We don't yet have a Certification Study Guide for any of the IDS certification exams, but we do have one in the works. So, how should you prepare for the exams in the meantime?
1) Review the exam objectives.
* Exam 915: System Administration for IBM Informix Dynamic Server V 9 * Exam 917: System Administration for IBM Informix Dynamic Server V 10 * Exam 918: System Administration for IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11
2) Read through the free tutorials.
This series of eight tutorials has been developed to help you prepare for the IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11 System Administration Certification Exam (918). 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. Currently parts 1 and 2 are available in this series of eight. Each tutorial should take less than two hours to complete. You can take the tutorials online, or download a PDF.
3) Take an online assessment exam.
For a limited time, all IIUG members, can take a free online assessment testing to gauge their readiness for the certification exam. Assessment tests for Exams 915, 917 and 918 will be available free of charge for two weeks prior to and during the conference, April 15 through April 30, 2008. Normally these tests are offered for a fee of $10 each.
4) Take the real exam at the IIUG Informix Conference April 27-30, 2008 if you are planning to attend.
See also Kate's blog for more information on certification and training programs.
Good luck on all your exams!
Keep on Learning
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Thanks to Hassan (Al) Shazly for providing me with this comprehensive list of IBM Redbooks that are useful to anyone interested in the Content Management area... especially in terms of the solutions that IBM provides. There are retail books available, but none of them talk specifically about IBM technologies/solutions for supporting content.
Here are a variety of IBM Redbooks that are available that do provide IBM content:
Content Manager OnDemand Guide, SG24-6915-02This IBM Redbooks publication covers a variety of topics relating to the practical application of Content Manager OnDemand (simply referred to as "OnDemand") for Multiplatforms Version 8.3 (also known as Version 184.108.40.206), z/OS Version 7.1, and IBM eServer iSeries Common Server Version 5.3 of the OnDemand product. Where necessary, separate sections are included to cover variations between the different platforms.
Implementing Content Manager OnDemand Solutions with Case Studies, SG24-7511-00 This IBM Redbooks publication will help you implement an IBM Content Manager OnDemand solution from the beginning to the end. We discuss the various stages of the Content Manager OnDemand solution implementation, including planning, software installation and configuration, design, application setup and verification, functional testing, performance testing, training, and finally deployment into production.
Content Manager Backup/Recovery and High Availability: Strategies, Options, and Procedures, SG24-7063-00 The purpose of this IBM Redbook is to introduce the concepts of backup/recovery, high availability, and disaster recovery for Content Manager systems, and provide strategies, options and implementation steps to protect your Content Manager systems. We also explore, through various case studies, how to apply your newly gained knowledge to real-world Content Manager system implementation and practices. This Redbook will also help IT architects, specialists, project managers, and decision makers identify the best high availability and disaster recovery strategies and integrate them into the Content Manager solution design process.
Content Manager OnDemand Backup, Recovery, and High Availability, SG24-6444-00This IBM Redbook helps you understand backup, recovery, high availability, business continuity strategies, and options available for IBM DB2 Content Manager OnDemand. We begin with an introduction of the basic concepts of backup and recovery, high availability, disaster recovery, and business continuity. We also provide an overview of IBM DB2 Content Manager OnDemand.
Overview of the Best Practices for Content Manager System Performance, TIPS0636 The Content Manager best practices performance methodology and checklists are based on some of the most common applicable performance tuning recommendations from the Content Manager Performance Team at the Silicon Valley Lab and services practitioners in the field. Although not all the platforms and databases are covered here, many of the principals and methodologies are applicable across platforms and databases.
Performance Tuning for Content Manager, SG24-6949-01 This IBM Redbook deals with performance tuning for IBM DB2 Content Manager Version 8 for Multiplatforms. It is aimed at architects, designers, and system administrators of Content Manager systems.
Content Manager Implementation and Migration Cookbook, SG24-7051-01 This IBM Redbook deals with IBM DB2 Content Manager implementation and migration. It is aimed at architects, designers, developers, and system administrators of Content Manager systems. It covers the basic concepts needed to design and implement a Content Manager solution. This includes topics on data modeling, workflow, text indexing and search, application development, query language, security, and Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) overview. In addition, we cover the solution implementation process from planning and designing, to deployment. To put concepts into real practice, we provide practical case studies to demonstrate how to implement a Content Manager solution for real-world scenarios.
IBM DB2 Document Manager with IBM Records Manager Solution Guide, SG24-7180-00 IBM DB2 Document Manager Version 8.3 is one of the newest members of the IBM Enterprise Content Management portfolio. Document Manager provides a secure and robust platform to manage the complete life cycle of business documents. It helps ensure accurate and up-to-date documents are available on demand. When configured with IBM DB2 Records Manager Version 4.1.2, the Document Manager solution also provide records management capability.
E-mail Archiving and Records Management Integrated Solution Guide Using IBM DB2 CommonStore and DB2 Records Manager, SG24-6795-00 As more companies need to manage their e-mail to support regulatory compliance, litigation, and corporate policy and to improve system performance and productivity, the e-mail archiving and records management solution presented in this IBM Redbook is here to rescue.
IBM Tivoli Storage Management Concepts, SG24-4877-04 This IBM Redbook describes the features and functions of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. It introduces Tivoli Storage Management concepts for those new to storage management, in general, and to IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, in particular.
If you are interested in Content Management... make sure you consider going to the IOD EMEA conference in The Hague... as there will be quite a few sessions specific to this area.
The book DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification: Certification Study Guide by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow is going through its final tech review right now.... and the reviewers are loving the book! Order your copy now... amazon.com is offering a 37% discount for pre-orders.
This new book is essentially an update to the very successful book that was published to support DB2 V8: Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2(R) Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows by Dwaine Snow and Thomas Phan.
1) We changed publishers... This book will join the series of V9 study guides published by MC Press. These books are very successful and are excellent resources to prepare people for the V9 cert exams.
2) We changed one of the authors: Roger Sanders teamed with Dwaine Snow... so together they bring their talents to this one book. Roger with his amazing writing skill and the creator of the study guide format that you will recognize throughout his books.... and Dwaine for his deep technical knowledge in the advanced DBA area.
3) Sample questions were added that are similar to the actual exam... along with explanations for the correct answers.
What's the same?
1) Much of Dwaine's content is the similar to the old book... and if the exam doesn't cover certain topics, the content has been included in an appendix of the new book.
2) The first book had 14 5-star reviews... and one 4-star review. Of course there are no reviews of the new book yet... but I'm asking the reviewers to give their feedback so you can see it.
Thanks to Bob Bernard for providing this comprehensive list of Data Studio websites that I can pass on to you.
First of all, what is Data Studio?
Data Studio provides a comprehensive suite of integrated tools for development database administrators and application developers. The tooling for each of these roles is essentially divided between two main views in the Data Perspective: the Data Project Explorer, and the Database Explorer. There are also features to help team members share resources.
The IBM Data Studio Information Center introduces IBM Data Studio and the underlying workbench technology, and explains how to use its integrated development environment to achieve your database development goals. For information about related products, visit the related product information links within the Information Center.
The Data Studio forum is ideal to engage in discussions related to the use of IBM Data Studio. The latest release is V1.1.2. This forum also contain discussions on previous releases, V1.1.1 and V1.1(also known as DB2 Developer Workbench 9.5 during its open beta), and DB2 Developer Workbench 9.1.
Articles and Papers
* DB2 Viper II and the IBM Data Studio Developer Workbench by Paul Zikopoulos, October 19, 2007
* IBM Beefs Up Data Studio by P. J. Connolly, January 15, 2008
* Data Web Services: Build Web services the new way to access IBM database servers by Vijay Bommireddipalli, December 6, 2007
* The Easy Way to Quick Data Access by Rafael A. Coss, Stephen A. Brodsky, and Vijay BommireddipalliIBM takes the drudgery out of JDBC programming with pureQuery, an integrated language that queries relational databases as well as Java collections and database caches. pureQuery and Data Web Services are components of the new IBM Data Studio, a new common database application development and administration platform.
* Web service development and deployment with Informix Dynamic Server and IBM Data Studio by Shweta Sinha, Prasanna Alur Mathada, and Amitava ChakrabortyIBM Data Studio brings Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) developers the latest in Web services technology. Learn how this new set of tools makes it easy to design, develop, deploy, and manage your IDS applications. Get started with Web services development using the latest methodology, and also learn how you can simulate a Web service response by converting it to presentable HTML format.
* Introduction to IBM Data Studio, Part 1: Get started with IBM Data Studio, Version 1.1.0 and Eclipse by Debra R. Eaton
* Understanding pureQuery, Part 2: Assist class modelers with data modeling by Azadeh AhadianLearn how the features of pureQuery can assist you as an object-oriented developer to define a set of database relational artifacts using traditional class modeling.
You can download the warranted or unwarranted version of IBM Data Studio and take part in the Data Studio Community on developerWorks.
I'm busily preparing for the IDUG 2008– North America Conference taking place in Dallas in approximately 6 weeks, May 18-22, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.
The early-bird discount expires on April 16, so register now to save $200. See the online conference schedule to see what the conference has to offer you. Here are a few of the highlights:
1) Once again... free certification exams. This provides you a savings of $150 per take... pass or fail. If you are looking to upgrade to V9 certifications, you have 6 exams to choose from: 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, and 736. Even if you took only five exams, that would be a savings of $750! Could this be the justification that you need to go to the conference?
2) Prepare for the exams now... and/or take one of the Pre-conference Crammer classes by exam developer / authors: Roger Sanders or Susan Lawson.
3) Discounted books: I'm putting together a list of books to suggest to the bookseller, Breakpoint books. In creating this list, I'm trying to ensure that you have the latest books with the highest ratings. If there is a book that you'd like to suggest that I add to my list, let me know. I believe the normal 10% discount will apply at the conference.
4) Skills Hub: I will be located at the bookstore for the week, or right next to it, at the Skills Hub. This is a new area for an IDUG conference and is based loosely on what we did at IDUG Athens last November. We encourage people to come and ask questions, browse the books, talk to us about your particular needs, and if possible, pick up a freebie or two.
5) Authors who will be speaking at the conference. I don't know if I have a complete list yet, but here's what I was able to pull together from the Advance Program:
* Roger Sanders* Susan Lawson* Daniel Luksetich* George Baklarz* Leon Katsnelson* Dwaine Snow* Chris Eaton* Craig Mullins* Phil Gunning
6) Presentations / Education - there are at least 150 hours of education provided by experts and users.
7) Exhibit Hall: eight hours available for you to meet related vendors who can help with your specific needs for products or services.
8) Keynote speakers: Arvind Krishna, Curt Cotner and Chad Fowler.
9) IBM Panel discussions.
10) Special Interest Groups
and last, but not least.... networking opportunities!
Looking forward to seeing you!
It seems to me that every newsletter I get these days has at least one article about security / data protection. Here are a few of the headlines that I've noticed:
* Don't Tolerate Liberal Data Permissions* What Is All This Integrity Business?* How to get employees passionate about disaster recovery * Backups: Understanding How Performance Matters* Top 10 Security Trends for 2008* Learn Best Practices for Database Auditing
Yesterday I was sent this information regarding data security problems that I'd like to share with you:
* Is your DB2 audit reporting strategy lacking institutional controls, or perhaps even nonexistent? * Are you using "live" production data for unit testing, with no masking of sensitive data values? * Are you wasting resources storing large amounts of unreferenced and inactive data on your operational databases? * Is sensitive data potentially being exposed to theft while at rest or in transit between you and your business partners?
The DB2 and IMS solution can help minimize the liability risk associated with Data Governance.
Data Server Security BlueprintThis blueprint provides a threat-focused security framework for users of IBM Data Servers (whether DB2 for LUW, DB2 for z/OS or IDS) and our related data governance Tools that help them understand how our products work together to solve their data security problems. It is comprehensive enough to cover all the major threats, yet simple enough for a new DBA to pick up and use immediately. From this site, download the white paper and the blueprint.
On April 1, there was a Chat with the Lab regarding this blueprint. From this site you can download the charts and at some point in the near future, you'll be able to listen to a replay of the chat.
And last but not least, we have several books that are current and cover these topics to some degree. In particular Understanding DB2 9 Security by Rebecca Bond, Kevin Yeung-Kuen See, Carmen Ka Man Wong, Yuk-Kuen Henry Chan.
Understanding DB2 9 Security is the only comprehensive guide to securing DB2 and leveraging the powerful new security features of DB2 9. Direct from a DB2 Security deployment expert and the IBM® DB2 development team, this book gives DBAs and their managers a wealth of security information that is available nowhere else. It presents real-world implementation scenarios, step-by-step examples, and expert guidance on both the technical and human sides of DB2 security.
DBA Central on developerWorks has a list of the most recent articles, and you'll find several related to the security topic that may be useful to you as well.
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Have you seen the web banners for the new Certify and Save Promotion? The banner shows a cute piggy bank... which to me stands out because it is unlike most other web banners... on IBM sites at least.
What is Certify and Save?
From April 1, 2008 to June 30, 2008 you will receive a $75 discount on select DB2 9 certification exams when you purchase a qualifying DB2 9 Certification Study Guide. Simply purchase a qualifying guide from any US Bookstore between April 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008, and you are eligible to receive a Professional Certification voucher valid for 50% off the cost of an eligible exam at Thompson Prometric Testing Centers.
What are the qualifying books?
Only my most favourite books... the MC Press series of study guides that were written by Roger Sanders, Susan Lawson, and Dan Luksetich:
* DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide by Roger Sanders* DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration: Certification Study Guide by Roger Sanders* DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration: Certification Study Guide by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
All three books were written by well-respected DB2 experts / authors / speakers / exam developers. These books are focused on helping you learn what you need to know for the exams, so there is no better resource available for prepping for the exams. Each book contains sample questions that are directly related to the objectives of the exams. No where else can you find these questions along with the answers, and reasons for the answers.
Back to the promo... if you purchase the Fundamentals book by Roger Sanders, you'll qualify for a discount voucher for Exam 730; purchase the DBA book by Roger Sanders and you'll qualify for a discount voucher for Exam 731; and finally, purchase the DBA book by Susan Lawson & Dan Luksetich and you'll qualify for a discount voucher for Exam 732.
If you're interested in this offer... I'm sure you have plenty of questions. Here is a PDF with all the details for the Certify and Save Promotion. Kate and Emily also recorded a podcast to deliver all the details.
Again... follow the pig... and you'll find the savings.
PS... for those of you attending the IDUG conference during the offering period, you'll be happy to hear that I plan to be there handing out discount vouchers to those who buy the qualifying books.
Over the past year I have been working with a geographically dispersed author team who have been writing a book to explain the meaning of Master Data Management to the world! I'm happy to say that the book is now ready for you to preorder... delivery in June.
Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information by Allen Dreibelbis, Eberhard Hechler, Ivan Milman, Martin Oberhofer, Paul van Run, and Dan Wolfson.
As a favour to the authors, I read the majority of the book in order to give feedback on what was written. I found the book very informative and for a complete newbie like me... I found it understandable and can see the potential for every company in the world to want to have MDM!
Dr. Ambuj Goyal wrote the foreword for the book, and I am copying a piece of it here so that you can get a glimpse into the importance of the topic and the book... from an expert who knows what he's talking about:
Unlocking information and letting it flow rapidly and easily to the people and processes that need it, is easier said than done. Over the past 20 years or more, the IT industry has focused on automating business tasks. This has created a very complex information landscape; individual automation projects have led to disconnected silos of information. Little trusted information exists – there are multiple versions of the truth. Redundancy reigns – both logically and physically. Few common definitions of key data elements exist or are shared across the enterprise. No common processes to manage and ensure the integrity of critical data domains exist. These facts define today’s environment. They blind the business from the information it needs, add cost to the IT infrastructure, and slow the ability of the business to move forward with confidence. Solving these problems is what Master Data Management and this book are all about.
The book is written in a generic way so that any one who is considering implementing an MDM system will benefit from reading it. Now the author team is committed to writing about how to implement the solution using IBM technology, and they've just published their first article with many more to come: Implementing a transaction hub MDM pattern using IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server
Synopsis of the article: Learn to use the transaction hub Master Data Management (MDM) pattern to implement your MDM systems. This typical architectural pattern is described in terms of capabilities of the MDM Reference Architecture. Get an introduction to the IBM® InfoSphere™ MDM Server and see why this software solution is a good choice for implementing this architecture pattern. Finally, learn about an upcoming book, Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach Managing Core Information, that deals with these topics in greater detail.
Join us at the IBM Information On Demand EMEA Conference 2008 taking place June 3 - 6, 2008 The Hague, Netherlands. Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information is being launched at this conference and we've arranged for an author signing. I've been told that there are quite a few sessions related to MDM taking place at this conference, so for multiple reasons, this is the place to be!
Thanks to the authors for the tremendous dedication that they have to this topic and for the incredible work they put into creating this book.
What motivates you to take a training course?a) Training promotionb) Professional developmentc) Product upgraded) Job requirement
Log your response on the IDUG Instapol which has recently been updated with this new question.
Early results suggest that professional development drives the most people to training (based on 23 total votes). Help us get a very clear picture by ensuring that you log your vote.
Here are the results for the instapol that was focused on ILO:
Would you be interested in taking instructor-led online training?Yes, definitely. -- 62.09% (95 votes)No, I prefer classroom training. -- 16.34% (25 votes)Maybe, I’m thinking about it. -- 18.3% (28 votes)I’ve never heard of it. -- 3.27% (5 votes)
As always... thanks for your feedback... we listen to your needs.
Can you believe it? March ends next Monday. Is it just me or was this the fastest moving first quarter ever!
Don't miss out on these special book prices that are offered by publishers MC Press and Pearson Education (IBM Press titles). The prices for the books at MC Press end March 31. I can't find details for when the IBM Press sale ends, but vaguely remember a March date as well. I'll confirm. But in the meantime, here are the details:
Save 37% on the purchase of DB2 9 for Developers by Philip K. Gunning. See also my blog entry about this book and sale.or go directly to the publisher's page.
While looking at the entry for Phil's book, I came across MC Press's Scratch and Dent Sale. Although there aren't any DB2 books listed in this sale, the prices are very good for Java, WebSphere, Elipse, and Rational titles.
See my blog entry about the Pearson Education sale of 35% off selected titles or go directly to the offer.
Books that are part of the IBM Press offer include:
* DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep, 6th Edition* Understanding DB2®: Learning Visually with Examples, 2nd Edition* Understanding DB2 9 Security* DB2® SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2® UDB on Linux™, UNIX®, Windows™, i5/OS™, and z/OS®, 2nd Edition* Introduction to IMS™, An: Your Complete Guide to IBM's Information Management System* Mining the Talk: Unlocking the Business Value in Unstructured Information* Implementing ITIL Configuration Management* Practical Guide to Trusted Computing, A* Mainframe Basics for Security Professionals: Getting Started with RACF* Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, 2nd Edition
Complete IDUG's Data Professionals Survey and Enter to Win $200
Complete the IDUG survey Evolving Skills and Roles of Data Professionals and earn a chance to win a $200 American Express Gift Certificate.
In addition to being entered in the prize drawing, those who complete the survey will also receive the Final Report of the "Evolving Skills and Roles of Data Professionals" survey results free by email when the study is completed.
The sweepstakes period ends on April 11, so please complete the survey today. The survey requires approximately 5-7 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. All email addresses supplied will be used only for the purposes of communicating results of the prize drawing and distribution of the Final Report.
All correspondence related to this survey is confidential and will be emailed directly by IDUG. Unisphere Research, publishers of Database Trends and Applications magazine (to subscribe click here), will gather the information and prepare the report as a service to IDUG. A complete listing of sweepstakes rules can be found at the link above.
Another classic IBM Press title is An Introduction to IMS by Dean Meltz, Rick Long, Mark Harrington, Robert Hain, and Geoff Nicholls
I love this quote that Dean Meltz has as his signature line in his emails:
Do you bank? Do you use ATMs? Do you use the internet? Then you've used IMS. Nothing has ever compared to the reliability and speed of IMS.
This book was published in 2005 and provides the insights and skills you need to succeed--as an application designer, developer, or administrator. I've been told that there are still quite a few older installations of IMS. This book is critical for the people working with the older version and can help you understand why an upgrade is desirable and will help you to understand the latest features.
This book is one of the featured titles that Pearson Education is offering to you at a 35% discount:
Introduction to IMS™, An: Your Complete Guide to IBM's Information Management System
* List Price: $69.99 * Your Price: $45.49 (Save 35%)
Maybe it's a bit sad that in the book world, a book that was published in 2004 is considered a classic! But with the number of new books being published on a daily basis... such is life!
Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) by Gretchen Hargis, Michelle Carey, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Polly Hughes, Deirdre Longo, Shannon Rouiller, and Elizabeth Wilde.
I have this book on my desk and think fondly of the team of people who wrote the book. Seven talented women from IBM wrote the book using their collective years of skill that they built working in Information Development. Sadly, Gretchen is no longer with us and several of the other authors have since retired from IBM. But, we can still benefit from their learned experience.
The book was so well-written that amazon displays 20 reader comments... most of them four or five star reviews! I recently went back to the author team to ask whether an update was needed. The answer came back... NO. The content is still very relevant and useful to anyone who is writing or reviewing technical content.
Who is writing technical content these days? I would have to say... just about everyone! Yes, the talented people working on the Information Development team are the leading contributors as they write the product docs, online help, and more. But... I write a blog, friends of mine write articles, tutorials, white papers, and IBM Redbooks. I work with many technical people and ask them to write books.... or chapters of books. Not many of these people took actual training to write about technical subjects, so this is very much a skill that people build over a number of attempts via trial and error, repeated writing, and learning from reviews.
I also ask many people to review chapters of books before they are published. Developers working on IBM are constantly asked to review documents to ensure that they are technically accurate. For that matter, developers are required to write technical specs before they design and code.
So, really the answer is just about everyone is required to write or review as part of their technical career. Do you feel qualified? Help yourself... and increase the quality of your work, with the help of this book. It is one of the books that I'll forever be proud to be part of... in the small way that I was.
Read the customer comments on amazon regarding this book, and take advantage of the 35% discount you can get when buying this book directly from the publisher.
Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, 2nd Edition
* List Price: $49.99 * Your Price: $32.49 (Save 35%)