25
Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

Technology Focus: Keeping Tabs on Your Database Maintenance Tasks

Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Database maintenance tasks are necessary but don't have to be tedious or excessively time-consuming if you have the right tools.

 

The storied strength of the IBM i in the area of database operations has been a strong selling point for the platform for years. Accordingly, paying attention to software tools that can help with database maintenance projects can be important to keeping that aspect of your business in optimum shape.

 

Traditionally, database management touches such areas as managing access to data (particularly on mobile devices), ensuring data integrity, maintaining replication and high availability services, and providing users with the most efficient and high-performance ways of extracting data needed to carry out business functions.

 

Here we'll survey the software tools currently available to help with database maintenance tasks. For information on deploying data-retrieval apps on mobile devices, see "Technology Focus: You Don't Need a PhD to Deploy on PDAs." For a look at products that assist with data security, please see "Technology Focus: System i Security Apps Offer a Multitude of Protections." And for information on auditing application and data access, please see "Technology Focus: Auditing and Compliance Solutions for IBN i." Data query tools and backup and recovery management options will be the subject of upcoming articles.

Maintenance Tasks

Database maintenance tasks cover a lot of ground, and many of them are time-consuming unless some automation tools are available. Tasks include reorganizing tables or indexes to improve performance, analyzing metadata about databases to optimize performance, rebuilding indexes to improve query performance, expanding and enhancing database structures and contents, and extending connections between databases on the same or different platforms. Some database products, such as DB2, include built-in utilities for handling these routine tasks. But there are a number of software products that can help ease the burden of DBAs and programmers assigned to database administrative activities.

 

Below is a summary of the database maintenance tools that are currently available and run under the IBM i OS. Please note that the brief descriptions here don't cover all the features each software product provides. You should consult the links provided for each product and contact the associated vendors for a more complete idea of what each product's capabilities include.

 

And as always when looking for products or services, be sure to check the MC Press Online Buyer's Guide.

 

Database Management Software for IBM i

 

Applied Logic Corporation

File Edit Utility (FEU)

FEU is a database editor that lets users view and update database records without special programming, as well as perform specialized functions on databases such as restoring deleted records, exporting data to other platforms, and converting spooled files to a variety of formats (e.g., HTML, PDF, XML).

 

Centerfield Technology

HomeRun

Centerfield's HomeRun suite provides a multifaceted set of database maintenance tools. Insure/INDEX suggests new database indexes requirements to improve query performance and optimizes existing indexes. Insure/ANALYSIS helps developers tune databases to achieve the best performance and availability. Insure/MONITOR alerts operators to database problems and lets them graphically view critical job metrics. Insure/RESOURCES audits query usage and helps IT personnel enforce policies governing database and system-resource use. Insure/SECURITY helps security officers intelligently apply traditional IBM i security to protect application data from accidental or malicious damage.

 

Databorough

X-Analysis

X-Analysis is a multifunctional application suite of application analysis tools that includes tools for investigation and reengineering of databases and related software. Among many other capabilities, X-Analysis lets developers diagram data flows, carry out impact analysis of data beginning with a single field or variable, trace data and program relationships, and document or graphically display those relationships.


Excel Program Inventions

Database Assistant

Database Assistant automates processes needed to apply field changes to database files and RPG applications. By globally applying changes to DDS members and source files, this tool streamlines and shortens database maintenance projects.

 

Help/Systems

EASY VIEW

EASY VIEW is a programmer utility that simplifies such processes as correcting database files, adding new records, changing existing records, viewing entries from journaled files, and debugging database applications. EASY VIEW also maintains an audit trail of all activities carried out by its users and can export records to column-delimited files that are accessible by any spreadsheet application.

 

IBM Corporation

Database Assistant

DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for System i

DB2 for i

Database Assistant helps developers streamline database maintenance projects such as adding or expanding database fields by automatically identifying and globally applying field changes to DDS source members and data files, as well as RPG source programs and display and printer files.

 

DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for System i offers database management and development functions, enables database application development using a variety of high-level language frameworks and APIs, and enables query access to DB2 databases residing on multiple platforms or in multiple IBM i partitions. It also helps to extend server data to mobile devices and capture transactions executed on such devices.

 

DB2 for i is IBM's relational database management system designed for Power Systems. Its benefits include scalability, an open development environment that supports a variety of languages (e.g., RPG, Java) and frameworks, and autonomic computing features such as self-configuration, self-tuning, and self-healing.

 

Kisco Information Systems

QRYTool/400

Quick File Utility/400

QRYTool/400 is a utility that lets programmers analyze database queries and data libraries to troubleshoot problems, improve efficiency, identify change needs, and view query output files.

 

Quick File Utility/400 is a set of utilities for database activities that displays field names and values in files, updates database records individually or globally, analyzes record layouts, and shows all files related to a file currently in use.

 

Linoma Software

Surveyor/400

Surveyor/400 helps both IT personnel and end users work with data, files, libraries, objects, and reports to modify data operations. Authorized users can add, modify, or delete database records; track database changes via audit logs; and automate data transfers and file export/import operations from PCs. Other functions include display of relationships between physical and logical files, display and change of data areas, and creation and testing of stored procedures.

 

ProData Computer Services

DBU

DBUnifier

RDB Connect

The DBU database utility lets users view and modify database records with a single command. Capabilities include search and replace using multiple search arguments, control of database relationships, documentation or alteration of fields and file layouts, and security and auditing based on user profiles.

 

DBUnifier simplifies creation of database maintenance and query programs by offering such features as validating fields and records, inserting user-defined exit programs at specific application exit points, and enabling creation of user-defined fields.

 

RDB Connect is a library of utilities that enables record-level access to remote data from RPG, COBOL, and CL programs. It provides connectivity to data in DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and other databases.

 

Sherpa Software

Database Attender

Discovery Attender for Notes

Database Attender is a database management and archiving utility for Lotus Notes/Domino databases. The product offers help with infrastructure browsing, rule enforcement, information collection, document-retention activities, and maintaining control over database settings, usage, and growth.

 

Discovery Attender for Notes provides a universal search function across all Notes/Domino databases, including mail files, archives, journal files, customized applications, and text files in Windows environments. It can also provide de-duplication of email messages and application documents to simplify results sets.

 

SoftLanding Systems

TURNOVER for PDQ

TURNOVER for PDQ converts database data even while end users are currently accessing that data. This function simplifies data updates and conversions without having to take associated applications offline by journaling current user activity and applying it at a more convenient time in the database update process.

 


John Ghrist

John Ghrist has been a journalist, programmer, and systems manager in the computer industry since 1982. He has covered the market for IBM i servers and their predecessor platforms for more than a quarter century and has attended more than 25 COMMON conferences. A former editor-in-chief with Defense Computing and a senior editor with SystemiNEWS, John has written and edited hundreds of articles and blogs for more than a dozen print and electronic publications. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: