By Paul McWilliams and John Lyle.
We're proud to announce that function level 502 (V12R1M502) is now available in Db2 12!
As you've probably heard or read, we introduced continuous delivery of new capabilities and enhancements in Db2 12 for z/OS. In continuous delivery, new capabilities and enhancements are delivered in an ongoing basis in Db2 12, in a single service stream along with ongoing maintenance. You control the adoption and use of the new capabilities by activating function levels with -ACTIVATE commands, and by running applications at specific application compatibility (APPLCOMPAT) levels.
Function level 502 introduces the following new capabilities in Db2 12 for z/OS:
Management of key labels for data set encryption
Db2 12 now supports encryption of Db2 data with z/OS DFSMS data set encryption, and function level 502 introduces new policy controls for managing of key labels. For more about these new capabilities, see Now available in Db2 12: Db2 for z/OS support for z/OS data set encryption.
Casting an explicit numeric value to a graphic string value
All of the numeric data types (SMALLINT, INTEGER, BIGINT, DECIMAL, REAL, DOUBLE, FLOAT, and DECFLOAT) are supported. You can use the GRAPHIC or VARGRAPHIC built-in functions and the CAST specification for the explicit cast.
APAR PI95511 enables the activation of function level 502, assuming that you've also applied all prerequisite and co-requisite APARs. When all of these APARs are applied, Db2 is at code level 502. For example, APAR PI90288 delivered functional code for management of key labels for data set encryption and APAR PI88790 delivered functional code for Explicit casting of numeric values to GRAPHIC or VARGRAPHIC.
Function level 502 also enhances the infrastructure for continuous delivery in Db2 12, such as adding support for updating the Db2 catalog level for a new function level, which is necessary because function level 502 requires Db2 catalog changes.
In IBM Knowledge Center, "Adopting new capabilities in Db2 12 continuous delivery" describes the complete process for adopting new capabilities in Db2 function levels. (If you prefer PDF format documentation, you can find this information in Db2 12 for z/OS: What's new?) Here are some useful tips for activating function level 502 in particular:
- You can use the -DISPLAY GROUP command, or use the -ACTIVATE command with the TEST keyword, to check that Db2 is at code level 502 and catalog level 502. In a data sharing group, all active members must be at code level 502 before you can activate function level 502.
- Before you can tailor the Db2 catalog to catalog level 502, you must activate either function level 500 or function level 501 . Nevertheless, you can skip function levels. For example, you can activate function level 501 directly from function level 100 or activate function level 502 directly from function level 500.
- Important: Remember that after you tailor the Db2 catalog for catalog level 502, you cannot start Db2 at any code level lower than 502 (even if you activate a lower * (star) function level) because the catalog changes cannot be undone. For this reason, you want to get Db2 to code level 502 or higher well in advance, run Db2 at code level 502 or higher until you are satisfied and confident that Db2 can continue to run at code level 502 or higher, and only then tailor the catalog for catalog level 502.
- After you activate function level 502, applications must run at APPLCOMPAT(V12R1M502) or higher to use the new SQL capabilities and syntax, including all changed DML, DDL, and DCL syntax (which is a change in Db2 12 from previous Db2 releases, where APPLCOMPAT controlled only DML statements).
Other function levels in Db2 12
- You migrate from Db2 11 to Db2 12 function level 100. At function level 100, Db2 runs on Db2 12 code, but most new function in DB2 12 remains unavailable. It is similar to conversion mode in previous releases. At function level 100, Db2 is at catalog level 500.
- When you activate function level 500, most new capabilities in the original Db2 12 release become available for the first time. Applications must also run at APPLCOMPAT(V12R1M500) to use new SQL capabilities and syntax. Function level 500 is similar to new-function mode from previous releases. Function level 500 is activated in new installations of Db2 12.
- When you activate function level 501, you enable use of the first new capability after the original Db2 12 release. Applications that run at APPLCOMPAT(V12R1M501) can use the new LISTAGG built-in function.
However, remember that you do not have to activate every function level in order. You can skip function levels, assuming that all prerequisites are met, and Db2 is at the code level equivalent to the target function level, or higher.
For a more in-depth overview of continuous delivery in Db2 12, see the IBM Redpaper publication Exploring IBM DB2 for z/OS Continuous Delivery by Chris Crone.
John Lyle is a developer for Db2 for z/OS. Paul McWilliams is a technical writer for Db2 for z/OS.