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What's New with DB2 in V5R2

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In V5R2, IBM continues along its path to create a common database across all of its hardware platforms. DB2 Universal Database (UDB) for iSeries V5R2 adds some significant enhancements to this already robust database. In this article, I'll reveal what you can expect with the next release of DB2 UDB for iSeries.

Added SQL Standards Support

One frustration for programmers when moving between different "flavors" of Structured Query Language (SQL) can be dealing with what's not supported in a given SQL implementation. In V5R2, IBM is helping to reduce this frustration on the iSeries by adding support for enhanced SQL standards.

The first of the added SQL functionalities I'll examine is the CREATE TABLE LIKE command. This command allows you to build a new table using an existing table as a template. It also allows you to duplicate not only the record layout for a table, but also the data in the table itself in the same way that you would using the CL command CRTDUPOBJ. The code in Figure 1 would be used to copy data into a new table.

CREATE TABLE Orders2 
LIKE Orders 

Figure 1: The CREATE TABLE LIKE command can be used to duplicate data.


In this example, the new table ORDERS2 will be created in the same format used by the table ORDERS. This functionality can also be used to create a summary file, as shown in Figure 2.

CREATE TABLE SummarySales AS
SELECT cust, period, SUM(sales) AS TotalSales
FROM SalesData
GROUP BY cust, period
WITH DATA

Figure 2: This SQL example will create a summary file.


In this example, the file SummarySales will be created using the fields specified in the SELECT statement. Since this SELECT statement uses the GROUP BY clause and the SUM function, the resulting table will contain a sales summary by customer and period. The WITH DATA clause specifies that you want to copy the data from the source table into the destination table. Alternatively, you could specify WITH NO DATA to only copy the file layout.

Another useful addition to DB2 UDB in V5R2 is the ability to use the UNION clause when creating an SQL view. A UNION allows records to be selected from multiple tables with a common record layout and placed in one results set. Being able to use UNION within a VIEW means that you can now have easy access to data in multiple tables without having to read each table. Figure 3 shows an example of the CREATE VIEW statement using the UNION clause.

CREATE VIEW ALLTRANS AS  
SELECT ITEM, TRNTP, DATE, QTY
      FROM TRAN1999

UNION
SELECT ITEM, TRNTP, DATE, QTY
      FROM TRAN2000

UNION
SELECT ITEM, TRNTP, DATE, QTY
      FROM TRAN2001

Figure 3: The UNION clause can now be used within an SQL VIEW.


This example selects records from the files TRAN1999, TRAN2000, and TRAN2001. The resulting VIEW would display records from each of these tables within a single results set. So rather than reading all the records from TRAN1999, then all the records from TRAN2000, and finally all the records from TRAN2001, you can simply read all of the data from the VIEW ALLTRANS.

Also available in V5R2 of DB2 UDB is the IDENTITY column attribute. IDENTITY allows you to create a field as an auto-incrementing field. For each record created, this value will increment, which is useful anywhere you need a "next-up" number (order numbers, customer numbers, etc.). Figure 4 shows an example of how the IDENTITY column attribute would be used.

CREATE TABLE Orders(
Ordno INTEGER GENERATED ALWAYS AS IDENTITY (START WITH 100, INCREMENT BY 1),
 Cust AS CHAR(10), 
Item AS CHAR(10), 
Qty AS INTEGER
)

Figure 4: IDENTITY columns are auto-incrementing numeric fields.


It's important to note that, while an IDENTITY will automatically increment each time a record is created, this value can be overridden on an INSERT or UPDATE statement if the OVERRIDE clause is used. As a result, the value of the IDENTITY column cannot be guaranteed to be unique unless it is used as part of the primary key or a unique index.

Another addition to V5R2 is the ROWID column. This column can be used to navigate to any row within any table directly. The ROWID value is kept unique even across multiple tables. This 40-byte field contains a unique identifier for each row in each table within your database.

The GLOBAL TEMPORARY TABLE statement is used to create a temporary table that is not registered in the system catalog. The table created can't be processes outside of the one that created it and is automatically deleted when the application ends. GLOBAL TEMPORARY TABLEs are always created in the SESSION schema, which on the iSeries is actually QTEMP library. When combined with the LIKE clause discussed earlier, this statement can be a great help in creating work files within an SQL procedure. Figure 5 contains an example of how this statement is used.

DECLARE GLOBAL TEMPORARY TABLE summary
LIKE sales_summ
ON COMMIT DELETE ROWS

Figure 5: GLOBAL TEMPORARY TABLE can be used for work file creation.


This example will create a temporary table named summary using the same format as the table named sales_summ. When the process that executed this statement is completed, the table will be removed. While the process is active, the temporary table won't be visible to any other applications.

Additions to DB2 UDB for iSeries SQL procedure language--which is used for stored procedures, triggers, and functions--include the ability to use nested compound statements. This means that you can now create multiple levels of BEGIN/END groups within one another. Figure 6 contains an example of how this would look in a stored procedure.

CREATE PROCEDURE CheckCategory... BEGIN DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR SQLEXCEPTION BEGIN SET PrevSQLState=SQLSTATE; SET ErrorState=ErrorOccurred; END; ,,, SET ErrorState=CleanState; SET MyCategory=SELECT Category FROM orders WHERE... ... BEGIN DECLARE CONTINUE HANDLER FOR SQLEXCEPTION... UPDATE inquiries SET inqCount=inqCount+1 WHERE MyCat... END;

Figure 6: Stored Procedures now support nested compound statements.


In addition to nested compound statements, the iSeries SQL procedure language now supports the ITERATE statement, which allows you to skip to the next iteration of a LOOP/END LOOP group. Figure 7 gives an example of this function.

loopa: LOOP
   FETCH crsr INTO orddate, amount;
   IF orddate
      ITERATE loopa;
   END IF;
   INSERT INTO neworders VALUES(orddate, amount);
END LOOP;

Figure 7: The ITERATE statement is used with a LOOP/END LOOP group.


In this example, on each pass through the loop, a record will be read from the cursor crsr. If the value of the field orddate is less than the field startdate, the ITERATE statement is executed to send control back to the start of the loop. Otherwise, the data read is added to the table neworders using the INSERT INTO statement.

Additional enhancements to stored procedure functions include SAVEPOIINTS. This is a means by which a stored procedure can create "bookmarks" within a transaction set. SAVEPOINTS are used along with the ROLLBACK TO statement to allow a stored procedure to roll the transactions back to a specified point. Figure 8 shows an example of the SAVEPOINTS statement.

loopa: LOOP FETCH crsr INTO orddate, amount; IF SQLCODE<0 THEN ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT svpt1; ELSE RELEASE svpt1; END IF; IF orddate

Figure 8: SAVEPOINTS allow transactions to be rolled back to a specified point.


In this example, if the SQLCODE value is less than 0, the transactions are rolled back to the previous SAVEPOINT. If not, the SAVEPOINT is released and processing continues. After the execution of the INSERT INTO statement, a new SAVEPOINT is created. DB2 UDB starts new SAVEPOINTS for each function or trigger. You also have the option of starting a new SAVEPOINT level from a procedure. This option is controlled through the use of the OLD SAVEPOINT LEVEL and NEW SAVEPOINT LEVEL statements. If OLD SAVEPOINT LEVEL is specified, a new SAVEPOINT level is not created. If NEW SAVEPOINT LEVEL is used, a new SAVEPOINT level will be created when the procedure is started. The SAVEPOINT names defined are local to the current SAVEPOINT level. Because SAVEPOINTS allow you to roll back transactions to a specific point, the transaction recovery is faster. SAVEPOINTS remain active until a COMMIT, RELEASE, ROLLBACK, or ROLLBACK TO statement is received. The COMMIT ON RETURN option allows you to define whether or a COMMIT should be issued automatically on return from a procedure. Valid values for this option are YES to commit transactions if the procedure successfully returns and NO, which causes no COMMIT.

SQL User Defined Table Functions (UDTF) allow you to create an SQL function that returns a result set. The UDTF can be used anywhere that you would normally use a table. This includes using them as part of view. Figure 9 shows a sample of a User-defined Table Function.

CREATE FUNCTION CustomerSales(Custno CHAR(10)) RETURN TABLE(Item CHAR(15), Perd INT(8), Units INT(10), Sales DEC(15,2)) LANGUAGE SQL RETURN SELECT Item, Perd, Units, Sales FROM SALESHST WHERE SALESHIST.CUST = CustomerSales.Custno

Figure 9: This User Defined Table Function returns sales data.


In this example, the function accepts the field CUSTNO as its only parameter. The results set returned contains data for all values matching the supplied parameter. The following SELECT statement is an example of how you would use this function:

SELECT * FROM CustomerSales('CUS12345');


When this command is executed, the result set returned will contain all records from the SALESHIST table where the CUST field matches the value supplied in the CUSTNO parameter.

UDTFs can also be used with external functions. One important difference when using an external UDTF is that these functions will return only one row at a time. DB2 UDB will internally call the external UDTF multiple times to return subsequent records. External UDTFs support all programs supported by SQL user defined functions. Figure 10 shows an example of how an external UDTF would be defined.

CREATE FUNCTION DOCMATCH (VARCHAR(30), VARCHAR(255))
      RETURNS TABLE (DOCID CHAR(16))
      EXTERNAL NAME 'MYLIB/RAJIV(UDFMATCH)'
      LANGUAGE C
      PARAMETER STYLE DB2SQL
      NO SQL
      DETERMINISTIC
      CARDINALITY 20

Figure 10: External UDTFs use iSeries programs to return data to SQL.


In this example, the DETERMINISTIC option tells DB2 UDB that on subsequent calls using the same parameters, the same data will be returned. The CARDINALITY option is used to define the estimated number of rows that will be returned by the function. This parameter is valid for both external UDTFs and SQL UDTFs.

Scalar Subselect functionality has also been extended to allow a subselect statement to be used anywhere that an expression can be used. This includes being able to use a subselect within the INSERT INTO statement's VALUES clause. Figure 11 shows an example of how a subselect might be used.

SELECT Custno, Cusnam, (SELECT MAX(Orddat) FROM OrdrHdr 
       WHERE OrdrHdr.Custno = CustMast.Custno) AS LastOrd
FROM CustMast

Figure 11: This subselect is used to select the last order date by customer.


In this example, you select the MAX(Orddat) to get the last order date for the current customer. The results would be a customer listing with last order date information.

In another example of IBM's efforts to extend existing SQL functionality in V5R2, ORDER BY clause restrictions have been removed. Prior to this, only fields that were specified in the SELECT list could be included as part of the ORDER BY clause. In V5R2, you'll be able to specify any field in your source tables as part of the ORDER BY clause, regardless of whether or not those tables appear as part of your SELECT list. Figure 12 shows an example of a statement that will be allowed in V5R2 that would not have been allowed in prior releases.

SELECT CUSNAM, CUSADD, CUSCTY, CUSSTE, CUSZIP FROM CUSTMAST ORDER BY CUSNO

Figure 12: The ORDER BY clause is more flexible in V5R2.


In this example, you select the name and address fields from the customer master file and sort the output by the customer number field.

ODBC and JDBC

The additions to the SQL functionality within V5R2 of DB2 UDB for iSeries are only part of the story. There are also several enhancements to the JDBC and ODBC functions. Commonly used SQL catalog views and tables will be available in V5R2, including those listed in Figure 13.

SQLCOLPRIVILEGES & SQLTABLEPRIVILEGES
SQLCOLUMNS
SQLFOREIGNKEYS & SQLPRIMARYKEYS
SQLPROCEDURES & SQLPROCEDURECOLS
SQLSCHEMAS
SQLTABLES
SQLSPECIALCOLUMNS
SQLSTATISTICS
SQLTYPEINFO & SQLUDTS

Figure 13: New SQL catalog tables and views in V5R2.


All of the views will now exist in the SYSIBM library to conform to other ports of DB2 UDB. In addition, enhancements to JDBC include support for JDBC Version 3.0. These enhancements include support for SAVEPOINTS and multiple concurrently open stored procedure result sets. Also added is support for connections and statements pooling within the JDBC Datasource classes. The Java Transaction API (JTA) is now available with full support for the X/Open XA protocol.

ODBC enhancements abound as well, including support for large objects (LOBs) up to 2 GB. The current limit is 15 MB. There are two new ODBC drivers available, one for the 64-bit version of the Windows operating system and the other for Linux clients. Support for the SQLTablePrivileges and SQLColPrivileges views has also been extended. These two functions allow you to define a user's rights to a given table or column within a table.

Software Updates

In addition to all of the changes mentioned so far, there are also updates to some of the software components related to DB2 UDB for iSeries. To start, the DB2 OLAP Miner has been added to DB2 OLAP Server 7.1. This utility adds data mining capabilities to the existing OLAP tool. It uses sophisticated algorithms called "deviation detection" to identify slices within OLAP cube data that deviate from the norm. These values can then be used to drive your OLAP analysis, giving you a more pinpointed way to analyze your OLAP data.

Data migration toolkits have been added as well, including the Oracle Migration Toolkit, which converts data from Oracle into DB2 UDB for iSeries.

Support for integration with the iSeries Linux operating system is also available, including support for connecting to DB2 UDB for iSeries from the Linux LPAR via DB2 Connect software, ODBC, and JDBC.

I hope this has helped to pique your anticipation for the V5R2 version of DB2 UDB for iSeries. For more information, check out the DB2 UDB for iSeries Web site.

Special thanks to Kent Milligan from the DB2 UDB for iSeries Technology Team for helping me get the scoop on what's new in V5R2 for DB2 so that I could share it with you.

Mike Faust is the MIS Manager for The Lehigh Group in Macungie, PA. Mike has nearly 15 years of experience with midrange computers and personal computers. Check out Mike's book "The iSeries & AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things" available from MC Press.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is a senior consultant/analyst for Retail Technologies Corporation in Orlando, Florida. Mike is also the author of the books Active Server Pages Primer, The iSeries and AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things, JavaScript for the Business Developer, and SQL Built-in Functions and Stored Procedures. You can contact Mike at mikeffaust@yahoo.com.


MC Press books written by Mike Faust available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

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    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.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. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine 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:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. 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:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot 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:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.