Friday, October 28, 2011

DB2 9.7 Fixpack 5 is available

The latest fixpack for DB2 9.7, FP5, has just been released. I took a look at the new features described in the Information Center. For the Express-C crowd the most important news is that PL/SQL can now be compiled, something that before was only available in the non-free editions of DB2. For the PL/SQL lovers also some new functions have been added to simplify migrations from Oracle to DB2.

Those working with HADR and looking for increased performance (and there is always a downside to it) can take a look at the super asynchronous sync mode. Another feature that I find interesting is a new procedure DESIGN_ADVISOR that can be used to get design recommendations from the server, so that you can write your own wrapper for the design advisor.

That's it for now, happy Friday and have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Epilepsy, computer viruses, and personality changes

Did you ever encounter a computer virus on your machine and were thinking that it is no more "your computer"? What I mean is that the PC behaves in different, not known before patterns. It may slow down, react differently during your standard use and may seem weird in its behavior. Your computer encountered "personality changes".

As I wrote a couple of times, my son/the family has been dealing with epilepsy caused by a brain tumor. Fighting the cause for the seizures and damming them is one thing, coping with the changes to that person is another. A big impact on family and social life may have the personality changes caused by epilepsy. When your kid gradually slows down speaking, when he becomes more aggressive over time, when your child over time has more and more trouble remembering things, you know that you will have new challenges added to the core issues, the seizures.

For a computer virus there is usually a cure by cleaning the computer through different ways. For epilepsy damming the seizures through drugs or trying to remove the cause through surgery are first steps. Thereafter, dealing with the personality changes is a long road ahead. In the case of my son, we are hoping for the best. Next on the list will be to break free, not from Oracle :), but from medication...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

IBM Data Studio Version 3.1 consolidates some Optim tools

Now that the new version of IBM Data Studio is available for download, it is worth taking a look at it - even if you didn't like Data Studio and the other Optim tools so far. IBM Data Studio is free to download and to use. And it combines features from the previous Data Studio offering, from Data Studio Health Monitor, and from the Optim Database Administrator and Optim Development Studio into a single products. Given that the DB2 Control Center is deprecated as of DB2 9.7, you can take your guesses why Data Studio has been beefed up.

So what does the new Data Studio offer? It has all the base database administration capabilities, all the "wizards" for accomplishing - step by step - administration tasks. It supports development of SQL statements and procedures, including the tuning, e.g., through visual explain. And Data Studio has lots of other features which may suit to your needs. As I stated above, give it a try and let IBM know through the usual channels what you think of it...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is a smart phone?

Recently, my kids started pushing me to buy a new mobile phone for myself. Not that the kids really care about what I am buying, they want the old one as hand-me-down. They want to use the old mobile phone as gaming device. Anyway, as I am being pushed, I am looking into the market of smartphones. But what is a smart phone...?

Is it a phone that shuts down after enough work hours and tells me "family time"? Does it support "social integration", i.e., so that I talk with other people next to me and not just with folks on the phone (do you happen to enter rooms where everybody is talking, but only on the phone and not with each other)? Does it have an intelligent camera to enjoy a scenery live and not just as picture (there was a beautiful sunset over the Alps on a recent flight)? What happens when I press the "home" button? How well works the navigation assistance with a long shopping list in a crowded mall? And does it work without recharging for a whole week?

We'll see what phone I find. Any recommendations? My kids are pushing...

Monday, October 17, 2011

WOW for MDC on MQT - How to speed up the load process for a warehouse

When I was teaching a performance bootcamp earlier this month, one of the topics was about combining multi-dimensional clustering (MDC) with range-partitioned tables. Then a question came up about using MDC with materialized query tables (MQT) and whether it was possible to combine the two techniques. The customer hadn't succeeded before. As I didn't see a reason for why not combining the two I looked for documentation and examples: The DB2 Information Center describes how to combine MDC with MQT.

With the MQTs some of the heavy queries can be sped up by precomputing the answers for common complex subqueries. Using MDC for the MQTs can improve performance even further, depending on what can be clustered and how many dimensions are present.

I also briefly tested db2look and how it reproduces the DDL for it and the combination is supported by the tool, too.

For the customer it was a "Wow!" for the MDC on MQT, for the users it will mean faster queries...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

IDAA: IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator announced

As you might have guessed from the date of my last post, I have been busy - actually I still am - with bootcamps and customers. Thus, today it will only point you to the announcement of the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS. It is labeled Version 2.1 because V1 was named the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer which I wrote about last year. For more information read the announcement.