Information Management Academic Community Updates
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  deep q&n language processing data natural watson academic 1,967 Visits
Are you a fan of the US quiz show, Jeopardy? Then be sure to not miss the $1M competition between IBM's "Watson" computing system and the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Feb 14-16
Check out the youtube video that talks more about this particular challenge.
Beyond this game show fun, there are lots of real world applications for the Watson technology to tackle.
Watch for later updates in 2011 where more information about this technology and the results of the Watson-Jeopardy face off will be provided.
Not only did Informix recently release a new, exciting version of their product (Informix 11.7), but the Informix team has also been busy adding classes to the Academic Initiative courseware site. Faculty and their students can now gain access to **SEVEN** additional Informix courses on the Academic Initiative web site. You can find these courses in the Information Management section of the Academic Initiative web site:
You have to scroll down a bit since we are getting quite a few courses out there (but that is a GOOD problem to have....)
Check out the courses, and if you have any questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Skill Level: Introductory
Informix Structured Query Language V 11.5 (IX130)
Informix Stored Procedures and Triggers V 11.5 (IX711)
Skill Level: Intermediate
Informix Dynamic Server 11 Database Administration: Managing and Optimizing Data V 11 (IX221)
Informix Dynamic Server 11 System Administration (IX811)
Skill Level: Advanced
Informix Dynamic Server 11 Performance Tuning (IX401)
Informix Dynamic Server 11 Internal Architecture (IX911)
Informix Dynamic Server 11 Replication (IX421)
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  im initiative db2 management profile darshan ai ypp information academic 1 Comment 5,152 Visits
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Darshan Vaishnav: DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows Young Professional
Darshan Vaishnav was born and raised in
This inspired Darshan to begin certification training on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW). He found the database product extremely interesting as well as easy to use. He earned his IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2 on LUW V8.1 certification in 2004. Darshan worked as a consultant at several Fortune 500 companies before he moved to his current company, Marriott International, about 2 years ago. At Marriott, an industry leader in the hospitality industry, Darshan works as a senior database analyst in support of the Marriott.com website, where customers make business and personal lodging plans online.
Typical day of a database analyst
Darshan supports the main production database for the Marriott.com website. He carefully checks and validates any proposed structural or functional changes to the database before the changes go live in the production database. He ensures that the changes will not harm currently used databases or processes.
Darshan also teams with other Marriott database application developers and testers to ensure they have proper authorization for their projects in the test, development and production databases that he owns. He must ensure, however, that they do not gain any level of access beyond their functional role.
Other daily activities include ongoing database maintenance tasks such as ensuring critical daily backups are successful and monitoring and adjusting database space usage.
Darshan is often called upon to offer suggestions about performance tuning issues, such as adding indexes, changing database parameters and modifying existing queries. Another critical task he owns is ensuring his databases are ready for potential disaster recovery situations.
Technical challenges Darshan faces on the job
Marriott.com is a highly visible asset of Marriott International as well as a very high volume website. Darshan must ensure that his databases are maintained to a high set of standards and that they are ready for any jump in traffic. The main challenges he has faced were ensuring that the databases were tuned to avoid locking problems while at the same time providing enough concurrency for various applications while also keeping daily maintenance jobs running smoothly. In addition, he must ensure that the nightly data refreshes to the production database are successful and performed on time. Darshan and his peer DBA also ensure the best query performance by making sure that all tables have current statistics information and that the tables are available at any point in time.
Interesting application of the DB2 database
Darshan makes maximum use of DB2 LUW's maintenance utilities. He is an avid believer that DB2 has fantastic maintenance strategies in their Runstats and Reorg commands. He created scripts to update statistics every day and performs reorgs every week. He explains how he also makes use of the aliases capability in the DB2 product, “An alias is a pointer used for an actual table and we used it in some special manner such that, when some maintenance is happening, there is no outage required and all important tables have the best possible performance.”
His largest accomplishment in his career to date Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years. Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project. Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customers Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years.
Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career pathDarshan believes it is important for all database administrators to also have some understanding of the operating system where the database resides and how the database interacts with the operating system. With this knowledge, he describes the ease of learning DB2, "IBM's DB2 is less complicated than other database management systems. It is easy to learn and easy to get certified. The database is very responsive, very fast, and very efficient."
Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customersDarshan is very dedicated to maintaining the Marriott.com website and keeping it available for customers at all times. Darshan explains how he has made a positive impact on his customer's overall experience with Marriott.com. "I feel that when I work with the back end as a DBA, the front end (the Marriott.com website) gets better; the front end gets smoother. People can come on my website and book their trip very easily, without any issues and very fast. And they can get on with their lives. If it starts with a really good experience with my website, obviously they’ll be happy. So that makes me feel really very good."
Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  initiative education academic database faculty university certification db2 2 Comments 4,863 Visits
Kudos to the AI team and the IBM Innovation Center in Hungary! They held two additional training and certification testing sessions in October for the Information Management DB2 Academic Associate Certification program. They took the time to get feedback from the students on the program, and provided the following write-up and pictures:
Because of the big demand from university teachers and students for the DB2 Fundamentals and Application Development workshop held at the Budapest Innovation Center, we decided to add two additional courses in October (5-7 and 19-21 October) for those whom we could not participate in September.
We had 42 participants from 7 universities at the two October workshops: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (7), University of Debrecen (1), Eötvös Loránd University (9), Dennis Gabor Applied University (3), West Hungarian University (1), University of Óbuda (1), Pannon University (1), Peter Pazmany Catholic University (1), University of Pécs (2), University of Szeged (1) and College of Dunaújváros (1).
This time we were interested in the participants’ opinion about the course so you can a read a short review of student feedback below.
Most of the students heard about the workshop through their university correspondence list and some of them through ONIK (which is a group for university informatics students) or the IBM Academic Initiative newsletter sent to faculty members who belong to this free program.
Why did you apply for the course?
Because we were interested to learn more about IBM’s DB2 software and to widen our knowledge, as this was a unique education on a topic that we don’t learn at the university. It was also tempting because the course and the exam at the end are free and the certification we got can be put on our CV as well. For those who already worked in the database area, it was a good way to deepen their knowledge.
Did you learn database management earlier?
There is basic database management at almost all universities; most students learn SQL as part of that course. But this was the first time that we could try a database program in practice, with the integrated hands on labs that are included as part of this program.
Were you aware of the DB2 product before this course?
Students were familiar with the DB2 name, but they did not have the chance to use the actual software previously. Editor’s note: Students attending the course each receive a DVD to keep that contains a Linux virtual image of the DB2 Express-C and Data Studio products. Students can continue to use the software after the course for other school projects and for further learning and investigation
How could the DB2 course material be used further in your university?
It could be made available as an optional lesson or practice lab in the curricula. Also, if there would be more posters about IBM software at the universities, students would be more aware. Editor’s note: Faculty members, the course is organized in modules with appropriate teaching materials, scripted notes and integrated hands on labs so that it can be easily incorporated in your curricula. The DB2 Academic Associate Program site contains additional information on this program
What was your opinion about the workshop?
It was a very useful course with good atmosphere at a pleasant place. According to some participants it’s a pity that these three days are so tough and it would be much better if they could learn for one week in the late afternoon and evening hours. According to others it is great that the course was scheduled into the three full day course. It was much more convenient for those who come from the countryside or who work and have to take some days off. Editor’s note: The course can be organized a number of ways to best meet the needs of the faculty and students. It was also very positive that we could meet the IBM HR colleague so we could get a more complete view about the career opportunities at the company. The server room was also very popular among us as we don’t get a chance everyday to see such large capacity servers.
How hard was the exam?
The exam itself was not so difficult as more than half of the participants passed it, but it was hard that the questions were in English and we had to take the exam on the last day of the course. Editor’s note: The exam is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. It would have been much better if the exam had been a bit later so we had more time to prepare for it (such as for the university exams). But some other participants were very happy that the exam was at the end of the course as they didn’t have to come to
Where will you be able to use what you learned?
It will be useful to be able to list this course and certification when we apply for job. It will also be useful at our workplace (for those students also working). The content is also good to learn because it covers content that is common to any relational database. One thing is for sure: it was worth coming to the workshop.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  ambassadors db2 initiative im ur purequery academic 1 Comment 2,296 Visits
We had several good WW calls yesterday updating the IBM University Ambassador community on current and future IM university programs. IBMers, if you were unable to attend the call live, the Americas version of the call was recorded, and can be found at this link: http://w3.tap.ibm.com/medialibrary/media_view?id=92028. The call included a talk and demo of the exciting pureQuery tooling that can be very helpful for a variety of university curricula.
University personnel, do check in with your IBM ambassador to hear about the current programs that are available.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  certification 556 informix professional ai database im 1 Comment 2,286 Visits
A new professional certification, the Informix 11.50 Application Development Certification, has just been published; http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/tests/ovr556.shtml
This is great timing as the new Redbook on Informix Application Development has also recently been made available. http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247884.html
The Redbook covers a variety of application development tools: Java, ESQL/C, OLE DB, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, DataBlade®, and Hibernate
You can get a no-charge Linux virtual image of the Informix 11.50 product, including their client developer kit, from the Informix on Campus website: http://www.informixoncampus.blogspot.com/
This image can be used on both Windows and Linux systems, and is a quick way to get up and running and ready to do application development on Informix
I was excited to receive this report about the first of the three DB2 Academic Associate Certification workshops held in Budapest, Hungary:
31 August – 2 September 2010
Budapest IBM Innovation Center organized its first free DB2 Fundamentals and Application Development course for university students and teachers between 31 August and 2 September 2010. Despite the fact that we announced the course in the middle of the summer and planned it for 24 participants, more than 100 students and teachers applied. Because of the big demand we decided to add two additional workshops in October for those whom we could not accept in September.
The workshop began at 9 a.m. and finished at 5 p.m. every day at the IBM Innovation Center (IIC), where Ferenc Rada, the leader of IIC welcomed the participants, then Tamás Piri (IIC) delivered the education in Hungarian.
First the students got better acquainted with the IBM DB2 database and the parts of application development, then after the theoretical part they could practice the operational and development tasks with hands on labs in the perfect educational environment of the IIC. The students also received education materials in the form of a course work book and a DVD to be able to practice their knowledge on their own time after the class.
Besides the professional education, the students could hear about the current IBM trainee positions and they could ask questions to János Ponczók from HR. Then Szilvia Kovács (from Software Marketing) spoke about the 48 hours programming contest in November, where everyone can try their fresh knowledge that they gained at the workshop, and the best students will get valuable prizes.
At the end of the 3 day course the participants could take a free exam in English in an internationally approved exam system. The best students got IBM gifts at the end of the course.
We can say in general that the students were quite receptive to learning about the DB2 database and database concepts, which was totally new for them. This was reflected very well by their questions and their interest all during the course.
There were 21 participants at the September course from 7 higher educations: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (7), University of Debrecen (1), Eötvös Loránd University (2), Dennis Gabor Applied University (1), Pannon University (3), Pázmány Péter Catholic University (3), University of Pecs (3) and University of Szeged (1). In October participants from
Additional information about the DB2 Academic Associate Certification program available here.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  latin america in columbia database im box a brazil informix 2,110 Visits
Just heard about several successful Informix programs that were held recently in Columbia:
Great initiative by these schools and our IBMers as well! This grass roots movement is creating lots of excitement for the Information Management products in Latin America.
We are also getting GREAT response to the DB2 Academic Associate Certification programs in South America, and have a lot of classes organized: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/im/DB2+Academic+Associate+Workshop
Contact imschool@us,ibm.com if you want to discuss getting a program started at your university and we will talk!
There are a few good recent updates to the DB2 Academic Associate Certification IBM-internal program support page: A link to an online assessment survey and a link to more details about the exam itself (including the information about taking a practice exam. IBMers can see these updates at this link: https://w3.tap.ibm.com/w3ki2/display/UNIVERSITY/IBM+Academic+Initiative+-+Information+Management+program+DB2AA
non-IBMers can contact email@example.com to get further information about these programs.
Glad to report on a new Informix Redbook: IBM Informix Developer's Handbook: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247884.html
It's a great guide to the many different interfaces for application development on Informix. It covers Java, ESQL/C, OLE DB, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, DataBlade®, and Hibernate. Check it out!