Thursday last week was my last day at the IOD conference. I attended the keynote in the morning as I had arranged for a book signing with Chris Anderson and Carl Kessler, but I had never heard either of them speak on the topics that they are well-known for. I also was trying to arrange a meeting with Jeff Jonas who was a member of the panel. I was disappointed with the number of people who attended this keynote given the stature of the innovators who were on the agenda. I did get a message from each of the speakers, but would have liked to hear more from each of them. Interestingly, each of the speakers has a blog, so you and I both can learn more from this esteemed group!
Chris Anderson was the host / moderator of the session and the only non-IBMer in the group. Chris is the editor of Wired Magazine and the author of The Long Tail. I found out later during our book signing that Chris is working on his next book, possibly to be titled Free. The main message that I learned from Chris is that most companies block certain websites from their employees. Interestingly.... IBM does NOT block these websites and may be one of the only companies, certainly of this size, to be able to make that claim. For those who attended, you'll remember the photograph of the black and white cable... white being the websites that were allowed to employees, and black being the "sandbox" sites where real innovation happens. After the session, we spoke about the one site that was not used by IBMers: Skype. I've never attempted to use it, but was told that IBMers have access to much better tools than Skype so there is no need for us to check this tool out... at least at work.
Carl Kessler is VP of worldwide development for IBM’s Enterprise Content Management business and very recently, author of Outside-in Software Development: A Practical Approach to Building Successful Stakeholder-based Products. Carl's blog provides a near transcript of the points he covered at this event... the main point being that there is a gap between IT and line of business users that has always existed, but that is growing exponentially. If the gap continues to grow, IT will be so out of touch with future employees that business agility, client satisfaction, and business success will be the biggest loser.
I spoke to Carl about how he came to write his book and he said that in his previous assignment, he was given the task of creating a framework and practical implementation of techniques that any development team could quickly benefit from, regardless of project type or scope. Carl began spreading the word about this framework and implementation, but quickly found out that he needed help in getting the message to as many people as possible. Hence a book was recommended so that it could become one of the was to spread the message without the need to clone Carl! The book is brand-new... and perhaps it needs to be mandatory reading for certain groups?
Anant Jhingran was next. He made us all laugh with his use of music and lyrics to make his point: "How can you have any pudding if you don't wash yer feet?" Essentially, IBM has previews of unfinished Web 2.0 components (Mashup Hub, DAMIA, and QEDWiki) available to be downloaded and played with, but will improve as feedback is gathered. You can learn more about Anant's Info 2.0 views from the latest edition of the printed DB2 Magazine.
Carol Jones made a couple of excellent points that I walked away with. One... it is safer for employees to be walking around with a blackberry rather than a laptop as the blackberry will only hold a small subset of the information that is normally found on a laptop. So if stolen or lost, there is much less risk of losing critical information. Two... university and college students today have access to all the latest web tools. If companies restrict the access to these tools when these people finally begin their working career, these future employees will be handicapped in a way that they won't know how to use the tools that they are allowed to and may resent having restrictions to tools that could really make them effective at their jobs.
And finally Jeff Jonas. He'll say that he can't draw, but his slides make for a lasting impression. I've never heard the term information amnesia before, but the term along with Jeff's story make a lasting impression. The story: Jeff checks into a hotel very late at night... telling the front desk person that he wants a wake up call and breakfast at 10 am... and his dry-cleaning at 10:30. The next day housekeeping knocks on his door at 9 am. Seems like a very simple problem to solve, but if you think about it, everyone has examples of how the right hand knows not what the left hand is doing. Jeff is chief scientist of the IBM Entity Analytic Solutions group and intends to help the world solve these types of problems.
Jeff joined Chris and Carl at the book signing after the session and we were able to have an interesting chat about new technologies and publishing. I'm hoping that I can help these gentlemen with future publishing projects.
Keep on Learning
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I've mentioned before that the book to prepare you to pass the DB2 9 Advanced DBA Exam 734 will be published early in 2008. If you are getting ready to take the exam now, here are a few ideas to help you prepare for the test.
Read the excellent book by Dwaine Snow and Tom Phan: Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 UDB v8 for Linux, Unix and Windows. This book prepares people to pass the V8 Advanced DBA Exam 706.
Read the IBM DB2 9 New Features book to learn the new functions for DB2 9. I'd pay particular attention to the XML and Security sections. For this exam, I recommend that you gauge your readiness by taking the assessment exam.
I've had a few people in the Toronto Lab successfully pass Exam 734 using this strategy. Let me know how it works for you.
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Along the same lines as my last post, I'd like to give you a suggestion as to how you can prepare to pass for Exam 733. We do NOT have a book in the works to accompany the DB2 9 Application Development Exam 733. If you are getting ready to take the exam, here are a few ideas to help you prepare for the test despite the lack of a dedicated book.
Read the book by Roger Sanders: DB2(R) Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exam 703 Study Guide. This book prepares people to pass the V8 Application Development Exam 703. If you want this book... buy it right away. The series of V8 study guides published by IBM Press are considered out of print by the publisher, so the only copies of the book that you can get are the ones that are sitting in inventory. No reprints are possible.
Tip: You may be able to save 35% on the purchase of this and any other books at the IBM Press Bookstore. For a limited time, you can save 35% off your order when you make a purchase at the IBM Press Bookstore on or between October 15, 2007 and December 31, 2007. PLUS you can receive FREE ground shipping in the U.S. To take advantage of this special offer, simply visit the IBM Press Bookstore, select your books and enter case-sensitive coupon code SAVEDB2 at Step 3 during checkout. See IBM Information Management Books for links and details.
Read the IBM DB2 9 New Features book to learn the new functions for DB2 9. I'd pay particular attention to the XML sections.
Exam 733 also has a series of tutorials that were created to help you prepare to pass it: DB2 9 Application Development Certification Exam Preparation TutorialsThis series of nine tutorials has been developed to help you prepare for the DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Application Development Certification Exam (733). Each tutorial includes a link to a DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows trial download at no charge to you! 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.
For this exam, I recommend that you gauge your readiness by taking the assessment exam.
I've had quite a few people in the Toronto Lab successfully pass Exam 733 using this strategy.
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I've blogged about ILO (Instructor-led online) training before, but I wanted to tell you that we've now added a demo so you can see how it will work. Note that you need to have a flash player installed to view this demo.
Take advantage of our special offer and receive a complimentary headset !
Receive a handy headset to enhance your instructor-led online learning experience. Your headset will be mailed when you enroll in any IBM Information Management ILO course while supplies last.
For those of you who are not yet sure what ILO is... here are the basics:
Let your desk become a classroom. Let the instructor come to you. When you take an online course, do you miss the benefits of being in a classroom: live instruction, hands-on labs and group interaction? Now you don't have to. IBM offers our most popular courses in a new format we call instructor-led online. This format means you get the benefits of being in a classroom with the convenience and cost savings of online training.
How instructor-led online training works
Instructor-led online courses are taught by a live instructor on a specific day and time. These courses are exactly the same as their classroom equivalent, including the course length, content and student materials. You receive the course materials in advance. To participate on the day of the class, all you need is a broadband Internet connection. This allows you to connect to a virtual classroom that lets you interact directly with the instructor to ask questions or clarify the material ... just as you would in a physical classroom.
And since the best way to learn is by doing, you'll have access to the same hands-on labs available in the classroom course. Our Citrix®-enabled lab environment is available 24x7 for the duration of the class. The instructor can shadow you as you work through the lab exercises, provide guidance and address questions or issues.
If your team is geographically-dispersed you can also request that our instructor-led online format be delivered as a private class for your company. This is very cost effective, minimizes travel, and enables you to receive training customized to your unique needs - all with this alternative method of delivering education in multiple locations simultaneously.
Benefits of this format
* No travel costs or travel time * Same content as in the classroom version of the course * Live instructor with whom you can interact and ask questions using Voice Over IP (VOIP) * Modest connectivity requirements let you participate from anywhere * Thin client implementation for easy system preparation * Hands-on labs reinforce concepts learned * Purchasing is even easier with an IBM Education Pack - online account
Many of the IBM Information Management courses are currently being offered in this format, including:
DB2 9 Database Administration Workshop for Linux DB2 9 Database Administration Workshop for UNIX DB2 9 Database Administration Workshop for Windows DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Transition DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, Windows DBA Certification Crammer DB2 9 for LUW Advanced Database Administration for ExpertsDB2 9 for LUW Advanced Recovery DB2 9 for LUW Quickstart for Experienced Relational DBAs DB2 Data Warehouse Edition 9 Components DB2 Family Fundamentals DB2 for z/OS Data Sharing ImplementationDB2 SQL Workshop DB2 UDB for z/OS Data Sharing Recovery and Restart Informix Dynamic Server 11 Transition Informix Dynamic Server Database Administration: Managing and Optimizing Query XML data with DB2 9 Using Rational Data Architect
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Roger told me that he had completed this podcast... and today an article about the podcast and a link can be found in the DB2 Advisor from SearchDataManagement.com.
About the podcast:
This 20-minute podcast is relevant to those seeking more information about DB2 9 certifications, as well as to those who are already certified, but who wish to strengthen their resumé with additional certifications. Listeners will:
* Learn about the IBM DB2 9 certification process * Hear how IBM DB2 9 certifications compare to job experience – and whether certifications are worth it for industry veterans * Get information about the potential benefits – both personal, professional and financial-- of IBM DB2 certifications * Find out what an IBM DB2 9 certification really means to an employer and which ones are hot in the job market today * Learn whether it's beneficial to get multiple IBM DB2 certifications
Did you know that Viper 2 brings new capabilities to you as a developer, whether you're using SQL, XML, PHP, Ruby, .NET, or Java™?
As a developer it is difficult to stay on top of what is going on in the industry as technology is constantly changing. Learn how Viper 2 brings new productivity capabilities to you as a developer regardless of what programming environment you are in. In this webcast, you'll get all the details about what's new for developers in the latest release of IBM® DB2® for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows®.
Grant and Chris will discuss trends in the industry that affect developers and describe what IBM Information Management is doing to help your development. You probably already know that DB2 Express-C is free for developers to develop, deploy and distribute. Now, Viper 2 provides a variety of means that help move your application from the development stage to deployment more rapidly.
New features will be covered in the following areas:
* The latest developer tools * Java development productivity * XML and XQuery * SQL * Database driver support * Web services creation and deployment
Date: November 7, 2007, 11am Eastern (10am Central, 8am Pacific)
* Grant Hutchison, Product Manager, IBM Data Server Clients and Tools * Chris Gruber, IBM >Developer Initiatives
Click here to register for this webcast: Webcast: What is new in Viper 2 for developers?[Read More]
Congratulations to the authors for completing this book for DB2 Express-C 9.1: Getting Started with DB2 Express-C
Getting started with DB2 couldn't be easier. Read this book to:
* Find out what DB2 Express-C is all about * Understand DB2 architecture, tools, security * Learn how to administer DB2 databases * Write SQL, XQuery, stored procedures * Develop database applications for DB2 * Practice using hands-on exercises * Prepare for the DB2 on Campus exam
This book is ideal for developers, consultants, ISVs, DBAs, students, or anyone who wants to get started with DB2. While this books is focused on DB2 Express-C, the no-charge edition of DB2, the concepts and content are also very applicable to other DB2 editions on Linux, UNIX, and Windows.
Authors of the book include: Raul Chong, Rav Ahuja, and Ian Hakes.
I blogged about IBM DB2 Gaming last month, and when at the IDUG Athens conference last week, I handed out many DVDs that contain these games. I hope all those who received a DVD find it useful.
One of the suggestions I made to the attendees last week is that the games can be suitable for a teenaged audience. I was part of the pilot team and personally taught a classroom full of high-school students using the DB2 Detective Game. I was very pleased to see the awe in the students at the end of the session with comments like "oh, that's a database!" or "SQL is REALLY powerful". I hope you have similar experiences with either teenagers or new employees. Please let me know your experiences.
IBM DB2 Detective GameIBM DB2 Business Game
The DB2 Chat with the Lab series continues. Listen to the DB2 experts, including Sal Vella, Drew Bradstock, Chris Eaton, Pat Bates, Paul Bird, Bill Minor, John Hornibrook, and Les King who develop breakthrough technology and get your questions answered.
Here are some of the topics that you can find:
* DB2 Warehouse 9.5 - What's New in the Platform for High Performance DB2 Analytics* Workload Management in Viper 2* Deep Dive into Deep Compression - a look into Compression in Viper and Viper 2* DB2 for LUW Security Enhancements: Making Database Security Management and Compliance Easier* Viper 2 Features and Open Beta Program* Webcast: Premiering DB2 Express-C: The Truly Free Database* Improved Query Optimization with Statistical Views* Beyond DB2 Viper - Technology Trends and Directions
New chats are added all the time, so keep watching for chats that you can take part in live.
If you're a book lover like me... then you have many bookshelves filled to the brim with books, many of which have been read, but many others waiting to be read. And then there is the inevitable purchase of more books every time you walk into a bookstore! But how can you choose which one is best for you?
If you are looking for technical books, you should try either Safari or Books 24x7 (or really, both!). These online book engines allow you to search across an entire collection of books helping you pinpoint the information that you need RIGHT NOW! If you like, you can simply just continue to search, as you do on Google, and then read the sections that come up. Or you may choose to read the entire book electronically. Your choice.
A few years ago I ran a pilot of Safari in the Toronto Lab. Some of the feedback I received then was that this tool helped them discover a book that they didn't know existed. The person then went to an online bookstore and purchased the printed version of the book. So, not only can you read the entire book online, but you can use these tools as a way to screen / filter the unbelievably large collection of tech books to find what is best for you.
Now is a great time.... as Safari is offering a 10-day free trial to use the tool. If you work for IBM, you should already know that you have a free subscription to Books 24x7. The internal link can be found on the page w3.ibm.com/learning.
So, what's the difference between these two tools? The primary difference is the selection of books. Safari is jointly owned by O'Reilly and Pearson, so you'll find all of their titles in Safari. Books 24x7 typically covers all other books from a variety of publishers. The good news for IBM Press books is that these titles can be found in both.
I hope that you're able to take advantage of these trial offers and that you find the book you need! See our IBM IM Bookstore for the books that I'd suggest.
The best book to buy right now for a beginner's look at DB2 is the Understanding DB2 book. The one that is available today is for V8.2, but it covers everything that you need to know about DB2 in a very easy to understand way. I like the way the authors added a mini case study at the end of each chapter to solidify the material covered in the chapter. There are also 5 or more study questions at the end of each chapter that can also help ensure that you've grasped the concepts.
The subtitle of the book is "Learning Visually with Examples" and the authors did a fine job of including many diagrams and screen captures throughout the book to make learning a bit more interesting. Check out the positive reader feedback that is posted on the amazon.com site linked above.
Also, I've had feedback from people who were trained on our databases or platforms (Oracle or DB2 for z/OS) and mentioned that they found it amazingly easy to transfer their skills to DB2 Linux, UNIX, Windows with the help of the book.
The newest version of this book comes out in the next month, Understanding DB2 Second Edition so you may want to wait till it is available, or you can buy the 8.2 version now at a reduced price. The best place for a European to buy this book is from Pearson Education EMEA Bookstore where this book is now available for £27.94; free shipping in Europe.
Another site worth checking is our IBM Information Management Bookstore where we have information about a deal where you can get 35% off all IBM Press books ordered before the end of December. Free shipping in the US.
Finally the most essential DB2 book for DBAs has been updated for the latest release of DB2: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition).
Congratulations to both George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos! As you may know, Bill Wong was George's co-author for the fourth and fifth editions to this book (as well as one of mine :). Bill had moved to a job in Tivoli, but is now back in DB2... which I'm quite happy about. Paul joined the team and I'm sure that this edition follows the tradition of the previous editions: well-written, easy to read, thorough, and essential!
What can you find in this book? Well, 1136 pages, for starters! As you can tell from the sheer size of the book is that you'll find much more than exam prep details! In fact, I would suggest that you continue to buy / read the Exam Study Guides by Roger Sanders to prepare for DB2 Certification Exams, but buy this book as your way to learn what you need to know, beyond the exams.
The sections of the book that I'd like to draw your attention to include:
1) Security. Although it doesn't cover the topic as thoroughly as Understanding DB2 9 Security does, it does include important security and resiliency enhancements, including advanced access control; fine-grained, label-based security; and the new security administrator role
2) SQL. There is an entire section of the book devoted to SQL. In my mind, there IS no other book you need for SQL beyond this one. Coverage includes pure XML, advanced SQL, and yes, even SQL for beginners. George is somewhat of an SQL expert and creates examples of all sorts to demonstrate a variety of SQL. But, George and Paul rarely rely solely on their own knowledge alone. They are well-connected with the entire development team and the book benefits from additions and reviews by the top experts in the area.
3) Autonomics. Want to make your environment more automatic? Learn about the operational improvements that can enhance your efficiency. Coverage includes self-tuning memory allocation, automated storage management, and storage optimization.
4) Partitioning. Perhaps an advanced topic, but important none-the-less. Learn about the new table-partitioning features that improve scalability and manageability.
5) Development. My dream would be to publish a book for this area alone, but since that isn't in the cards right now, read this book to learn about the powerful improvements for more agile and rapid development, including the new Eclipse-based Developer Workbench and simple SQL or XQuery access to all data.
I plan to work with both George and Paul to further feature unique aspects about their book, so stay tuned.
Interestingly, this book is not on special on amazon.com. I'm not sure why that is, but I'll keep watching to see if they put a sale on this book that matches their usual 37% discount. You may buy the book from the IBM Press websites at a discount:
United States - Use the coupon code DB2SAVE to get 35% off this and other books.Canada - 35% off all IBM Press titlesEMEA - 35% off all IBM Press titles.
IBMers may choose to purchase the book through an Internal Site.
Buy today and keep up to speed on the latest features.
Yesterday I received a comment on my blog entry asking when the book would be available in India. Here is my answer.
Most of our DB2 titles are published with either MC Press or Pearson Education. Pearson has a subsidiary in India and their site has an IBM Press page. I don't see any current books on the site yet, which is strange since the Security book was published in January this year. I've asked the publisher to let me know when the books will be ready in India and I'll pass the information along via my blog.
MC Press doesn't have a subsidiary, but they and other publishers tend to use local Indian publishers such as Schroff Publishing. I see that some of the books that I highly recommend are already on the site, including: DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide, which you can purchase for Rs. 500.
I'll have more information about book availability in India and China very soon!
I was just informed that the McGraw-Hill book DB2 9 New Features is also available in India. One of the major selling points of this book, besides the fact that it lists all the newest features is it's coverage of XML. There is no other book on the market that has such thorough coverage of XML on DB2 9.
There are a couple more coming, but here is a list of the IBM Redbooks that you can read and benefit from right now.
High Availability and Scalability Guide for DB2 on Linux, UNIX, and Windows
Informix Dynamic Server 11 Extending Availability and Replication
DB2 9 for z/OS Performance Topics
Dynamic Warehousing: Data Mining Made Easy
Index Compression with DB2 9 for z/OS
Informix Dynamic Server 11: Advanced Functionality for Modern Business
Database Partitioning, Table Partitioning, and MDC for DB2 9
Oracle to DB2 Conversion Guide for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
Best Practices for SAP BI using DB2 9 for z/OS
Working with IBM Records Manager
SOA Solutions Using IBM Information Server
DB2 9 for z/OS Technical Overview
DB2 for z/OS Administration Tools for Enhanced Change Management
Getting Started with Commerce Module for OmniFind Discovery Edition Customization 101
IBM OmniFind Enterprise Edition Version 8.4 Configuration and Implementation Scenarios
Informix Dynamic Server V10: Superior Data Replication for Availability and Distribution
IBM Enterprise Content Management and DR550 for e-mail Archiving and Records Management, Management: Overview
DB2 9 pureXML Guide
As always, thanks to the talented and dedicated ITSO team that pulls these books together, and to the residents who take time off their job to write about something they hope is valuable to you the reader.
If you are interested in suggesting a topic for an IBM Redbook or wish to become a resident who writes part of the book, see this site: Residencies.
Do you want to buy a bound copy of one of these books? You can order one or more of them from this site: How to Buy.
Reader feedback is very valuable... so if you've read one or more of these books, make sure you come back to give other readers your opinion as to the books value.