What’s New in Lift

By: Nathan Abba

New features in IBM Lift CLI

When we announced the general availability of IBM Lift CLI late last year, our engineering team was working very hard to make Lift the preferred tool to move your data to IBM Cloud. Lift continues in that direction and brings a bunch of new features as part of our latest updates.

Lift to cloud integration on IIAS Web console

IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS) now supports data movement using built-in Lift to cloud UI panels. The Lift to cloud user interface provides a way for you to quickly, securely, and reliably migrate tables and their data from IIAS to a data center in the cloud without downtime. Each migration task that you submit is automatically saved and can be used as a template to create new tasks. The Lift solution resides in a separate lift container in IIAS. For more information, see Moving to IBM Cloud.

Creating multiple database objects with a single command

For Db2 sources, Lift CLI now lets you create several database objects (including tables) in a target database with a single command. Specify (in the command) a series of object names, or use wildcards to apply the command to all objects with names that match the specified pattern. This can be done for tables, indexes, views, sequences, procedures, functions, aliases, audit policies, and triggers. For more information, see the Command Reference and FAQ sections of the Lift CLI documentation.

Support for new source: Oracle database and Microsoft SQL Server database

You can now migrate your data from Oracle database and Microsoft SQL Server database to the IBM Cloud. Lift adds the capability to migrate data from Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server to IBM Cloud services and IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud and Db2 on Cloud respectively. Lift supports migration of data to IBM Db2 On Cloud and IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud. Lift uses a fast, native mechanism to extract data from Oracle databases whenever possible and uses an automated fallback mechanism when native tools cannot be used. Migrating data from Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server to IBM Cloud has never been so simple, and the migration path remains the same as other supported sources of Lift.  For more information specific to Oracle, visit our FAQ section.

Support for new target: IBM Db2 on Cloud

In addition to the already supported Db2 Warehouse on Cloud, Lift CLI adds Db2 on Cloud as a target for data migration. The ddl command options recently introduced are also supported when Db2 on Cloud is the target.

Automatic creation of target tables from a Db2 source

The ddl command gives users the ability to create a table in the target database before moving data from the source table into the target table. Previously, users needed to create the target table as a separate task outside of Lift. With the introduction of the ddl command, we provide an improved experience using Lift in data migrations to the IBM Cloud. There are three options for the ddl command, and the chosen source database can be either IBM Integrated Analytics System, IBM Db2, or IBM Db2 Warehouse. The supported target database is IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud. The ddl --migrate option provides end-to-end creation of a target table. The ddl --generate and ddl --execute options save the source DDL and allow its execution for situations where you want to edit the structure of the target table or provide your own DDL. Either method allows column subsetting and using different schema and table names on the target.

Support for additional Db2 sources: Db2 and Db2 Warehouse

In addition to the already supported IBM Integrated Analytics System, Lift CLI adds Db2 and Db2 Warehouse as supported sources for the data extract. The new data sources are completely supported with all of the available Lift CLI features, such as subsetting data on extract with SELECT/WHERE or by column selection. The various source types are selected using the --database-source-type option in the extractcommand. For more information, see the extract command help or run lift extract --help.

Lift connectivity check (advanced)

We expanded the basic check command (see below) that is available in IBM Lift CLI by giving you the ability to validate the connectivity to your sources, targets, and the Lift Core Services that provide the auto-update functionality. The first iteration of the check command added a basic validation of the required ports. This iteration provides a detailed validation that includes, for example, whether the database user has enough privileges to use the IBM Lift CLI.

Lift connectivity check (basic)

The check command gives you the ability to validate connectivity to your sources and targets as well as the Lift Core Services that provide the auto-update functionality. For example, you will be able to detect if ports are blocked by a firewall. For the list of required ports, see the FAQ “What network ports must be open on my on-premises system.” For more information, see help for the check command or run lift check --help.

Load with External Tables technology

IBM recently deployed a new extract and loading technology called External Tables (ET) to load data into a Db2 Warehouse on Cloud database. When appropriate, Lift dynamically chooses the External Tables technology to extract and load data.

High-speed data extraction from Integrated Analytics System

In addition to extracting data from IBM PureData System for Analytics, IBM Lift CLI now supports high-speed data extractions from IBM Integrated Analytics System by using External Tables (ET) technology. For more information, run lift extract --help.

Db2 Warehouse on Cloud Flex

IBM recently deployed a second generation MPP architecture for Db2 Warehouse on Cloud called “Flex” that supports flexible scaling of compute and storage capacity of a given cloud database instance. Lift has been enhanced to seamlessly load data into this new generation of Db2 Warehouse on Cloud.

ServiceNow support portal for Lift CLI

IBM introduces ServiceNow, a new support portal for getting technical help with Lift CLI. Customers with support entitlement can assign problem severity, while users with free support can open cases as Severity 4. Otherwise, for general questions, either ServiceNow or Stack Overflow can be used.

Constrain data extraction by column and row

The extract command now supports constraining the data extraction by making a column, row, or both column and row selection. For more information, see the --where-clause and --column-selectionoptions by running lift extract --help.

Compact output option for scripting

The new --compact option provides easier-to-consume output as a result of running a Lift CLI command when scripting. For more information, run lift <command> --help.

Support for proxy servers and certificates

The Lift CLI can now be used with HTTP proxies of various configurations. If the HTTP proxy uses its own certificates, the certificates can now be imported and used by the Lift CLI as a client. For more information, see the following FAQs: “How do I configure Lift CLI to work with an HTTP proxy?” and “How can I add a new X509 certificate to the list of trusted certificates for the Lift CLI?”

User feedback added

A new product Feedback tab on the Lift CLI landing page has been added. Users can share their experiences, new ideas, or just provide general feedback to the product development and offering teams. Your feedback is reviewed and we’ll work to improve the overall product experience.

Use the blue feedback strip in the portal to let us know how we are doing. Or, if you get stuck with Lift, go to the Community Help section to reach out to us via Stack Overflow or IBM Cloud Service Portal.

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