I found out about this one last week, and I think it sounds pretty interesting. IBM is holding a data management 'virtual conference' on February 25th. This one sounds like it's a lot more than just a webinar, as there is a show floor with virtual Expo Pedestals as well as speakers and the chance to chat with experts.
The screen shots that I saw look intriguing, although I admit that I don't yet have an exact sense of what it will be like to "be there". What I do know is that travel budgets are likely to range from tight to non-existent for everyone, but the need for knowledge and personal technical contacts is greater than ever.
Here's the agenda:
8:00 AM ET Show floor opens
11:00 Understanding the Foundations of The Information Agenda
12:00 Noon Chat with the experts
1:30 PM Integrated Data Management Revolution with Merv Adrian of Forrester Research
2:30 PM Chat with the experts
6:00 PM Show floor closes
If you haven't seen much on the Information Agenda, it's worth a look. It's all about trusted information and getting the right information out of the silos and working for the business. Over my years in the Information Management area of IBM, I've seen this message evolve and it continues to make more sense to me - how about you? The way I see it, if you're responsible for one silo of information, making that available for the business to benefit from should be one of your main objectives, well, that along with ensuring the security and reliability of that information.
Here's what the Expo Solution Pedestals will have:
Information AgendaLower Costs with IBM Data ServersOptim Data GrowthArchitect and Developer ProductivityDBA Efficiency and Autonomics
Along with the fact that there's no travel cost, the virtual conference is free to attend! Interested? Register now!
. And let me know how you liked it, did it work? It's easy to say that this can't fully replace a real in-person conference experience (after all there's no beer), but I like the idea of supplementing the real ones with other ways to stay connected and informed. This should be a step up from a webinar, as there seem to be many opportunities to interact real-time.
Now... how are they going to handle free swag from those pedestals? :-)[Read More]
I think that most of you reading this work for large companies, and our U.S. large companies tend to have pretty active legal departments. One of the hot topics these days around litigation is the investigation of email to answer legal requirements for evidence. Yep, they're likely keeping all of your email, and are required to comply when asked to provide the relevant ones as part of a lawsuit. Getting that set right is a big deal.
Now, I'm not a lawyer. I do happen to come from a family of lawyers, but that's not really here nor there for this discussion. The group where I work in IBM's Information Mangement has just produced a pretty cool part of the eDiscovery puzzle. It's called eDiscovery Analyzer. As you can see in the announcement letter, it works in conjunction with other IBM products to analyze email content in a repository.
The cool part is what's under the hood here. Based on the open, unstructured information management architecture-based search and text analytics (known as UIMA to those who know and love it), this product processes the text inside as well as the associated information about all the emails. This processing in turn allows a legal email analyzer person to work with and filter based on extracted entities from the email, such as people and company names, and stuff like sender, recipient and date. Combine that with powerful free-text search and you really have some amazing capability to categorize, gather, flag... this really helps a legal staff when they're asked to provide exactly what's needed and no more.
Now... what if you had this kind of capability on other information besides legal email repositories in your enterprise. What would you do with it? What other business problems could this kind of technology solve for you?
Some of my IBM colleagues have created a pretty cool idea - that we, the community of folks with an interest in IBM's information management technology, should designate a day to connect virtually online. This means not just reading content, but actually taking a step further and participating.
I've always seen online social networking tools as extensions of what is done better in person, and a pretty good substitute for when it's just not practical to be in person. This goes back years and years, to online forums, prodigy (remember that?), etc. If you think of your participation online as much like an in-person event as you possibly can, you'll benefit the most possible.
Say, for example, if you attended a talk at a conference, and you gained a lot of useful knowledge from it, and then found your self face-to-face with the speaker right afterwards, you'd say "thanks, I learned a lot from your talk". And if you were sitting at lunch and someone said "Do you know anyone here who can help me with an SQL issue", you'd point them across the room to where your favorite SQL expert sat. Or, you'd do your best to answer the SQL issue yourself.
What we're thinking is that perhaps if we picked a day and asked everyone to speak up in just one small way, we might get some folks more comfortable with participating online, and everyone would benefit - make some contacts, get some questions answered, reconnect with someone you met in person, etc.
So, this Wednesday October 1, get out there to your favorite Information Management online sites and find a way to speak up. There are more ideas and links mentioned here.[Read More]
I was pointed to this interesting article
from the New York Times, about a new technology invented by two software engineers, Jonathan Lindo and Jeffrey Daudel, to be able to "replay" the events that led up to a system crash. Not that I really want to see my "blue screen of death" from yesterday again, but if it would help identify the problem and get a fix, I could probably live through it a couple more times.
Reading the article, I was struck by a couple of points. They quote Lindo as saying that the inspiration came to them as "Wouldn't it be great if we could just TiVo this and replay it?" And then it says this:
Innovation by analogy is a powerful concept, says Giovanni Gavetti, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School who, with his colleague Jan W. Rivkin, has published research on how businesses can use analogic reasoning as a strategic tool. Human beings are analogy machines, he notes, dealing with new information by comparing it to things they already know something about.
That's true, I often try out analogies when I'm trying to understand or explain something. And I can really see how that could lead to innovations, as well as to some odd product evolutions. For a consumer example, I love how the iPhone lets me listen to my voicemail messages in any order, instead of sequentially, which must have been a leftover paradigm from when messages were stored on an analog tape. I can picture someone saying - "why can't I access my messages like I read my email?" - and voila - innovation.
Then I started wondering just how much you could tinker with the crash replay. Could you start eliminating concurrently-running applications, for example, to see if any of them contributed to the crash? And could you test a fix with the replay to see if it fixes the crash?
I also wonder whether IBM's customers would voluntarily seek out software like this to help them narrow down problems. It's not from IBM, and I really don't know any more about it than is in the article above. It's from a company called Replay Solutions, and it runs on several versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. So, no mainframe support yet (grin). But you could ask them about it!
Announced today: New pricing options for DB2 for z/OS running new workloads! All you data center folks who lament to us that pricing for "other" databases can't be compared to DB2 for z/OS - rejoice!!
Announcing today, and already found here is this gem of a news item tidbit:
IBM is also announcing the immediate availability of DB2 for z/OS Value Unit Edition, which provides a new one-time-charge offering that enables the deployment of new application workloads. This offering strengthens the role of System z as a cornerstone for key business initiatives such as SOA, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and packaged applications such as SAP. DB2 for z/OS Value Unit Edition and IBM Information Server enable System z clients to further deliver trusted information for their dynamic warehousing requirements.
Just updated: Here is where you can find the gory details.
Is this cool or what? Doesn't this just remove the last and final objection that the application architects have for leaving DB2 for z/OS out of the running for those new applications?
Now, lest you think I am somehow reflecting a non-developer perspective, look, I have spent most of my efforts in DB2 for z/OS developing the kinds of new technologies designed to attract new workloads, and since even I have heard the pricing objection, isn't it perfectly fair for me to mention this in my DW space? And heck, since I am a developer, not a pricing person by any stretch of the imagination, if this has gotten my attention, you know it's big news!
Bring on those new workloads! And then come to us in development and tell us what you need to bring more work onto z, OK?
I found this article
online today, which highlights the importance of enterprise search.
Company networks contain mountains of structured and unstructured data archived in numerous formats, some of them decades old and stored in secure servers.
IBM also is building a portfolio of enterprise search tools and services, under the OmniFind brand.
Of course you know that DB2 for z/OS data contains mountains of information! This is what our just-released text search support addresses for DB2 for z/OS data - character, binary, and XML. And it's built on OmniFind technology. With this support, you can do text search queries using the built-in CONTAINS() function. It's provided with DB2 9 for z/OS and the no-charge accessories suite.
Now, I know that this is just one piece of enterprise search. In fact, I joke with my colleagues that all of the work that we've put into this is "just an SQL statement". :-) But hey, it's an important piece - it can keep the DB2 for z/OS data where it is and "let the searches come to us".[Read More]
We now have the capability in DB2 9 for z/OS to search text data that is stored in DB2 for z/OS using SQL statements. Wahoo!
You mean you missed the announcement?
And you just followed that link and still couldn't find it? It's under "utilities", no, it's not that kind of utility, but still, that's where it is.
What is added is built-in functions for contains() and score(), and also shipping a text search server which runs on a separate, non-z/OS server. For more details, see the announcements!
One prerequisite for this is to have a WLM application environment set up to run a java user-defined function. The early customers I've been working with have had the most stumbling with this part of it. So, this is something you can set up even if you are not quite to DB2 9 for z/OS yet. I'll post some more on the setup steps for that.
So, what kind of data are you going to search, and what kinds of searches are you going to do?[Read More]
Last week in Athens I attended a presentation by Julian Stuhler of Triton Consulting
. I was of course aware of the support, but more from a DB2 internals point of view. It was great to get an external perspective on it from someone who has been working with it.
The key information is that spatial data can be points, lines, or polygons (including multi-part polygons). If you think about it, this is really powerful. One example that Julian used is that an address is a point, and a flood zone is a polygon. So now you can ask "is the house in a flood zone", which is "is this point inside the polygon"? Cool stuff! I can really imagine how this could be used by some situational applications to use data in DB2 alongside other data.
Complete documentation on the spatial features can be found in this book
Hi all, and welcome to my new blog!
All this week, I am busy at the International DB2 User's Group conference here in Athens, Greece. The two topics I'm presenting are "Native SQL stored procedures in DB2 9 for z/OS" and "Java stored procedures".
I was very glad to get the chance to get across this key point in yesterday's presentation on native SQL stored procedures -- yes, when they execute they are eligible for redirect to the zIIP processor, but only when they are invoked from a remote client, and then at the same percentage as other DDF work. Lots of presentations lately have stated this a bit more broadly, leaving people with the wrong impression. So, let's be clear - when a remote thread comes into DB2, it executes on an enclave SRB, and DB2 dials the zIIP redirect to a certain percentage. A DB2 9 native SQL procedure executes on the invoking execution block and not on a WLM-SPAS TCB - that's one of their big advantages. Thus, when a native SQL stored procedure is invoked from a remote client over a TCP/IP connection, it runs on the enclave SRB and thus picks up that same DDF zIIP redirect percentage. On the other hand, when a native SQL stored procedure is invoked locally on z/OS, it is executed on the TCB that PC'd in from CICS or batch, and that is not eligible for zIIP redirect.
Lots of other good stuff going on here - tomorrow is a DB2 for z/OS Special Interest Group as well as our IBM query panel.[Read More]