Beginners Guide to Optim Information Life Cycle Management Tools

Dean Compher

26 January 2012



When my customers are just getting started with Optim Archiving, Test Data Management and Data Privacy, and Application Retirement tools there are some concepts and tips that can really help.  So I decided to capture some of these thoughts for those trying to install a new copy of one of these tools or those who have just installed it but need some help getting started.  The section of this article on manuals is also quite useful if you are already using Optim, but don’t know where to look.  As part of writing this article I installed Optim version 8.1 on my new Windows 7 laptop and share a few tips about doing the install as well.  This article will be most relevant to those running Optim on Windows, Linux or UNIX. 


I provided a few paragraphs describing each of these Optim products (or feature sets) in my previous article called Managing your Youngest and Oldest Data.  The current official names of the Optim Information Life Cycle Management tools are shown here with an example the v8.1 “e-assembly” names that you will find on Passport Advantage. 



As I said earlier, I provided an example of the actual e-assembly names that you may see.  Depending on exactly what you purchase, you may see a variation and you will see an entry for each supported version:  8.1, 7.3, etc.  Regardless of which of these products you choose, you download and install the same base software package for a given version level.  By applying the license(s) that you receive after your purchase, you enable the features to which you are entitled.  This is especially convenient if you purchased more than one product, because you only have to install once.  You just apply the licenses to turn on the features that you purchased.


Under each e-assembly there will be a software download that starts with the string “IBM Optim Solution V…” that you will download and install.  In my case, since I was installing Optim v8.1 on Windows, I downloaded and installed


IBM Optim Solution V8.1 Windows English (CI3NHEN)


You always download the media for windows because you need a client.  If you are going to run your server on another operating system, you will also download the corresponding media for that OS such as AIX or Linux.  Further, depending on what you purchased and what you are going to do you may also need to download other media such as non-relational connectors or the solution add-on for a particular application you are using like People Soft or SAP. 


The first thing that you want to do if you are not familiar with Optim is to read the manuals.  They are not on line, so you will want to download the media that applies to you and expand it.  Once you do that you have several PDF files available to you.  The documentation is also copied to the Optim home directory as part of the install, so look for it there if you already have it installed.  Here are the directories on my Windows 7 laptop where I found the documentation:






Table 1 contains the file names and a short description of the manuals found in the DOC directory for v8.1.  The names are similar for v7.3.


Table 1.  Optim Documentation Files


File Name



Installation and Configuration Guide

Describes different architectures and requirements for installing Optim and reasons to install it in different ways in Chapter 1.  It also provides step by step guide to installing and configuring Optim.  Do not try to wing it.  Use this guide when installing and configuring or you’ll be sorry!


Common Elements Manual

Describes the features of Optim that are common to all products including the Optim Directory, Access Definitions, Column Maps, and the command line interface, “PR0CMND”.


Archive User Manual

Describes how to use the archiving features.  This is for those of you who purchased the “Data Growth Solution”


Archive Introduction


Compare User Manual

Relation Compare allows you to compare two extract files to see the differences. 


Compare Introduction


Edit User Manual

The Relational Edit tool allows you to see data in your databases in a hierarchical format and allows you to change data and add test cases for additional rows and edge values. 


Edit Introduction


Move User Manual

Describes how to use the Test Data Management facilities of Optim including Extract, Insert, Table and Column Maps, Masking functions and other useful facilities.  TDM used to be called “Move”.


Move Introduction


Optim Basic Language Reference

Describes a language that can be used to write your own data transformation user exits.  These are typically used when you need a customized column masking function that is not provided as one of the standard masking functions. 


Initialization Exit Programmer’s Guide

Guide to writing Initialization Security User Exits. 



Install Tips


This article is only meant to augment the Installation and Configuration Guide.  It definitely does not replace it.  So the first step is to read that guide, especially the “Preparing for an Installation” section and then follow the guide precisely to install and configure the product.  This installation guide illustrates different architectures for the product.  I recommend reading that section to determine how you want to arrange Optim in your environment before allocating any hardware. 


Whether installing Test Data Management with Data Privacy (TDM/DP), Data Growth (Archiving) or Application Retirement (Decommissioning Solution) you always start in the same place.  Install it on a Windows machine first.  This can be a central server (virtual or real server) or on a workstation.  This is described in more detail in the install guide, but you always use the “IBM Optim Solution” that you can download on both workstations and servers.  In my case I used “IBM Optim Solution V8.1 Windows English (CI3NHEN)” to install everything on my workstation. 



When uncompressed on Windows 7 the install directory looks like this for v8.1:




The Installation and Configuration Guide shows multiple ways of installing the software.  I did the GUI install by running the IBMOptim.exe command to get things started.   Before staring make sure to have your license key(s) available.  Someone in your organization should have received this from IBM via e-mail. 


When running the installation and configuration tool, it seems to put log files into this directory:




So if you run into any problems and don’t get enough information to diagnose it you can go to this directory, sort by “Date modified” and find the file or files that correspond to the time your configuration error occurred to get more detailed information.


The install of the software on windows is simple and straight forward.  However, once that is done, you need to do at least two major configuration steps even if you are running everything on one windows machine.  You must configure at least the “First Work Station” and the “Server”.  The configuration is the more involved part so keep the Installation and Configuration Guide handy when configuring Optim.


After I finished the configuration, I tried to execute Optim from the “Optim” icon my desk top, but got the following error:


Could not access registry section

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Princeton Softech\Relational Tools

Access is denied. (5) for

Press OK to exit this program and correct the error


With some help, I found out that this is a known “feature” when running Optim on Windows 7 and all that you have to do is set up the shortcut to run as an administrator.  You just right click on the Optim icon on your desktop, select “Properties” and check the “Run as Administrator box” on the “Compatibility” tab as shown below:



Please note this situation is due to a change in the windows kernel and can be avoided if Optim is installed in a directory other than \Program Files. 


Once you configure the first workstation, you need to configure the server, even if you are running the server on the same machine as the workstation.  The Installation and Configuration Guide describes the steps in detail and you should follow them.  One of the steps in the “Configure the Optim Server” chapter asks you to update the “Optim Server Settings” box.  You can open this dialog by opening the Windows “Control Panel” and then selecting “Optim (32-bit)” choice there.  This can not be selected from any of the other Optim shortcuts on your desktop, so you must use the control panel. 




I hope that you find this information useful.  Please join me in thanking Whit Smith, Gary Brunell and Jody Hair who were very patient with me as I peppered them with questions while writing this article.  If you think that you will be working with Optim in the future you may want to book mark it this article.  Also if you have any other useful bits of information that you found while working with Optim, please add them to my db2Dean Facebook Page or to the “Message Board” section of my db2Dean Community page. 


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