Get your copy today! Currently at a VERY low price on amazon:
Administering Informix Dynamic Server: Building the Foundation
Amazon says that it "usually ships in 1-4 months"... but I received my copy today... so if you order.. yours should arrive quickly as well.
What is this book about? First of all, this is the first book about Informix to publish in 8 years! That certainly is something to celebrate! Yes... Informix IDS is alive and well!
Second, Carlton Doe is an amazing person to work with and dedicated beyond belief. You can be sure that the content in the book is superb!
Third, this is the Foundation book... and we'd like to publish one that covers more advanced topics... and this is where we NEED you! The publisher is watching closely to the success of this one... and if it does well, will consider more titles.
Fourth, this really is an amazing price. Today the discount that I see is 37% off the list price. This discount may disappear quickly... and without warning.
Congratulations to Carlton and all the dedicated IDS people in the world. I really hope that we see many more books publish in the future :)
Keep on Learning
Prior to joining IBM, I was a Mac user... and recently became one again after nearly 20 years as a mainframe or PC user. In my work-life (19 years at IBM), I've never encountered a Mac, but apparently that is changing.
Listen to Carlton Doe in a replay of the webcast: Developing Informix Dynamic Server applications for Mac OS X to learn how you can bring the advantages of IBM® Informix® Dynamic Server to Mac OS X.
About this webcast:
Love your Mac? Need enterprise computing capabilities? Now you can have both. IBM has announced the availability of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) on Mac OS X, which brings the high volume transaction processing, low cost administration, and high availability to the Mac platform. Learn about options for application development, and get tips and tricks for creating low cost and low administration applications.
Speaker: Carlton Doe, IDS Specialist
Carlton Doe is, according to his youngest daughter, a “total technical dweeb." She shouldn’t complain though since his involvement with Informix products since the early 1990s has kept her clothed, fed and sheltered. He has been a DBA, data server administrator and 4GL developer and very active in the Informix user group community. In fact, he was one of the five founders of the International Informix Users Group (IIUG). He is best known for having written a number of Informix-oriented books including Administering Informix Dynamic Server, Building the Foundation as well as articles, IBM white papers and IBM Redbooks® (as a co-author), materials for his classes, and presentations. Carlton is an Executive IT Specialist for IBM with responsibilities covering the Americas Geographies.
From the sounds of it... and from the photos from Anil Mahadev... IDUG India was a huge success! Thanks to my publishing partner in India for setting up a bookstore at the conference.
If you are in India and didn't make it to the conference, you may still buy books at local currency from Shroff Publishing.
Thanks to all participants and congratulations to all organizers! We're looking forward to many future events!
For anyone who was at the IOD Conference last year in Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay, you'll remember how **tired** you were after walking the large distances! Do you want an interesting strategy to deal with the strain your poor legs and back will be under?
If you get certified at the conference or were previously certified, you are welcome to join the Certification Lounge. The Lounge will once again be featuring tables, chairs, food, beverages, and best of all.... free massages. We want to ensure that you are specially rewarded for earning your certification.
Prepare in advance to make sure that you can begin using the certification lounge from day 1:
Each exam has a time limit of 90 minutes, except the upgrade exam which has a time limit of 60 minutes. The number of questions and the cutscore for each exam varies. For example, exam 730 has 64 questions and you must score 59 percent or higher to pass it.
How do I prepare to pass an exam?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: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-roadmaps.html.
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
Here are the exams that cover the DB2 9 product: * Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals
* Exam 731 - DB2 9 DBA for Linux, Unix, and Windows
* Exam 732 - DB2 9 DBA for z/OS
* Exam 733 - DB2 9 Application Developer
* Exam 734 - DB2 9 Advanced DBA for Linux UNIX and Windows
* Exam 735 - DB2 9.5 Developer. Although not specifically written for this exam, the book DB2(R) SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2(R) UDB on Linux(TM), UNIX(R), Windows(TM), i5/OS(TM), and z/OS(R) (2nd Edition) might help you prepare for this exam.
* Exam 736 - DB2 9 Database Administrator for Linux UNIX and Windows Upgrade. See also Kate's blog entry about the upgrade exam!
3) If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass the exam based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Assessment exams cost $10 per take, so if you really think you are ready, come and take the exam to see.
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 want to increase your skills: a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.
For exam prep, the best books are these:DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide by Roger SandersDB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 by Roger Sanders DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 by Susan Lawson and Daniel Luksetich DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 by Roger SandersDB2 9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 734 by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow.
All five of these certification prep guides were written by members of the exam development team. That is, they created the questions for the certification exam that you are about to take! Also, each chapter of the book corresponds directly to a section on the exam. So, if you take the assessment exam and find out that you are week on a single topic, you simply need to read the chapter that corresponds to the topic where you need improvement. Lastly, the authors created a set of sample questions for the book that provides you with the correct answer to the question as well as an explanation as to why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect ones are not.
For reference and guidance beyond the exam, I suggest the following: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition) by George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos
b) 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 you 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.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners. These classes typically have a fee, even for employees, so check with management to see if you can take one of these classes. Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify due to costs. 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.
d) Take a pre-conference class at the ILO Conference:
DB2 for z/OS DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 732)
Speaker: Susan Lawson
This high level certification preparation review is intended to help you take IBM Certification Test 732, DB2 9 DBA for z/OS. Gain an intense overall review of those areas that are on the certification exam.
DB2 9 for Linux & Windows DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 731)
Speaker: Roger Sanders
This training is designed to introduce the student to the concepts a test candidate must know in order to take and pass the DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Window certification exam (Exam 731). The material for this course is aligned with the 731 exam objectives.
6) If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml.
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.IBM developerWorks - DB2 PortalIDUG – International DB2 User’s GroupMy blog: ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/susanvisserKate's blog: ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson
Enjoy the lounge!
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%)
Every thing is becoming green these day! Lucky me... I was born with green eyes... so I'm already in style!
In my role as Program Manager for IM Publishing... you can imagine that I love books. My office and cabinets are filled with them... and so is my house. Although you may not consider my habits green, in reality, I have reduced most other paper from my life. I read many magazines online. I rarely print an email or anything else for that matter. I recycle all paper I do end up with... like newspapers and junk mail.
I don't really like to read an entire book online, but when possible, I read what I can electronically before I make a decision to buy a printed book. For example, I will extensively research a book via the reader comments on amazon or other online site. For example, you can see that there are eight 5-star reviews for Roger Sanders book DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide. Not that there is a comparable book to purchase, but if you read these comments, you may choose to buy the book.
Instead of buying the printed copy, however, you may want to read or browse the electronic version of the book. All retails books about IBM software is in electronic format. You can buy PDF versions of some books directly from the publisher... for example, Understanding DB2®: Learning Visually with Examples, Adobe Reader, 2nd Edition. If you have a subscription to Books 24x7 or Safari, you can also read entire books electronically or search through a library of books for a specific topic. If you work for IBM, you likely already know that IBM has a company-wide license for Books 24x7... if you need information, let me know. These sites quite often have trial periods, so you can see what the electronic books are like before you sign up for a subscription.
Amazon Kindle and other reading devices are becoming much more accessible and affordable. If you don't know what Kindle is... read the reader reviews on amazon and you'll learn all that you need to know. The thing that you should know about IBM books... is that they are ALL Kindle ready. I'm looking forward to the day when kids in school have their books on a device such as this so that they aren't forced to carry heavy knapsacks around any longer!
If you consider IBM Manuals and IBM Redbooks... you can easily make a case that IBM was on the "green" bandwagon long before it became cool. On top of all that great information, you can also find e-books, articles, and tutorials for nearly every topic that exists!
Even IBM Training classes are becoming "green". I've mentioned ILO several times... but what could be greener than taking a class while staying at home. No need to travel anywhere!
I'm sure many more examples can be mentioned. I'm pleased with the progress being made but only wish I could afford a kindle!
The Information Management Technical Conference (IMTC) is taking place this week in Bangalore, India. Two of my colleagues, Susan Dykman and Bonnie-Lynn Murphy, are providing free certification testing for attendees. I've arranged for Shroff Publishers and Distributors Private Limited to set up a bookstore on site so we can showcase the large number of Information Management books that we have available to the Indian population.
Vineet Mishra, one of the attendees... has told me that the conference is quite useful and that he was amazed at the number of books that are available. One thing that I should make clear... these books are not just available to conference attendees, but we have them available in India... all the time. Just a URL away.
You may buy IBM Press books directly from Pearson Education India. Here you'll find primarily DB2 V8 editions of books, but soon the DB2 9 books will be available as well.
If you want printed IBM Redbooks at a very good price, see Shroff Publishing - Printed IBM Redbooks. Shroff Publishers is also selling the complete set of DB2 9 Certification Study Guides.
Please pass this information onto anyone who thinks that there is a lack of retail books to support DB2.... I'm trying to get every possible resource made available throughout the world!
PS.... See Kate's Blog: www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson[Read More]
You are invited to experience IBM's new learning format, Instructor Led Online Training (ILO) at no charge to you. ILO offers you all the benefits of traditional eLearning, but with the luxury of having the IBM instructor right there with you, live! Two special online lecture topics will be offered: SQL procedural language February 26, 2008 & DB2 for LUW Advanced Monitoring March 18, 2008. These offerings have been created for IDUG members only!
Sign into idug.org for session descriptions, instructor information and to register.
Get the full use out of your IDUG membership!
Also see my blog on http://planetdb2.com/[Read More]
Do you ever wonder what everyone else is making, and how your salary measures up? The CertMag’s 2007 Salary Survey was recently released... and guess what? IBM Certified DBAs are on top!
* IBM Certified DBA / Application Developer - $87,390 * Microsoft MCDBA - $78,420 * Oracle DBA OCA - $79,730 * Oracle DBA OCP - $84,520 * Oracle Developer OCP - $78,250
So... if you are working as a DB2 DBA.... I hope you're making this much and are happy that you are on top. If you are not working with DB2 yet.... there is always time to make a conversion.
Craig Mullins also blogged about this news, so make sure you read his perspective as well.
Finally the most essential DB2 book for DBAs has been updated for the latest release of DB2: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition).
Congratulations to both George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos! As you may know, Bill Wong was George's co-author for the fourth and fifth editions to this book (as well as one of mine :). Bill had moved to a job in Tivoli, but is now back in DB2... which I'm quite happy about. Paul joined the team and I'm sure that this edition follows the tradition of the previous editions: well-written, easy to read, thorough, and essential!
What can you find in this book? Well, 1136 pages, for starters! As you can tell from the sheer size of the book is that you'll find much more than exam prep details! In fact, I would suggest that you continue to buy / read the Exam Study Guides by Roger Sanders to prepare for DB2 Certification Exams, but buy this book as your way to learn what you need to know, beyond the exams.
The sections of the book that I'd like to draw your attention to include:
1) Security. Although it doesn't cover the topic as thoroughly as Understanding DB2 9 Security does, it does include important security and resiliency enhancements, including advanced access control; fine-grained, label-based security; and the new security administrator role
2) SQL. There is an entire section of the book devoted to SQL. In my mind, there IS no other book you need for SQL beyond this one. Coverage includes pure XML, advanced SQL, and yes, even SQL for beginners. George is somewhat of an SQL expert and creates examples of all sorts to demonstrate a variety of SQL. But, George and Paul rarely rely solely on their own knowledge alone. They are well-connected with the entire development team and the book benefits from additions and reviews by the top experts in the area.
3) Autonomics. Want to make your environment more automatic? Learn about the operational improvements that can enhance your efficiency. Coverage includes self-tuning memory allocation, automated storage management, and storage optimization.
4) Partitioning. Perhaps an advanced topic, but important none-the-less. Learn about the new table-partitioning features that improve scalability and manageability.
5) Development. My dream would be to publish a book for this area alone, but since that isn't in the cards right now, read this book to learn about the powerful improvements for more agile and rapid development, including the new Eclipse-based Developer Workbench and simple SQL or XQuery access to all data.
I plan to work with both George and Paul to further feature unique aspects about their book, so stay tuned.
Interestingly, this book is not on special on amazon.com. I'm not sure why that is, but I'll keep watching to see if they put a sale on this book that matches their usual 37% discount. You may buy the book from the IBM Press websites at a discount:
United States - Use the coupon code DB2SAVE to get 35% off this and other books.Canada - 35% off all IBM Press titlesEMEA - 35% off all IBM Press titles.
IBMers may choose to purchase the book through an Internal Site.
Buy today and keep up to speed on the latest features.
If you're a book lover like me... then you have many bookshelves filled to the brim with books, many of which have been read, but many others waiting to be read. And then there is the inevitable purchase of more books every time you walk into a bookstore! But how can you choose which one is best for you?
If you are looking for technical books, you should try either Safari or Books 24x7 (or really, both!). These online book engines allow you to search across an entire collection of books helping you pinpoint the information that you need RIGHT NOW! If you like, you can simply just continue to search, as you do on Google, and then read the sections that come up. Or you may choose to read the entire book electronically. Your choice.
A few years ago I ran a pilot of Safari in the Toronto Lab. Some of the feedback I received then was that this tool helped them discover a book that they didn't know existed. The person then went to an online bookstore and purchased the printed version of the book. So, not only can you read the entire book online, but you can use these tools as a way to screen / filter the unbelievably large collection of tech books to find what is best for you.
Now is a great time.... as Safari is offering a 10-day free trial to use the tool. If you work for IBM, you should already know that you have a free subscription to Books 24x7. The internal link can be found on the page w3.ibm.com/learning.
So, what's the difference between these two tools? The primary difference is the selection of books. Safari is jointly owned by O'Reilly and Pearson, so you'll find all of their titles in Safari. Books 24x7 typically covers all other books from a variety of publishers. The good news for IBM Press books is that these titles can be found in both.
I hope that you're able to take advantage of these trial offers and that you find the book you need! See our IBM IM Bookstore for the books that I'd suggest.
Did you know that Viper 2 brings new capabilities to you as a developer, whether you're using SQL, XML, PHP, Ruby, .NET, or Java™?
As a developer it is difficult to stay on top of what is going on in the industry as technology is constantly changing. Learn how Viper 2 brings new productivity capabilities to you as a developer regardless of what programming environment you are in. In this webcast, you'll get all the details about what's new for developers in the latest release of IBM® DB2® for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows®.
Grant and Chris will discuss trends in the industry that affect developers and describe what IBM Information Management is doing to help your development. You probably already know that DB2 Express-C is free for developers to develop, deploy and distribute. Now, Viper 2 provides a variety of means that help move your application from the development stage to deployment more rapidly.
New features will be covered in the following areas:
* The latest developer tools * Java development productivity * XML and XQuery * SQL * Database driver support * Web services creation and deployment
Date: November 7, 2007, 11am Eastern (10am Central, 8am Pacific)
* Grant Hutchison, Product Manager, IBM Data Server Clients and Tools * Chris Gruber, IBM >Developer Initiatives
Click here to register for this webcast: Webcast: What is new in Viper 2 for developers?[Read More]
I've mentioned before that the book to prepare you to pass the DB2 9 Advanced DBA Exam 734 will be published early in 2008. If you are getting ready to take the exam now, here are a few ideas to help you prepare for the test.
Read the excellent book by Dwaine Snow and Tom Phan: Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 UDB v8 for Linux, Unix and Windows. This book prepares people to pass the V8 Advanced DBA Exam 706.
Read the IBM DB2 9 New Features book to learn the new functions for DB2 9. I'd pay particular attention to the XML and Security sections. For this exam, I recommend that you gauge your readiness by taking the assessment exam.
I've had a few people in the Toronto Lab successfully pass Exam 734 using this strategy. Let me know how it works for you.
It has been pretty tough to find time to create blog entries while at the IOD conference! One of the things I was really proud of this week was the launch of 3 NEW certification guides! I've blogged about this before, but the books were displayed in their full splendor at the conference. With the 20% discount for attendees, the book seller was very happy that the books were flying off the shelves...
Here are the books that made their debut while at the conference:
DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 (MC Press) by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 (MC Press) by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 (MC Press) by Roger Sanders.
Congratulations to Roger, Susan and Dan for their excellent achievements! If you bought one of the books, I hope you found it useful in your quest to pass an exam or two. I would love to hear about your experience.
Here are a couple of new books that you may be interested in reading:
Reaching The Goal: How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints by John Ricketts
Managing services is extremely challenging, and traditional “industrial” management techniques are no longer adequate. In Reaching the Goal, Dr. John Arthur Ricketts presents a breakthrough management approach that embraces what makes services different: their diversity, complexity, and unique distribution methods. Ricketts draws on Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), one of this generation’s most successful management methodologies...thoroughly adapting it to the needs of today’s professional, scientific, and technical services businesses. He reveals how to identify the surprising constraints that limit your organization’s performance, execute more effectively within those constraints, and then loosen or even eliminate them. This book’s relentlessly practical techniques reflect several years of advanced IBM research and consulting with enterprise clients. Step-by-step, Ricketts shows how to apply them throughout your most crucial business functions...from project management to finance, process improvement to sales and marketing.
Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules by Mike Moran
For decades, marketers have been taught to carefully plan ahead because “you must get it right–it’s too expensive to change.” But, in the age of the Web, you can know in hours whether your strategy’s working. Today, winners don’t get it right the first time: they start fast, change fast, and relentlessly optimize their way to success. They do it wrong quickly…then fix it, just as quickly! In this book, Internet marketing pioneer Mike Moran shows you how to do that–step-by-step and in detail. Drawing on his experience building ibm.com into one of the world’s most successful sites, Moran shows how to quickly transition from “plan then execute” to a non-stop cycle of refinement. You’ll master specific techniques for making the Web’s “two-way marketing conversation” work successfully, productively, and profitably. Next, Moran shows how to choose the right new marketing tools, craft them into an integrated strategy, and execute it…achieving unprecedented efficiency, accountability, speed, and results.
The links above go to amazon.com where excellent discounts are offered. The books may also be purchased at other bookstores / websites. For IBM employees, you may want to look at these sites:
IBM Learning Bookstore
IBM Learning Website with a link to Books 24x7
Both of these books are brand new, so be one of the first to read them and to comment on them. Word of mouth feedback drives the sales of books and can help make them best-sellers.