db2Dean’s 2009 IOD Highlights

20 November 2009



The Information on Demand (IOD) conference was great again this year.  In addition to being able to renew my deep and meaningful relationship with Marilyn Monroe I learned lots of great things about DB2, especially the newest versions.  In this month’s article I’ll list the variety of random gems that I found.  There was much more information than what I can show here, but I have still included several useful items.  By the way, I was on the IOD site yesterday and noticed that most of the presentations are there now.  If the one that you wanted was not there before, it is probably on the conference web site now.  If you would like to have someone bring any of these presentations to you, just let me know.  I look forward to seeing you and Marilyn again at next year’s conference!


DB2 Connect

One of the coolest things that I learned at the conference is that if you use DB2 Connect or the JDBC driver to connect to DB2 on z/OS or i5/OS then you can access non-DB2 data through stored procedures.  Anything that you can program in a stored procedure you can access through DB2 Connect by calling stored procedures from your application.  For example, on z/OS you can access VSAM, CICS, IMS, and MQ data by calling stored procedures that you have written running in DB2/zOS that call the appropriate functions.  This makes it very easy to access these data sources for small to moderate volume applications.  For high-volume applications IBM provides other tools.

In DB2 Connect v9.7 and its related JDBC driver you can also consume industry standard Web Services.  Again on any flavor of DB2 databases there are functions that you can call from stored procedures.  Some functions provided allow you to call web services.  Conversely, you can use DB2 Connect or your appropriately licensed JDBC driver to easily allow stored procedures on DB2/i and DB2/z to be called from web services.  You can even use IBM’s free Data Studio tool to create those web services that call your stored procedures.


I also learned that the connection concentration feature has been available through the JDBC driver since a later fix pack of DB2 Connect v8.2 for connections to DB2/zOS!  This means that you no longer need to run a DB2 Connect server to concentrate a large number of connections into a few static connections to your DB2/z database server!  Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available for DB2/i


DB2 V9.7

Several presentations discussed the new features of DB2 v9.7.  Here is a smattering of interesting ones:


Coming in V9.7 FP1


Administrative Views

At this presentation I got a better understanding of how the table functions and administrative views work under the covers.  For more information about what you can do please see my previous DB2 Administrative Views article.  Chris Eaton gave several examples of using the views in the presentation and I have added them to the end of my DB2 Administrative Views article as well.  One more interesting thing to note is that since administrative views are built on table functions, it is more efficient to use the table function if you are using a “where clause” to only get some information returned.  This is because when you use a view, all rows from the table function are returned to an intermediate result set and then the view just picks the ones you specify in your where clause.  If you use the table function directly, then you only extract the rows you need in the first place. 



The DB2 HADR session was a great review and I also got a few new gems about that feature:


Self Tuning Memory Manager (STMM)

Robert Donaldson who is a Database Architect at a company that does very high-end DB2 processing gave this presentation about his use of STMM at his company.  Sam Lightstone from the IBM Lab also gave a description of the feature.  Although STMM has been around since DB2 v9.1 and I’ve read a lot about it I learned some new things at this superb presentation.



DB2 9.7 Concurrency

DB2 v9.7 added the Currently Committed semantic to the Cursor Stability isolation level.  If you enable this feature and you try to read a row that is locked by an update transaction, DB2 will retrieve the original version from the log buffer and keep going instead of waiting for the lock to be released.  This can significantly improve performance in some applications that experience a high lock wait time.


DB2 Audit

Starting in DB2 v9.5, the audit functionality was significantly improved.  One of the major improvements involves allowing more specificity in what gets audited, so that you can get all information that you want without having to collect too much extraneous data.  For individual databases, objects or individuals within a database you can collect everything from just who is connecting all the way to collecting all queries launched against the database. 


DB2 9.7 Upgrade

If you are one of my customers and would like a presentation about upgrading to DB2 v9.7, please contact me.  Here are a few interesting facts from the presentation:





I was exposed to much more information than what is in this short list, but as usual attending this conference was like drinking from a fire hose.  I need to continue to review the presentations to absorb more.  This list just contains some of the items that I saw that I found particularly useful. 


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