Have you tried to read a book electronically? The number of options to read books electronically continues to grow... and are become mainstream. Here are my current thoughts on this subject as I continue to research this exciting topic.
If you have a computer, you can read a book electronically. But this also means that you'll be sitting at your computer... desktop or laptop. You'll need to be online to access the books, but some books are downloadable, meaning that you can read them when you're offline.
Once you are a subscriber to Books 24x7... you can search for keywords across hundreds of titles, bookmark books, keep track of what chapter you are on, etc. Even if you prefer to read a printed book, engines like Books 24x7 can help you filter through an enormous amount of content to find the best book for your needs.
All IBM Employees have a subscription to the electronic books found on Books 24x7. You can get to this site via employee home pages. I've found that many schools are going this route as well, so if you are in school, see if they offer you a subscription to Books 24x7. All IBM Press books are on this site as are books from many publishers.
Safari Books Online
Safari Books Online is another electronic book engine, and is essentially the same as Books 24x7. Again, all IBM Press books are here as are Pearson Education and O'Reilly titles. If you are looking for a personal subscription, the prices for Safari are pretty reasonable... and if you're lucky you can find a free trial to Safari Books Online.
Electronic Book Readers
These readers are relatively new and this is where I need to do more research. These are handheld devices that were designed specifically for reading books. That means that they are roughly the same size and weight as a book and the text is easier to read than reading text on a computer. And best of all, they are portable.
The best known ones at this time are Amazon Kindle and Sony eBook Reader. Unfortunately I haven't had hands on time with either of these devices, but I've been talking to people who use them and have been reading what I can.
A friend of mine has an Amazon Kindle and finds herself trying to turn the pages with her finger as she would with a book. That must mean that the Kindle is so convincing that you feel like you're actually reading a book! The books I work on are technical books and I've been told that the Kindle is not the best tool to use for reading books with diagrams and technical text.
Amazon has just released Kindle 2... which was intended to fix many of the problems found in the first edition of the device. Unfortunately some of the early reviews are not very favourable for the new unit. DRM problems apparently.
Some more discussion about the topic from some of my friends:
Sony Reader Digital Book
The Sony folks have a new Reader and generally considered to offer a better reading experience. But their buying content experience is pretty bad.
PlasticLogic wins most intriguing reader but won't come to market till 2010 - there's a YouTube on it that is making the rounds.
iphone with Book App
Iphone getting lots of attention - of course, but all the ebook talk is for very flat content.
The next major development will be the Apple Tablet in Q3. It will come pre-packaged with educational functionality/apps and you know they will do a good job.
Here is one article that compares the Kindle to Plastic Logics.
Please join in this discussion... either here or on ChannelDB2! I'd like to know if you've tried any of these readers and if you see value in them. Point me to any other articles that you come across that you think are relevant.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Keep on Learning
Check out the extensive library of on-demand demos on developerWorks. The demos cover everything from basics, like installation and setup, to advanced concepts for you veterans. In all, you'll find more than 250 demos (25 of which were added recently).
The developerWorks demos offer quick multimedia walkthroughs of the latest products and technologies -- step-by-step demonstrations that bring concepts to life in a way that written instructions alone cannot.
And be sure to bookmark the new on-demand demo channel on YouTube.
Online demos.... yet another way to improve your skills the green way.
Lately I've been answering many questions about how to get certified... or recertified. I'm always happy to answer these questions as it means that there is plenty of interest.
The latest Cert Mag newsletter had this article that I found interesting: Retain Your Value With Recertification. Here are the values of getting certified according to the article:
* Validated knowledge and skills. * Peer recognition. * Increased value to employers. * Increased marketability.
The DB2 Certification Program offers all of these values... and now is a perfect time to get certified or upgrade to the latest level of certification. Right now the Assess and Save Promotion is active... and best of all... is available to EVERYONE, World-Wide!
How does it work?
Want more info? See my previous blogs regarding certification, but let me know if you have any questions, at all!
Yesterday I mentioned the first-ever Information Management Virtual Event that begins Feb 25th: "Data in Action - Solutions for an Efficient Environment".
Today I will give you a listing of all the "green" options that are available to you.
Enjoy being green :)
How would you like to spend a day at a conference, without the need to go anywhere? "Green" education options are getting more popular and I wonder if you've had a chance to try any of them yet?
Data in Action Virtual EventSolutions for an efficient environment
Date: February 25, 2009
Join us for a special online event with live webcasts featuring the key trends and innovations that are shaping the next generation of Data Management products. Chat with industry experts and IBM innovators about the evolution of traditional Data Management practices in the age of SOA, Web 2.0 and the continuing data explosion into new smarter practices and paradigms for managing information.
See how this smarter data revolution is creating new opportunities for organizations to refresh their approaches, and in the process:
Learn how customers who have made the change are now reaping the rewards, and what it took to get them there.
Expo Solution Pedestals:
Get all the benefits of a world class Information Management event without the hassle and expense of travel. Register today!
Tomorrow I'll tell you about more "green" training options... but if you can't wait, see my Green Blog Entries.
Knowing SQL is a pretty important skill to have if you work with databases. This just in, a book for those just beginning to learn SQL: Simply SQL by Rudy Limeback.
I don't have a copy of the book yet, so I don't have personal experience with it yet. Here is the description from the book:
Learning SQL has never been easier. Packed with full color examples, this practical hands-on guide provides an easy to read step-by-step introduction to learning all about SQL - from syntax to security. Simply SQL is the perfect crash course for beginners.
Packed with full-color examples, Simply SQL is a step-by-step introduction to learning SQL. You'll discover how easy it is to use SQL to interact with best-practice, robust databases. Rather than bore you with theory, it focuses on the practical use of SQL with common databases and uses plenty of diagrams, easy-to-read text, and examples to help make learning SQL easy and fun.
Rudy Limeback is an independent consultant with over 20 years of SQL experience using DB2, SQL Server, Access, Oracle, and MySQL. He has written numerous articles on SQL for major online IT sites like TechTarget. Rudy is also a Web developer, one of the original evolt.org admins, with his own Web site since 1996. You can find more information at r937.com. Rudy lives in Toronto, Canada, where the weather allows you to play frisbee golf all year long.
For a list of other SQL books, see these blog entries.
Are you interested in getting certified, but finding money a bit tight? If yes, you'll love this new announcement:
With the Assess and Save Offer, candidates who purchase, take and PASS an Information Management Online Assessment Exam during the offering period (February 1, 2009 - April 30, 2009), will automatically receive a 50% off certification voucher good for the corresponding exam. That's $100 right back in your pocket!
IBM offers these online assessment exams for each Information Management Professional Certification. These "practice tests" enable you to test your readiness for a minimal fee of $10 USD, helping you to be successful on exam day.
Before you take the practice test, here are a few suggestions to help you pass:
Exam Preparation Documents
For exam objectives and cutscores for each exam, see the exam preparation documents.
We now have an extensive collection of Certification Prep Guides, including
DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide for Exam 730 by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification: Certification Study Guide for Exam 734 by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow
DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 by Roger Sanders
See also the DB2inBooks group on channeldb2.com.
Make sure you read all the details of this offer before proceeding: Assess and Save Offer.
Here is another conference for you to attend Information On Demand's activities: IBM Pulse 2009, February 8-12 in Las Vegas. Information Management is a sponsor at this year's conference and is offering a combination of track sessions, mini-theater presentations and pedestals, to raise awareness on how Information On Demand capabilities can help you reduce costs & complexity associated with managing and governing your information assets.
According to an IDC study, digital information is estimated to be growing at 57% per year from 2006 to 2010. As a result, the storage costs as well as the risks of non-compliance and disastrous data breaches are escalating. By effectively securing and managing these exponentially growing digital assets, Information On Demand’s portfolio of solutions allow companies to optimize business performance. For example, integrated data management and performance management solutions drive business performance by increasing productivity, reducing risks and controlling service management costs throughout the data lifecycle. As another example, Enterprise Content Mgmt solutions manage risk and streamline compliance.
Here are some sessions that you may wish to attend:
Monday, Feb. 91623 – Mini Theatre SessionMaximize DB2 Performance on z/OS with OMEGAMON XE for DB2 Performance Expert7:00 – 7:30 p.m. –Mini theatre stage – Expo AreaPaul Kenney, Advisory Software Engineer OMEGAMON for DB2See how Tivoli OMEGAMON XE for DB2 Performance Expert on z/OS can help you maximize DB2 efficiency, improve DBA productivity, and perform trend analysis and troubleshooting for DB2 in the z/OS environment.
Wednesday, Feb. 11R9 – Breakout SessionSupporting Your Green IT Initiatives with IBM Information On Demand9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – MGM Grand Conference Center 319Jacqueline Ryan, Program Director, Portfolio Management Strategy, Leveraging Information Marketing Management Green IT initiatives often start with a focus on hardware and the data center. Increasingly, however, software also plays a critical role in achieving enterprise energy and environment objectives. This session will cover the information challenges that must be factored into a green IT strategy, and how IBM Information On Demand can help you address these challenges.
W10 – Breakout SessionInformation On Demand – Business-Resilient Solutions for System z11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – MGM Grand Conference Center - 119Dan Wardman, Vice President, Information Management Mainframe SoftwareWhen you need information on-demand 24x7, you must consider both tactical and longer-term strategic requirements. IBM Information Management and Tivoli products for the System z platform provide the flexibility, scalability, high availability, and longevity you need to deliver your tactical and strategic information projects without re-architecting them. This session covers IBM DB2 for z/OS, IMS, Data Management Tools, Tivoli Omegamon XE for DB/2 Performance Expert, and more. Hear the highlights and synergies of these products, customer success stories around business resilience, and future product directions. A MUST for customers who demand business continuity!
V11 – Breakout SessionThe Business Benefits of Information Archiving2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – MGM Conference Center 121Greg Young, Product Marketing Manager for eMail Archiving & ManagementRegulations and compliance orders are increasing data retention periods. eDiscovery, auditing, and reporting is costly, while storage requirements continue to grow at an alarming rate. At this session, we will explore these storage and business challenges and how IBM's extensive archiving portfolio helps address them.
ExpoMGM Grand Hotel – Marquee BallroomExpo Hours:Sunday, Feb 8, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.Monday, Feb 9, 12:30 – 8:00 p.m.Tuesday, Feb 10, 12:30 – 6:00 p.m.Wednesday, Feb 11, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Pedestal - Managing Data for Optimal Performance & ComplianceExpo,pedestal 8Paul Kenney, Advisory Software Engineer OMEGAMON for DB2Are you managing your data environment for maximum performance and efficiency? Are you concerned about managing increasing workloads and meeting SLAs? Do you understand all data threats? Are you compliant with data regulations? Drop by our pedestal to learn how heterogeneous solutions from IBM data management help you manage data throughout its lifetime to improve performance and ensure compliance. Together, the IBM Optim solutions and Database Tools for z/OS and Linux, UNIX and Windows including DB2 Performance Expert and Tivoli OMEGAMON XE for DB2 PE, help achieve end-to-end performance monitoring and sound data governance. Be armed and ready to meet compliance regulations and protect your company’s most valuable asset--all while ensuring optimal performance.
Pedestal - Compliant Information ManagementExpo,pedestal 93Greg Young, Product Marketing Manager for eMail Archiving & ManagementHow do technologies like content collection and archiving, advanced classification, records management, eDiscovery search and analytics, and Storage and Information Management tools come together in a unified solution to address compliance requirements? Learn about IBM's overall Compliant Information Management solution strategy which links together IBM Enterprise Content Management, Information On Demand, and Information Infrastructure.
Pedestal - IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo (Encryption, Solid State, SATA)Expo,pedestal 89Sunil Kamath, Sr. Manager for DB2 OLTP Performance and Solutions DevelopmentThe IBM System Storage™ DS8000™ Turbo series is designed to support the most demanding business applications with its exceptional performance, superior data throughput, and five-nines availability. This, combined with advanced security and tiered storage options, makes it an ideal storage platform for supporting today’s round-the-clock, global business environment.
More more information and to register, see IBM Pulse 2009.
Surekha Parekh has been working tirelessly to promote the various events that are taking place to support the DB2 for z/OS product. Join Surekha and many others as a member of the ChannelDB2.com group DB2 for z/OS - What's On !
Being a member of this group will help you to easily stay informed about events of various sizes and in various locations.
Speaking of ChannelDB2... there are new members everyday (1188 in total today) and many new groups (47 in total today) that you should check out.
Who can post on this site? You can! Anyone can! Do you have a question or some information that you want to share? Consider posting on ChannelDB2.com.
In my blog last week, The "Year of Change", I wasn't sure where to send readers for the point: 1. Expand your knowledge beyond the “Big 3” commercial databases to include popular open source database systems. Now I know!
IBM developerWorks Live! has just announced the following virtual tech briefings to help you explore the innovative open solutions available from IBM and see the power and flexibility of an open community development environment.
IBM developerWorks Live! has taken their live tech briefing and packaged it into a part 1 and part 2 sessions that you can attend virtually - no travel necessary.
IBM community tools: Start small to grow large - Part 1Date: Monday, January 26, 2009Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (New York time)Sign up and attend the briefing 30 minutes before the start of the event.
IBM community tools: Start small to grow large - Part 2Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (New York)Sign up and attend the briefing 30 minutes before the start of the event.
DescriptionToday development tools should be based on open standards such asEclipse, Apache Tomcat and Geronimo. They provide an attractive,robust, free of charge development environment. However, analternative development environment has emerged that embraces theinnovation of the open source development model while providingthe stability of commercial development tools.
Community development tools from IBM are based on the same openstandards as open source tools while providing enhancedfunctional capabilities and broader platform support for smallteams just getting started or working on proof of concepts. TheIBM Community tools include Eclipse, WebSphere Application ServerCommunity Edition, DB2 Express C and a collaboration environmentcalled Rational Team Concert Express C. These tools can provide arobust and supported development environment.
Discussions will include IBM’s open standards strategy, as wellas an in-depth discussion of IBM’s Open Community developmenttools. This discussion will provide details on the features andfunctions of Eclipse, DB2 Express C, and WAS CE and Rational TeamConcert and their integration for a robust developmentenvironment to create and deploy Web applications. This on lineevent will be divided into two sessions.
Topics Covered:Session 1• Open Standards• IBM DB2 Express C• IBM WebSphere WASCE
Session 2• Eclipse• IBM Rational Team Concert Express C• Resources
Enjoy the virtual briefing.
PS... if you liked my post entitled "The Year of Change", I suggest you read the pair of blog entries by Willie: Are you Managing Your CareerAre you Managing Your Career Part 2[Read More]
As a follow-on to yesterday's blog entry The Year of Change, I'd like to point out some additional resources in the areas of high availability and pureXML:
High availability High Availability Feature in DB2 9 for Linux UNIX and WindowsThis Web site lists the main features of DB2 which include high availability High Availability Guide for DB2 (Book)This book provides an easy-to-read, illustrated way to learn about high availability concepts and configuration. However, it does not provide much information about high availability of clusters. High Availability and Scalability Guide for DB2 on Linux, UNIX, and Windows (IBM Redbooks, html and pdf)This guide provides an in-depth and detailed analysis of DB2 high availability features, including high availability for clusters. This book describes DB2 UDB Version 8.2 and therefore does not showcase the many improvements made in DB2 9 to simplify configuration. DB2 9 DBA exam 731 prep, Part 6: High availability: Backup and recovery (Tutorial)This tutorial is part of the educational materials related to high availability that are part of DB2 certification education materials. It provides a concise summary of the key benefits and uses of the backup and restore utilities. DB2 9 DBA exam 731 prep, Part 7: High availability: Split mirroring and HADR (Tutorial)This tutorial is part of the educational materials related to high availability that are part of DB2 certification education materials. It provides a concise summary of how to implement a split mirroring implementation.
pureXML DB2 pureXML technology (Product Web site)This is the main DB2 product Web site for pureXML. Information Management and XML technology developerWorks domain (IBM community Web site)This is the main developerWorks Web site from which you can access articles, online tutorials, and other technical resources about DB2 and XML standards and technologies. IBM DB2 9 pureXML Guide (IBM Redbooks, html and pdf)This IBM Redbooks publication describes the pureXML data store, hybrid database design, and administration. It explains what XML schemas are, how to use industry standards to implement them, and how to manage XML schemas. It covers how to use SQL/XML, XQuery, and XPath for querying XML data by providing easy-to-understand examples and how to use XML technology efficiently in business applications. Get started with XPath (Tutorial)This tutorial introduces the W3C standard XPath Version 1.0. This tutorial is intended for people who do not know XPath or who want a refresher. If you plan to use XSLT, you should take this tutorial first. You will learn what XPath is, what the syntax and semantics of the XPath language are, how to use XPath location paths, how to use XPath expressions, how to use XPath functions, and how XPath relates to XSLT. DB2 9: pureXML Overview and Fast Start by Cynthia Saracco, Don Chamberlin, Rav Ahuja (IBM Redbooks, html and pdf)This IBM Redbooks publication provides a concise introduction to pureXML, with short, precise examples and explanations that provide a distilled version of the knowledge essential to start working with pureXML. This book is a compilation of many of the IBM published articles on pureXML. Native XML support in DB2 (White paper, pdf)This white paper provides a technical overview of XML support in DB2 products. It explains how XML data has been stored in relational database systems in the past using data type mappings and explains the limitations of these approaches. It then introduces the concept of pureXML and what it means for XML data to be stored natively within a database. It explains the benefits of this approach and how this implementation can be complemented with features such as XML indexes, a full XQuery language, SQL/XML, XML schema support, and utilities that support the bulk loading of XML data. pureXML in DB2 9: Which way to query your XML data? (Article)This intermediate-level article discusses DB2 pureXML support and compares the two methods by which you can query XML data in a DB2 database: SQL/XML and XQuery. By providing examples, this article explains the relationship between these two query access language syntaxes, the circumstances in which each method is preferred, the benefits of using each independently, and the use of them together to perform more complex queries. pureXML wiki (Wiki)This Web site contains links to numerous articles, demos, webcasts, and other information about DB2 pureXML published by IBM and other parties Alphaworks DB2 pureXML download and demo site (Download)This Web site contains industry-specific DB2 pureXML software offerings and resources. DeveloperWorks DB2 pureXML forum (Forum)This DeveloperWorks forum is one of the fastest ways to get any pureXML questions answered.
Thanks to Farzana Anwar for pulling this list together!
I'm not sure where to start today... yesterday was such a momentous day! Obama's inauguration speech inspired much hope around the world (remember, I'm a Canadian and wasn't able to vote).. I can almost feel the change happening around me!
IBM released their 4th quarter results... and guess what? They were fantastic! I'm sure there are lots of reasons for such results, but maybe a part had to do with the Smarter Planet initiative which... again is inspiring change in organizations world wide.
On a much smaller level... let me try to inspire some hope.. and perhaps change.
Craig Mullins recently blogged about Ten Tips for DBAs to Get a Raise based on the article DBAs: Get a Raise! 10 Tips for Success at Review Time by Bob Zurek. When reading the article, I realized that it isn't very difficult to achieve what Bob suggests, especially since my team works tirelessly at providing you the tools that you need.
1. Expand your knowledge beyond the “Big 3” commercial databases to include popular open source database systems.
OK... for starters.. do you know all the "Big 3" commercial databases? If you don't yet know DB2... the best place to start is the book Understanding DB2(R): Learning Visually with Examples (2nd Edition). If you do know all three and are looking for an open source database to learn... look into DB2 Express. Technically it isn't "open sourced", but it is free and easy to use.
2. Get certified.
Now this is an easy one! I've been encouraging people to get certified for nearly 10 years now! We have an excellent program that allows you to go very deep in a technical way. You'll find everything you need on our Training and Certification page. And don't forget the series of certification guides that we have published to help you deepen your skills and pass the exam. See a discussion of the books in the DB2 in Books group on ChannelDB2.
3. Learn about high availability, clustering, and replication.
I don't know of a recent book on replication... but you can learn more about high available with this book: High Availability Guide for DB2 by Chris Eaton and Enzo Cialini. And clustering with this book: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow.
4. Enrich your database administration skills with expertise and experience in data security.
Ah... security... it keeps coming up, doesn't it? Here is the best book on the market to help you as a DBA figure out what you need to know: Understanding DB2 9 Security. Rebecca Bond, the lead author, is a DBA and a security expert. Learn from her and her many experiences, including Katrina.
5. Know about data quality and how to implement a data quality and auditing solution in conjunction with your database projects.
6. Drive the adoption of metadata management capabilities across the organization including establishing a metadata business glossary.
For both of these points, I would suggest the book Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information .
7. As a DBA, you might not be writing any application code, but you will need to become a SQL expert over time.
There are many resources available in this area. See my blog entry about SQL resources. Soon a book on pureXML will publish, so stay tuned.
8. Become a member of the customer advisory board of your company’s database vendor.
This item fits loosely in the category of joining a community. See my blog entry on several communities that you might wish to join. Also remember that those who do get involved could get rewarded via the IBM Data Champion Program.
9. Mentor other DBAs in your organization.
See this brand new book for some tips on mentoring: Intelligent Mentoring: How IBM Creates Value through People, Knowledge, and Relationships.
10. Dig into the topic of database analytics.
There are several choices, but my suggestions are the following:
Competing on Analytics by Tom Davenport Managing Your Business Data: From Chaos to Confidence by Maria Villar and Theresa Kushner
Also, I recently watched Baseline's Career Slideshow: 10 Hot IT Jobs for 2009. Again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am able to recommend books that may suit a few of these jobs.
1. Business Intelligent Experts
See these two books:
Competing on Analytics by Tom Davenport Managing Your Business Data: From Chaos to Confidence by Maria Villar and Theresa Kushner
5. Enterprise Architects
See this book:
Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information
6. ITIL Managers
Check out this book:
Implementing ITIL Change and Release Management by Larry Klosterboer
8. Security Architects
See this book:
Understanding DB2 9 Security
9. AJAX Developers
In the description for this job, they also mention XML Developers. There will be a book published this year specific to XML, but in the meantime, check out these resources listed in previous blog entries.
I wish you much success in this year of change!
Thanks to Adam Gartenberg for posting an entry about the Forbes interview with Steve Mills: Drowning In Data.
You'll find that the article encourages companies to clear their clutter to all for more effective management. In other words... use the Information Agenda.
I'd like to make a suggestion as well ... invest in the book Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information. The book provides a structure that can be followed to clean up all kinds of clutter in an organization.
This is cool! developerWorks has grouped together related technical articles, tutorials, demos, webcasts, presentations and podcasts into packages that are called e-Kits.
Now you can find all the related information you need to learn about a specific topic without having to crawl through multiple search results.
I count 29 e-Kits on the site, and I'm sure they're creating more. Here are the ones that cover Information Management topics:
Customer e-Kit for DB2 9 Performance Optimization feature for Linux, UNIX and Windows
Experience the combined power of DB2® Query Patroller and DB2 Performance Expert. The contents of this e-Kit teaches you how the DB2 9 Performance Optimization feature for DB2 Linux™, UNIX® and Windows® can help improve your performance, throughput, and response times.
IBM Data Architect e-Kit
Learn how IBM solutions can help discover new enterprise information sources and content as well as improve the quality of its information. Arm yourself with the latest solutions from IBM to jumpstart enterprise consistency, drive quality, and unlock the mystery of your data sources.
Smart Data Administration e-Kit: Effectively manage and optimize your data environment
Learn how IBM Data Servers and tools solutions can help enable DBAs to be more productive in the face of increased demands and information. Susan[Read More]