Information Management Academic Community Updates
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  university academic management db2 information education informix initiative databases 2 Comments 2,379 Visits
Welcome to the Information Management Academic Community Updates for Faculty Blog!
I would like to use this blog to post interesting information relevant to the academic community. Please feel free to comment and let's discuss things further! The IM Academic Community Marketing team is really interested in hearing your views about what you are seeing and hearing from your vantage point, whether that be as a university professional or a student or a business leader or an IBMer. Let us know where you see needs and we will work together to help out.
We will also use this forum to post interesting profiles of Young Professionals doing interesting real-world projects using IBM technology to learn what they are finding valuable in their early careers and what helped them get to their current positions in the first place.
Today, let me point you to this interesting study by the IBM Institute for Business Value: http://www-931.ibm.com/tela/webmail/Newsletter/7486/22705
The Strategy and Change Section points us to a report: Inheriting a Complex World It can be downloaded for the complete version.
Both CEOs and current student leaders were interviewed about what future leaders will need to be successful in our complex world. Several points jumped out at me.
- Today's current CEOs talked about creativity and and adventurous spirit being very critical. This seems to be SO important, yet often overlooked while trying to ensure that a high amount of knowledge and skills are imparted to our students in always too short a time.
- Both CEOs and students also noted how important the correct analysis of trends is/will be. CEOs noted this relative to operational dexterity and students comment on making decisions using more data. Will databases have been around for a long time now, their importance continues to grow. As does the amount data to be analyzed. Students need a strong knowledge of database fundamentals to understand how data can be managed and what capabilities are possible with data analysis. IBM has a large portfolio of data analysis products and tools. Let's work together to use these tools to teach students what they need to learn to be successful for their future.
Learn about young professionals who are building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
scarlsen216 2700037M5A 1,863 Visits
Nick Geib- Enhancing the Informix database to meet the changing needs of businesses today
Nick works for IBM in Lenexa, Kansas as a software developer on Informix database products. He graduated from Boston College with a degree in philosophy and continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he obtained an M.S. degree in Computer Sciences.
During his graduate studies in Wisconsin, Nick's professors introduced him to Informix database software. In his courses, he learned the basics of data structures, syntax, compilers, and debuggers, which all helped him land a job at IBM. To further advance his skills, Nick pursued IBM Professional Certification (http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/index.shtml) on Informix software and became an IBM Certified Systems Administrator. At IBM, Nick continues to develop Informix technology to help businesses meet their growing demands in today's dynamic environment. Read below what he has to say about the challenges and rewards of database development.
A job with global scope
Nick really enjoys the varied, worldwide scope of his job. One of IBM's three core values is 'Innovation that Matters' and IBM works with companies from all over the world to deliver innovative solutions. Nick deals with companies in many different sectors including banking, telecommunications, and retail. He says of his experience, "It is wonderful to interact with these customers and work with them through their challenges, planning for what the future holds."
Technical skills required
Nick finds that he needs not only technical skills to be successful, but also communication skills and a broad understanding of a customer's business.
Engaging in hot topics
Energy sector applications today are focusing on analyzing increasing amounts of data to allow consumers to make smart energy decisions. An energy provider in the UK, Hildebrand, uses Informix to gather and analyze large amounts of energy data at a very rapid pace. Informix was more than able to handle the significant workload. Nick describes this accomplishment stating, "For us, we will live in a world where you can have more control over energy usage in your home and be better stewards of the environment."
To learn more about the Informix application, click here to read IBM's Press Release on Hildebrand.
The biggest challenge for Nick is developing features that work across a number of database servers without impacting stability and availability.
Finding solutions for his customers
Nick has found that each new customer requirement presents an opportunity for the Informix database to be used in an innovative way to solve a business problem. Some of Nick's customers run businesses that maintain relatively stable patterns throughout the year but have high data periods at quarter or year end. During these times, the customer must deal with an increase in data workload requirements. The amount of information a database must manage can more than triple during this period. Informix uses a cluster-based replication functionality to handle these types of issues. With the scale-out and load-balancing capabilities of the cluster, customers can rest assured their systems maintain up time. Nick further describes the capabilities of Informix, "Due to the 'Capacity on Demand' functionality, IBM technology is able to handle the large increase in workload with ease."
Advice to students pursuing a similar career
Nick would give the following advice to students, "Do what you love, that is the most important thing. Whatever job you get, if you love it, then it will seem like play to you and never seem like work. It's important to have strong technical skills and those aren't the only skills you need to have. Good communication, reading and writing, interacting/ team leading are important too."
Making a positive impact through his profession
Nick believes that IBM is the best company to work for and he wants to make Informix the best database in the world. Nick describes his ambitions, "There is continuous innovation in Informix. Our product helps businesses run the world. It's cool to pick up the newspaper and see the companies in the headlines, knowing they are your customers. We are making a difference."
Articles written by Nick on developerWorks
New capabilities for migrating to DB2 and Informix in IBM Migration Toolkit 1.4.9
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  data magazine academic free initiative ai management dm complimentary 2,547 Visits
Hey, this publication is always interesting and informative. Now you can get a complimentary subscription to the digital version as well. Even better for the environment. It's a true WIN-WIN!
IBM Data Management Magazine - Digital Edition - Complimentary Subscription!
The essential information resource for IBM database and data management professionals in an easy-to-navigate online format
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Quickly search content throughout the entire issue
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Get your complimentary subscription now! http://www.ibmdmmagazinedigital.com
I am excited to note that the new DB2 Academic Associate Certification exam, the 302 exam, is now available in Chinese! It is already available in Portuguese, and Spanish will be available soon! For more details on this program, check out: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/events/db2academiccertification/index.html
Are you a University Ambassador covering the Information Management portfolio? If so, here is a short (10 question) survey to help evaluate the current program for the ambassador community as well as for the university. Participate and help shape the programs in the future. Here is a link to the survey, for those who fit into this category: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WY7Q7YB
PatFletcher 060001U06U 781 Visits
I received an exciting email today with some information on an exciting new award program. Help me spread the word to the university community.
As IBM continues into the "Decade of Smart", IDR's role to ensure skills are being developed to help our clients create, implement and drive a Smarter Planet has never been more important. Developing this talent starts with partnering with universities to develop the "T-shaped" skills for the 21st century to produce a more competitive workforce. To this end, we are announcing the first industry-focused 2010 Innovation Awards (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/innovation/index.html) to develop Smarter Planet curriculum. Have a look at the details of the program at this web site.
Entries can be entered in the following categories:
Healthcare Industry Skills Innovation Award
Transportation Industry Skills Innovation Award
Smarter Cities Skills Award
Key dates - deadline times are 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time
Carefully note deadlines!
August 24, 2010 Online submission opens. Email requests for proposal submitted before this date will be rejected.
September 21, 2010 Midnight deadline for initiating a nomination.
September 28, 2010 Midnight deadline for submitting a proposal.
November 4, 2010 Award winners notified by e-mail.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  academic certification db2 ai ce302 luw associate initiative 1 Comment 2,908 Visits
The new DB2 Academic Associate certification exam for DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX and Windows is now
translated to Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. Proctors desiring one of the translated
exams should mention the specific language requirement when they request the the codes
or the exam.
An additional improvement to the teaching materials for the course is a script to match
the course workbook to help guide new teachers for this course.
for additional information about the certification course and exam and the special
offers for 2010.
Glad to report on a new Informix Redbook: IBM Informix Developer's Handbook: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247884.html
It's a great guide to the many different interfaces for application development on Informix. It covers Java, ESQL/C, OLE DB, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, DataBlade®, and Hibernate. Check it out!
There are a few good recent updates to the DB2 Academic Associate Certification IBM-internal program support page: A link to an online assessment survey and a link to more details about the exam itself (including the information about taking a practice exam. IBMers can see these updates at this link: https://w3.tap.ibm.com/w3ki2/display/UNIVERSITY/IBM+Academic+Initiative+-+Information+Management+program+DB2AA
non-IBMers can contact email@example.com to get further information about these programs.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  latin america in columbia im database box a brazil informix 2,083 Visits
Just heard about several successful Informix programs that were held recently in Columbia:
Great initiative by these schools and our IBMers as well! This grass roots movement is creating lots of excitement for the Information Management products in Latin America.
We are also getting GREAT response to the DB2 Academic Associate Certification programs in South America, and have a lot of classes organized: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/im/DB2+Academic+Associate+Workshop
Contact imschool@us,ibm.com if you want to discuss getting a program started at your university and we will talk!
I was excited to receive this report about the first of the three DB2 Academic Associate Certification workshops held in Budapest, Hungary:
31 August – 2 September 2010
Budapest IBM Innovation Center organized its first free DB2 Fundamentals and Application Development course for university students and teachers between 31 August and 2 September 2010. Despite the fact that we announced the course in the middle of the summer and planned it for 24 participants, more than 100 students and teachers applied. Because of the big demand we decided to add two additional workshops in October for those whom we could not accept in September.
The workshop began at 9 a.m. and finished at 5 p.m. every day at the IBM Innovation Center (IIC), where Ferenc Rada, the leader of IIC welcomed the participants, then Tamás Piri (IIC) delivered the education in Hungarian.
First the students got better acquainted with the IBM DB2 database and the parts of application development, then after the theoretical part they could practice the operational and development tasks with hands on labs in the perfect educational environment of the IIC. The students also received education materials in the form of a course work book and a DVD to be able to practice their knowledge on their own time after the class.
Besides the professional education, the students could hear about the current IBM trainee positions and they could ask questions to János Ponczók from HR. Then Szilvia Kovács (from Software Marketing) spoke about the 48 hours programming contest in November, where everyone can try their fresh knowledge that they gained at the workshop, and the best students will get valuable prizes.
At the end of the 3 day course the participants could take a free exam in English in an internationally approved exam system. The best students got IBM gifts at the end of the course.
We can say in general that the students were quite receptive to learning about the DB2 database and database concepts, which was totally new for them. This was reflected very well by their questions and their interest all during the course.
There were 21 participants at the September course from 7 higher educations: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (7), University of Debrecen (1), Eötvös Loránd University (2), Dennis Gabor Applied University (1), Pannon University (3), Pázmány Péter Catholic University (3), University of Pecs (3) and University of Szeged (1). In October participants from
Additional information about the DB2 Academic Associate Certification program available here.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  certification 556 informix professional ai im database 1 Comment 2,264 Visits
A new professional certification, the Informix 11.50 Application Development Certification, has just been published; http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/tests/ovr556.shtml
This is great timing as the new Redbook on Informix Application Development has also recently been made available. http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247884.html
The Redbook covers a variety of application development tools: Java, ESQL/C, OLE DB, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, DataBlade®, and Hibernate
You can get a no-charge Linux virtual image of the Informix 11.50 product, including their client developer kit, from the Informix on Campus website: http://www.informixoncampus.blogspot.com/
This image can be used on both Windows and Linux systems, and is a quick way to get up and running and ready to do application development on Informix
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  ambassadors initiative db2 im ur academic purequery 1 Comment 2,234 Visits
We had several good WW calls yesterday updating the IBM University Ambassador community on current and future IM university programs. IBMers, if you were unable to attend the call live, the Americas version of the call was recorded, and can be found at this link: http://w3.tap.ibm.com/medialibrary/media_view?id=92028. The call included a talk and demo of the exciting pureQuery tooling that can be very helpful for a variety of university curricula.
University personnel, do check in with your IBM ambassador to hear about the current programs that are available.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  initiative education academic database faculty university certification db2 2 Comments 4,784 Visits
Kudos to the AI team and the IBM Innovation Center in Hungary! They held two additional training and certification testing sessions in October for the Information Management DB2 Academic Associate Certification program. They took the time to get feedback from the students on the program, and provided the following write-up and pictures:
Because of the big demand from university teachers and students for the DB2 Fundamentals and Application Development workshop held at the Budapest Innovation Center, we decided to add two additional courses in October (5-7 and 19-21 October) for those whom we could not participate in September.
We had 42 participants from 7 universities at the two October workshops: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (7), University of Debrecen (1), Eötvös Loránd University (9), Dennis Gabor Applied University (3), West Hungarian University (1), University of Óbuda (1), Pannon University (1), Peter Pazmany Catholic University (1), University of Pécs (2), University of Szeged (1) and College of Dunaújváros (1).
This time we were interested in the participants’ opinion about the course so you can a read a short review of student feedback below.
Most of the students heard about the workshop through their university correspondence list and some of them through ONIK (which is a group for university informatics students) or the IBM Academic Initiative newsletter sent to faculty members who belong to this free program.
Why did you apply for the course?
Because we were interested to learn more about IBM’s DB2 software and to widen our knowledge, as this was a unique education on a topic that we don’t learn at the university. It was also tempting because the course and the exam at the end are free and the certification we got can be put on our CV as well. For those who already worked in the database area, it was a good way to deepen their knowledge.
Did you learn database management earlier?
There is basic database management at almost all universities; most students learn SQL as part of that course. But this was the first time that we could try a database program in practice, with the integrated hands on labs that are included as part of this program.
Were you aware of the DB2 product before this course?
Students were familiar with the DB2 name, but they did not have the chance to use the actual software previously. Editor’s note: Students attending the course each receive a DVD to keep that contains a Linux virtual image of the DB2 Express-C and Data Studio products. Students can continue to use the software after the course for other school projects and for further learning and investigation
How could the DB2 course material be used further in your university?
It could be made available as an optional lesson or practice lab in the curricula. Also, if there would be more posters about IBM software at the universities, students would be more aware. Editor’s note: Faculty members, the course is organized in modules with appropriate teaching materials, scripted notes and integrated hands on labs so that it can be easily incorporated in your curricula. The DB2 Academic Associate Program site contains additional information on this program
What was your opinion about the workshop?
It was a very useful course with good atmosphere at a pleasant place. According to some participants it’s a pity that these three days are so tough and it would be much better if they could learn for one week in the late afternoon and evening hours. According to others it is great that the course was scheduled into the three full day course. It was much more convenient for those who come from the countryside or who work and have to take some days off. Editor’s note: The course can be organized a number of ways to best meet the needs of the faculty and students. It was also very positive that we could meet the IBM HR colleague so we could get a more complete view about the career opportunities at the company. The server room was also very popular among us as we don’t get a chance everyday to see such large capacity servers.
How hard was the exam?
The exam itself was not so difficult as more than half of the participants passed it, but it was hard that the questions were in English and we had to take the exam on the last day of the course. Editor’s note: The exam is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. It would have been much better if the exam had been a bit later so we had more time to prepare for it (such as for the university exams). But some other participants were very happy that the exam was at the end of the course as they didn’t have to come to
Where will you be able to use what you learned?
It will be useful to be able to list this course and certification when we apply for job. It will also be useful at our workplace (for those students also working). The content is also good to learn because it covers content that is common to any relational database. One thing is for sure: it was worth coming to the workshop.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  im initiative db2 management profile darshan ai ypp information academic 1 Comment 5,094 Visits
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Darshan Vaishnav: DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows Young Professional
Darshan Vaishnav was born and raised in
This inspired Darshan to begin certification training on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW). He found the database product extremely interesting as well as easy to use. He earned his IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2 on LUW V8.1 certification in 2004. Darshan worked as a consultant at several Fortune 500 companies before he moved to his current company, Marriott International, about 2 years ago. At Marriott, an industry leader in the hospitality industry, Darshan works as a senior database analyst in support of the Marriott.com website, where customers make business and personal lodging plans online.
Typical day of a database analyst
Darshan supports the main production database for the Marriott.com website. He carefully checks and validates any proposed structural or functional changes to the database before the changes go live in the production database. He ensures that the changes will not harm currently used databases or processes.
Darshan also teams with other Marriott database application developers and testers to ensure they have proper authorization for their projects in the test, development and production databases that he owns. He must ensure, however, that they do not gain any level of access beyond their functional role.
Other daily activities include ongoing database maintenance tasks such as ensuring critical daily backups are successful and monitoring and adjusting database space usage.
Darshan is often called upon to offer suggestions about performance tuning issues, such as adding indexes, changing database parameters and modifying existing queries. Another critical task he owns is ensuring his databases are ready for potential disaster recovery situations.
Technical challenges Darshan faces on the job
Marriott.com is a highly visible asset of Marriott International as well as a very high volume website. Darshan must ensure that his databases are maintained to a high set of standards and that they are ready for any jump in traffic. The main challenges he has faced were ensuring that the databases were tuned to avoid locking problems while at the same time providing enough concurrency for various applications while also keeping daily maintenance jobs running smoothly. In addition, he must ensure that the nightly data refreshes to the production database are successful and performed on time. Darshan and his peer DBA also ensure the best query performance by making sure that all tables have current statistics information and that the tables are available at any point in time.
Interesting application of the DB2 database
Darshan makes maximum use of DB2 LUW's maintenance utilities. He is an avid believer that DB2 has fantastic maintenance strategies in their Runstats and Reorg commands. He created scripts to update statistics every day and performs reorgs every week. He explains how he also makes use of the aliases capability in the DB2 product, “An alias is a pointer used for an actual table and we used it in some special manner such that, when some maintenance is happening, there is no outage required and all important tables have the best possible performance.”
His largest accomplishment in his career to date Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years. Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project. Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customers Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years.
Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career pathDarshan believes it is important for all database administrators to also have some understanding of the operating system where the database resides and how the database interacts with the operating system. With this knowledge, he describes the ease of learning DB2, "IBM's DB2 is less complicated than other database management systems. It is easy to learn and easy to get certified. The database is very responsive, very fast, and very efficient."
Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customersDarshan is very dedicated to maintaining the Marriott.com website and keeping it available for customers at all times. Darshan explains how he has made a positive impact on his customer's overall experience with Marriott.com. "I feel that when I work with the back end as a DBA, the front end (the Marriott.com website) gets better; the front end gets smoother. People can come on my website and book their trip very easily, without any issues and very fast. And they can get on with their lives. If it starts with a really good experience with my website, obviously they’ll be happy. So that makes me feel really very good."
Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!