Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a well-deserved break and have lots of momentum for the coming year! I have many things that I could blog about today, but I think this is likely the best thing for the start of the year.
On Wednesday, January 9, IDUG and CA are delivering a FREE webcast. This sounds like a perfect way to begin the year!
Free Technical Webcast: DB2 Prerequisites, Migrations and DeprecationsWednesday, January 9, 11 a.m. ET
IDUG is pleased to partner with CA to deliver a free Webcast by renowned presenter Phil Grainger, CA Product Management Director. This live event will run approximately 60 minutes and participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the presenter. Capacity is limited, so register early.
About the Webcast:Moving from one DB2 version to another is a monumental task that takes careful planning and execution to achieve a successful result. This initial offering in the IDUG/CA co-sponsored DB2 9 for z/OS Webcast Series, looks at the announcements from IBM, the pre-requisites for installing and/or migrating to DB2 9, and provides some insight on the migration process itself. This session will conclude with an updated review of V9 features different from previous releases.
About the Presenter:Phil Grainger, Product Management Director, CA, has more than 17 years experience with DB2, starting in 1987 with DB2 Version 1.2. Since then he has worked with all versions, including Version 8. Beginning as a DBA for one of the largest users of DB2 in the UK, Phil moved to PLATINUM technology and then to his present role as Product Management Director for CA. Phil has always been a keen supporter of user groups and is a regular speaker at CA events, as well as independent industry events. He currently serves as the CA representative on the European IDUG Planning Committee, and is a regular contributor to the IDUG sponsored DB2-L discussion list.
Webcast Schedule (USA time zones):Wednesday, January 9, at 11:00 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT, 8:00 a.m. PT). To register: Click here!
A replay of this Webcast will be available for a short period of time after January 9th. Look for future announcements for direction on how to access the pre-recorded Webcast.
IDUG is pleased to sponsor this free distance learning opportunity. Questions about the Webcast can be directed to email@example.com. Please make plans to attend other IDUG 2008 educational events, including: North American Conference, May 18-22 in Dallas, Texas. For more information and to register, go to http://www.idug.org/, and click on 'Conferences.'
Keep on Learning
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!
Have you had a chance to see any of these highly rated IBM Redbooks? Here are the most popular downloads, along with a reader comment about each book:
Oracle to DB2 Conversion Guide for Linux, UNIX, and Windows"It's very useful to reference, most of all, the features between DB2 and Oracle."
DB2 9 pureXML Guide "This is a great book! Why don't you attach it to or recommend it when someone purchases DB2 Express-C."
Working with IBM Records Manager"Very informative! I never knew that there were so many record management standards and industry specific legal requirements."
Use the new developerWorks tutorial created by Eric Johnson to learn how to debug SQL stored procedures using Visual Studio 2005.
Title: IBM Database Add-Ins for Visual Studio 2005, Part 2: Deploy, debug, and correct your SQL stored procedures
Follow steps to deploy, debug, and correct SQL stored procedures using IBM® Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005.
In this tutorial
* Create a stored procedure that updates the salaries in the EMPLOYEE table of the sample database.* Use the major features of the SQL stored procedure debugger.
* Use the SQL stored procedure debugging features to test SQL stored procedures, and to find and fix problems in them.* Learn about the features of debugging SQL stored procedures when run from Visual Studio 2005.
This tutorial is written for DB2® SQL PL programmers. Familiarity with DB2 SQL PL is assumed.
General familiarity with the IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 is also assumed. To become more familiar with the general features of the IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio, see Overview of IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 and the Develop proof-of-concepts .NET applications tutorial series.
System requirements To complete this tutorial, you need a DB2 9 database server. You also need to have the DB2 server or client installed on a workstation with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Version 9 fix pack 2 (FP2) or later of the IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005. Finally, you need the sample database that comes with the DB2 database server.
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 :)
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
Since I volunteer to proctor exams to employees of the Toronto Lab, I quite often get questions about how to get certified. At this point the most common question is whether people who have not received any DB2 certifications, where should they start? Here is the path I recommend.
If you are using DB2 V8, start there. The exams are experienced-based, so you'll likely have an easier time preparing for the exam since you are using that level of product. The V8 exams are: 700, 701, 702, 703, 704, and 706
If you are using DB2 V9 and have little experience with previous releases, stay with the V9 path. The V9 exams are: 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, and 736
Exam 700 and 730 are equivalent in that they are fundamentals exams for their respective version and they are valid prerequisites for EITHER the V8 or V9 exams. But at least one of these must be taken.
If you want to be certified on BOTH V8 and V9, start with Exam 700 and follow the V8 path. Then all you need to do is to take the upgrade exam, 736 to upgrade to a DB29 DBA certification.
Exam 706 and 736 are upgrade exams. Exam 706 allows those certified as a DBA on DB2 V7 to upgrade with a shorter test. Exam 736 can only be taken by people who already have their V8 DBA cert. So you will not take this exam unless you wanted to get certified on both versions.
As for study materials, both versions have free tutorials. Book availability is a more difficult issue. The V8 certification guides were published by Pearson Education, and most of them are now out of print. Long story as to why they are out of print, but I'm trying to find a workaround. So if you are trying to buy a book and find that it isn't on amazon, you'll need to look for a used copy. If you have V8 books that you no longer need, consider passing them on to those who may need them.
Only one of the V9 study guides has published so far... the one for Exam 730. More are coming, but you'll have to wait till fall.
If you weren't able to follow all these exam numbers, you can find roadmaps and legends on www.ibm.com/certify. For all book information, see www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/.
As always, feel free to contact me if you need further information.
I've pretty much caught up with my work after a two week vacation to Tuscany, so hopefully I'll be able to post regularly again.
Sam Poon and Fraser MacArthur recently updated their popular list of recommended articles for those specializing in DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows database administration. Sam and Fraser have filtered through the many articles posted on dWorks and sorted them into the following categories to make it easier for you to find the article that you need:
* Native XML support * Installation and migration * Administration * Monitoring and tuning * High availability * Linux platform * Windows platform * Porting * Problem determination * Certifications
They focus on the content for the DB9, for example, in the Certification category, you'll find links to the tutorial series that were created for Exams 730, 731, and 733.
DB2 9 Fundamentals certification 730 prep series
* Type: Tutorial * Date: 2006 * The Fundamentals tutorial series provides an introduction to SQL (Structured Query Language) and covers how DB2® 9 is packaged and installed, how to create databases and database objects, and the basics of database security and transaction isolation. 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.
DB2 9 Database administration 731 certification prep series
* Type: Tutorial * Date: 2006 * If you know DB2 9 and can perform intermediate to advanced level administrative tasks, you may benefit from becoming an IBM Certified Database Administrator. This series of seven tutorials is designed to help you prepare for the DB2® 9 for Linux®, UNIX® and Windows? Database Administration (Exam 731) certification exam to attain the certification "IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX and Windows." 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.
DB2 9 Application Development 733 certification prep series
* Type: Tutorial * Date: 2007 * The IBM Certified Application Developer certification confirms to others that you are an intermediate or advanced level DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows application developer and shows that you have strong skills in all common programming tasks as well as embedded SQL programming, ODBC/CLI programming, or Java programming. This series of nine free tutorials is designed to help you prepare for the DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Application Development certification exam (Exam 733). Each tutorial includes a link to a free DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows trial download. 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. You can take the tutorials online, or download a PDF.
The other day I had a request for Don Chamberlin's book that was published 9 years ago: A Complete Guide to DB2 Universal Database. I know the book is EXCELLENT, especially since it was written by one of the inventor's of SQL! But, like most books, I figured that it was out of date and not very useful at this point. But when I made this comment, here was the response back to me:
The Don Chamberlin book is more of a complete DB2 SQL manual that many JDBC developers will need.
I'm not a JDBC developer, so I'm looking for comments on this one. Where do you go for SQL help???
At the IOD conference, we lauched two brand new DB2 certifications. Exam 730 DB2 9 Fundamentals and Exam 731 DB2 9 Database Administration.
• New DB2 9 Fundamentals Professional Certification Now you can validate your skills and demonstrate your proficiency on IBM DB2 9 technology by becoming an IBM Certified Database Associate - DB2 9 Fundamentals. To achieve this new level of certification, candidates must take and pass the brand new exam DB2 9 Fundamentals- Exam 730. See http://www.ibm.com/certify/certs/dbda9fun.shtml for details on the exam objectives, cutscore, number of questions, and more.
• New DB2 9 DBA for Linux UNIX and Windows Professional Certification Demonstrate your DBA proficiency on IBM DB2 9 technology by becoming an IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX and Windows. To achieve this new level of certification, candidates must take and pass the brand new exam DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX and Windows- Exam 731. See http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/certs/dbdadba.shtml for details on the exam objectives, cutscore, number of questions, and more.
The books to help you prepare these exams are currently being written. In the meantime, I suggest that you study via the tutorials that have been created: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html#5
These tutorials provide a solid base for each section of the two new DB2 9 Professional Certification exams which have just been released. There is a series of 7 tutorials developed to help you prepare for the new DB2 9 Fundamentals Exam, 730 and a series of 7 tutorials developed to help you prepare for the new DB2 9 DBA for Linux Unix and Windows Exam 731. After a quick registration, you can begin a tutorial. Each tutorial should take about an hour to complete. You can take the tutorials on-line, or download a PDF or zip file.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about some of the other new exams that were recently launched and will tell you about the exams that are under development.
Today's electronic edition of DB2 Magazine has an article by Howard Fosdick about the IBM Business Intelligence certification exam. His article discusses the credentials required as well as directs the reader to the appropriate study materials.
Here's an intro and link to the article:
With companies clamoring for business intelligence, a certification credential can give DBAs and programmers an significantedge with employers. Certification columnist Howard Fosdick hands out the inside intel on passing IBM's DB2-based business intelligence exam.
--Read Fosdick's columnhttp://news.db2mag.com/cgi-bin4/DM/y/eycu0FlZ1Y0FLd0EhzV0AH
I'm sure you've heard about the big combined conference for the Information Management brand that is taking place this fall. If not, here are the facts about the conference:
IBM Information On Demand 2006 (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/ondemandbusiness/conf2006/), October 15-20th, 2006, Anaheim, CA IBM Information Management is hosting its first-ever global conference this year, IBM Information On Demand 2006, for business and IT executives, managers, professionals, database administrators and developers.
One event, more value IBM Information On Demand 2006 incorporates six previous Information Management conferences:IBM DB2® Information Management Technical Conference; IBM Content Management Technical Conference; Business Intelligence Customer Solutions Summit; IMS Technical Conference; Master Data Management Conference; and Information Integration Live!
By combining individual conferences into one global event, you gain access and exposure to the full breadth of IBM Information Management technologies and experts. More IBM technical and business solutions content will be in one place than ever before! Select from over 800 sessions: a 2 1/2 day business leadership track with 180 sessions and a 4 1/2 day technical track with 650 sessions.
I've just been informed that I am able to attend the conference. I'll have to find a few sessions that I'd like to attend, but my primary goal of the week will be to run a few round table discussions. There will be one about skills and another specifically for publishing. I've also been asked to help coordinate the author signings that we have set up. I've also arranged for a great giveaway at the keynote session. I may stop by to see if the certification team needs help with the exams, or maybe I'll take one or more of the new V9 exams that will be launched at the conference, and available free of charge.
Let me know if you are going and what you are most looking forward to.
Last week I received an email from a friend who was in a bookstore in the Tulsa OK airport. He found the IBM Press book "Can two rights make a wrong". Not many IBM Press books end up in bookstores, especially in airports, because they are not considered mass appeal books like a Microsoft books tend to be. But maybe this is a start!
So instead of looking for DB2 or IBM books in bookstores, try some of the great online bookstores that are available that tend to offer greatly discounted prices. Some of my favourites:
United States: http://www.ibmpressbooks.com(At checkout time, uUse the coupon code IBMSALES to get a 35% discount.)
Canada:http://www.pearsontech.ca/db2(Always a 30% discount)
Europe http://www.pearson-books.com/ibmpressbookshop/ (Always a 35% discount and free shipping to residents of EMEA.)
India:http://www.prakashbooks.com/(Search on DB2. Prices in local currency for residents of India.)
The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG®) is pleased to promote the SoftBase DB2 UDB for z/OS Version 8: FOR DEVELOPERS ONLY Webinar featuring Craig S. Mullins, a DB2 educational event being held this Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST.
This technical session will highlight DB2 UDB for z/OS Version 8 enhancements that directly impact DB2 application developers when performing their jobs. The target audience is Application Developers, Project Leaders, Application Managers or any IT staff members who will be involved in developing, testing and deploying DB2 for z/OS Version 8 applications.
To register for this Webinar, please visit http://www.softbase.com/db2developersonly/index.php?ncid=4606
Highlights of this Webinar include:* Overview of all key SQL enhancements within DB2 UDB for z/OS Version 8 such as SELECT from INSERT, MULTI-ROW FETCH & INSERT, SEQUENCE and IDENTITY columns and MULTIPLE DISTINCT* Review of all new DB2 for z/OS Version 8 SQL Error Codes* Examples of program code to handle new DB2 Version 8 GET DIAGNOSTICS and SQL Error Codes* Explanation of new Star Join enhancements in DB2 for z/OS Version 8* Explanation of new Recursive SQL* Review of new Materialized Query Tables in DB2 Version 8 that dramatically improve DB2 Data Warehousing Application performance* SoftBase will be raffling off 10 free copies of the DB2 Developer's Guide by Craig S. Mullins to registered participants at the end of the webinar* All webinar attendees will receive complimentary SoftBase DB2 for z/OS Version 8 Highlights and SQL Error Code reference cards* And much, much more![Read More]
Happy New Year! I've been on vacation for three weeks, so its taking a bit of time to get through my email and other work.
One question that was emailed to me recently was asking about the availability of FREE sample or assessment questions. We used to have a set of free assessment questions available but now there is a $10 charge for each attempt. To access these exams, see: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html
An alternative to these $10 assessment exams is for you to borrow or purchase one of the study guides that provide a collection of sample questions AND answers. Here is a list of the books that I'd suggest:
For Exam 700:
Understanding DB2 - Learning Visually with Examples by Raul Chong, Dwaine Snow, Sylvia Qi, Clara Liu
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Test 700 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
Teach Yourself DB2 Universal Database in 21 Days by Susan Visser and Bill Wong
For Exam 701 or 706:
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exams 701 and 706 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
For Exam 703:
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 703 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
For Exam 704:
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, First Edition Dwaine Snow and Thomas Xuan Phan
These books range in price from $35 to $50 and contain the information to help you prepare for the exam PLUS 200 or so sample questions and answers per book. This sounds like excellent value for the price!
I wish you all the best for the coming year!
I wanted to point out these Application Development ebooks to you:
These eBooks (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0511appdev/)take you through a guided tour of your chosen programming model and the accompanying native support enablement that comes with IBM DB2 Universal Database. You'll quickly find that the interfaces, the tooling, and the help are all cognizant of your choice of programming model. When it comes to application developers and DB2 UDB, you truly can have your cake and eat it too. When it comes to application developers, no other database provides the level of tooling and language integration like DB2 UDB. Whether you want to write your applications in an Open Source language like PHP, you're exploring the world of Web services vis-a-vis a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), live for Java, or love .NET, the DB2 UDB database platform is there for you. See for yourself just how easy it is to develop applications for the DB2 platform!
Just a side note on one of the authors: I recommended Paul Zikopoulos as a guest lecturer at Queen's University. Paul did an amazing job and the Queen's professor said that Paul was the best guest lecturer he's had in over 10 years! If you get a chance to hear Paul speak, I suggest that you take the opportunity. If that's not possible, I suggest that you pick up one of the many retail books that Paul's been involved with:
Apache Derby / Cloudscape - Off to the Races
The Official Guide to DB2 V8
For the past few months I have been thinking about the value of podcasting in relation to promoting technical books. Last week at CASCON the idea came up again, so I'd like to get your opinion on the idea.
My goal would be to put the preface of new books into podcast format. The preface of the book should answer the question, do I need this book? My vision is to have a podcast that is only a few minutes in length, for each book.
As a new book is published, a podcast would be made available. This would work well as a subscription series in that it would help people stay on top of the newest releases as they are made available.
Most book prefaces are written in a conversational manner, so I believe that this would make for an easy and interesting way to learn about the need for the book.
Whose voice should do the podcast? I'd prefer to have the author of the preface do the recording, but would do it myself if necessary.
Let me know what you think. I may go ahead and do a pilot of one of the books and post it on this site. The next book in my realm that will publish is Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131855255/102-8524566-1932154?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance.
Earlier I mentioned how proud I was of this book. One of the authors has just sent me a blog review of this book from James Koopmann(http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/database/solutions/archives/005241.asp).
Clearly James is also very impressed with the book for many reasons. If you haven't checked this book out yet, I encorage you to do so.
I have made this the August book of the month and coincidentally, Amazon decided to put it on special. You can get the book at a 37% discount right now! Go for it.
Also, the book has made it into Amazon's top 100 ranking and all 9 of the reader comments is positive.
Read it and let me know what you think! I'm looking at this book as a model for other future IBM Press books. What do you think?