A guided tour of IBM Database Patterns, Part 1: Introducing IBM Database Patterns

IBM® Database Patterns provide solutions to easily provision and manage databases on IBM Workload Deployer (IWD) in a private cloud. IWD is a cloud management appliance that delivers a patterns-based approach to deploying and managing application environments in the cloud. This article introduces IBM Database Patterns, and explains how it works in IWD.


Yan Yan Liu (yylbj@cn.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM

Author photoYan Yan Liu is a Software Engineer working on the IBM Database Patterns development team. She joined IBM in 2009 in IBM China Software Development Lab. Yan Yan is in charge of UI development for IBM Database Patterns in IBM PureApplication System and IBM Workload Deployer. She holds a master's degree in computer science from Renmin University of China.

Lei Li (lileicdl@cn.ibm.com), Development Manager, IBM

Author photoLei Li is the Development Manager of IBM Database Patterns in IBM PureApplication System and IBM Workload Deployer. She joined IBM in 2006 in IBM China Software Development Lab. Previously, she worked for multiple incubation projects in IBM, and also worked as the project manager and release manager of IBM Database Patterns.

Qi Rong Wang (wangqir@cn.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Author photoQi Rong Wang is an Advisory Software Engineer working on the IBM Database Patterns development team. He joined IBM in 2006 in IBM China Software Development Lab as experienced hire. Qi Rong is the development team leader and DBA of IBM Database Patterns in IBM PureApplication System and IBM Workload Deployer.

07 June 2012

Also available in Chinese Russian

IBM Database Patterns overview

Typically, the life cycle of a database includes creation, manipulation, management, and deletion. Within a company, traditionally most of the steps within this cycle are performed by the DBA team, burdening the DBAs and making the database inaccessible to the application development team. For example, obtaining a database for development purposes may require months for an application developer, considering the approval process, procurement, hardware setup, software installation, configuration, and so on. In addition, 30% of database problem come from incorrect or inconsistent configuration. Due to the complexity of configuration and processes, many times IT resources are not released on schedule. IBM Database Patterns combats these problems by creating an environment of reduced complexity and ease of deployment.

Two patterns comprise IBM Database Patterns: IBM Transactional Database Pattern and IBM Data Mart Pattern. They provide self-service management capabilities for the provisioning and management of the transactional database and data mart infrastructure in a secure, private cloud. Working with the IBM Workload Deployer appliance, these patterns help reduce IT operational complexity by providing the following.

  • Built-in expertise derived from years of database and database management know-how.
  • Self-service of database deployment and management for the application group.
  • Simplicity of automated database management for the administrator group.

By providing self-service capabilities, IBM Database Patterns help reduce the time required for provisioning and managing databases, thereby freeing up valuable resource time to devote to developing new solutions and innovation with more business value. IBM Database Patterns comes with the IBM Workload Deployer appliance and uses DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows as its database. It supports deployment on the AIX and Linux environments.

IBM Database Patterns terminology

The following terminology is frequently used, including what these terms mean in the context of IBM Database Patterns.

  • Pattern: In IBM Workload Deployer, pattern is a single deployable unit. It represents a complete environment and sourced by virtual images. IWD provides multiple virtual application patterns.
  • Database image: A database image includes the database structure, data, and the environment information. The database image is created and managed by the application developers. Usually, the developer creates a database image by creating a snapshot of the database and its data. Developers can share images with other developers and testers for collaboration and efficiency. IBM Database Patterns provides clone function, which enable users to get the same database image which includes the same operating system, the same database, and the same configuration and optimization.
  • Database workload standard: A workload standard is a template used for standardization. The workload standard includes the scripts to create the database, tune it, run the DDL to create the database objects, and so on. Usually, the admin group creates the database workload standard based on the industry or department best practices, to create the enterprise or department template, and to standardize the company or department's database provision and usage. In the current Database Patterns, IBM provides two pre-defined database workload standards, one for OLTP and another for data marts. In addition, you can create and upload your own customized database workload standards to provision a database.

The chart in Figure 1 shows the database provisioning and management flow.

Figure 1. Provisioning and management flow
Creating database pattern flows from picking a workload image, to deploying a pattern, to creating an image

You can see that the user must create a pattern, and then deploy the pattern to create a database. The database can be created from the workload standard or from the database image. After the database is created, the user can manage this database: stop, start, delete, create an image and so on.

Enabling database patterns and configuring plug-ins in IWD

You need to first complete the license agreements and perform configuration tasks before you can use the IBM Database Patterns. The following procedure describes how to enable IBM Database Patterns and configure its plug-ins.

  1. Enable Foundation Pattern. The Foundation Pattern is a prerequisite to using all other pattern types in IWD, and it must be made available before the other pattern types can be made available and used. As shown in Figure 2, to enable it, go to Cloud -> Pattern Types, select Foundation Pattern Type from the menu on the left, and then select Enable in the Status field.
    Figure 2. Enable Foundation Pattern
    Screen cap: selecting pattern type for foundation pattern
  2. Enable Database Patterns by going to Cloud -> Pattern Types, selecting IBM Database Patterns from the menu on the left, and then selecting Enable in the Status field as shown in Figure 3.
    Figure 3. Enable Database Patterns
    screen cap: enabling a database pattern
  3. Accept the license agreements for Transactional Database, Data Mart Patterns, or both, by going to Cloud -> Pattern Types, selecting IBM Transactional Database Pattern or IBM Data Mart Pattern from the menu on the left, accepting the License Agreement field, and then selecting Enable in the Status field, as shown in Figure 4.
    Figure 4. Accept license agreements
    Screen cap: license agreement screen
  4. Configure the plug-ins, but before configuring, you can view all plug-ins that are associated with the pattern type by going to Cloud -> Pattern Types, selecting IBM Database Patterns 1.1, and clicking Show me all plug-ins in the plug-ins field. You will get the following list shown in Figure 5. Three of them, including OLTP (, Data Mart ( and TSM ( need to be configured.
    Figure 5. View plug-ins associated with Database Pattern
    screen cap shows datamart, OLTP, and tsm plug-ins
  5. To configure OLTP ( or Data Mart (, select one of them from the list shown in Figure 5, and click the Configure icon. From the Environment menu, choose IBM Transactional Database Pattern or IBM Transactional Database Pattern for Non-Production Environment or Both, as shown in Figure 6.
    Figure 6. Configure OLTP (
    Screen cap: selecting environment

Provisioning the database

You can provision a database by database fast path or by database pattern. In each approach, there are two sources to create the database: applying a database workload standard or by cloning from a database image.

  1. Provision a database by fast path. This is an approach to create a database quickly, as it will create a database pattern and deploy the pattern as database within one step, as shown in Figure 7.
    Figure 7. Provisioning a database using fast path
    screen cap: specifying options for the database
  2. You can specify the source as either Apply a database workload standard or Clone from a database image as shown in Figures 8 and 9.
    Figure 8. Applying a database workload standard
    screen cap: selecting apply a database workload standard
    Figure 9. Cloning from a database image
    screen cap: selecting clone from database image
  3. Provisioning a database by database pattern or virtual application pattern (with Virtual Application Builder). This is an approach to provisioning a database and connecting the database with other applications. After the database pattern is created, you can deploy a database using it as shown in Figures 10 and 11.
    Figure 10. Provisioning and deploying a database using a database pattern
    screen cap: Specifying options for the pattern
    Figure 11. Provisioning and deploying a database in Virtual Application Builder
    Enterprise application is connected to the database, scaling policy is connected to user registry, and JVM policy is connected to messaging service
  4. To check the deployment status, select Instance -> Databases, and list all deployed databases. Once the database is in a running state, you can easily get database information such as URL, username, and password to connect to and use the database like normal, as shown in Figure 12.
    Figure 12. Database list and details
    screen cap shows databases in left pane and details for the selected database in the right pane
    Besides the GUI, you can also use IBM Database Patterns through the REST API and CLI. Later articles in this series will cover these topics in more detail.

Managing databases

This section covers some of the normal activities of managing databases, and explains how they are accomplished in this environment.

Backing up your database

You can create a full online backup of a deployed database to the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) server. In order to use Tivoli Storage Manager for creating backup images of a database, you must configure Tivoli Storage Manager prior to deploying that database. That process is not covered in this article. When Tivoli Storage Manager is configured, the backup scheduler automatically performs a daily database backup. However, you have the option of supplementing the automated database backup feature by performing a manual backup operation.

To manually create a backup image of a database, expand Create a database image in the panel on the right of the Operations tab. Specify the image name and image description, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13. Backing up database manually
screen cap: backing up a database by creating an image

Backing up your database automatically

You can schedule an automatic online full backup of a deployed database to the TSM server. To trigger an automatic backup, expand Automatic scheduled database backup in the panel on the right of the Operations tab, and select an option from the Frequency dropdown list, as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14. Backing up database automatically
Frequency can be daily, weekly, or off

Changing user passwords

You can change passwords or allow SSH access for specific DB2 users. Application User is a user that you can use for application access to the database in DB2 to execute most operations. Application DBA is a user that you can use to manage and tune databases and manage privileges at the database level. These two users are provided by default as part of database provisioning.

To change passwords, expand Update Configuration in the panel on the right of the Operations tab, and specify new passwords for one or both of the users displayed, as shown in Figure 15.

Figure 15. Changing user passwords
passwords and not externalized but show dots for the characters


This article is the first in a series of articles that introduces IBM Database Patterns. It provide you with an overview of IBM Database Patterns, including the terminology used, how to enable database patterns and configure plug-ins, how to provision the database, and how to manage databases in this environment.


Special thanks to Ning Wang, IBM Database Patterns Architect, for his review and advice.



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ArticleTitle=A guided tour of IBM Database Patterns, Part 1: Introducing IBM Database Patterns