“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” 
-Albert Einstein

Here’s my attempt to explain DB2 to my grandma!

With the world heading towards yottabyte of data, I assume that we all understand any raw, unorganized facts that needs further processing is data. We obtain data from numerous sources such as websites, retail stores and social media (this is a big one) to name a few. There is so much of user generated content off late that companies are struggling to:

  1. Manage the amount of data 
  2. Organize the data to gain intelligence 
  3. Make use of the information to gain business value.

How do we manage & organize data?

With all the data stored in databases, we need a Database Management System in place to create, maintain and control the databases on a regular basis. DB2 is a Database Management System and more specifically a Relational Database Management System. (RDBMS)

For those of you who are new to databases, here’s a list of top 5 reasons to use a Database Management System (DBMS):

  • It manages creating, accessing & managing data efficiently
  • It provides a greater level of security by granting different levels of security access based on the user
  • It allows multiple programs to access the data simultaneously while still keeping the data consistent (Data Integrity)
  • It permits the hiding of confidential data in separate views to prevent unauthorized access
  • It comes with a number of tools to perform activities like performance tuning, backup & recovery of data, implement tighter security controls and so on 

Fun facts about DB2

  • Top 59 banks in the world use DB2
  • 23 out of top 25 retailers use DB2
  • 9 out of top 10 insurance providers use DB2
  • IBM has over 1600 core developers and researchers for DB2 across the world
  • DB2 runs on many operating systems, such as z/OS, IBM i, Linux, UNIX, Windows, and Solaris 

You might be wondering why some of these large organizations use DB2 for z/OS to run their business. The answer is simple. These companies need a reliable database server which provides superior availability & scalability. These companies process huge (and I mean HUGE) volumes of information that would require millions of concurrent updates on a daily basis. DB2 with the power & functionalities of z/OS has undoubtedly met/exceeded those needs.

11 Things you need to know about DB2

  1. DB2 Data Sharing – DB2 data sharing runs on an IBM mainframe cluster configuration called a parallel sysplex and enables applications that run on more than one DB2 for z/OS subsystem to read from and write to the same set of data concurrently. Data Sharing gives businesses the ability to add new DB2 subsystems into a data sharing group, or cluster, as the need arises and without disruption which makes it the most highly available, highly scalable data-serving platform in the market. 
  2. IDAA – DB2 for z/OS offers IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) which helps in excellent query performance solution for Data Warehousing and Analytics (Remember we talked about analyzing data to make sense out of it). 
  3. Application Portability – You can develop applications with SQL that are common across DB2 data servers and port them from one DB2 operating system to another with minimal modification. (Porting means moving an application from one operating system to another.) 
  4. Temporal Data – Many IT systems need to keep some form of historical information for their data and it is now possible with the latest version of DB2 which supports temporal data (Business time & System Time). With the use of a history table DB2 can now provide a value of data at a specific time in history. 
  5. Built-in Compression – DB2 has inbuilt compression technology which converts your data that is used frequently into shorter strings for efficient storage & retrieval. The mapping information of short strings with the actual data is stored in a compression dictionary which is used for decompressing the data. 
  6. Built-in Encryption – DB2 provides built-in data encryption and decryption functions that you can use to encrypt sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and medical record numbers. You can encrypt data at the column or value level. 
  7. Clone Tables – you can clone tables in DB2 with the exact replica of your base table and you can switch between the clones easily. This is very critical for businesses who cannot tolerate any downtime since clone tables ensure superior availability. 
  8. Large Objects – DB2 has a unique capability of storing Large Objects (LOB) which would mean storing a picture or a text document as a single object in the database. 
  9. Storing XML – You can also store XML on your DB2 Database. It has in-built functions to convert the stored XML and return it as a DB2 table to your application. 
  10. DB2 Express C is a community Edition which is a no charge edition from IBM 
  11. DB2 Tools – DB2 comes with a set of tools that are broadly classified in the following six categories. You will be hearing more about some of the DB2 Tools in our future posts. 
    • Database Administration 
    • Utility Management 
    • Performance Management 
    • Recovery Management 
    • Replication Management 
    • Application Management 

Phew!! That’s enough DB2 for today. I enjoyed writing about DB2 on Z as much as you did reading. So the feeling is mutual here. One last thought! We at Millennial Mainframers are fairly new to the Z world and we are learning Z just as you are. You call the shots if you would like to hear about something in specific and we would be more than happy to step up to the plate. Come back and see us for more cool information on how Z rules the world always & forever! ~ Riya ~

About the Author

Sri (Riya) Shanmugam
MBA. Entrepreneurship, McCoy School of Business, Texas
B.Tech. I.T., Amrita School of Engineering, India

Riya is a Product Specialist at IBM by profession and a nerd by choice. She closely follows the start-up world, believes that Rome was not built in a day, loves technology, fashion, food, interior decor, Jazzercise, long weekends and oh, did we say Fashion?? Her new crush is her Canon SLR and she is extremely psyched about Z. She is a Sun Certified Java Programmer and has been involved in all parts of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) at Infosys, AMD, IBM and an Austin based start-up. Here’s how you find her on twitter. @RiyaKSri

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>