DB2 11.1 New Features

Dean Compher

27 June 2016



DB2 v11.1 became available on 16 June 2016 and has TON of new features and improvements, some of which you can begin taking advantage of without doing anything other than upgrading your database.  As with the past “features” articles, this is a summary of the new features in v11.1 that I see as the most important.  My hope is to provide a summary that you can browse to quickly find the items that are the most valuable to you with links you can that allow in depth reading on them.  A few older features have been discontinued or deprecated, so look over those to make sure you are not affected.  I summarize these discontinued and deprecated functions in this article. 


This article is by no means a complete list, nor does it provide a complete description of the features that it does list.  However I believe that it does provide a great way to quickly see the some of the most useful features now available.   For a complete list of all new and changed features, please see the What’s New Info Center.  You can also see recorded webcasts that give more in depth information on Channel DB2.  Note that not all features described here are available in all editions.  Please see the “Functionality in DB2 product editions and DB2 offerings” to see a chart of what major features are in which editions.


Before you even start planning your upgrade to DB2 v11.1 or other supported versions, you should review the materials on the DB2 Upgrade Portal.  It contains information about everything from project planning, to step-by-step instructions for performing the upgrade along with tips for avoiding problems. 


DB2 BLU Enhancements

Since it was introduced about three years ago this DB2 technology has helped many customers.  It will accelerate many types of analytical queries without doing much engineering to design complex indexes, materialized query tables, partitioning, etc.  Since it does not use these types of objects it makes it very fast and easy to create new tables within an existing database or a new warehouse, load data and start getting great query performance.  This technology is also in the dashDB Analytics cloud offering.  With the 1.1 release several enhancements have been made around BLU for DB2 and dashDB.


DB2 Native Encryption Improvements



DB2 pureScale Improvements

In DB2 v11.1 the install process pureScale across the cluster has been significantly simplified including the deployment of the GPFS file system that you get with the pureScale feature.  The install process also includes a quick pre-deployment feature that validates all hosts in the cluster.  For more details on the install and the improvements described below, please see the DB2 pureScale Feature enhancements page. 


Various Interesting Details


Various Interesting Summaries



The features below are some of the ones that are no longer available in v11.1.  This only a partial list that I found to particularly interesting and you should read the complete list in the link above before upgrading.



Functionality gets marked as deprecated when a specific function or feature is supported in the current release, but is likely to be removed in a future release.  Also it means that no further changes will be made to the feature.  It is advisable to plan to discontinue the use of deprecated functionality.  Here is a list of some of the deprecated features that struck me as important. The list below is only partial and you should review the complete list at the link above. 


New Editions and Edition Changes


Upgrading to DB2 V11.1

The DB2 upgrade portal is a great place to get all of the information that you will need to upgrade your database server to v11.1.  It has all the instructions necessary plus tools to help you plan your upgrade.  You should note that you can upgrade directly from DB2 v9.7, 10.1 and 10.5.  If you are running DB2 Enterprise Server Edition (ESE) or Advanced Enterprise Server Edition (AESE) then v11.1 allows you roll forward through logs created in v10.5 fix pack 7 and newer in non-DPF environments.  This means that you no longer need to take an off line backup prior to your upgrade if you want to make sure that you can restore your backup into the new version.  It also allows you to minimize the outage time if you have room for a second database and are running 10.5 with fp7 or newer and ESE or AESE.  Here is why.  You can take an online backup from your old instance and restore it into a new 11.1 instance while the old database continues to run.  Once the restore is finished, you can stop the old database then just roll the logs forward from the old database on the new one and point your applications to the 11.1 database as soon as you complete the roll forward. 




If you would like to see my take on earlier versions please visit on my DB2 v9.1, DB2 v9.5, DB2 9.7, DB2 10.1 and DB2 10.5 articles.  Also if you want to read more of a narrative about the newest features of DB2 v10, you can download the new DB2 10 eBook.  If you notice any features you like that I did not include here, please add them to my Facebook Page or my db2Dean and Friends Community and share your thoughts about them.



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