DB2 9 Fundamentals exam 730 prep, Part 3

Accessing DB2 data


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This content is part of the series:DB2 9 Fundamentals exam 730 prep, Part 3

Stay tuned for additional content in this series.

Before you start

About this series

Thinking about seeking certification on DB2 fundamentals (Exam 730)? If so, you've landed in the right spot. This series of seven DB2 certification preparation tutorials covers all the basics—the topics you'll need to understand before you read the first exam question. Even if you're not planning to seek certification right away, this set of tutorials is a great place to start getting to learn what's new in DB2 9.

About this tutorial

This tutorial is the third in a series of seven tutorials that can help you prepare for the DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification (Exam 730). The material in this tutorial primarily covers the objectives in Section 3 of the test (see Related topics for more information).

DB2 installation is not covered in this tutorial. If you haven't already done so, we strongly recommend that you download and install a copy of IBM DB2 Express-C (see Related topics). Installing DB2 will help you understand many of the concepts that are tested on the DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification exam.

After you've installed the DB2 product, you will want to get a database up and running as quickly as possible. This tutorial introduces you to the objects that make up a DB2 database, and to the factors that affect how the database is created. After a brief introduction to DB2 objects, we'll examine the different tools to create, access, and manipulate DB2 objects.


After completing this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • Create a DB2 database on your own
  • Catalog it for use by other users
  • Examine and manipulate the objects within that database.


The process of installing DB2 is not covered in this tutorial. If you haven't already done so, we strongly recommend that you download and install a copy of DB2 Express-C (see Related topics). Installing DB2 will help you understand many of the concepts that are tested on the DB2 9 Family Fundamentals Certification exam. If needed, the IBM Support Portal for DB2 LUW has resources to help you with the installation process (see Related topics).

System requirements

You do not need a copy of DB2 to complete this tutorial. However, you will get more out of the tutorial if you download the free trial version of IBM DB2 9 to work along with this tutorial (see Related topics).

What makes up a DB2 database?

Logical, physical, and performance features of a database

A DB2 database is actually made up of a collection of objects. From the user's perspective, a database is a collection of tables that are usually related in some way.

From the perspective of a database administrator (DBA -- that's you), it's a little more complicated than that. The actual database contains many of the following physical and logical objects:

  • Tables, views, indexes, schemas
  • Locks, triggers, stored procedures, packages
  • Buffer pools, log files, table spaces

Some of these objects, like tables or views, help determine how the data is organized. Other objects, like table spaces, refer to the physical implementation of the database. Finally, some objects, like buffer pools and other memory objects, only deal with how the database performance is managed.

Rather than dwell on all possible combinations of parameters and objects, the DBA should first concentrate on the physical implementation of the database. How do you create a database and allocate the disk storage required for it? To properly answer that question, you need to know about the basic objects in the database and how they get mapped to physical disk storage.

The DB2 storage model

DB2 has both a logical and physical storage model to handle data. The actual data that users deal with is found in tables. While tables may be made up of columns and rows, the user has no knowledge of the physical representation of the data. This fact is sometimes referred to as the physical independence of the data.

The tables themselves are placed into table spaces. A table space is used as a layer between the database and the container objects that hold the actual table data. A table space can contain more than one table.

A container is a physical storage device. It can be identified by a directory name, a device name, or a file name. A container is assigned to a table space. A table space can span many containers, which means that you can get around operating system limitations that may limit the amount of data that one container can have. The relationship between all of these objects is illustrated in the figure below.

Figure 1. DB2 storage model
DB2 storage model
DB2 storage model

Although a table is the basic object that is placed into a table space, a DBA must be aware of additional objects within the DB2 system and how they are mapped to a table space.

Tables, indexes, long fields, and table spaces

Tables, indexes, and long fields (sometimes called binary large objects or BLOBs) are objects that are created within a DB2 database. These objects get mapped to a table space that is itself mapped to physical disk storage.

A table is an unordered set of data records. It consists of columns and rows that are generally known as records. Tables can be either permanent (base) tables, temporary (declared) tables, or temporary (derived) tables. From a DBA perspective, space is allocated for each one of these table objects, but in different table spaces.

An index is a physical object that is associated with a single table. Indexes are used to enforce uniqueness in a table (that is, to make sure that there are no duplicate values) and to improve performance when retrieving information. You don't need indexes to run your SQL (Structured Query Language) statements; however, your users will appreciate your foresight in creating a few of them to speed up query processing!

A long field (or BLOB) is a type of data found within a table. This data type is typically made up of unstructured data (an image, a document, an audio file) and usually contains a significant amount of information. Storing this type of data within a table would lead to excessive overhead when deleting, inserting, and manipulating these objects. Instead of storing them directly in the row of the table, a pointer is stored instead that links to a spot in a Large table space (previously known as a Long Field table space). DBAs need to be aware of this data type so they can create the appropriate table spaces to contain these objects.

Another special type of data is XML (eXtensible Markup Language). XML is data type that can be stored within a row, or in a separate table space similar to BLOB objects. The XML data type is unique in that it can span multiple pages in a table, whereas other data types must stay on same page as the row. A DBA will need to work with the application designers to determine whether the XML objects being stored in the table should be kept on regular (data) pages or placed into their own separate table space. If retrieval performance is a critical factor, the DBA should use a large page size and keep XML columns in the same table space as the regular data.

Armed with the knowledge of these different object types, you are now ready to determine the type of space that you need to allocate.

DMS and SMS table spaces

Table spaces are the logical layer between the database and the tables stored in that database. Table spaces are created within a database and tables are created within table spaces. DB2 supports three kinds of table spaces:

  • System-Managed Space (SMS): Here, the operating system's file system manager allocates and manages the space. Prior to DB2 9, creating a database or table space without any parameters will result in all table spaces being created as SMS objects.

  • Database-Managed Space (DMS): Here, the database manager controls the storage space. This table space is, essentially, an implementation of a special-purpose file system designed to best meet the needs of the database manager.

  • Automatic Storage With DMS: Automated storage is not really a separate type of table space, but a different way of handling DMS storage. DMS containers require more maintenance (see the section below) and Automatic Storage was introduced in DB2 V8.2.2 as a way of simplifying space management.

SMS table spaces require very little maintenance. However, SMS table spaces offer fewer optimization options and may not perform as well as DMS table spaces.

So, which table space design should you choose?

SMS, DMS, and automatic storage

Although the following table is not exhaustive, it does contain some things for you to consider when deciding between SMS, DMS, and automatic storage table spaces.

Table 1. Comparing SMS, DMS, and automatic storage table spaces
FeatureSMSDMSAutomatic storage
Striping? Yes Yes Yes
Default type Version 8 No Version 9
Object management Operating system DB2 DB2
Space allocation Grows/shrinks on demand Preallocated; size can shrink and grow but requires DBA intervention. Preallocated; can grow automatically.
Ease of administration Best; little or no tuning required Good, but some tuning required (e.g., EXTENTSIZE PREFETCHSIZE ) Best; little or no tuning required
Performance Very good Best; can achieve up to 5 to 10% advantage with raw containers Best; can't use raw containers, however
Maximum table space size 64GB (4K Page) 2TB (4K Page) 2TB (4K Page)

Aside from the simplified management using SMS table spaces, the most significant difference between the two storage models is the maximum size of a table space. Using SMS, the DBA is restricted to placing a maximum of 64GB in a table space. This amount can be increased by changing the page size to 32K (512GB), at the expense of possibly less useable space on a page. Moving to a DMS model will increase the table space limit to 2TB with a 4K page size. The amount of storage available can grow to as much as 16TB with a 32K page size. While there are other ways to increase the size of a table beyond the 64GB boundary, the simplest approach may be to use DMS table spaces initially.

DMS and automatic storage

DB2 Version 8.2.2 introduced the notion of AUTOMATIC STORAGE. automatic storage allows the DBA to set up the database with storage paths that can be used for all table space container creation. Rather than having the DBA explicitly code the location and size of the tablespaces, the system will automatically allocate them. In DB2 9, a database will be created with Automatic storage unless the DBA explicitly overrides this setting.

Databases that are enabled for automatic storage have a set of one or more storage paths associated with them. A table space can be defined as "managed by automatic storage" and its containers assigned and allocated by DB2 based on those storage paths. A database can only be enabled for automatic storage when it is first created. You cannot enable automatic storage for a database that was not originally defined to use it. Similarly, you cannot disable automatic storage for a database that was originally designed to use it.

The following table summarizes some of the differences between managing non-automatic storage and automatic storage:

Table 2. Comparing non-automatic storage and automatic storage
FeatureNon-automatic storageAutomatic storage
Container creation Containers must be explicitly provided when the table space is created. Containers cannot be provided when the table space is created; they will be assigned and allocated automatically by DB2.
Container resizing Automatic resizing of table spaces is off (AUTORESIZE NO) by default. Automatic resizing of table spaces is on (AUTORESIZE YES) by default.
Initial size The initial size for the table space cannot be specified using the INITIALSIZE clause. The initial size for the table space can be specified using the INITIALSIZE clause.
Container modification Container operations can be performed using the ALTER TABLESPACE statement (ADD, DROP, BEGIN NEW STRIPE SET, and so on). Container operations cannot be performed because DB2 is in control of space management.
Ease of administration A redirected restore operation can be used to redefine the containers associated with the table space. A redirected restore operation cannot be used to redefine the containers associated with the table space because DB2 is in control of space management.

The primary reason for the introduction of the Automatic Storage model was to simplify the management of DMS tablespaces while retaining the performance characteristics. There will situations where the DBA must define all of the characteristics of the tablespaces being used, but many applications will benefit from the reduced management required with Automatic Storage.

DB2 storage model summary

We've covered a lot of ground in this section. Let's summarize what we've learn about DB2 databases.

  • A database is a collection of objects, which includes tables, indexes, views, and long objects.
  • These objects are stored within table spaces, which in turn are made up of containers.
  • Table spaces can be either managed by the operating system (SMS) or by DB2 (DMS, Automatic Storage).
  • You'll decide which type of table space to use based mostly on performance and maintenance factors.

Now that you are an expert on the different types of table spaces, it's time to create your first database. The next section will show you how.

Creating your first database

First Steps

As part of the DB2 installation process, the First Steps panel is displayed allowing the user to generate a number of a sample databases to work with:

Figure 2. DB2 First Steps panel
DB2 First Steps panel
DB2 First Steps panel

Selecting the Database Creation option will display an additional menu to allow you to create the SAMPLE database.

Figure 3. Create database panel
Create database panel
Create database panel

Most users will want to create the SAMPLE database and use that to explore the features of DB2. This panel can be invoked by selecting First Steps from within the Setup Tools folder in the DB2 Program group (in Windows environments). In addition, issuing the command db2sampl from a command-line prompt will also generate the SAMPLE database.

Once the SAMPLE button has been selected, an additional panel is displayed to determine where the SAMPLE database will be created.

Figure 4. Create SAMPLE database pane
Create SAMPLE database panel
Create SAMPLE database panel

When creating the SAMPLE database, it is recommended that you select the XML and SQL objects and data option. This option will generate the database in UTF-8 (Unicode) format that will allow you to manipulate XML objects. If you do not select the XML option, you will not be able to add XML objects to your SAMPLE database.

For more information on the First Steps tool, check out the first tutorial in this series.

Let's move on to creating a DB2 database without a GUI.

My first real database

Creating a DB2 database from a command line is relatively simple. To create a database, you must invoke the DB2 Command Line Processor (CLP). This can be accomplished by either selecting Command Line Processor from the Command Line Tools folder in the DB2 Program Group (see the figure below), or executing the command db2cmd db2 from an operating system command line. (For more information on the Command Line Processor, check out the first tutorial in this series.)

Figure 5. Select Command Line Processor
Screen shot of selecting 'Command Line Processor'
Screen shot of selecting 'Command Line Processor'

The syntax for creating a DB2 database is as follows:


"That's it?" you ask? That's it! The only element that is required as part of a CREATE DATABASE command is the name of the database. The rules for a database name are:

  • The database name can consist of the following characters: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, @, #, and $.

  • The first character in the name must be an alphabetic character, @, #, or $; it cannot be a number or the letter sequences SYS, DBM, or IBM.

  • A database name or database alias is a unique character string containing from one to eight letters, numbers, or keyboard characters from the set described above.

Of course, there are many more options that are available to you; you don't have to only enter a name. Let's examine what actually happened as a result of this command.

What did DB2 create?

When you issued the CREATE DATABASE command, DB2 created a number of files. These files include log files, configuration information, history files, and three table spaces. These table spaces are:

  • SYSCATSPACE: This is where the DB2 system catalog is kept that tracks all of the metadata associated with DB2 objects.
  • TEMPSPACE1: A temporary work area where DB2 can place intermediate results.
  • USERSPACE1: A place where all user objects (tables, indexes) reside by default.

All of these files are placed into the DB2 directory found on your default drive. The default drive is typically the volume on which you installed the DB2 product.

For simple applications, this default configuration may be sufficient for your needs. However, you may want to change the location of your database files, or change the way DB2 manages these objects. Next, we'll explore the CREATE DATABASE command in more detail.

A special note for people migrating from DB2 Version 8: Prior to DB2 9, a CREATE DATABASE command would create SMS table spaces for all of the objects listed above. In DB2 9, all table spaces will be defined as Automatic Storage (DMS) table spaces.


The full syntax of the DB2 CREATE DATABASE command can be found in the DB2 Command Reference, but the following diagram illustrates the majority of options that a DBA would be interested in.

Listing 1. CREATE DATABASE command
           '-DB-------'               '-| Database options |-'
Listing 2. Database options
Create Database options:
   |     .-,---------.                           |
   |     V           |                           |
           '-drive-'    '-DBPATH ON--+-path--+-'
   '-USING CODESET--codeset--TERRITORY--territory-'
   |                .-SYSTEM---------. |
   '-CATALOG TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'
   '-USER TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'
   '-TEMPORARY TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'
Listing 3. Table space definition
|--MANAGED BY--------------------------------------------------->
                      V                    |
>--+-SYSTEM USING--(----'container-string'-+--)--------------------------------+-->
   |                    .-,-----------------------------------------------.    |
   |                    V                                                 |    |
   +-DATABASE USING--(----+-FILE---+--'container-string'--number-of-pages-+--)-+
   |                      '-DEVICE-'                                           |
   '-AUTOMATIC STORAGE---------------------------------------------------------'
   '-AUTORESIZE--+-NO--+-'  '-INITIALSIZE--integer--+-K|M|G-+-'

In the following sections, you'll learn what these various options are and how you would use them.

Database location

One of the parameters of the CREATE DATABASE command is the ON path/drive option. This option tells DB2 where you want to create the database. If a path is not specified, the database is created on the default database path value specified in Database Manager settings (DFTDBPATH parameter).

Figure 6. DBM Configuration screen
Screen shot of DBM Configuration screen
Screen shot of DBM Configuration screen

For example, the following CREATE DATABASE command places the database in the TEST directory on the D: drive on a Windows operating system:


Choosing Automatic storage (the default) allows the DBA to set up the database with storage paths that can be used for all table space container creation. Rather than having the DBA explicitly code the location and size of the tablespaces, the system will automatically allocate them. For instance, the following database creation statement will set up automatic storage for all table spaces in the database.

Listing 4. Database creation statement

After the AUTOMATED STORAGE ON option, three file directories (paths) are shown. These three paths are the locations where containers for a table space will reside. The remainder of the options are:


    In the event that a table space runs out of space, the system will automatically extend the size of the containers.


    Any table space defined with no initial size will default to 300 MB in size. The containers will each be 100 MB in size (there are three storage paths).

  • INCREASESIZE 75 M (or %)

    In the event that the table space runs out of space, the total space for the table space will be increased by 75 M in size. A percentage can also be specified in which case the table space will be increased in size as a percentage of its current size.


    The maximum size of table space will be unlimited. If the DBA wants to place a limit on how much storage a table space can have, they can do so by specifying a maximum value.

When a table space is defined using AUTOMATIC STORAGE, no additional parameters need to be supplied:


Any of the parameters associated with a table space can be supplied in this command; however, the use of automatic storage can greatly simplify the maintenance of routine table spaces. Table spaces associated with critical large production tables would probably require more DBA intervention.

When creating a table space in a database that is not enabled for automatic storage, the MANAGED BY SYSTEM or MANAGED BY DATABASE clause must be specified. Using these clauses results in the creation of a system managed space (SMS) table space or database managed space (DMS) table space respectively. An explicit list of containers must be provided in both cases.

If a database is enabled for automatic storage, another choice exists. The MANAGED BY AUTOMATIC STORAGE clause may be specified, or the MANAGED BY clause may be left out completely (which implies automatic storage). No container definitions are provided in this case because DB2 assigns the containers automatically.

Code pages and collating sequences

A character code page is associated with all DB2 character data types (CHAR, VARCHAR, CLOB, DBCLOB). A code page can be thought of as a reference table used to convert alphanumeric data to the binary data that is stored in the database. A DB2 database can only use a single code page. The code page is established during the CREATE DATABASE command using the options CODESET and TERRITORY. The code page can use a single byte to represent an alphanumeric character (a single byte can represent 256 unique elements) or multiple bytes.

Languages like English contain relatively few unique characters; therefore, a single-byte code page is sufficient to store data. Languages like Japanese require more than 256 elements to represent all of their unique characters; therefore, a multibyte code page (usually a double-byte code page) is required.

By default, the collating sequence of a database is defined according to the codeset used in the CREATE DATABASE command. If you specify the option COLLATE USING SYSTEM, the data values are compared based on the TERRITORY specified for the database. If the option COLLATE USING IDENTITY is used, all values are compared using their binary representation in a byte-by-byte manner.

The DB2 Administration Guide lists the various code pages that are available when creating a database. In most instances, a DBA would let this value default to the same code page as the operating system that the database will run on.

A special note for those applications requiring the use of XML data. Currently DB2 only supports XML columns in a database that has been defined as Unicode (UTF-8). If a database has not been created with Unicode support, it will not be able to have XML columns created within it.

Table space definitions

Each of our three table spaces (SYSCATSPACE, TEMPSPACE1, USERSPACE1) are created automatically in the default directory (ON keyword) unless you specify their location. For each table space, the DBA can specify the characteristics of the file system that the table space should to use.

The three table spaces are defined using the following syntax:

Listing 5. Table space definitions
   '-CATALOG TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'
   '-USER TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'
   '-TEMPORARY TABLESPACE--| tblspace-defn |-'

If any of these keywords are omitted, DB2 will use the default values to generate the table spaces. The table space definition follows these options and has the following syntax:

Listing 6. Table space definition options
|--MANAGED BY--------------------------------------------------->
                      V                    |
>--+-SYSTEM USING--(----'container-string'-+--)--------------------------------+-->
   |                    .-,-----------------------------------------------.    |
   |                    V                                                 |    |
   '-DATABASE USING--(----+-FILE---+--'container-string'--number-of-pages-+--)-'

Note that the above syntax does not include the options associated with Automatic Storage databases.

Let's look at this syntax in detail. The MANAGED BY option tells DB2 to generate these table spaces and determine how the space will be managed. SMS table spaces use the SYSTEM USING keyword, as follows:

SYSTEM USING ('container string')

For an SMS table space, the container string identifies one or more containers that will belong to the table space and into which the table space's data will be stored. Each container string can be an absolute or relative directory name. The directory name, if not absolute, is relative to the database directory. If any component of the directory name does not exist, it is created by the database manager. The format of the container string is dependent on the operating system.

DMS table spaces are defined with the DATABASE USING keyword:

DATABASE USING ( FILE/DEVICE 'container string' number of pages )

For a DMS table space, the container string identifies one or more containers that will belong to the table space and into which the table space's data will be stored. The type of the container (either FILE or DEVICE ) and its size (in PAGESIZE pages) are specified. The size can also be specified as an integer value followed by K (for kilobytes), M (for megabytes) or G (for gigabytes). You can specify a mixture of FILE and DEVICE containers.

For a FILE container, the container string must be an absolute or relative file name. The file name, if not absolute, is relative to the database directory. If any component of the directory name does not exist, it is created by the database manager. If the file does not exist, it will be created and initialized to the specified size by the database manager. For a DEVICE container, the container string must be a device name and the device must already exist.

One important note: All containers must be unique across all databases; a container can belong to only one table space.

EXTENTSIZE  number of pages

EXTENSIZE specifies the number of PAGESIZE pages that the database will write to a container before skipping to the next container. The EXTENSIZE value can also be specified as an integer value followed by K, M, or G. The database manager cycles repeatedly through the containers as data is stored.

PREFETCHSIZE number of pages

PREFETCHSIZE specifies the number of PAGESIZE pages that will be read from the table space when data prefetching is being performed. The prefetch size value can also be specified as an integer value followed by K, M, or G.

Prefetching reads in data needed by a query prior to it being referenced by the query, so that the query need not wait for the underlying system to perform I/O operations.

Sample CREATE DATABASE command

The following is an example of a CREATE DATABASE command that uses many of the options that we discussed in previous panels.

Listing 7. CREATE DATABASE command
( 5)    EXTENTSIZE 8
( 8)  ('C:\TEMPTS','D:\TEMPTS')
(10)   (FILE 'C:\TS\USERTS.DAT' 121)
(11)   EXTENTSIZE 24

Let's look at each line in more detail:

  1. CREATE DATABASE: This statement defines the name of the database we are creating.

  2. DFT_EXTENT_SZ 4: This parameter tells DB2 that the default extent size is 4 pages unless explicitly stated otherwise.

  3. CATALOG TABLEPSACE MANAGED BY DATABASE USING: The DB2 catalog space will be managed by the database.

  4. FILE 'C:\....': The location of the table space will be split across two files, each with 2,000 pages of space.

  5. EXTENTSIZE 8: The EXTENTSIZE will be 8 pages.

  6. PREFETCHSIZE 16: During query processing, 16 pages will be read in at once.

  7. TEMPORARY TABLESPACE MANAGED BY SYSTEM USING: The temporary space used by DB2 will be handled by the operating system.

  8. 'C:\TEMPTS' ...: The temporary space will be split across two files whose size is automatically adjusted during DB2 execution.

  9. USER TABLESPACE MANAGED BY DATABASE USING: The user space (where the real tables are placed) will be managed by DB2 directly.

  10. FILE 'C:\TS\...': There is only one container for this space and it consists of 121 pages.

  11. EXTENTSIZE 24: The EXTENTSIZE for the USER table space will be 24 pages.

  12. PREFETCHSIZE 48: Queries will prefetch 48 pages at once.

Database creation summary

This section gave you some background on how to create a DB2 database. In most cases, the default values of the CREATE DATABASE command will give you a database that you can use for development and testing.

Once you decide to place a database into production, you'll need to put more effort into the data placement and the table space definitions used by DB2. While this might take more planning, the end result will be a database that is easier to manage with potentially better performance.

Cataloging your DB2 Database

Why catalog a database?

DB2 automatically catalogs databases when they are created. It catalogs an entry for the database in the local database directory and another entry in the system database directory. If the database is created from a remote client (or for a client that is executing from a different instance on the same machine), an entry is also made in the system database directory at the client instance.

So, why does a database have to be cataloged? Without this information, an application can't connect to a database! DB2 has multiple directories that are used to access databases. These directories allow DB2 to find databases known to it whether they are on the local system or a remote system. The system database directory contains a list and pointer indication where each of the known databases can be found. The node directory contains information relating to how and where remote systems or instances can be found. To put an entry into any of these directories, a CATALOG command is used. To remove an entry, the UNCATALOG command is used.

The CATALOG command

The CATALOG command is diagrammed below.

Listing 8. CATALOG comman
           '-DB-------'                 '-AS--alias-'
   |     '-drive-'     |
   '-AT NODE--nodename-'
                     +-KERBEROS TARGET PRINCIPAL--principalname-+

Cataloging a database is relatively straightforward. Normally this step is not required when you have created a database. However, you may need to do so if you have previously uncataloged the database, if you want to set up an ALIAS (alternate name) for this database, or if you need to access this database from a client.

Cataloging at the client

A user who needs to connect to a DB2 database should catalog the database on a local workstation. In order to do this, the user would use the CATALOG command or the DB2 Configuration Assistant (CA). The CA lets you maintain a list of databases to which your applications can connect. It catalogs nodes and databases while shielding the user from the inherent complexities of these tasks. (For more information on the Configuration Assistant, see the first tutorial in this series.)

There are three ways to catalog a database at a client:

  • Automated configuration using discovery
  • Automated configuration using access profiles
  • Manual configuration

All of these methods are described in this tutorial. From a client perspective, cataloging databases using a profile or discovery is the easiest way to do this. Manual configuration requires knowledge of the database location and characteristics in order to successfully run the command.

To use either of the automated configurations, the DBA must either generate profiles for his or her users or set up discovery services within the DB2 database. We won't go into the details of creating either of these facilities in this tutorial, but you're encouraged to read the DB2 Administration manual for more details on these features.

Automated configuration using discovery

If you use this type of automated configuration, you do not need to provide any detailed communications information to enable the DB2 client to contact the DB2 server.

To add a database to your system using discovery, you'll need to walk through the following steps. (Note that a DB2 Administration Server (DAS) must be running and enabled for the discovery feature of the CA to return information about local DB2 systems.)

  1. Start the CA. You can do this from the Start menu on Windows, or via the db2ca command on either Windows or UNIX.

  2. On the CA menu bar, under Selected, choose Add Database Using Wizard.

  3. Select the Search the Network radio button and click Next.

  4. Double-click on the folder beside Known Systems to list all the systems known to your client.

  5. Click the plus sign ( + ) beside a system to get a list of the instances and databases on it. Select the database that you want to add, then click Next.

  6. Enter a local database alias name in the Database Alias field. You can also enter a comment that describes this database in the Comment field, if you'd like.

  7. If you are planning to use ODBC, register this database as an ODBC data source. ODBC must be already installed to perform this operation.

  8. Click Finish.

You are now ready to use the database you added.

Automated configuration using access profiles

Access profiles are another automated method to configure a DB2 client to access remote DB2 servers and their databases. An access profile contains the information that a client needs to catalog databases to a DB2 server.

As with discovery, when using access profiles, you do not need to provide any detailed communications information to enable the DB2 client to contact the DB2 server.

Two types of access profiles exist:

  • Server access profiles are created from DB2 servers. They contain information about all the instances and databases the DB2 server has cataloged.

  • Client access profiles are used for duplicating the cataloged databases and/or the client settings (DBM CFG, CLI/ODBC) from one client to another.

Both types of profiles can be exported from one DB2 system and then imported to another.

You would typically use access profiles to configure a large number of clients. The DB2 Control Center can be used to export and then import a server access profile system. (For more on the Control Center, see the first tutorial in this series.) A client access profile is exported, then imported using the Configuration Assistant (CA).

If you have a large number of clients to configure, you should also consider making use of LDAP (the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). LDAP lets you store catalog information in one centralized location. Each client just needs to know the centralized location to be able to connect to any database that has been made available in the network. See the DB2 Administration Guide for more details about LDAP.

Manual configuration

It is also possible to manually configure a database connection. To do this, you need to know the details of the communications setup between the client and the server.

You can use a manual configuration to your host databases; use discovery to connect through a DB2 Connect server; or use that information for a direct connection from your client as described in the previous sections. There are two ways to manually configure connections:

  • Use the Manual option in the CA. In this case, you are prompted via a GUI interface for all the values you need to enter.

  • Use the CATALOG NODE/DB commands. In this case, you must know the syntax of the commands and enter the commands from a command-line interface.

In either case, you can use manual configuration to exploit some advanced options that are not available using automated methods -- you could choose the location where authentication takes place, for example.

The command-line CATALOG NODE/DB method is the trickier of the two, but it comes with an advantage: you can save the configuration steps into scripts so that the configuration can be redone if necessary.

Using the CA to catalog a database

In the following sections, you'll see the steps required to manually catalog a database using the Configuration Assistant.

Before proceeding, you need to know the following information:

  • One of the protocols supported by the server instance containing the database
  • The protocol connection information required to configure the connection to the server instance
  • The server name
  • The name of the database on the remote server

The initial CA screen is invoked by selecting the Configuration Assistant from the DB2 folder.

Figure 7. Select Configuration Assistant
Screen shot of selecting 'Set-up Tools' > 'Configuration Assistant' from DB2 folder menu
Screen shot of selecting 'Set-up Tools' > 'Configuration Assistant' from DB2 folder menu

Once you've selected this program, the following screen will be displayed:

Figure 8. Configuration Assistant
Screen shot of DB2 CA screen
Screen shot of DB2 CA screen

The top section of this screen gives the user a list of databases that are currently cataloged on the system. There are various menu items here that allow a user to configure the database connections, but the option that a DBA would be interested in is the Add Database Using Wizard button in the Selected menu:

Figure 9. Add database using Wizard
Screen shot showing how to select adding DB2 database
Screen shot showing how to select adding DB2 database

Choosing Add launches the Add Database Wizard.

The following sections describe each step required in configuring the client.

CA: Which method to use?

The first panel of the CCA wizard asks you which method you would like to use to catalog the database.

Figure 10. Setting up a connection
Screen shot showing how to set up a connection using the CCA wizard
Screen shot showing how to set up a connection using the CCA wizard

The wizard gives the user three possible ways of cataloging a database:

  • Use a profile
  • Search the network
  • Manually configure a connection

The option that we are interested in is the manual configuration. (As the previous sections described, using a profile or searching the network are much easier methods for a user wanting to catalog a database on a client.)

Now that you've selected the manual configuration option, you need to select the communication protocol you want.

CA: Communication protocol

In the panel below, you select the protocol that you will use to connect to the database. The contents of the Protocol Parameters box change according to the protocol. Here are the protocols you can choose, along with some of their parameters:

  • TCP/IP: Server hostname/IP address, port number
  • NetBIOS: Server workstation name, adapter number
  • Named Pipe: Server computer name, instance
  • APPC/APPN: Server symbolic destination name
  • LOCAL: A local database on this machine

All of the protocols that DB2 supports are listed here. If you have chosen APPC, your operating system choices will be: OS/390 or z/OS, OS/400, VM, or VSE. DB2 servers on Windows and UNIX no longer accept inbound client connections using APPC. However, DB2 clients can still connect to host systems using APPC if they have DB2 Connect installed.

If you choose TCP/IP, your choices are: LAN-based, OS/390 or z/OS, OS/400, or VM.

You should check that the machine is properly configured on the network before clicking Finish.

Figure 11. Select communication protocol
Screen shot showing how to select communication protocol using CCA wizard
Screen shot showing how to select communication protocol using CCA wizard

CA: Communication details

At this point, you get to enter the communication details of the database that you want to catalog. This screen will be different for each communication protocol. The example shown here is for a database that is found on the same machine as the client (local).

Figure 12. Select local database
Local Database Selection
Local Database Selection

CA: Database details

Now you enter the details of the database that you want to catalog. Enter the name of the database (as known at the server) in the Database Name field. You can accept the same name as the local alias for the database, or change the alias to a name of your choice. You can also enter a description, if you'd like.

Figure 13. Enter database name
Database name
Database name

CA: ODBC settings

You can register the database as an ODBC data source. By default, the box indicating that you wish to do so is checked, as you can see in the figure below. You can optimize the ODBC settings for a particular application by selecting that application from the Optimize for Application menu.

Figure 14. Register ODBC
ODBC Registration
ODBC Registration

If you plan to run Windows applications against this database, you should become familiar with the various optimization settings available in this environment.

CA: Node, system, and security options

There are three additional panels that get displayed as part of the Configuration Assistant. The Security Options are displayed for any type of database, but the Node and System panels are only displayed for remote databases.

  1. Node information: You should fill in the node information if you plan to use the Control Center, since this will affect the behavior of this tool. The system and instance names are given by the values of DB2SYSTEM and DB2INSTANCE at the server. You should also select the operating system of the remote system.

    Figure 15. Enter node information
    Node information
    Node information
  2. System information: You need to supply the system information to tell DB2 the system, host, and operating system of the remote system on which the database resides.

    Figure 16. Supply system information
    System information
    System information
  3. Security information: Here you can specify where authentication of the user takes place (at the server, which is the default; at the client; or on a host or OS/400). You can also choose to use SOCKS security for TCP/IP connections, which would allow you to access a remote database outside your firewall. (For more on DB2 security, check out the second tutorial in this series.)

    Figure 17. Enter security information
    Security information
    Security information

CA: Successful catalog operation

Once you click on Finish on the CCA Catalog screen, DB2 will attempt to catalog the database. If this is successful, the following window is displayed:

Figure 18. Add Database Confirmation screen
Successful Cataloging of Database
Successful Cataloging of Database

At this point, you can test the connection to make sure that the client can communicate with the database. If the test is successful, you can now use an application to access the DB2 database.

Figure 19. Test connection
Testing database connection
Testing database connection

Catalog summary

Cataloging a DB2 database is usually not required on the server where it was created. However, to access a database from a client, that client must first catalog the database locally so that applications can access it.

The CATALOG command can be used to catalog a database, but the Configuration Assistant (CA) is a much easier tool to use and allows for the automated discovery and cataloging of databases.

As an alternative to cataloging databases on every client, a DBA could also use LDAP services to create a central repository of database information.

Manipulating DB2 objects with the Control Center

Using the Control Center

The Control Center is the central point of administration for DB2. The Control Center provides the user with the tools necessary to perform typical database administration tasks. It allows easy access to other server administration tools, gives a clear overview of the entire system, enables remote database management, and provides step-by-step assistance for complex tasks.

So why did we go through all that pain of learning how to create databases from the command line? Although the Control Center makes your life easier, there are times when you want to create scripts that automatically create objects or invoke database maintenance. The Control Center can help you generate, manage, and schedule these scripts, but they are all run as DB2 commands. And in some cases, the Control Center may not be available on the operating system you are using, so you'll have no alternative but to use DB2 commands.

The Control Center is invoked from within the General Administration folder in the DB2 program group:

Figure 20. Start Control Center
Start Control Center
Start Control Center

The screen that is displayed will be similar to the following figure:

Figure 21. Main Control Center
Main Control Center
Main Control Center

The Systems object represents both local and remote machines. To display all the DB2 systems that your system has cataloged, expand the object tree by clicking on the plus sign ( + ) next to Systems. The left portion of the screen lists available DB2 systems (local and remote). In the figure, the system LOCAL contains a DB2 instance, DB2, where the database SAMPLE is located. When Tables is highlighted, details about each system are shown in the Contents Pane. A number of the existing tables in the SAMPLE database are displayed in the figure above.

The main components of the Control Center are:

  • Menu Bar: Used to access Control Center functions and online help.
  • Tool Bar: Used to access the other administration tools.
  • Objects Pane: Shown on the left-hand side of the Control Center window. It contains all the objects that can be managed from the Control Center as well as their relationship to one another.
  • Contents Pane: This is found on the right side of the Control Center window and contains the objects that belong or correspond to the object selected on the Objects Pane.
  • Contents Pane Toolbar: These icons are used to tailor the view of the objects and information in the Contents Pane. These functions can also be selected in the View menu.
  • Details Pane: The Details Pane displays detailed information about the object selected.

Hover Help is also available in the Control Center, providing a short description for each icon on the toolbar as you move the mouse pointer over that icon.

Creating and manipulating databases

The Control Center can be used to create and manage your databases. Remember the CREATE DATABASE command you used earlier to create your first database? In the next few panels, you'll see how you would go about doing the same thing with the Control Center.

On the left side of the Control Center (the Objects Pane), place your mouse over the Database keyword and right-click on it. This will bring up a menu of the options that are available for databases. In this case, you would select Create Database > Standard..., as shown in the figure below:

Figure 22. Creating a new database
Creating a new database
Creating a new database

Once you've selected this option, DB2 will present a series of panels that you will need to fill in to create a database. Next, you will see how to use these wizards to simplify some of the common DBA tasks.

Create Database wizard: Database name

The Create Database Wizard will prompt you through a number of steps to generate a database. The first screen asks for the name of the database, the default drive where you want it created (if you don't specify anything else), and an alias name. In addition, you can add a comment about contents of the database.

Some special notes on this first panel. If you want to use XML columns in the database, it must be defined as UTF-8 (Enable database for XML). In addition, Automatic Storage is the default for a database in DB2 9. If you want to override this default, you must select I want to manage my storage manually.

Figure 23. Name database
Database Name
Database Name

Create Database Wizard: User/catalog/temp tables

The next three panels of the wizard ask you to fill in information on how you would like the user, catalog, and temporary table space to be created. If you select the Low Maintenance option, the wizard will create an SMS table space for you. If you select High Performance, you'll need to specify the devices and file systems that you plan to use for this table space.

Figure 24. Database space allocation
Database space allocation
Database space allocation

For either option, you can specify the containers (files, devices) that you want to allocate to the table space. If you click the Add button, an additional panel will be displayed to allow you to define the containers being used.

Figure 25. Database containers
Database containers
Database containers

If you do not specify containers or files for your table spaces, DB2 will automatically generate one for you on the default drive that you specified earlier.

Create Database Wizard: Performance options

There are two performance parameters that you can set: EXTENTSIZE and PREFETCHSIZE.

Figure 26. Database tuning
Database tuning
Database tuning

Let's look at each of them:

  • EXTENTSIZE: An extent is a unit of space within a container of a table space. Database objects (except for LOBs and long varchars) are stored in pages within DB2. These pages are grouped into extents. The extent size is defined at the table space level. Once the extent size is established for the table space, it cannot be altered. The database configuration parameter DFT_EXTENT_SZ specifies the default extent size for all table spaces in the database. This value can range from 2 to 256 pages; thus, the absolute size would range from 8 KB to 1024 KB for 4 KB pages, or from 16 KB to 2048 KB for 8 KB pages. This figure can be overridden by using the EXTENTSIZE parameter in the CREATE TABLESPACE statement.

    If you intend to use multidimensional clustering (MDC) in the design of your tables, the extent size will become a critical design decision. MDC tables will allocate an extent for each new dimension set that is created. If the extent size is too large, then there is a possibility that much of the extent will be empty (for dimension sets with few records). For more information on MDC and its impact on EXTENTSIZE, refer to the DB2 Administration Guide.

  • PREFETCHSIZE: Sequential prefetching is the ability of the database manager to anticipate a query in advance, reading pages before those pages are actually referenced. This asynchronous retrieval can reduce execution times significantly. You can control how aggressively the prefetching is performed by changing the PREFETCHSIZE parameter on the CREATE TABLESPACE statement. By default this value is set to the DFT_PREFETCH_SZ database configuration parameter. This value represents how many pages will be read at a time when a prefetch request is triggered by DB2. By setting this value to a multiple of the extent size, multiple extents can be read in parallel. This function is even more effective when the containers for the table space are on separate hard disks.

The default values for these parameters are adequate for many applications, but you may want to experiment with higher PREFETCHSIZEs for applications that do heavy queries or analyze large amounts of data.

Create Database Wizard: Code page and collating sequence

The next option you'll encounter as part of database creation are those involving code pages and collating sequences.

Figure 27. Collating sequence and code page
Collating sequence and code page
Collating sequence and code page

When a DB2 application is bound to a DB2 database, the application and database code page are compared. If the code pages are not equal, code page conversion will be attempted for each SQL statement. If you are using a code page other than that of the database you are accessing, it is important to ensure that the code pages are compatible and conversion can be accomplished.

By default, the collating sequence of a database is defined according to the codeset used in the CREATE DATABASE command. If you specify the option COLLATE USING SYSTEM, the data values are compared based on the TERRITORY specified for the database. If the option COLLATE USING IDENTITY is used, all values are compared using their binary representation in a byte-to-byte manner. When you need to store data in its native (binary) format, avoid using data types with code pages. It is generally advantageous to use identical application and database code pages to avoid the code page conversion process.

Create Database Wizard: Create summary

Once all of your parameters have been entered into the system, the Create Database Wizard will present you a summary screen with all of the selections that you have made.

Figure 28. Wizard summary page
Wizard summary page
Wizard summary page

One extremely useful feature of this summary page is its Show Command button. If you press it, you'll see the DB2 command that will be used to create the database, as shown in the figure below.

Figure 29. Show Command
Show Command
Show Command

You can save this command for later execution, or cut and paste it into a script that you might be developing. If you are satisfied with the parameters that you have entered into the system, click the Finish button to create the database.

Control Center summary

The DB2 Control Center is a powerful tool that makes routine database maintenance extremely easy. The are a variety of wizards available to help you create or modify many of the database objects.

You can also use the Control Center to generate DB2 commands for later use in scripts or programs. This feature allows you to develop the command you want to use without actually executing it.

Creating and accessing basic DB2 objects

More Control Center tricks

While the Control Center is certainly useful for creating databases, it has a lot of additional functionality you can use to create, modify, or delete almost any database object. Let's take a look at what else the control center has in it.

Figure 30. Control Center
Control Center
Control Center

On the left size of the screen we have the Objects Pane. If you want to create a new object, place your mouse on the object type (table) and right-click it. For most objects, this will present a menu of options, including one for creating the object.

Figure 31. Create new table
Create new table
Create new table

As a DBA, you should become familiar with these Create buttons. Initially, these wizards can be extremely useful in determining how the DB2 commands are generated. Taking advantage of the Show Command button can be a great learning tool. Even experienced DBAs aren't ashamed to use the Control Center to generate seldom-used commands!

Modifying existing objects

New objects are created by right-clicking on the object name in the Objects Pane. If you need to modify or delete an object, you need to display it in the Contents Pane on the right side control center.

Figure 32. Control Center modify
Control Center modify
Control Center modify

In the panel shown in the figure above, the tables found in the SAMPLE database are listed in the Contents Pane. Now that these tables are displayed, you can modify them. Right-click on the object you want to modify. You'll see the following menu:

Figure 33. Modification menu
Modification menu

There are a number of actions that can be performed against table objects. For example, you can view the sample contents of the table, alter the table, or reorganize it.

Two commands that are of interest to DBAs are the Show Related and Generate DDL commands. Show Related will display all database objects, like indexes or table spaces, that are related to this table. The Generate DDL command will reverse-engineer the definition of this table, so that you can re-create the table design in the event of a failure. (Of course, you always back up your database, correct?)

Details Pane

The Control Center also contains the Details Pane which gives more details about an item that was selected in the Object Pane. This feature is particularly useful since it gives you a quick view of the table definition. For instance, when a table is selected, the Details Pane will display the table schema (the column definition) along with options to display the table contents, query the table, or show related objects.

Figure 34. Details pane
Screen shot of Details pane
Screen shot of Details pane

If a different type of object is selected, the Details Pane will show manipulation options that are suitable for the type of object selected.

Wrap up


The DB2 Control Center can also be used to modify objects that exist within the database. For each object type, you are presented with various options defining what they can change.

Most actions that a DBA takes from within the Control Center can be captured and saved for use in a script. This, along with the command wizards, can make maintenance on the database much simpler than typing in commands.

Additional information on the DB2 Control Center can be found in the online help supplied with the tool. In addition, the DB2 Administration Guide and the DB2 Command Reference hold a wealth of information on database features, functions, and how to design a database for the best performance. These books are an excellent reference and should be kept close at hand when designing your databases!

Downloadable resources

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Zone=Information Management
ArticleTitle=DB2 9 Fundamentals exam 730 prep, Part 3: Accessing DB2 data