IBM DB2 Web Query for i extends the function provided by the IBM Query for System i tool (also known as IBM Query/400) by leveraging the latest DB2 performance enhancements, adding a more robust set of tools, and increasing user productivity all while preserving investments made in IBM Query for System i through compatibility with existing reports.
The process of implementing Business Intelligence within an enterprise consists of a well defined process of continuous improvement
and requirements gathering much like what is done with software development.
Here are 5 things to know about IBM DB2 Web Query for i:
- Business and Technical Requirements
It might seem obvious that identifying requirements is the first step. But, it is surprising how many times step 1 is to pick a visualization tool because of a canned demo with a “wow” factor. Often, this leaves IT scrambling to provide an infrastructure to support that tool versus building an infrastructure that is the foundation for any tool. You need to determine what are the expectations for how your users will interact, what type of reports they need, who will manage the system, will there be changes in the future, etc. DB2 Web Query for i has several demonstrations and samples to give you a starting place when determining your requirements.
- Defining metadata - Data Source Analysis
Having established the requirements and an understanding of current systems, it is time to dig into the data to understand if and where it exists, and what condition it is in. The good news for most IBM i shops is that most of the data that is needed for analysis is typically in your DB2 for i databases. However, that is not always the case, and even if it is there, it can sometimes be locked up or hard to access because of legacy database design and standards that were put in place years ago. It is possible that certain rules must be applied to accurately report on a data element. DB2 Web Query for i is built on a metadata framework. The metadata can address anomalies in legacy data that might exist. You can apply rules to the data to extract the key piece of information that is required that is otherwise accessible only by the operational application.
- Designing the solution - Architecture, Database, and ETL Design
IBM DB2 Web Query can support several different architectures for supporting you reporting and analytics requirements. Many customers will choose to implement a self-service, “operational” reporting environment where end users can run requests for information whenever they want, and have the results placed into the output formats they desire. Others will choose to automate report execution and distribution to alleviate ad-hoc workload impact while still delivering information to end users in the time they need it. For some clients, building a data warehouse or data migrator will be the right fit to isolate query processing and create an optimized reporting data repository. IBM’s DataMigrator ETL Extension (5733-WQX) is an additional member of the DB2 Web Query family for automating extract, transformation, and load processes for a data warehouse architecture).
- Report Creation, Testing, and Delivery
IBM DB2 Web Query for i has a rich set of sample reports to help you get started. With the new EZ-Install package, you can be up and running in under two hours with many sample reports. These reports can be used for demonstration purposes, or to help you understand the many different ways of visualizing data. Tailor the reports to your own needs and when ready, deploy the reports to end users through change management functions to promote reports and dashboards ready for production use.
- Monitoring, Auditing, Tuning, and User Feedback
Managing a Business Intelligence application is no different from an operational application. There are times when you want to know who is running the longest reports, or which reports are taking the longest times, so you can take action to continue to meet service level agreements. Built into DB2 Web Query are reports and dashboards that help you understand how DB2 Web Query is being used and who is using it. A simple question like “who is running the longest Query/400 reports” was nearly impossible – with DB2 Web Query you have that information with a simple double-click of one of the provided auditing reports!
For more information see our latest IBM Redbooks publications and the IBM DB2 Web Query for i wiki:
IBM DB2 Web Query for i: The Nuts and Bolts, SG24-8379
IBM DB2 Web Query for i Tutorials, SG24-8378
DB2 Web Query for i wiki
IBM Power Systems and Cognitive Team Lead