2023-10 IDUG EMEA – Roy’s report

Ahhh! So good to get back on the road again… I am now back to my pre-COVID travelling and it catches up with you! I am soooo glad that I only have the German GUIDE in December and then I have *no* more planned travelling this year – Hoorah!

I have not heard of any outbreaks of COVID from IDUG yet, unlike TechExchange where I heard a bunch of Champions all got the lurgy again…

Back to Tech Stuff!

Tons of really good technical talks all started for me on Sunday already, as I flew in to Prague

I met “The Usual Suspects” at the hotel bar, including Julian Stuhler who was there, as a retired guy, to hold the keynote on Monday morning. We had a nice night chatting and drinking. Then early the next day, off I was to the Prague Conference Center (PCC) to register and get the booth built.

Once there, I met the dynamic duo! Dan had flown in after winning Best Speaker at the IDUG 2023 NA and it was great to see him, and Denis, again!

Of course, as I was busy building the booth, I missed Julian’s key note but I heard it was very good indeed. I hope that someone uploads the PDF to the IDUG site so I can actually read what he said! I heard that it was all about Past, Present and Future – the Evolution of Db2 and IDUG and it must have been really good as it overran and was full!

Due Diligence

Please remember two important things:

1) To get the links to work you must be registered at IDUG *and* entitled to the content. Otherwise you will get a “forbidden” screen popping up! If that is the case you can then think about buying the “Premium” version of IDUG membership which does allow downloading of conference files without having to wait around two years.

2) I am only one person, so I did not get to see every presentation at the IDUG. If the presenter was swapped or the session cancelled I might not have caught that, so I apologize if I have forgotten anyone or anything!

Track A is Where it Always Starts!

A01 with Haakon Roberts doing his usual fantastic stuff about Db2 Past, Present and Future. For me, the highlight was the Db2 13 FL504 new Built-in Function (BiF) for SQL Data Insights (SQL DI) AI_COMMONALITY that I had seen rumors about but now it is coming this month! UPDATE! Now Available, Dec 2023


A02 was Akiko with a 40-Year review of performance, including some very nice comparisons from the IBM Benchmarks of 13 years ago and today. Amazing how fast things get in just 13 years – 4.2 times faster but with 2.5 times more logging! Another nugget from this was that SQL Data Insights goes into fake parallel mode to enable ZiiP eligible workloads…


A03 was Haakon again, this time showing us the Past, Present and Future of schema evolution. My take-away from this, is due to moving from multi-table tablespaces (Think QMF here!) you might well start running out of OBIDs in your Database. We at SEG have a Migration Health Check that tells you if you are indeed going to be knocking on the door of some nasty internal limits!


His presentation is here: https://www.idug.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=f85bd909-f1db-c0d8-c3d9-650cd6300554

A04 Rotate away your problems from Johan Sundborg. This includes nearly all the JCL you need to set-up and run Partition Rotation for your good candidates. You can save massive amounts of CPU if you have the right Use Case.


A05 Decompressing the Compression in Db2 for z/OS. Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about compression on Db2!


A06 Utilities What’s new? Haakon Roberts telling us all the new stuff!


A09 Establishing Db2 recovery procedures using redirected recover. A very good overview of doing RECOVERY using REDIRECTED as well. A good list of nasty little APARs where “old” table defs can get ya! Plus, a page about Rookie mistakes…


A13 Monitoring your distributed workload for Db2 for z/OS. This was all about the fascinating world of trying to figure out who is connecting with which type and version of connector to your Db2 sub-system. A brief overview of the new IFCIDs 411 and 412 with the very good data that they have is also included. A bunch of example SQLs rounded off a very good presentation indeed!


A15 Implicitly or Explicitly Defined Db2 Objects the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Steen doing his thang! A good detailed look at the pro’s and con’s of implicit spaces and the many pitfalls of PBGs with LOBs – I avoid them at all costs!


A16 How to avoid the loss of data and minimize the costs associated with a Db2 outage. Top tips all about Backup and Recovery. Including the separation of catalogs that is required for successful BACKUP SYSTEM.


A17 Sun Up to Sun Down The Chase to Achieve 24-7. This was a peek into parallel sysplex and how to guarantee you do not fail! Also includes a bunch of Db2 13 enhancements for continuous availability.


Track B

B02 The A-Z of Logging for Db2 for z/OS explained everything about what is on and not on the Log and really contained an A to Z list. However, the values for J, K and Y were missing – Perhaps my trusty readers can come up with some values? E.g. J – JCL, K – KB and Y – Yottabyte! Further to this, we have at SEG another freeware that reads your archive logs and tells you what you have! You may well be surprised at the amount of stuff that gets logged!


Julia’s presentation is here: https://www.idug.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=e70efe05-a89a-0821-3a8e-1251a36665cc

B03 Recovery From Z To A was a great presentation full of useful info all about doing the dangerous job of RECOVERY. Well worth a review!


B04 A day in the life of a Db2 for z/OS schema was a really nice explanation of schema life from three different perspectives: Developer, DBA and System! Pretty neat!


B05 Reorg Rabobank biggest Db2 table from APN to RPN. A really good real-life story about REORGing epically large tables. My highlight, was the fact that the elapsed time output of the reload message “rolls over” after 99 hours!!!


B06 Db2 For z/OS and Unicode – What you need to know. A complete review and overview of the ever-present Unicode code pages that are always with us all these days!


B07 Getting Ready For Db2 13 – Updates. This was a review of Db2 12 Agile, continuous delivery and the steps required for a painless migration to Db2 13.


B08 Measuring is knowing – Db2 for z/OS instrumentation enhancements you may have missed. A very nice recap of all IFI changes in the past few years and also Commands and message changes. Please note that “Miscellaneous” was about 50% of the presentation!! Great data here and a reminder about being careful about RID overflows not actually being RID overflows.


B09 Who’s afraid of DDF? An explanation about DDF and how to get a handle on it. Another call to arms about using the PROFILE functionality (One of the best kept secrets in Db2 for z/OS IMHO!)


B10 “Run it Back” Db2 for z/OS All new “2023 SWAT Tales” Was another great list of things from Anthony which you all should be doing. Included is a great visualization of Cyber Resiliency/”Safeguarded” Copies which we did not even need a few years ago! A very important point that he mentioned, is the PTFs that we must all apply. I can happily recommend you subscribe to my APAR Newsletter where I update, every month, all the APARs of interest including HIPER and PE ones! Just go here to see the latest and, if you want to, you can then register for email updates:


Here’s Anthony’s presentation:


B11 Db2 13 for the production DBA. Has three points for the DBA today. PBG – PBR Conversion. DDL break in using the PROFILE tables again. Finally, Dynamic Query Stabilization. Great stuff!


B12 How to Hack Db2 for z/OS – Lessons Learned from Mainframe Hackers. That grabbed your attention didn’t it? Slide 19 makes me laugh every time I see it! Seriously, the major problems are allowing uncontrolled access to APF load libraries (This has been true for decades of course, but these days with the new twist of USS +a usage! Slide 55 is extremely useful here.) the use of Magic SVCs (These I have used in the past…) and basic user id protection.


B13 Modernise your Db2 Environment – Top 20 Features People are Still not using. Adrian doing a great job of reminding us of what we have but are stubbornly ignoring! Slide 21 contained a very simple way of seeing if Parallel Access is for you! Slide 31 also reflects my opinion with RAM availability on z/OS. I am sure we (the DBAs) have much more RAM available than we are aware of. It can be *much* better used as an increased size for your buffer pools! Then slide 34 showed the real benefits…


B14 Recovering to another subsystem with DSN1COPY. Sadly, not available at this time. A09 is lurking here!

B15 Db2 13 for z/OS: What is new in Security and Compliance? All about SMF type 1154 and its usage in compliance. Then the use of various caches within Db2 for Authorizations finally discusses PROFILE tables again!


B16 When reality “derails” capacity planning for Db2 zOS. No link available yet, but it is in the zip file as a download. My mantra – slides 26 – 35! Especially slide 35…

B17 Db2 13 for z/OS Utility History :What is it and how to use it. All about the new Utility History table and example SQLs about how to use it.


Track E

E02 SQL tuning : A business Case. Where Kurt held a plaidoyer for SQL Tuning and Training.


E04 Fun with Ansible and Db2 for z/OS. If it is possible to have fun… A ton of examples, tips and tricks etc. If you are going down the road of Ansible this should be your starting point!


E07 Near real time reporting system with Db2 data sources from both mainframe and AIX. Al about ELT and transferring data!


E08 Db2 Analytics Accelerator – What is New, what are customers doing with that! Hard numbers and data from real life customer usage of the Accelerator. The performance boost of NVMe is impressive! Ending with a sneak peek at 7.5.12.


E11 Successfully migrate from CDC to Integrated Synchronization IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator. A nice plan to migrate from CDC to InSync, listing out the steps to take and how to get there.


E12 It’s AI Jim, but not as we know it! My little presentation all about the Hype and the Reality of AI and then showing how useful the three (four!) SQL Data Insights Built-in Functions that are supplied free of charge with Db2 13 for z/OS are.


E13 Db2 and the Magic of Disk – This was all about Disk I/O from way back when to today. Very interesting indeed. Gotta try and reserve a table at Katja’s restaurant one day!


E14 Db2 for z/OS and LUW Big Buttons for Application Performance. DanL strutting his stuff and basically trying to get us to reduce the number of SQL calls or the number of SQLs by using joins, views etc. as these are, by definition, the best way to save time and cpu!


E15 ‘The Art of War’ against Bad SQL. Cool title indeed! A very good presentation with real world examples about how simple changes can save mega-bucks – Plus plenty of cool quotes!


E16 Accelerator on Z Monitoring and workload assessment update. A review of how to monitor the Accelerator(s) you have and make sure enough disk and memory are available and used!


E17 How to Drive Down Database Development Dollars. An absolutely wonderful mix of tips and tricks in a wide variety of languages, all about getting more performance and less pain out of your system.


Track F

F01 Db2 DevOps, Zowe CLI plugins, VS Code extensions and more! As the name suggests, a ton of stuff about DevOps, Zowe and VS Code extensions!


F05 SQL on Db2 for zOS: The Missing Parts and how to deal with them. Thomas lists a few SQL challenges he has had, how he solved them and how he would *like* them solved by IBM development! There is also a nice list of AHA! Ideas you may wish to vote for.


F07 Db2 13 Application Development Topics. Gives a great review of Db2 13 and what SQL changes are contained within as well as PROFILE table again! Get the hint? Included at the end are 12 pages all about the “history” of SQL fitting in to the overall theme of “40 Years”


F08 The Business Value of Db2 SQL Data Insights. All about how to use the SQL DI in a real business case. Starts with football but ends with an Insurance Case. Well worth looking into for the examples contained within!


F09 Application Modernization – Considered those Db2 for z/OS Capabilities? Going modern but incrementally. She showed how many JAVA, Python, node.js and Go developers there are out there… Loads! As a bonus it mentions PROFILEs again…


F11 Lessons learned while enabling DDF in an existing Db2 Datasharing environment. A good way to show how to set up DDF including security and log performance. The recommendations for application name and accounting to be used are very good and I can also recommend it! It is the *only* real chance to see which application is connecting to your host Db2 subsystem! Guess what? They also used PROFILE tables ….


F12 CLPPLUS : The Other Db2 Client. A cross platform presentation and it contains what you need to know about getting LOAD on z/OS to work from LUW. Very cool and thin – unlike me …


F13 Back to Basics with Db2 buffer pools. This is a great intro and explanation of buffer pools. What they are, what to look for and what to do! I held a vendor presentation P06 which covers *exactly* the same ground! My vendor presentation is here:


And the original IDUG presentation is here:


F14 Encrypting Db2 Connections with TLS/SSL. Everything about TLS/SL – It gets really interesting for z/OS people around slide 15 when “keyrings” get mentioned! Slides 41 to 44 are also very handy for trouble shooting.


F16 Get Cozy with Ansible for z/OS. Apart from having the absolute coolest session code of the IDUG, this was all about going Ansible on the Mainframe. This is an introduction into the world of Ansible automation on the mainframe including all that goes with it. Impressive stuff!


F17 Rock & Roll with Db2 for z/OS “Hey Db2, suggest music like zzTop” – This was a deep dive into SQL Data Insights on z/OS using Spotify as an example. It also shows the internals of the ML system used. It finishes with a “call to arms” to get other people interested in the Host side of things. Slide 19 is very handy for all the Prereqs you will need.


Track G

G01 Database Design Basics. An excellent intro into DBMS’s and very good ideas about design especially for OLTP and OLAP and, one of my faves, naming standards for columns and tables!


G02 The Basics of SQL Queries: From Fetches to getpages and I/Os. Basically, an SQL 101 but contains a lot of good data. The use of buffer pools is well explained and how they can really help (see earlier presentations!) Strangely PROFILEs were *not* mentioned this time!


G03 DB2 SQL – go beyond the usual – My current TOP 40 SQL tips, tricks, and opinions. Brian gave a great presentation about the modern features of SQL that you all should be using! Well worth reading.


G04 Advanced Db2 Performance Tuning for Beginners. Joe doing his usual great work of showing how to really do SQL tuning. I especially liked the Filter Factors page!


G05 Back To Basics Real Time Statistics: What are they and how are they used? Another 101 style presentation but this time covering everything about the RTS tables and how you can, and should, use the data within.


G10 IBM watsonx.data & Db2 Warehouse: Scale analytics and AI across the enterprise. All the low-down about watsonx including the “new” governance part that we will all need to get full transparency.


G15 Db2 for z/OS administrative tooling strategy : Customer feedback, Roadmap, future direction & DEMO!! Naturally no demo here, but I am sure you can request one! All about Admin Foundation and the EOS of Data Server Manager in March 2024. It then went on to tell us why we should all be using Visual Studio Code and then adding in all the various extensions (Db2, SQL, COBOL etc. etc.). Here lies the future!


G16 Db2 AI for z/OS Strategy and Technical Deep Dive. Akiko took us on a tour! The two AIs out there now for Db2: SQL Data Insights (For free) and Db2 AI for z/OS (Not for free) now at version 1.6 and the latter was the topic that was discussed including System Assessment.


G17 Db2 and Zowe. Everything, everywhere at once ! A run-through of Zowe over the years and also Developer extensions. If you are starting down the road of Zowe or Admin Foundation and Visual Code this is a good starting point!


It was another really good IDUG with loads of excellent and interesting z/OS sessions. I hope to see you in Valencia in 2024 for EMEA or Charlotte for NA !

Please remember: You must be authorized to access the IDUG data and if the links fail please contact IDUG and not me 🙂


Roy Boxwell