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developerWorks Community for DB2 Analytics Accelerator

June 14, 2016

Last year I noted that IBM was accelerating development of the DB2 Analytics Accelerator. With new maintenance releases coming out about every 3-6 months, it's a challenge to keep up with all the changes. That's why I was excited to discover the IBM developerWorks Community for DB2 Analytics Accelerator:

I joined this community and really like the content. The user forums are active. Some discussion topics that caught my eye include: "Does the Accelerator support DB2 clone tables?" and "Which additional features do I get if I use DB2 11 instead of DB2 10 with DB2 Analytic Accelerator?"

The Blog section is where you'll find news about new versions and available fixes (which often provide new features as well as maintenance). Here's the post about the most recent DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS release, Version 5.1, from December.

The release notes provide a list of what’s new:

* Support for temporal DB2 tables (tables with system or business period definitions)
* Support for encryption of data at rest and encryption of data in motion
* In-database analytics capabilities enable the acceleration of predictive analytics applications. This way, SPSS and Netezza Analytics data mining and in-database models can be processed on an accelerator.
* In-database transformation supports the consolidation of ETL/ELT processing in DB2 for z/OS, resulting in a more cost-effective, simplified architecture.
* Support for accelerator-only tables
o Serves statistics and analytics tools that use temporary data for reports. The high velocity of execution enables these tools to gather all required data quickly.
o Accelerates SQL data transformations.
* Installation enhancements
o The environment variable AQT_INSTALL_PREFIX has been dropped.
The update transfer function has been simplified. It now uses no more than one environment variable: AQT_HOST_PACKAGE_DIRECTORY. Specify an absolute path as the value of this variable. Note that it must not be empty because otherwise, the software transfer function does not work.
o The new installation program AQTTRIN simplifies installation because it automatically detects the DB2 version and already present DB2 objects. It only installs missing objects or modifies objects not yet in the proper state.
o By default, only the most recent software packages are kept in the hierarchical file system (HFS) when SMP/E updates are applied.
* Load and continuous operation improvements in the incremental update function
* Improved backward compatibility during the installation. Stored procedures can now be at a higher level than accelerator software, which facilitates software updates.
* Improved serviceability through the automatic call-home capability

This post, from February, notes the availability of the version 5.1 PTF 1. This information is given through a webcast. Once you register, you can watch a pre-recorded webinar that provides details about  the new features.

Finally, there's this recent news about the availability of version 5.1 PTF 2. This is mainly a maintenance release with only two new features:

1. Alerts to incremental update outages
Affected users
All users of the incremental update function in IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS Version 4.1 PTF-5 and later versions
Feature description
Four new DSNX messages alert users to outages of the incremental update function and give hints on how to recover from these outages. The new messages use the IDs 3004 through 3007. In addition, some of the former ID 20 messages have now been given separate IDs from 3000 through 3003. For compatibility reasons, these messages remain ID 20 messages in this release, but are marked as deprecated. ID 20 is used for CDC messages that are passed to the DB2 log. They can be informational messages, warnings or error messages. Do not implement automatisms based on ID 20 messages because these messages might disregard the overall system state. Instead, use the messages with the IDs from 3000-3999 for automatisms because these take the overall system state into account.
Additional information
For more information, see chapter 7 in the Users Guide and the technote at: Structure of DSNX881I Messages.

2. Support DB2 local dates in the format YYYYMMDD (padded with two blanks)
Affected users
Users of IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS Version 5.1
Feature description
Customers can run queries with date expressions that use this local date format as their point of reference. Such queries might be found in existing applications.
Additional information
To enable the new date format, set the ZPARM QUERY_ACCEL_OPTIONS = 7 and install the DB2 user exit with this local date format. Note that your version of the Netezza Platform Software (NPS) must be or later.

The DB2 Analytics Accelerator community is a valuable resource, and, from talking to IBM colleagues who work directly on the DB2 Analytics Accelerator product, more information and documentation will be added over time. You should check it out.

Posted June 14, 2016| Permalink

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