The finally tally for exams last week was 951 takes! That is over a 4.5 day period. This is an amazing result -- and with the team we had delivery the exams, it didn't seem like overly hard work as it has in previous years.
Our z/OS exams were extremely popular at the conference as were the books. We completely sold out of the large quantity of the following three z/OS books we had at the show:
DB2 Universal Database for z/OS V8.1 DBA Certification Guide by Susan Lawson
The Official Introduction to DB2 UDB for z/OS Version 8 by Susan Sloan
DB2 Developers Guide, Fourth Edition by Craig Mullins
Of the 951 exams taken last week, 200 were specific to DB2 for z/OS DBA. 31 at the V7 level and happily, 169 at the V8 level. It seems that the move to V8 is on.
Curt Cotner and Willie Favero have both recently started blogs, so for technical information that I'd never be able to provide, check them out.
If you weren't able to attend the conference, you can still buy the books (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/ref.html#zos) or take the exam at a location near your office, but for a fee (http://www.ibm.com/certify).
I'm getting prepared to work at the IDUG Symposium in Toronto next week (http://conferences.idug.org/techsymposium/2005/index.cfm
). Were not giving free exams at this conference, but I'll be building awareness for the skills programs that we have and will be directing people to the Canadian Pearson bookstore. The publisher is planning to have a promotion on z/OS titles in honour of the conference. Check it out: http://www.pearsontechnology.ca/DB2.
That's all for now. Have a great weekend!
Keep on Learning
It is usually taboo to talk about how much someone makes, but still, everyone wants to know where they stand in terms of earning potential.
Certmag.com does an annual survey to find out if certifications increase a person's pay or not. The surveys have shown that a person who holds a certification is generally better paid than a similar individual who is not certified. The next logical question is, which certification results in the highest pay?
According to results from last year's survey, certmag says that IBM DB2 certified DBAs earn more than Oracle or Microsoft DBAs!
Enterprise Systems have also done a survey and have recently published their finding:
According to this, DBAs make more than most other IT professionals. Not a surprise, really given the skill and expertise required to do this job. The article also agrees with the findings from certmag.com and lists DB2 as the database where salaries are highest. Actually, DBAs on IMS systems are THE highest.
So, be proud of the fact that you work with DB2 and be proud of your certifications!
If you aren't yet using DB2 or certified, does this help convince you? I hope so!
Paul Zikopoulos just reminded me of a series of articles that he's written that I'm sure you'll find useful. The articles will help you figure out which edition of DB2 you need. Check it out:
Do you know how to license a DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for iSeries server? Did you know there was such a product? How about which edition of DB2 supports an authorized user? Do you know you can buy DB2 ESE on a per user basis (it's the answer to the last question). Do you know how you license high availability? Did you know how to license DB2 installed on a dynamic processor pool with a capped or uncapped partition? Are you aware that DB2 Everyplace is free with any DB2 Connect or DB2 server? Do you know how an idle DB2 machine isn't really idle, but it's considered the same as IBM SWG's Cold and Warm machines, but licensed differently?
You may be able to answer all of those questions, but I guarantee you that your clients can't. All of my packaging, licensing, and edition information articles have been updated for September 2005 (circa the DB2 UDB V8.2.3 code level).
You can quickly access these articles at the following URLs.
Which Distributed DB2 Edition is Right for You?
This popular article is updated with the latest news in product features, editions, and licensing for IBM DB2 Universal Database Version 8.2.3. The author lays out the options and includes a quick reference that maps typical user environments to the suggested DB2 edition. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0211zikopoulos/0211zikopoulos.html.
Comparing the Distributed DB2 Server Editions
In a side-by-side comparison table, author Paul Zikopoulos makes it simple to understand the basic licensing rules, functions, and feature differences between the members of the distributed IBMDB2Universal Database(DB2 UDB) server family. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0301zikopoulos/0301zikopoulos1.html.
Which Edition of DB2 Connect is Right for You?
DB2 Connect is IBM middleware for connectivity from distributed systems to zSeries and iSeries-based DB2 systems. This article introduces DB2 Connect at a very high level and discusses the different editions and pricing models to help you decide which edition of DB2 Connect is right for you. This article has been updated to include packaging considerations up to and including DB2 Connect V8.2.3. It's available at:
Licensing Distributed DB2 Servers in a High Availability Environment
Are you trying to ensure you're licensing your IBMDB2Universal Databasefor Linux UNIX and Windows(DB2) servers correctly in a high availability environment? Don't have the time nor the will to read through the announcement letters, PLETs, or your licensing sheets? Author Paul Zikopoulos explains it all in plain English. It's available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0301zikopoulos/0301zikopoulos.html.
DB2 UDB using Dual Core or Sub-capacity Licensing
Learn about some of the latest hardware technologies, namely dual core processors and sub-capacity partitioning, and their respective considerations when licensing a supported IBMDB2Universal Database(DB2 UDB) server product. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0505zikopoulos/.
Stay tuned for information on the latest book that Paul co-wrote: Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape
IBM Launched a whole series of Express editions of products to fit the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. Attend the webcast on Oct 12 to learn more:
Webcast: IBM Express Portfolio Announcements - Oct. 12
Designed, built and priced specifically to address the on demand business needs of mid-sized companies, the IBM Express Portfoliofeatures: relevant, scalable technologies that work with existing IT infrastructure; selected configurations that are easier to acquire, install and manage than traditional offerings; competitive pricing and enhanced availability; 100 solutions for mid-sized businesses, ranging from hardware and software to services, and; low-rate financing and simple, affordable leasing options. Register today for this live Web broadcast.
We also specially created the following book to support the express edition:
DB2 Express : Easy Development and Administration by Paul Yip, Kit Man Cheung, Jason Gartner, Clara Liu, Stephen O'Connell
Buy it directly from IBM Press to get a 30% discount:
What is in the book?
IBM DB2 UDB Express Edition Version 8.2 delivers everything small to medium-sized businesses need to accelerate time-to-value and dramatically reduce TCO in their database applications. Now, IBM's own experts show exactly how to get started with DB2 Express, and use it to develop, deploy, and manage superior applications from start to finish.
Like DB2 Express itself, this book cuts out the complexity--helping you achieve the full business benefits of today's most advanced database platform simply and quickly. You'll find step-by-step guidance and expert tips for every facet of DB2 Express development and administration, including: application design; development with both Visual Basic .NET and Java; security; deployment; performance tuning; day-to-day administration; and more.
IBM's own DB2 specialists demonstrate how to use DB2 Express' graphical tools to manage DB2 more easily than any other full-function relational database. Along the way, they help you make the most of DB2 Express' powerful "autonomic" features for self-administration, self-tuning, and self-healing to drive down costs throughout the entire application lifecycle.
This book will help you:
* Understand DB2 Express architecture and its implications for development and administration
* Install DB2 Express, create databases, and master essential DB2 Express tools
* Work with database objects: schemas, data types, tables, relationships, views, and indexes
* Develop VB.NET applications with ADO.NET and the DB2 .NET Data Provider
* Develop Java applications with JDBC and SQLJ
* Leverage DB2's concurrency model to design efficient transactions and improve user experience
* Introduce database functions, stored procedures, and triggers to improve application design
* Generate and manipulate data efficiently: LOAD, IMPORT, exporting to Microsoft Excel, reporting, and more
* Tune performance: optimize your configuration, analyze SQL with Visual Explain, and optimize SQL with Design Advisor
* Secure your applications: authentication, authorization, group privileges, and more
* Deploy to production, and master silent DB2 installations
* Define a solid database maintenance plan that fully leverages DB2 Express autonomic features
* Troubleshoot DB2 Express and avoid common pitfalls
Whether you're a developer, administrator, IT manager, or end-user, this definitive single-source guide will help you achieve results fast... and maximize DB2 Express' business value, every step of the way.
About the Authors
Paul Yip is a database consultant at IBM Canada. As a member of IBM's Channel and Partner Enablement Team, he works closely with partners, ISVs, and integrators to develop and tune third-party products for DB2. He coauthored DB2 SQL Procedure Language for Linux, UNIX and Windows (Prentice Hall, 2003) with Clara Liu.
Kit Man Cheung, member of IBM's DB2 Tools Development Team, has deep technical insight into DB2 Version 8.2's new GUI tools.
Jason Gartner, member of IBM's DB2 Tools Development Team, has deep technical insight into DB2 Version 8.2's new GUI tools. He is Development Manager for DB2 administration tools.
Clara Liu is a database consultant at IBM Canada. As a member of IBM's Channel and Partner Enablement Team, she works closely with partners, ISVs, and integrators to develop and tune third-party products for DB2. She coauthored DB2 SQL Procedure Language for Linux, UNIX and Windows (Prentice Hall, 2003) with Paul Yip.
Stephen O'Connell, member of IBM's DB2 User-Centered Design Team, has worked on the DB2 Web client and many other IBM-wide DB2 initiatives.
Last week I posted about DB2 for z/OS books and mentioned Craig Mullin's book. Unfortunately I mentioned the 4th edition instead of the 5th. Here are the details on the 5th edition:
DB2 Developer's Guide (5th Edition)
by Craig S. Mullins
I added a link to the right hand side of this page to link to his book. Its now on sale at amazon for 29% off.
Also, I mentioned that Curt Cotner has a blog. The address is: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
I've also added a link to the right for your future reference.
Thanks to those who gave me comments to correct these ommissions.
The first edition of the New DB2 Information Management Professional Certification On-line Newsletter is now available.
This newsletter was developed for IBM Certified Professionals who have successfully completed one or more certification exams. This newsletter will provide you with certification announcement special events, promotions, and other skills related news so you can stay in touch with IBM.
Check out the October edition at: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-newsletter.html[Read More]
This week the IMS Technical Conference took place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Although I wasn't able to attend the conference, I arranged for each attendee to get a complementary book:
"An Introduction to IMS"
Dean Meltz, the lead author for the book, was available to sign the books for the attendees.
I also arranged for Sharon Qi to sell IBM Press books at a discount. We didn't sell many books, but hopefully more people are now aware that there are books available.
Sharon tells me that many of the attendees were asking for more books on IMS. I'd like to have more published as well, but it mainly depends on how well the current book does.
Besides this book, there is a landing page on dworks for IMS content: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/products/ims/
There are also serveral redbooks:
If you're interested in more books about IMS, let me know what kind of topic you are interested in.
This book is on my mind this week:
Self-Service Linux: Mastering the Art of Problem Determination
by Mark Wilding, Dan Behman
The publisher sent me 40 copies of the book to send to people who helped review the book or to people who will read the book and tell others about it. Yesterday Dan Behman came by and signed more than 20 copies of the book and I'm hoping to see Mark Wilding some time today. Once they are signed, I'll send them to the many people who helped with the creation of the book.
Publishers are always looking for people who are interested in reviewing books: both books that are published or about to be published. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, let me know. Opinionated people are always welcome!
Speaking of reviews, check out the reviews that are on amazon now for the SSL book. The book has two very positive comments so far.
CASCON, The Centre for Advanced Studies Conference, is taking place this week in Toronto. CASCON is the premiere computer science and software engineering conference in Canada. This conference is an excellent venue for exchanging ideas, showcasing results, experiences and tools, and networking with researchers and practitioners from academia, industry, and government.
Here is a link to give more information: https://www.ibm.com/ibm/cas/cascon/
Yesterday I had lunch with Stephen Perelgut who ran a workshop on popular technologies such as blogging, podcasting, and RSS feeds. Stephen is running two sessions this week, and both are full to capacity. I was too late to sign up for either of his workshops, so I'm not able to attend. Stephen tells me that he may run another session in the Toronto Lab for employees in a few months.
After lunch I met with Dr. Imran A. Zualkernan who is working on a technology to turn flow diagrams into test questions. Dr. Zualkerman showed me this technology in action using a flow diagram for a few DB2 UDB task. Seems interesting, but I don't think it's ready for prime time use yet. I'll provide some user scenarios to Dr. Zaulkerman so he can further test this technology. Using this technology might be helpful when creating sample study questions. We'll see.
I spent the afternoon in a Women in Technology Workshop: Tenth Workshop on Women in Technology: Global Transformation for Women & ICT.
This workshop discussed the ongoing action needed to transform the global position of women in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The speakers/facilitators included: Claudia Morrell, Kelly Lyons, Sophia Huyer, and Ann Holmes.
It is conceived as a follow-on to the First International Symposium on Women and ICT that took place June 12-14, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Two hundred and fifty participants, representing six continents and 29 developing and developed countries, including leaders from business, government, non-government agencies, and education, gathered to explore concrete ways to increase girls' and women's participation and leadership with Information and Communication Technology in order to effect economic, social, and political change.
The focus of the CASCON session was to discuss the messages that should be presented at the second United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis 16-18 November 2005. The goal is to change the gender disparity evidenced in Women and Information Technology: Fast Facts at http://www.umbc.edu/cwit/fastfacts.html and planning for continuing action.
Some interesting facts:
* Computer-related occupations, 2004, U.S.
* Computer and information systems managers, 31.0% female
* Computer scientists and systems analysts, 29.4% female
* Computer programmers, 26.7% female
* Computer software engineers, 25.0% female
* Computer support specialists, 29.7% female
* Database administrators, 33.6% female
* Network and computer systems administrators, 20.3% female
* Network systems and data communications analysts, 21.9% female
* Operations research analysts, 43.0% female
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005
The database area has had very highly ranked women running the business until recently: Janet Perna and Pat Selinger. Both of whom have recently retired.
I can't say that I've overly passionate about this subject yet, but it does bother me to hear that fewer and fewer women are going to university and even fewer are choosing technical degrees. There are lots of studies that try to figure out the reason for the decline as well as many programs in place to help. One of the things that we discussed yesterday was the need to figure out what programs exist around the world and to share these ideas so we can make programs accessible to people every where in the world. A portal is being designed, so hopefully that will help.
Kind of in line with this topic, last night I volunteered to help out at a Girl Guides event in support of a technology badge. This is one of the many programs that IBM takes part in to encourage girls to take an interest in technology.
Yesterday I participated in a workshop about business blogs - The Business of Blogging: Being Social in a Pervasive, Networked World.
The speakers discussed the history of blogging, tools that are available, research on who is blogging, as well as the issues of using blogs for business.
Speakers included Alvin Chin and Mark Chignell from University of Toronto, Joey de Villa from Tucows, Ian Graham from BMO Financial Group, and Veronica Holmes from Bell Canada.
From the research, it was shown that people who read blogs are highly educated people in their 30s or 40s who earn high salaries. Primarily, bloggers are looking for information that is hard to find in other places. You can see why businesses are getting more and more interested in setting up blogs to support their products / services.
For more information on CASCON, as well as details of all the conference proceedings, see https://www.ibm.com/ibm/cas/cascon/[Read More]
For the past few months I have been thinking about the value of podcasting in relation to promoting technical books. Last week at CASCON the idea came up again, so I'd like to get your opinion on the idea.
My goal would be to put the preface of new books into podcast format. The preface of the book should answer the question, do I need this book? My vision is to have a podcast that is only a few minutes in length, for each book.
As a new book is published, a podcast would be made available. This would work well as a subscription series in that it would help people stay on top of the newest releases as they are made available.
Most book prefaces are written in a conversational manner, so I believe that this would make for an easy and interesting way to learn about the need for the book.
Whose voice should do the podcast? I'd prefer to have the author of the preface do the recording, but would do it myself if necessary.
Let me know what you think. I may go ahead and do a pilot of one of the books and post it on this site. The next book in my realm that will publish is Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131855255/102-8524566-1932154?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance.
The great buzz around the book Self-Service Linux : Mastering the Art of Problem Determination continues:
"This is definitely my choice for best book of the year. Yes, I know we have a few months to go, but I can't see this getting beat out. Buy this today; you will not regret it. "
The book is available on amazon.com for a discount of 34%. If you have read the book, add your review as well
The latest edition of certmag.com has an article about using advanced certifications to advance your career:
After reading this article, I checked our database to see the how many people have been certifed at our Advanced DBA level (you need to pass Exam 704 after achieving a DBA cert): http://www.ibm.com/certify/certs/dbdvud81.shtml.
Although I can't tell you how many certifications have been achieved, I can tell you that only 7% of those who have earned a IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 UDB V8.1 for Linux, UNIX and Windows have also earned the Advanced DBA certification.
I really believe that anyone who has passed Exam 701 also has a good chance of passing Exam 704. If you are one of these people, take the challenge and try Exam 704.
Exam 704 contains a total of 57 questions. Candidates are required to score 56% or better to pass the exam and will have 75 minutes to complete the exam.
Section 1 - Advanced Administration (32%)
Ability to design table spaces
Ability to create table spaces
Ability to manage table spaces
Ability to design buffer pools
Ability to create buffer pools
Ability to manage buffer pools
Ability to exploit intra-parallelism
Ability to exploit inter- parallelism
Ability to design and configure federated database access
Ability to manage distributed unit of work
Section 2 - High Availability (19%)
Ability to develop a logging strategy
Ability to use advanced backup features
Ability to use advanced recovery features
Ability to implement a standby database (log shipping, replication, failover, fault monitor)
Section 3 - Performance and Scalability (37%)
Identify and use configuration parameters that affect database system performance
Identify and use DB2 registry variables that affect database system performance
Knowledge of query optimizer concepts
Ability to manage and tune memory and I/O
Ability to analyze performance problems
Ability to manage a large number of users and connections
Ability to partition large amounts of data for performance
Ability to manage the number of partitions in a database
Ability to create and manage multi-dimensional clustered tables
Ability to determine the more appropriate index
Section 4 - Networking & Security (12%)
Ability to configure a partitioned database on multiple servers
Ability to manage connections to host systems
Ability to identify and resolve connection problems
Knowledge of external authentication mechanisms
Ability to implement data encryption
The best way to prepare for this exam is a combination of EXPERIENCE and STUDY. The only book that was written for this exam is:
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 UDB v8 for Linux, Unix and Windows
by Dwaine Snow and Thomas Phan
Notice that this book has received 12 customer comments on amazon: all 5 stars, except one 4 star.
One of the features of this book that I want to make you aware of is that there are excellent sample study questions in the book. Each chapter contains several questions that are similar to the questions that you'll see on the certification exam. The authors then tell you which answer is correct, and why. Dwaine was on the exam development team and helped create many of the questions that are on the certification exam, so make sure you benefit from his knowledge by reading this book!
Sam Poon dropped by today to take a certification exam and reminded me about a recent article that he and Cindy Wong had published on developerworks, called:
"Recommended reading list: DB2 UDB for Linux, UNIX, and Windows database administration"
This reading list covers primarily articles that you will be able to find on dworks, as well as a couple of websites and redbooks. I'd like to add a few additional resources to the list for your awareness.
1) Website: DBA Central - Resources for IBM Information Management database administrators
Bookmark this page to keep up to date with all the latest information that a DBA will find essential.
2) Webcast: The Future of the DBA, November 1.
Join Evan Bauer as he discusses the value of a DBA to the IT organization in these days of new initiatives that lead to the reduction of operational and admistrative costs. Register for the webcast, listen to it, and perhaps you'll be one of the people who is awarded a free IBM Press book. You can register for the webcast from the DBA Central: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/zones/dba/.
3) Retail books:
High Availability Guide for DB2
by Chris Eaton and Enzo Cialini
Start-to-finish guide to delivering high availability with DB2 Universal Database for Linux, UNIX and Windows. Written two of IBM's leading DB2 high availability experts,
thoroughly reviews options related to both the database engine and the underlying platform, and addresses the entire lifecycle, from planning and architecture through day-to-day administration.
DB2 Universal Database V8 Handbook for Windows, UNIX, and Linux
by Phil Gunning
Written by a leading database consultant to help the DBA on the front line. The real-world examples make it easy to learn how to leverage the powerful features of DB2 UDB V8.
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, 5/e
by George Baklarz and Bill Wong
Straight from IBM, the ultimate guide for running DB2 V8 and preparing for the IBM DB2 UDB Database Administration Exam! This definitive reference and self-study guide covers every aspect of deploying and managing DB2 Universal Database V8, including best practices for DB2 database design and development; day-to-day administration and backup; and much more.
Whether you're a DBA, a developer, a DB2 certification candidate, or all three, DB2 Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide is the one book you can't afford to be without.
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, 1/e
by Dwaine Snow / Tom Phan
Whether you're a long-time DB2 UDB professional or an experienced DBA who's migrated from another database platform, there one sure way to demonstrate the highest level of skills in DB2 UDB database administration: pass the challenging IBM DB2 UDB Advanced Database Administration Exam.
This book is a guide to administering the advanced features of DB2 Universal Database Version 8. The book will discuss how to build a database in order to ensure optimal performance. It will discuss the manner in which to build table spaces and assign bufferpools based on the system usage and underlying disks system. The book will discuss the functionality built into DB2 to ensure system availability and will clustering and fail over discuss configuration options. The book will also discuss how to monitor a DB2 UDB system to determine if any bottle necks exist
All of these books can be found at the DB2 Bookstore: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/ref.html
Happy Reading![Read More]
Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape by Paul Zikopoulos, Dan Scott, and George Baklarz publishes tomorrow, Nov 2, 2005.
Details about the book:
Apache Derby is the world's only open source, pure Java, fully transactional relational database. It's small enough to be embedded directly into your Java applications, providing a local data store that requires no DBA support. Powerful enough to support a wide range of traditional applications, this database ships as the default database for WebSphere Application Server and more than fifty other IBM software products. Apache Derby is built on the mature IBM Cloudscape code base IBM recently contributed to the open source community. The IBM Cloudscape code was nominated and won Developer.com's Product of the Year 2005 award.
Paul, Dan, and George have written a comprehensive guide to making the most of Apache Derbynd its commercial counterpart, IBM Cloudscapein any development or production environment. This book systematically introduces the Apache Derby/IBM Cloudscape technology: where it fits and how to install and configure itnd how to build robust business applications and Web services with it, one step at a time.
Buy it from amazon.com and get a 34% discount on the regular price of $39.99 USD.
IBM developerWorks Peer Advisors Network
IBM developerWorks has created a new program for people who enjoy sharing their opinions and experiences. The first initiative is centered on using and advising others regarding IBM Cloudscape v10.1, a commercially supported release of Apache Derby.
For more information about peer collaboration, see http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/newsletter/devcom/email/eng/20051031_dW_Peer_Advisory_DB2_webversion.html
Developerworks also has a Cloudscape portal that you may wish to check out: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/zones/cloudscape/