In the December Edition of DB2 Magazine, the feature article is
Tracking The TruthBy Cynthia Harvey
The article is a follow up to the joint research project from IBM and the National Geographic Society, called the The Genographic Project. The project asked for volunteers to send a sample of their DNA to project so it could be analyzed and tracked to help determine the origins of people. Apparently there are unique DNA markers that are passed from parent to child that rarely mutate, allowing the scientists to trace the migration paths of the earliest humans.
I was interested in this story for two reasons. First of all, I've always been interested in family history, so I was one of the volunteers who sent DNA in. I received my report a couple of years ago and found it very interesting. The second reason is that the technology used to store the DNA and to analyze the very large amount of collected data is IBM technology, specifically DB2 and WebSphere.
Read about the technical challenges that the team was faced with and how they overcame those challenges with the help of IBM as their technology partner.
DB2 Magazine: http://www.db2mag.com/
Keep on Learning
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Thanks to David Sky for bringing me up to date on the improvements in the DB2 product documentation!
IBM continues to make the DB2 product documentation easier to use and search. Click DB2 Product Documentation Improvements to find details on some of the improvements, including:
* An OpenSearch web browser plugin that adds the DB2 Information Center to the search toolbar in the top right corner of MS Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. Once installed you simply select the version of the DB2 documentation you want to search, enter your search term, and hit enter. You'll be taken directly to the set of search results.
* Thanks to the International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) you can now use Google to search just the DB2 Information Center: search form.
* David highly recommends that you watch the four and a half minute screencast to get the most from your search, using the various controls and tabs, how to print a subset of the documentation, etc...
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I often mention tutorials and books as a way to gain skills for DB2 9, but our classroom courses have been updated and continue to be very popular. The instructors are excellent and the prices are very competitive!
Here are two of the classes that are now available to help you prepare to pass exams 730 and 731, as well as get you ahead of the technology curve and learn DB2 9:
Title: DB2 Family FundamentalsNumber: CF03
Title: DB2 Database Administration WorkshopNumber: CF20 (Linux), CF21 (UNIX), CF23 (Windows)
To locate a class in your area use the Global Training Finder, and then take advantage of IBM low-cost learning options such as Redbooks, DB2 Gaming, technical papers and self-study tutorials.
One of my favourite instructors is Melanie Stopfer. New!! Click on her name and check out her bio and customer feedback!
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A new membership tier for IDUG was supposed to launch on April 2, but I don't see it on their website yet... so I may be pre-announcing :) Anyone can continue to access the IUDG website as in the past, but if you become a Premier Member, you are eligible for additional benefits.
There are two ways to become an IDUG Premier Member:1)Your attendance at IDUG 2007 – North America includes an annual Premier Membership in IDUG (valid for one calendar from your date of activation), or2)For those who didn't attend an IDUG conference, an annual fee of $100 USD.
IDUG Premier Members receive:• IDUG Premier Member Card• IDUG Premier Lapel Pin
Benefits of being an IDUG Premier Member include:• Complimentary access to download-on-demand program content (streaming audio/video) delivered at IDUG conferences, beginning at IDUG 2007 – North America
* DB2 Developer Spotlight sessions * Keynote presentations * Panel discussions
• Discounted access to download-on-demand technical sessions (streaming audio/video) delivered at IDUG conferences, beginning at IDUG 2007 – North America
• Access to IDUG’s valuable podcast and Webcast series featuring interviews with and insights from leading developers and renowned industry experts
• Access to select members only areas of IDUG’s Web site, including the online Code Place, Technical Library, Discussion Forums and Solution Providers directory
• Significant discounts off the registration fee to any major IDUG event (North American conference, European conference, Australian Forum) applicable while your Premier Membership is active
• A 45% discount off technical book purchases from Prentice Hall (IBM Press)
• Automatic receipt of IDUG’s monthly e-Bulletin
• Plus more benefits which will be rolled out in the near future!
IDUG will email instructions and an application to everyone on their current distribution list. To learn more about IDUG Membership, visit the membership page on IDUG.org.
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The Early Bird price for the IBM Information on Demand 2007 conference has been announced and registration is open!
Why should you attend this conference? It is an IBM conference and in a single week, the following will be available:
* 500 Technical Skill Building sessions * 120 Business Leadership sessions * Bigger EXPO Solution Center * Addition of FileNet UserNet Conference * Mock Trial highlighting Compliance Challenges * Community Receptions, Birds of a Feather and Roadmaps * More Free Onsite Certifications * Twice the Hands On Labs * More opportunities to Meet the Experts * More Repeat sessions * Customer Awards
On top of the many learning and networking opportunities, there will be some entertainment. I haven't heard what is planned, but if its anything like last year, it will be very entertaining :)
This year the conference will be in Las Vegas. I know Vegas isn't everyone's favourite place to go, but the weather is usually pleasant and Las Vegas is a very walking-friendly place.
PS. I hope you can make it to the conference this year![Read More]
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Pearson Education, the publisher for the latest IBM Press book, Understanding DB2 9 Security has just issued an online coupon for this book, and I wanted to let you know first:
Coupon Expires: June 30, 2007Use code BOND5907 during the checkout step.Discount: 35% offISBNs: 0131345907 Understanding DB2 9 Security
If you've read the book and liked it, post here or in amazon to let others know!
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James Koopman blogged his review of the Understanding DB2 9 Security book, and I want to repeat a section of his review here:
Above and beyond everything I liked about this book was its' ability to go beyond presenting just facts. I can go to a manual for that. While everyone seems to be talking about 'Best Practices' these days they all too often are hard to interpret or are not quite to the point. Understanding DB2 9 Security is written in a way that explains, demonstrates, and supports these 'Best Practices' in such a way that is very clear to the reader.
Frankly, this is what most authors attempt to achieve in their books: Clearly written information that helps GUIDE the reader to make the BEST choices in their use of the product! I'm very pleased to see that Rebecca, Kevin, Carmen and Henry were able to achieve this result!
If you are reading this book and feel the same way as James does, make your opinion known!
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I was speaking to my contact at McGraw-Hill the other day and she said that the New Features book is in the warehouse and all pre-orders are being fulfilled right now. I hope you've received your copy if you were one of the many people to pre-order the book!
If you haven't had a chance to order it yet, you can still qualify for the 40% discount from superbooks.... for awhile.
IBM and McGraw-Hill teamed up to create a DB2 9 New Features book that was thoughtfully written by a team of leading IBM experts (Paul Zikopoulos, George Baklarz, Chris Eaton, and Leon Katsnelson) to provide you with comprehensive technical details and real-world business uses for all of the exciting new features in the current release of DB2 9. You’ll learn about the capabilities found in pureXML as well as administrative enhancements in areas such as self management, high availability, and security. Also covered are features for the developer from a Ruby on Rails toolkit to the Developer Workbench and enhanced .NET developer support.
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Thanks to Melissa, Kate, and Heather from my team for putting this much-needed DVD together!
This interactive self-study DVD helps you to get started on IBM Content Manager Enterprise Edition Version 8.3 to take control of your information.
IBM Content Management software captures, stores, manages, integrates and delivers all forms of digital content across a company’s entire value chain from employees to customers to suppliers and partners - to create real business value.
This DVD provides you with a set of learning resources to help you discover ways to increase productivity and turn business information into business value, including:
* Learn about the latest tutorials, Redbooks, and articles about Content Manager * Discover how Content Manager can help you leverage business information * Prepare to become an IBM Certified Solution Designer - DB2 Content Manager V8.3 with our series of nine Content Manager Tutorials * Listen to IBM and industry experts discuss the key benefits Content Manager * Check out our latest case studies and read though our informative whitepapers
To order your complimentary copy, you must complete a brief online order form.
Side note: I proctored Exam 443 for someone this afternoon who was taking the exam for a second time. The first time he took the exam, he was unable to pass it. This time he was able to pass the exam with a near perfect score! How did he do it? He told me that since his first attempt, he has been using CM V8.3 extensively as part of his job. Experience using the product, along with reading the available training resources is an excellent strategy for passing a certification exam.
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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....
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DB2 Magazine has put together a list of electronic books that you can view for free. The content is displayed in a format that is easy to read with plenty of graphics. You can choose from the following topics:
XML FOR JAVA DEVELOPERSDB2 9 introduced powerful XML management capabilities. Download this new e-book from DB2 Magazine to find out how the techniques you use every day can help you put that power to work. You'll learn XML programming tips for Java developers, see detailed Java application examples, and get a recap of all the new features and functions that ease Java development.
TAKING AIM AT PERFORMANCE PROBLEMSStop wasting time on hit-or-miss tuning exercises. Event monitors and snapshots show you exactly where to point your efforts.
SPOTLIGHT ON XMLDB2 9's "pureXML" technology introduces powerful XML management capabilities. Here's how to use the skills you already have to put that power to work.
APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS: PERL, PHP, AND REXXWhen it comes to Development, DB2 is open to all options. IBM's commitment to open, standards-based interfaces and its support for a range of tools mean that developers can build DB2 applications with the tools and programming languages they like.
This special e-book presents DB2-specific code, tips, and techniques for working with three increasingly popular choices: Perl, PHP and Rexx.
DEVELOPING DB2 APPLICATIONS: THE PLATFORM CHOICE IS YOURSWhen it comes to application development, Java junkies and .Net devotees may never see eye to eye. If they're developing for DB2, they don’t have to. DB2 UDB v.8.2 shipped earlier this year with something for every developer, regardless of platform preference. This must-read e-book highlights the latest in DB2 application development, with platform-specific examples, expert guidance, and more.
BRIDGING THE ISLANDSNow you can connect Informix data with other corporate information. The result? An impressive enterprise view.
DB2 UDB THE AUTONOMIC COMPUTING ADVANTAGEGetting the most from today's complex database systems is a challenge. Learn how self-managing capabilities in DB2 UDB v.8.2 do some of the work for you.
THE BIG LEAGUESIn this special e-book for Informix customers, you'll read how businesses are using the new release of Informix Dynamic Server, how Informix technology is finding its niche in the IBM world, and what IBM's Janet Perna says about the future of Informix at IBM.
THE PERFORMANCE DIARIESThis special e-book, compiled from three installments of Robert Catterall’s popular DB2 DBA column, brings you all the instructions you'll need to find these details and put them to use in your tuning efforts.
OPEN THE THROTTLE: Tuning DB2 UDB v.8.1In this three-part series, database performance engineer Roger E. Sanders explains the seven tuning rules every DBA should know and gives a platform-specific guide to getting the best performance from your DB2 UDB implementation. Portable e-book format!
ON DEMAND: Real Companies, Real BenefitsA special editorial section for CEOs, CTOs, technology-focused executives and managers, and anyone interested in IBM's on-demand concept. These brief articles showcase real companies reaping real benefits from the information-on-demand approach — an infrastructure for getting the right information to the right person at the exact moment it's needed.
Thanks to Kim and the rest of the staff at DB2 Magazine for pulling together relevant documents such as this!
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Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard authored The Business Benefits of DB2 9 - Bloor Research Whitepaper which is a very favorable review of DB2 9. Philip's paper examines the major new features of DB2 9 not only in business terms but with an explanation of how the various technologies work, and where they differ from that of IBM’s competitors in order to understand how these business benefits are derived.
The paper concentrates on those features of the new release that Philip considered as having significant business benefits: XML, compression, SAP optimisation, range partitioning, security, and tuning, concluding:
" . . .this release of DB2 introduces new capabilities that significantly exceed those of its competitors in a number of areas. In particular, its pureXML is a major advantage and in any company where XML is an important consideration (and this increasingly applies to all organisations), IBM should be at the head of the list when considering potential suppliers."
Publishing soon is the book IBM DB2 9 New Features by Paul Zikopoulos, George Baklarz, Leon Katsnelson, Chris Eaton. This book describes the major new features of DB2 9 and also teaches you how to put the new features into practise.
Also consider attending a half day technical briefings in a location near you: Experience the power of Information Management solutions. This technical briefing will further demonstrate the business value of DB2 9 and how easily you can begin to realize these benefits.
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I spent the morning going through book sales reports from the past year. I was reminded of a couple of books that were published a few years ago that continue to sell well.... can we consider such books as classics?
DQTI - Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition). My background is technical writing and this is a great book for helping anyone understand the best techniques for both technical writing AND reviewing. Classic because it wasn't based on a product release... and therefore will stay current and applicable for years to come. Definitely one to have on your bookshelf! As reviewer "Lefty points out, "This book has made me re-think how I write technical articles. It is excellent. It has clear, concise instruction and examples. If you are planning to learn more about how to create technical writing this is the book."
SSL - Self-Service Linux(R): Mastering the Art of Problem Determination. As reviewer Nils Valentin from Tokyo points out, the book should have been titled "The high art of problem investigation and software debugging", which is a topic that would appeal to a large number of people... and the topic WILL NOT go out of date in the near future. Another one that would be a great addition to your bookshelf, regardless of the operating system you are using.
IMS - An Introduction to IMS(TM): Your Complete Guide to IBM's Information Management System. As reviewer Barbara Green point out "While many IMS gurus are retiring, and replacements are hard to find, I think this book is a staple for any IMS shop. This is not an operator's reference. (IMS already has a good one of those.) But it does provide a good overview of database structure and design and explains key points well, with very good illustrations. This book is a much needed addition to IMS literature. I'm sure it will stand the test of decades, just as the database has done." Sounds like a classic to me!
HA - High Availability Guide for DB2. I know many people would disagree with me that this book is a classic since it is missing the important topic of HADR. But as reviewer Wes Boudville point out, "If you have been a sysadmin and are familiar with the concepts of full and incremental backups of an operating system, then this book's descriptions of DB2's abilities in this field are very impressive. DB2 offers far more fine grained control/resolution over the backing up of its data. Like the means of having circular or archival logging. So if you are just starting out as a DB2 administrator, you have quite a bit more to learn, just in this field."
DB2 z/OS - The Official Introduction to DB2 for z/OS. Similar to the statement above about the IMS book, this book is very necessary in the industry to introduce DB2 to the new people just beginning their careers on this platform.
I hope you've found a least one book in this list that you want to add to your bookshelf! I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has additional books to add to this list.
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ConferencesEuropean Information Management Technical Conference (Dusseldorf, Germany) May 21-25 This is the information management event for business and IT executives, managers, professionals, DBAs and developers. With over 200 technical sessions across 11 tracks, it’s a great opportunity to get the best in technical education and free certification, as well as gaining access and exposure to the full spectrum of IBM Information technologies and experts.
Mark your calendars for IDUG 2007 - Europe in Athens Hilton, Athens, Greece 5 - 9 November 2007. In an effort to make justifying your attendance at next year's conference a little easier, IDUG has assembled a Justification Toolkit to assist you in gaining approval to attend. Be sure to continue to visit our web site often over the next few months as the most up-to-date information will be made available.
Instructor-Led EducationBoost your skills and get the most from your data by learning the new features of DB2 9 with Information Management professional training courses. Choose from some of the most competitively priced courses including: CF03-DB2 Family Fundamentals, CF20-DB2 Database Administration Workshop for Linux, CF21-DB2 Database Administration Workshop for UNIX and CF23-DB2 Database Administration Workshop for Windows. To locate a class in your area choose the Training Quick Finder tab on the Information Management Training and Certification Web site. Be sure to explore the site to take advantage of additional learning options at a low cost to you such as Redbooks, DB2 Gaming, technical papers and self-study tutorials.
BookstoreSee the link to the Pearson European bookstore that offers a 35% discount on all IBM Press books, no shipping or duty charges for deliver within Europe, and payment in Euros. Visit our international site for more information as well.
If there are other events that I haven't posted, please let me know.....