James Koopman blogged his review of the Understanding DB2 9 Security book, and I want to repeat a section of his review here:
Above and beyond everything I liked about this book was its' ability to go beyond presenting just facts. I can go to a manual for that. While everyone seems to be talking about 'Best Practices' these days they all too often are hard to interpret or are not quite to the point. Understanding DB2 9 Security is written in a way that explains, demonstrates, and supports these 'Best Practices' in such a way that is very clear to the reader.
Frankly, this is what most authors attempt to achieve in their books: Clearly written information that helps GUIDE the reader to make the BEST choices in their use of the product! I'm very pleased to see that Rebecca, Kevin, Carmen and Henry were able to achieve this result!
If you are reading this book and feel the same way as James does, make your opinion known!
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Keep on Learning
From archive: February 2007 X
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I was speaking to my contact at McGraw-Hill the other day and she said that the New Features book is in the warehouse and all pre-orders are being fulfilled right now. I hope you've received your copy if you were one of the many people to pre-order the book!
If you haven't had a chance to order it yet, you can still qualify for the 40% discount from superbooks.... for awhile.
IBM and McGraw-Hill teamed up to create a DB2 9 New Features book that was thoughtfully written by a team of leading IBM experts (Paul Zikopoulos, George Baklarz, Chris Eaton, and Leon Katsnelson) to provide you with comprehensive technical details and real-world business uses for all of the exciting new features in the current release of DB2 9. You’ll learn about the capabilities found in pureXML as well as administrative enhancements in areas such as self management, high availability, and security. Also covered are features for the developer from a Ruby on Rails toolkit to the Developer Workbench and enhanced .NET developer support.
The other day I had a request for Don Chamberlin's book that was published 9 years ago: A Complete Guide to DB2 Universal Database. I know the book is EXCELLENT, especially since it was written by one of the inventor's of SQL! But, like most books, I figured that it was out of date and not very useful at this point. But when I made this comment, here was the response back to me:
The Don Chamberlin book is more of a complete DB2 SQL manual that many JDBC developers will need.
I'm not a JDBC developer, so I'm looking for comments on this one. Where do you go for SQL help???
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Thanks to David Sky for bringing me up to date on the improvements in the DB2 product documentation!
IBM continues to make the DB2 product documentation easier to use and search. Click DB2 Product Documentation Improvements to find details on some of the improvements, including:
* An OpenSearch web browser plugin that adds the DB2 Information Center to the search toolbar in the top right corner of MS Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. Once installed you simply select the version of the DB2 documentation you want to search, enter your search term, and hit enter. You'll be taken directly to the set of search results.
* Thanks to the International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) you can now use Google to search just the DB2 Information Center: search form.
* David highly recommends that you watch the four and a half minute screencast to get the most from your search, using the various controls and tabs, how to print a subset of the documentation, etc...
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The February edition of the Certification Magazine has an article about the value IBM places on employees becoming certified. Kellye Whitney wrote the article and interviewed IBM's Chief Learning Officer, Ted Hoff for his insight to the types of people who are hired into IBM and the life long learning goals that IBMers take on.
I have the printed version of the magazine on my desk, but was able to locate the article online as well: IBM: A Technical and Professional Development Mecca for IT.
I just wanted to add that one of the roles that I have at IBM is to administer DB2 certification exams to employees at the Toronto Lab. We have a very large DB2 development team at this location, so I end up administering quite a few exams to new hires, students, and full-time employees. I'm also one of the regular speakers at the Lab's New Hire Presentations and deliver a message as to why getting certified is an important goal.
DB2 exams are experienced based, meaning an exam candidate using DB2 day-in-and-out in a particular job role (for example, DBA), will have a fairly easy time passing the exam, regardless of the amount of studying. On the other hand, not many of the people working on the DB2 development team have job experience as professional DBAs, so the exams are much harder to pass and these people must learn the product through books, tutorials, courses, and trial & error using the product. The benefit is that in preparing to pass the exam, IBM employees are putting themselves in the mindset of professional DBAs and this knowledge will in turn help him or her build more usable features for future releases.
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I was in a meeting yesterday and someone mentioned the Trust Larry trailer that was shown at the IOD conference last year in Anaheim. Sadly I missed this and wonder how many other people did as well. I went looking on the internet and found it. I hope you find it informative / funny.
Also, if you can, try to get approval to come to the IOD 2007 conference taking place in October in Vegas. This will be the second annual conference for IOD, and the benefits in terms of training and certification alone, you should be able to justify the expense.
Hope to see you there!
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Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard authored The Business Benefits of DB2 9 - Bloor Research Whitepaper which is a very favorable review of DB2 9. Philip's paper examines the major new features of DB2 9 not only in business terms but with an explanation of how the various technologies work, and where they differ from that of IBM’s competitors in order to understand how these business benefits are derived.
The paper concentrates on those features of the new release that Philip considered as having significant business benefits: XML, compression, SAP optimisation, range partitioning, security, and tuning, concluding:
" . . .this release of DB2 introduces new capabilities that significantly exceed those of its competitors in a number of areas. In particular, its pureXML is a major advantage and in any company where XML is an important consideration (and this increasingly applies to all organisations), IBM should be at the head of the list when considering potential suppliers."
Publishing soon is the book IBM DB2 9 New Features by Paul Zikopoulos, George Baklarz, Leon Katsnelson, Chris Eaton. This book describes the major new features of DB2 9 and also teaches you how to put the new features into practise.
Also consider attending a half day technical briefings in a location near you: Experience the power of Information Management solutions. This technical briefing will further demonstrate the business value of DB2 9 and how easily you can begin to realize these benefits.
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Mark your calendar for this upcoming chat, taking place Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007, 1 PM Eastern, 12 noon Central, 10 AM Pacific.
Zen and the Art of Database Performance (Feb 21)
Your DB2 system has been humming along just fine, but now it has to handle more data, applications and users than ever - and things are slowing down a bit. This talk will take you through a logical, step-by-step approach to finding & fixing performance bottlenecks anywhere in the system. We start with common symptoms and work to solutions by using a systematic approach that is easy to understand and build on.
Join Sal Vella, Vice President - DB2 Development, and award winning speaker Steve Rees, Senior Manager - DB2 Performance QA, to learn about DB2 performance tuning and troubleshooting.
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I read an article on CertMag.com today by Brian Summerfield about Recertification that I thought was very timely for the DB2 certification program.
Brian mentions that in today's fast paced world, professional education is no longer seen as an event, but rather a process. The need to learn is constant throughout a person's career: the trick is to find the learning method that works for you and a way to prove to yourself and possibly others that you are continually building your skills.
Two of the DB2 9 certification exams are now available (Exams 730 and 731) which gives you an opportunity to build / prove your skills for this significant new product release. Employees at IBM are encouraged to set learning goals each year and by setting the goal of achieving the lastest level of certification is an excellent way to both set the goal and prove that it has been reached.
As for learning styles.... IBM offers many choices for you so that you can find the method that works best for you.
* Tutorials - you can follow the tutorials that we've created to prepare people for certication. Each tutorial is roughly an hour in length and is dedicated to a specific topic area that is covered on the exam. Multiple tutorials are available for each of the tests. Most people read the tutorials electronically, but they can be printed so you can read them while you are away from your computer.
* Classroom education - many people prefer to be in a dedicated class that is interactive in terms of dialog with the instructor, meeting and working with people with similar skills from other companies, completing lab exercises, and of course, being away from your usual work environment. IBM has a number of classes available in multiple cities across the world.
* Retail books - books can be used in conjunction with any other method of learning and allows you to pace learning to your schedule... read at lunch, on the bus or train, between job tasks, in bed before you go to sleep.... whatever works for you. Some of the books contain sample questions that are similar to the certification exam questions, allowing you to self-test your knowledge before attempting the actual test.
* Hands on Learning - this is likely the most common way of learning.... trial and error in a safe environment. This method is so common that it doesn't feel like you're learning at all. You can download DB2 9 to try the newest functions. The product documentation and online help may be sufficient for you to bridge the gap from what you know now to where you will be with DB2 9.
Now is a great time to set the goal to recertify on DB2 9!
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Do you ever wonder what kind of gadgets will be invented in the near future and how they'll impact our daily lives? IBM held a LiveJam last year for all employees and has published the 5 top ideas discussed by employees in an article called Next Five in Five.
The top five ideas are:
* We will be able to access healthcare remotely, from just about anywhere in the world * Real-time speech translation-once a vision only in science fiction-will become the norm * There will be a 3-D Internet * Technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance * Our mobile phones will come close to reading our minds
Enjoy the article!
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The first tutorial in the DB2 9 Application Development 733 certification prep series is now available.
DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 1: Database objects and programming methodsGet an introduction to the different types of database objects and programming methods. The material in this tutorial primarily covers the objectives in Section 1 of the exam, entitled "Database objects and programming methods."
This one was authored by Clara Liu who you may recognize as one of the authors of the Understanding DB2: Learning Visually with Examples book. Pass Exam 733 (and its prerequisite) earns you the IBM Certified Application Developer certification, which confirms that you are an intermediate or advanced level DB2 application developer and shows that you have strong skills in all common programming tasks as well as embedded SQL programming, ODBC/CLI programming, or Java programming.
The series will consist of nine free tutorials and is designed to help you prepare for Exam 733. Each tutorial includes a link to a free DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows trial download. These tutorials provide a solid base for each section of the exam. However, you should not rely on these tutorials as your only preparation for the exam.
After a quick registration, you can begin a tutorial. Each tutorial should take about an hour to complete. You can take the tutorials online, or download a PDF.
Other tutorials in this series will follow very soon, and include:
* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 2: Data manipulation* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 3: XML data manipulation* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 4: Embedded SQL programming* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 5: ODBC/CLI programming* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 6: .NET programming* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 7: Java programming* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 8: Advanced programming* DB2 9 Application Development exam 733 prep, Part 9: User-defined routines
Unfortunately at this point, we have no plans to update the Certification Study Guides to support this exam. I'm hoping that will change and will let you know if it does.
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Living in Canada, I'm often sent offers to purchase books online at a discount... only to find that I must pay for the book in US dollars and then pay a shipping fee that can easily double the price of the book. Have you encountered this issue as well?
Amazon has done an amazing job of populating the world with local bookstore choices, so I tend to go to amazon.ca or chapters.ca to buy books, but shipping fees aren't always waived through these sites.
To help those of us outside of the US, I worked with the local publishing representatives from Pearson Education to set up bookstores where you can buy books in your own currency, with low or no shipping fees. We have websites for Canada and EMEA, and local contacts for many other countries. You can get to any of the local information from the International tab on our bookstore site: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.
My team has created flyers and business cards to help promote these websites, so don't be surprised if this information is presented to you multiple times:)
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DB2 Magazine has put together a list of electronic books that you can view for free. The content is displayed in a format that is easy to read with plenty of graphics. You can choose from the following topics:
XML FOR JAVA DEVELOPERSDB2 9 introduced powerful XML management capabilities. Download this new e-book from DB2 Magazine to find out how the techniques you use every day can help you put that power to work. You'll learn XML programming tips for Java developers, see detailed Java application examples, and get a recap of all the new features and functions that ease Java development.
TAKING AIM AT PERFORMANCE PROBLEMSStop wasting time on hit-or-miss tuning exercises. Event monitors and snapshots show you exactly where to point your efforts.
SPOTLIGHT ON XMLDB2 9's "pureXML" technology introduces powerful XML management capabilities. Here's how to use the skills you already have to put that power to work.
APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS: PERL, PHP, AND REXXWhen it comes to Development, DB2 is open to all options. IBM's commitment to open, standards-based interfaces and its support for a range of tools mean that developers can build DB2 applications with the tools and programming languages they like.
This special e-book presents DB2-specific code, tips, and techniques for working with three increasingly popular choices: Perl, PHP and Rexx.
DEVELOPING DB2 APPLICATIONS: THE PLATFORM CHOICE IS YOURSWhen it comes to application development, Java junkies and .Net devotees may never see eye to eye. If they're developing for DB2, they don’t have to. DB2 UDB v.8.2 shipped earlier this year with something for every developer, regardless of platform preference. This must-read e-book highlights the latest in DB2 application development, with platform-specific examples, expert guidance, and more.
BRIDGING THE ISLANDSNow you can connect Informix data with other corporate information. The result? An impressive enterprise view.
DB2 UDB THE AUTONOMIC COMPUTING ADVANTAGEGetting the most from today's complex database systems is a challenge. Learn how self-managing capabilities in DB2 UDB v.8.2 do some of the work for you.
THE BIG LEAGUESIn this special e-book for Informix customers, you'll read how businesses are using the new release of Informix Dynamic Server, how Informix technology is finding its niche in the IBM world, and what IBM's Janet Perna says about the future of Informix at IBM.
THE PERFORMANCE DIARIESThis special e-book, compiled from three installments of Robert Catterall’s popular DB2 DBA column, brings you all the instructions you'll need to find these details and put them to use in your tuning efforts.
OPEN THE THROTTLE: Tuning DB2 UDB v.8.1In this three-part series, database performance engineer Roger E. Sanders explains the seven tuning rules every DBA should know and gives a platform-specific guide to getting the best performance from your DB2 UDB implementation. Portable e-book format!
ON DEMAND: Real Companies, Real BenefitsA special editorial section for CEOs, CTOs, technology-focused executives and managers, and anyone interested in IBM's on-demand concept. These brief articles showcase real companies reaping real benefits from the information-on-demand approach — an infrastructure for getting the right information to the right person at the exact moment it's needed.
Thanks to Kim and the rest of the staff at DB2 Magazine for pulling together relevant documents such as this!
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Securing data in a database has always been an important topic, but with the recent events with customer's personal information ending up in the hands of the wrong people I would say that having a security plan is top priority on every DBA's mind.
Rebecca Bond and her team's book Understanding DB2 9 Security is a must read for any DBA, regardless of the product that they support. Much of the book covers sound techniques that should be followed to ensure proper protection of precious data.
I read much of the book while it was being written.... and I must say that the authors have succeeded in making this topic readable... and as the cover mentions... understandable. Yesterday when I spoke to Grant Hutchison who is in the middle of reading the book, he stressed that the parts he's read so far are so well written that he thinks the style should be used to describe many other topics as well.
Fred Sobotko of FRS Consulting has also read the book and put a very favourable review in his blog.
Today I noticed that an excerpt of chapter 2 can be found on SearchDataManagement.com. Chapter 2 is entitled "The Starting Point" and describes very eloquently how having a security plan can help a company achieve success in their business.
If you've had a chance to read this book, and liked it, please let your opinion be known! Amazon.com is a wonderful place to put customer reviews that get read and actually help people decide which book to buy.