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IBM Redbooks Publication Focus on IBM Db2 12 for z/OS

Joseph Gulla continues his series on IBM Redbooks publications, specifically product content on Db2 12 for z/OS.

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This week, I’m continuing this series prompted by reading some recent IBM Redbooks publications. I am particularity interested in catching up on some major product content.
 
This week, I focus on “IBM Db2 12 for z/OS Technical Overview.” This publication introduces the enhancements made available with Db2 12 for z/OS. It was written to help database administrators understand the new functions and performance enhancements, to plan for ways to use the key new capabilities, and to support the investment of installing or migrating to Db2 12. The book contains almost 300 pages of technical details about this substantial release, which came out in 2016. The current stable release of the product is 12.1 made available in 2018.

The Start of the Db2 Success Story

Researchers Cynthia Saracco and Donald Haderle wrote about the history and growth of IBM’s Db2, indicating that the relational database management system shipped in the early 1980s (mainframe version) and drove billions of dollars of revenue to IBM and other firms within its first decade.
 
The product encouraged the creation of a variety of add-on tools, helped shape the future of mainframe computing and provided independent software vendors with a robust, reliable and scalable platform for enterprise applications. Today, Db2 spans multiple OSes including Linux, UNIX and Windows and is widely deployed across a broad spectrum of industries. It’s an amazing success story and the story continues represented by IBM Db2 release 12 for z/OS with its many new features.

How to Appreciate the Publication

The book has useful overview materials, for example “Db2 12 for z/OS at a Glance” from Chapter 1, which explains the big picture of the release. Maybe that’s all the material you want. If you want to catch up with the product announcement, it’s great to find it in one place.
 
Very quickly after the first two chapters, the book gets into the remarkable details of the release, for example, the implementation of continuous delivery, catalog changes, compatibility support and range-partitioned table space changes. Careful description of these enhancements and additions takes hundreds of pages of narrative and examples to explore and explain.

Innovations of Db2 12 for z/OS

IBM Db2 12 for z/OS is centered on innovations that increase the availability, reliability, scalability and security of business-critical information. In addition, Db2 12 for z/OS
offers performance and functional improvements for both transactional and analytical
workloads. This release makes installation and migration simpler and faster.
 
Db2 12 for z/OS also supports developing applications for the cloud and mobile devices by providing self-provisioning and self-managing capabilities in an Agile development environment. Db2 12 for z/OS is also the first version of Db2 built for continuous delivery. Chapter 2 defines continuous delivery as an approach to make enhancements available in the service stream sooner than the next version of the product.

3 Key Parts

How do the authors of the Redbooks publication explain all of this new and changed function? It is quite a challenge to organize the implementation details, so they chose to use three parts: subsystem, application functions, and operations and performance. These three parts comprise the framework used to explain the many details associated with the release.
 
The subsystem section has three chapters focused on scalability, availability and data sharing enhancements. Scalability enhancements include range-partitioned table spaces changes, Db2 internal latch contention relief, buffer pool simulation and support for sizes greater than 4 GB of active log data sets. Examples of availability advances include improved availability for pending definition changes, catalog availability improvements and removal of point-in-time recovery restrictions for PBG table spaces. The data sharing discussion is focused on the DISPLAY GROUP command, XA support for global transactions, peer recovery, automatic retry of GRECP and LPL recovery, improved lock avoidance checking and asynchronous lock duplexing.
 
The application functions section has three chapter focused on SQL, application enablement and connectivity and administration routines. The operations and performance section has five chapters centered on administrator function, security, utilities, installation and migration and performance.
 
The technical details are in these 11 detailed chapters. A database specialist, application DBA or database architect has all that they need in these chapters to create a plan to make use of these enhancements. Chapter 12 on installation and migration has all of the elements that you would expect--prerequisites for Db2 12 in data sharing, processor and software requirements.
 
Chapter 12 also explains single-phase migration and function level including topics like using a fallback SPE and how to handle early code. It includes a premigration checkout and information on installing a new Db2 12 system. In short, this chapter gives the technical team a lot of help in handling the installation and migration of Db2 components. 

Next Week  

Next week, I’ll continue with this series on the November 2019 IBM Redbooks publications with a focus on “Getting Started with z/OS Container Extensions and Docker.” This publication helps you to understand the concepts, business perspectives and reference architecture for installing, tailoring and configuring zCX in your own environment.  
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