out almost 20 years ago as Distributed Database Connection Services (DDCS).  Then it was amazing to access host DB2 data using a spreadsheet.  Of course it took an experienced consultant a few weeks to install and configure DDCS and it’s supporting software which relied on the Systems Network Architecture (SNA) communications protocol.  It was so difficult, The Fillmore Group had a services offering called “Client/Server in 10 Days” where we guaranteed to get DDCS working in your shop in two weeks.  Now you can install and configure DB2 Connect using TCP/IP in about an hour.

So what does DB2 Connect actually do?  At its most basic, DB2 Connect is a protocol converter that changes the character coding on the host (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code or EBCDIC) into the equivalent used on Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms (American Standard Code for Information Interchange or ASCII).  It does lots of other things and can be a source of lots of troubleshooting and performance tuning, but EBCDIC to ASCII translation is a core function.

So what’s happening lately?  First, after a few years of no publicly available training in DB2 Connect, The Fillmore Group is holding classes: CF602 “DB2 Connect 9 to DB2 for z/OS DRDA Implementation with TCP/IP” and CF632 “DB2 Connect 9 for DB2 for z/OS Problem Determination and Performance”.  The CF602 beginning June 21 is actually nearing capacity, so if this is something you need, sign up to attend now.  CF632 starts May 17.

As a bonus, I’ve attached a DB2 Connect configuration worksheet.  If you know what it all means and can use it right away, great!  Have at it.  If not, we’ll see you in class.

Second, on the consulting side of the house we’re seeing lots of DB2 Connect activity – especially with DB2 for i.  Having a relational database directly integrated into the i5/OS operating system, System i always has been a bit of a land unto itself.  Now we’re seeing lots of activity integrating System i data into eCommerce and Business Intelligence applications.  If this is what you’re doing, let us know how we can help.

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