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]
Keep on Learning
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
Today's DB2 Magazine Email Newsletter had a pointer to this great reading list for developers:
In addition to these articles, I suggest the following books:
DB2 SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2 UDB on Linux, UNIX, Windows, i5/OS, and z/OS, Second Edition
by Zamil Janmohamed, Clara Liu, Drew Bradstock, Raul Chong, Michael Gao, Fraser McArthur, Paul Yip
DB2 SQL PL, Second Edition shows developers how to take advantage of every facet of the SQL PL language and development environment. The authors offer up-to-the-minute coverage, best practices, and tips for building basic SQL procedures, writing flow-of-control statements, creating cursors, handling conditions, and much more. Along the way, they illuminate advanced features ranging from stored procedures and triggers to user-defined functions.
The only book to combine practical SQL PL tutorials and a detailed syntax reference, DB2 SQL PL, Second Edition draws on the authors' unparalleled expertise with SQL PL in real business environments.
DB2 Express: Easy Application Development and Administration
by Paul Yip, Kit Man Cheung, Jason Gartner, Clara Liu, Stephen O'Connell
Read the book, "DB2 Express: Easy Application Development and Administration" to learn how to leverage the latest and greatest features in DB2 V8.2 that will help you build, tune, deploy, and troubleshoot your VB.NET or JDBC application.
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. Like DB2 Express itself, this book cuts out the complexity. You'll find step-by-step guidance using the graphical tools in DB2 Express, and expert tips on database application development and administration, including: application design, development with both Visual Basic .NET and Java security, deployment, performance tuning, day-to-day administration, and more.
Once you are skilled as a database application programmer, verify your skills by taking the AD cert exam 703 (http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/certs/dbapudv81.shtml). You may wish to check out one of the following cert guides created to help prepare you for this exam.
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 703 Study Guide
By Roger Sanders
DB2 Universal Database v8.1 Application Development Certification Guide, Second Edition
by Steve Sanyal, David Martineau, Kevin Gashyna, Mike Kyprianou
Details on newsletter:
DB2 Magazine Email Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 9
875 exams taken after 4 days! Very steady business. We offer DB2, WebSphere, Lotus, Tivoli and Rational exams, but clearly this is a DB2 crowd! We offer all the exams to help people become cross trained in all SWG products.
I had dinner with Roger Sanders last night. I first met Roger years ago just after he published his first book about DB2. I'm glad that I was able to work with him on the three Exam Study guides that he wrote for our Version 8 exams and I'm working very hard to get more book projects for Roger.
Roger tells me that he gets lots of reader feedback about his sample questions and how useful readers find it that he explains the reason an answer is correct. I'm sure that now that IBM charges $10 per take on the assessment exams, more people will choose to use Roger's books for his assessment questions as well as the content of the book.
One of the projects I got involved with in January was to set up a program for Russia to get more people trained and certified. I suggested that we translate Roger's Exam 700 Study Guide along with a few other materials. I am happy to say that Roger's book is now available in Russia and that Roger has been invited to run a crammer course to a select group. It is great how quickly we were able to make this initiative a reality! If we are successful in getting people certified at the entry level, we'll continue the program and focus on Exams 701 and 703.
I was also privileged to meet several people from Brazil this week. We talked at great lengths about the various ways we can increase certifications there as well. I fully believe that you can't just throw a test at someone and hope that they pass. You need to build a program around the test, similar to what we are doing in Russia: a book that people can read and keep to refer to over time, hands on experience, and if possible, training sessions. And then the exams. I am very hopeful that we will be able pull something together for Brazil and other countries as well.
I'm writing this entry on Friday morning at 9:00 am and we have a room filled with people who are currently taking an exam and another room full of people waiting to take their exams before heading home. It has been a very successful week and I look forward to working at next year's conference planned for Dallas in August 2006.
We gave another 200 exams on our third day. This brings the total number of exams given this week to over 600! We've been giving free exams to the attendees of this conference for more that 7 years now, so the attendees look forward to this offer.
Our exams normally cost $150 per try, so many conference attendees use this savings as a way to justify their conference fees. There are attendees who have taken and PASSED more than 5 exams this week. That is a significant savings for their companies, just in terms of the exam fees.
Also because our free testing is an annual event, people are coming prepared. I find that our first day pass rate for exams is extremely high largely due to the fact that people are preparing to take the exams before they come. We also run pre-conference exam crammer courses on the Sunday before the exams begin and I find that these people usually do well on the exams. This year we had Susan Lawson, Roger Sanders, and Bob Snell teach the crammer courses and those who attended them found them to be very useful.
The passing rate seems to fall as the week progresses though. I think this is due to the fact that people have passed the exams that they really wanted to pass and begin trying exams that they aren't fully prepared for. This is fine since each exam can be taken twice while at the conference and the score reports help people pin point the areas where they need to do more studying.
I had a few people comment that they aren't fans of certification exams because they know others who have passed an exam simply by reading a book. Although I'm sure it happens that a person passes an exam by reading a book, I find that our exams are experience-based and tend to be very difficult to pass simply by reading a book. In fact I have found that there are people who have worked on DB2 products for years but their focus is so narrow that they need to broaden their understanding of the product by reading books or taking classes before they are able to pass the exam.
The class we ran for the CM exam seems to have been successful. We had 40 people attend a three hour session after the conference ended for the day. Most of these people came to take Exam 443 as it was a very busy day for us!
The bookstore closed at the end of yesterday with not a single z/OS book remaining! Perhaps this means that the adoption rate for DB2 z/OS V8 is increasing! Susan Lawson's certification guide, Craig Mullins' Developer Guide, and Susan Sloan's Official Guide were the three top sellers at the conference. All three titles sold out of the copies the publisher brought to the conference and many orders were placed for books to be shipped directly to the reader.
That's it for today. Only half a day left at CMTC and a day and a half at the Information Management Technical Conference.
Another 200 exams taken on the second day of the conference! That brings our two day total of exams given to 400! We appear to be on our way to breaking our previous record of conference exams.
Lots of action in the bookstore as well. Many people are choosing to purchase one of the Sanders study guide or the certification guides rather than paying $10 to take an assessment exam. The study guides have a set of assessment questions that explain reason an answer is correct. This may be more helpful to prepare for the exam than taking the assessment exams on their own.
Another observation: For those of us in Canada, we're used to having two prices on any book we purchase: a US price and a Canadian price. These prices are set when the book cover is produced and the Canadian price is set based on the exchange rate at that time. Several of our very popular books were published 3 years ago when the Canadian dollar was very low compared to the US dollar. As a result, a $50 book in the United States costs $90 in Canada. The current exchange rate is about 20%, so these prices are very much out of whack. Unfortunately prices are not changed until a new edition is published, so the Canadian buyer must pay the price listed on the book. One way around this is for Canadians who are attending the conference to purchase the books while they are here. They will need to carry the book back with them, but they will pay the US price and get a 30% conference discount. So that $50 book will cost $35 US plus the exchange rate, so about $45 Canadian. What a great deal!
Yesterday morning I administered exams at the Content Management Techical Conference which is being held at the Swan. Business is slower here, but there is lots of interest in the new Content Management Exam 443: DB2 Content Manager V8.3. There was a course in the evening from 6:30 - 9:30 to help people prepare for this exam. I'll let you know tomorrow if that changes the results at all.
That's all for now. Back to networking with people at the conference.