With the summer holidays coming to an end (sad).... and school about to start for a good portion of the population... it seems like the right time to give you a summary of all the IM books we've published this year so far... and those that are coming very soon.
I'm very proud of the number of books and the breadth of content that we covered this year... with quite a few more still on their way! I hope you are able to find one or two books that match your needs perfectly!
Understanding DB2 9 Security (IBM Press) by Rebecca Bond, Kevin Yeung-Kuen See (IBM), Carmen Ka Man Wong (IBM), Yuk-Kuen Henry Chan (IBM). Promotion: Q&A with Rebecca Bond.
IBM DB2 9 New Features (McGraw-Hill) by Paul Zikopoulos, George Baklarz, Leon Katsnelson, Chris Eaton (all IBM)
DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide (MC Press) by Roger Sanders
IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11, the Next Generation in OLTP Data Server Technology (MC Press) by Carlton Doe (IBM)Distributed by IBM at selected events.
Physical Database Design: the database professional's guide to exploiting indexes, views, storage, and more (Morgan Kaufmann) by Sam Lightstone (IBM), Toby J. Teorey, Tom Nadeau Published March 21, 2007 and covers DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, and other databases
Mining the Talk: Unlocking the Business Value in Unstructured Information by Scott Spangler, Jeffrey Kreulen (both IBM)Written by IBM researchers, so product teams were not involved in creating or reviewing content. Doesn’t describe a product that is for sale, but techniques used in research at IBM and by IBM consultants on customer service engagements. IBM Alphaworks provides a free demonstration copy of one of the early text-mining tools called IBM Unstructured Information Modeler, as an adjunct to this book: alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/uimodeler.
ABOUT TO PUBLISH
DB2 9 for Linux, Unix, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference and Exam Prep (IBM Press) by George Baklarz (Author), Bill Wong (Author), Paul C. Zikopoulos (Author)- Sixth Edition of our most popular book EVER!
DB2 for Developers (MC Press) by Phil Gunning - expected in December.... SPECIAL 37% PRE-ORDER DISCOUNT!
DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 (MC Press) by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich - October - SPECIAL 30% DISCOUNT ON PRE-ORDERS!
Building an Intelligent Web: Theory and Practice (Jones & Bartlett Publishers) – to include DB2 Express; book is a university text book. - expected in Oct.
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 (MC Press) by Roger Sanders - October
DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 (MC Press) by Roger Sanders
WHERE TO BUY?You can buy these books in most countries in the world. We have set up a bookstore website to give you URLs for the sites that give the best prices: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore. Choose the international tab on this page for locations outside of the US, including Canada.
I have a few other really interesting projects in the works, but I'll wait to tell you about those once I have a few more details firmed up.
As always, stay tuned :)
Keep on Learning
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I hope many of you are able to join us in Las Vegas this October for the second annual Information On Demand Global Conference. If you are able to come, remember that tomorrow is the deadline for the Early Bird Special where you can save $200 on registration.
I've been putting together a book signing schedule for some of the speakers who are also authors. Those who are confirmed for a signing:
1) Stephen Covey - The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness2) Chris Anderson - The Long Tail3) Paul Zikopoulos - To be announced at the conference.4) Carlton Doe - IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11, The Next Generation of OLTP Data Server Technology5) Carl Kessler - Outside-in Software Development: A Practical Approach to Building Successful Stakeholder-based Products
In addition, here is what the team has planned for this year's conference:
* 7,000+ attendees * 200+ customer and Business Partner speakers* An Expo Solutions Center powered by 200 Business Partners* More compelling content: 589 total elective 1 hour sessions; 100 Business Leader sessions; 468 Technical Skill Building sessions* More technical opportunities* Enhanced community programs* And the list goes on . . .
I hope to see you there! Besides the book signings, you'll find me helping in the certification lounge.... were you there last year with all the decadent food and even better: the massages!
Have you seen this yet?
Watch DB2 on YouTube
Rav Ahuja has been posting video interviews with DB2 Viper 2 architects on YouTube. This is part of his Voice of the DB2 Community podcast series.
You can find all the videos on YouTube’s Channel DB2. The videos are also available at the Channel DB2 social network.
Thanks to John P. Kennedy for this information!!
I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this promotion that my team is currently running:
With every qualifying IBM Information Management classroom training course you attend between June 5, 2007 and October 31, 2007, you will receive a certification discount voucher good for 50% off the cost of an eligible Information Management certification exam. Along with industry recognition, IBM Certified Professionals proudly get to display the IBM Certified Professional Logo and will receive an official Information Management Certified Professional t-shirt!
For a list of the eligible courses and exams... as well as the usual legal verbiage, see our Train and Save Promotion page.
Distinguish yourself in this highly skilled marketplace by joining our elite group of IBM Certified Professionals, there is no better time!
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Have you ever looked at the annual results of the Certification Magazine Salary Survey? This year, take part in the survey to see how your salary measures up to the others who answer the survey!
Here are the details:
On Aug. 7, 2007 Certification Magazine launched its 2007 Salary Survey, which compiles compensation, certification and education information for IT professionals. The Litchfield Group, an independent research company, will conduct the research and finalize the data. The survey will close Friday, Aug. 31. To participate in this year’s survey, visit www.certmag.com/salarysurvey.
Last year, 22 companies agreed to partner with Certification Magazine as Salary Survey sponsors. Their extensive promotional efforts via e-mail, newsletters and Web sites helped draw more than 35,000 respondents worldwide — given this participation level, it was truly an industry-wide survey. This year, 23 companies have agreed to partner with Certification Magazine as Salary Survey sponsors. Additionally, the survey has been revised to expand its scope to represent the industry as a whole. The survey results will be reported in the cover story of Certification Magazine’s December 2007 issue. Every year, this article provides vital analysis on the state of the certification industry and IT in general. To ensure delivery of the December issue, sign up for a FREE subscription to Certification Magazine at www.certmag.com/subscribe.
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Check out Daniel Krook's blog from Aug 3: "Thoughts on the DB2 9 Fundamentals exam" where he discusses his study strategy and experience in preparing for, and passing, Exam 730: DB2 9 Fundamentals. You can find Daniel's blog, plus many others on PlanetDB2.
Let me know if you want to share your thoughts as well....
Quite a few people in the Toronto Lab are upgrading their certifications to the V9 level this summer, and I thought I'd pass on study tips for Exam 733 that I learned from the candidates this week.
1) There isn't a book available for Exam 733, nor is there one in plan. People recommend reading the V8 book by Roger Sanders to help prepare for Exam 733. If you work for IBM, remember that you can access this and other books through Books 24x7.
2) The two biggest additions to the 733 exam versus the 703 exam is .net and XML content. Of course, neither of these topics are covered to a great extent in the V8 book.
3) There are free tutorials for Exam 733, and it is recommended that you use these to prepare for at least the .net and XML areas, but perhaps reading all the 733 tutorials would be beneficial.
4) Not many of the people here take the assessment exams, but they are still valuable at helping you gauge your readiness to pass the exam.
Now available for pre-orders: Expert Preparation for Exam 732: DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide by Susan Lawson and Daniel Luksetich.
The book is expected to publish BEFORE the IOD conference in October despite the website saying the book publishes in November.
Book Description:DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide is the definitive guide to preparing for the IBM Certification 732 Version 9 DBA Certification Exam. The book covers all topics on the exam and also provides a wealth of information about DB2 z/OS Version 9. It also includes a lot of practical information and tips for best performance and usage of DB2. The book is written by two industry experts who were both members of the team that created the 732 exam.
This book covers all of the topics that are on the exam: Database design and implementation, operation and recovery, security and auditing, performance, and installation and migration. There are practice questions with detailed answers at the end of each chapter as well as an 80+ question practice exam. But beyond certification prep, it also covers the new features of version 9 for both database and application development. It will serve as an essential tool for studying for exam 732 as well as a reference that all DB2 DBAs will want on their desktops.
732 Exam Objectives Covered in the Book: * Section 1 - Database Design and Implementation* Section 2 - Operation and Recovery* Section 3 - Security and Auditing* Section 4 – Performance* Section 5 - Installation and Migration/Upgrade
Table of Contents: Preface 1. DB2 Product Fundamentals 2. Environment 3. Access and Security 4. Database Objects 5. Retrieving & Manipulating Objects 6. Advanced SQL Coding 7. Maintaining Data 8. Recovery and Restart 9. Data Sharing 10. Using SQL in an Application Program 11. Binding an Application 12. Application Program Features 13. Stored Procedures 14. Accessing Distributed Data 15. Advanced Functionality 16. Locking and Concurrency 17. Performance, Monitoring, and Tuning Appendix A: DB2 Sample Database Appendix B: Practice Exam Questions Appendix C: Practice Exam Answers
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This book was written by members of IBM Research: Mining the Talk: Unlocking the Business Value in Unstructured Information * By Scott Spangler, Jeffrey Kreulen * Published by IBM Press
Information from the publisher:
In Mining the Talk, two leading-edge IBM researchers introduce a revolutionary new approach to unlocking the business value hidden in virtually any form of unstructured data–from word processing documents to websites, emails to instant messages.
The authors review the business drivers that have made unstructured data so important–and explain why conventional methods for working with it are inadequate. Then, writing for business professionals–not just data mining specialists–they walk step-by-step through exploring your unstructured data, understanding it, and analyzing it effectively.
Next, you’ll put IBM’s techniques to work in five key areas: learning from your customer interactions; hearing the voices of customers when they’re not talking to you; discovering the “collective consciousness” of your own organization; enhancing innovation; and spotting emerging trends. Whatever your organization, Mining the Talk offers you breakthrough opportunities to become more responsive, agile, and competitive.
ISBN-10: 0-13-233953-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-13-233953-7;
Also from now until 10/31 there is a 35 percent discount - by using CODE - MINING at Pearson
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This one is Exam 732 - DB2 for z/OS V9 Database Administration exam.
If you are already certified as an IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 8 for z/OS, all you need is to take and pass the new exam 732.
If you are new to certification, you must take Exam 732 plus the prerequisite: Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals.
Exam 732 has 73 questions and you are allowed a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the exam. You must score 57% or greater to pass the exam. The sections and weightings for this exam are:
* Design and Implementation 26%* Operation and Recovery 29%* Security and Auditing 11%* Performance 29%* Installation and Migration/Upgrade 5%
The IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 9 for z/OS certification is meant for the lead database administrator (DBA) for the DB2 9 product on the z/OS operating system. This individual has significant experience as a DBA and extensive knowledge of the DB2 9, specifically the new features and functionality related to Version 9. They are capable of performing the intermediate to advanced tasks related to database design and implementation, operation and recovery, security and auditing, performance, and installation and migration/upgrades specific to the z/OS operating system.
For more information about this exam and others that were released for DB2 9, see our Training and Certification web site.
Susan Lawson's book is getting close to being available as well... stay tuned... but I suspect it will be ready in time for the IOD conference in October. If you are planning to be at the conference, consider signing up for the pre-conference class to help you prepare to pass the exam, free of charge, while at the conference.
Roger Sanders' latest book DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide continues to sell extremely well... and has received 6 customer reviews on amazon.com.... all rated 5 stars! What are people saying? Click the link above to see all the customer reviews (or to add your own if you own the book :)
The ITSO sends out lists of the most popular IBM Redbooks each month, in terms of the number of downloads. The list covers all IBM Redbooks, across all product areas. This past month, there were 2 DB2 book in the top 10 list:
* DB2 9 for z/OS Technical Overview* Up and Running with DB2 for Linux
Congratulations to all authors!
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Take Test 918 - System Administration for IBM Informix Dynamic Server V11 to validate your IDS V11 skills. Pass the exam and earn an IBM Certified System Administrator - Informix Dynamic Server V11 Certification.
This new exam is broken up into eight sections consisting of 71 multiple choice questions. Candidates have 120 minutes to complete the exam and must achieve 70% or greater to pass. Here are the sections and the weighting for each:
Section 1 - Installation and Configuration (14%)
1. Determine appropriate connection types and communication protocols 2. Plan for Distributed System capabilities 3. Determine the number and size and placement of logical and physical logs to accommodate transaction activity 4. Determine when an instance can/should use AIO or KAIO 5. Set up Operating System files and parameters 6. Demonstrate ability to configure a secure DBMS 7. Configure and manage dbspaces and sbspaces
Section 2 - System Activity Monitoring (no Java) (13%)
1. Monitor activity using systmaster, systadmin, and onstat utilities 2. Monitor the message log file for abnormal activity 3. Use the oncheck command /SQL API to view information about the database server
Section 3 - Troubleshooting (14%)
1. Isolate problems using systmaster, systadmin, onstat utilities 2. Use concurrency and locking
Section 4 - Performance Tuning (20%)
1. Recognize Operating System resources affecting system operations 2. Configure shared memory parameters 3. Determine optimal disk layout and configuration 4. Utilize Parallel Database Query (PDQ) to optimize query performance 5. Use UPDATE STATISTICS to achieve optimal performance 6. Configure system for optimal checkpoint duration 7. Monitor the number of Virtual Processors (VPs) needed for the resources available 8. Manage network parameters for optimal communication performance
Section 5 - Database Server Operations (13%)
1. Recognize fast recovery operations 2. Manage temporary tables and files 3. Use of operation modes
Section 6 - Backup and Restore (11%)
1. Select the appropriate backup and restore strategy and restore utilities for a particular situation 2. Configure Onbar parameters for optimal backup and restore performance 3. Configure ontape parameters for optimal backup and restore performance
Section 7 - Replication (14%)
1. Demonstrate the ability to manage and configure ER and HDR
Section 8 - SQL (14%)
1. Use the SQL admin API 2. Prepare and use user defined types 3. Use SQL built-in functions
To prepare for the exam, there are classes, tutorials, and a book being written by Carlton Doe that will publish next year. The exam can be taken at Prometric Testing Centers (prometric.com/ibm) or at select conferences.
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Common questions about certification go something like this: Do I have to get certified?, Is it worth anything?, and How do I get it? I've put together answers to these questions along with some other advice that I hope you find useful.
Do I need a DBA Certification to get a job as a DBA?
Not always as it depends on a number of factors. If you've worked as a DBA before or have a degree in an IT related field, and have experience using DB2, you may not need to get certified. I'd recommend it anyway, as regardless of what you already know, you'll learn something new during the process of earning a certification that may be tremendously valuable to you or your company If you have an older certification, upgrading to the most current level is an easy way to ensure that you stay on the top of your game.
If your employer requires you to be certified, or a job you are trying to get lists certification as a requirement, then for sure you'll need to earn the required certifications.
If you have little experience using DB2 or if you have a degree in a non-IT field and you're trying to break into the database arena, it's generally a good idea to get a few DB2 Certifications so employers take you a little more seriously.
For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify for some people due to costs. If you find that you learn most effectively through classroom education, encourage your employer to pay for them. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/roadmaps.html.
Is there an easier way to get certified, that doesn't include studying?
Not many things of value don't require an effort. There are sites on the web that claim to have the actual certification exam for you to buy and memorize in order to pass the exam. These are created by a previous applicant who shares knowledge of the questions on a certification exam with a third party. There is no noble purpose of this information sharing. It is cheating, pure and simple. IBM has a non-disclosure agreement that they make every exam applicant agree to before they allow you to take the test. Any person who creates or gives out questions or answers from a certification exam is in violation of the NDA and if you get caught "dumping", you're likely to have your certs revoked, at a minimum! And, if you get caught using someone else's dump, you'll get your certs revoked and will never be able to get certified through IBM again.
Further more, there's the credibility issue of this information. Most dumps are littered with errors, spelling and otherwise. There are a lot of companies out there that sell brain dumps, but just because you pay for their version of sims / exams, doesn't make it legal. Be very careful of cheap exam sims because they tend to be brain dumps. If you have any questions about the validity of a company's product, ask other people in the DB2 Forums or go to IBM directly.
As mentioned earlier, DB2 exams are experience based, so lots of practice using the product in as many areas as possible, may allow you to pass the exam without studying.
If I take the assessment exams repeatedly, will I eventually see all the questions on the certification exam?
In the past, IBM offered free assessment exams to all candidates. It seems that several people were taking these exams multiple times in a possible attempt to memorize all of the questions. The bad news for these people is that the set of questions on the assessment exams is different than the set on the certification exams. Also, memorizing the questions and answers will not help you learn the material at all! I suggest that you take at least one assessment test to see how ready you are, but only AFTER you have read the exam objectives and had either experience or training. By the way, the assessment exams now cost $10 per take, so that will help you limit the number of assessment exams you decide to take. Here is the site that will get you to the assessment exams: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html.
Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs?
Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.
Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:
Planet DB2 - a blog aggregator that combines DB2 blogs from around the world.
IDUG DB2-L Listserver
IBM developerWorks - DB2 Portal
IDUG – International DB2 User’s Group
Is it true that the DB2 Fundamentals Exam (700 or 730) caters to an LUW audience?
Not at all. The DB2 Fundamentals Exam contains only questions that are true for each and every platform! In fact, I've noticed that people whose primary area of experience is with DB2 for z/OS find this exam pretty easy.
Recommended Learning Path for Certification:
Here is the recommended path I suggest you take to prepare for a DB2 exam:1) Choose the exam you want to take based on your job role. The DBA and AppDev certifications first require that you are certified as a Database Associate. To help you decide where to start, see the certification roadmaps
2) Read through the exam objectives. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. For a breakdown of the exam objectives and the recommended study materials, see ibm.com/software/data/education/certprep.html
3) If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses.
4) If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!
5) Decide on how you best want to increase your skills, and test your level of skill achieved by taking an assessment exam.
a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills:
b) Take a free tutorial.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners.
6) Feel ready? Book your test! Testing centers are located around the world. Find a location closest to your office or home: www.prometric.com/ibm. If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml
To quote an article I read on sqlservercentral.com:* Schedule at least 1 free day (vacation day, etc.) off of work the day before you are scheduled to take your exam. This will give you time to relax, rest, and refresh your memory on any subjects you feel less that 100% on.
* Go to the bathroom before the exam and try not to drink or eat right before it. Some places allow you to have bathroom breaks during exams, some don't. Regardless of your local testing center's policy, it's hard to think when your bladder is full, so you might as well take care of business before you have to concentrate on the important stuff.
* Take your time during the exam. Yes, you have a time limit, but if you don't learn to read the questions before you answer them, then you might miss the most important detail (such as the "is not" portion of the question).
* Scenario based question groups. Briefly read the scenario, but don't get stuck on the details until you get to the questions. Scenario based questions often have the scenario in a separate window or a pop-up window that you can refer back to when you're answering the actual questions. This will save you time during the exam and keep you from focusing on the wrong details.
* (and the most important) Relax! It only feels like it's the End of the World. Once it's over, you'll feel so much better. And if you passed, then it's time for some serious celebrating!
I hope this helps you find a way to prepare to take one or more DB2 exams. I'd be happy to hear from you if any of these tips helped you on your journey towards being certified. If you have other questions that I should answer, throw them at me!
Have a great day!
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I'm writing an article with several tips to help you get a DB2 certification. There is a lot of information that I want to share, so it's taking me longer than expected... so... I'll keep writing and post in a few days.
In the meantime, I want to tell you about the new DB2 Certification blog by Roger Sanders, hosted on DB2 Magazine's Web Site. Roger plans to post a couple of sample questions and answers every two weeks.
Here is a link to the site: http://www.db2mag.com/blog/main/archives/db2_certification/index.html