24
Wed, Apr
0 New Articles

RPG Academy: Database Modernization - Tools to Help the Modernization Process

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

Some Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs) are simple, while others are really complex. This article describes a few tools that can help you tackle both types of ERDs, as well as everything in between.

The first tool you’ll need sits right between your ears: your brain. There’s a lot to learn, and you’ll have to put your grey matter to use in this chapter. It’s also a good idea to review the Data Definition Language (DDL) part of SQL, because we’re going to revisit tables, views, indexes, constraints, and other DDL concepts. At some point, my SQL 101 TechTip series will touch on that, but for the time being, I’ll assume you’ve done your homework and are up to speed on these concepts.

First, a personal disclaimer: I’m not associated with, sponsored by, or engaged with the companies and/or products mentioned in this article. These are the tools that I believe provide the best solution at the lowest cost in a database modernization initiative. (Note that I’m not talking only about the monetary cost, but also about time.) There are many tools in the IBM i modernization market. While I suggest you should at least have a look at those listed here, seek the advice of your modernization consultant because your particular scenario might require a different set of tools.

Having said that, let’s start with a couple of IBM products. IBM Data Studio and IBM InfoSphere Data Architect are two data manipulation and modeling products that can help automate some of the tasks I’ll talk about later in this chapter. I won’t go into depth about these products, but I’ll give you a quick overview of each.

IBM Data Studio

Data Studio provides database administration and database development capabilities for DB2. It is the primary tool for production database administration for DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows environments, but it also supports object management and routine development for DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for i.

For data and database object management, Data Studio provides a large array of features. In this particular context, here are some of the most relevant:

  • Connect to DB2 data sources; filter, sort, and browse data objects and their properties.
  • Import and export database connections.
  • Use data diagrams to visualize and print the relationships among data objects.
  • Use editors and wizards to create, alter, or drop data objects.
  • Modify privileges for data objects and authorization IDs.
  • Analyze the impact of your changes.
  • Copy tables.
  • View and edit table data.
  • Reverse-engineer databases into physical models.
  • Compare and synchronize changes between models, databases, and the DDL used to define objects in the database.
  • Create, validate, schedule, and run command scripts.

Data Studio is a free tool that you can download from IBM’s web site. It might be a good idea to also download the free e-book Getting Started in IBM Data Studio from the IBM Data Studio product page.

IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

IBM InfoSphere Data Architect is an enterprise-level data modeling tool. It is a comprehensive development environment that you can use to model diverse and distributed data assets, as well as to find and establish relationships between those assets. Just like Data Studio, this product has a large array of features. In a database modernization context, the most important are the following:

  • Discovering the structure of heterogeneous data sources by examining and analyzing the underlying metadata
  • Allowing you to browse through the hierarchy of data elements (physical and logical files, tables, and so on), while displaying detailed properties for every element, through its accessible user interface
  • The ability to create logical, physical, and domain models for DB2, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Teradata

Elements from logical and physical data models can be visually represented in diagrams using Information Engineering (IE) notation. Alternatively, physical data model diagrams can use the Unified Modeling Language (UML) notation. InfoSphere Data Architect enables data professionals to create physical data models from scratch, from logical models using transformation or from the database using reverse-engineering.

Unlike IBM Data Studio, InfoSphere Data Architect is not free, but the 30-day trial version is fully functional. There’s also a free e-book, called Getting Started With InfoSphere Data Architect, which will be of great use in learning how the tool works.

These tools can be very useful to understand and represent the existing and future database. However, they won’t solve the conversion or data migration issues you’ll be faced with. That’s where the next tool comes into play.

Adsero Optima Foundation

Adsero Optima Foundation is a complete package designed to ease one of the most important parts of the database modernization process: the DDS-to-DDL migration. This is a totally native solution that supports the automatic, gradual, and non-disruptive migration of legacy database objects (DDS-defined physical and logical files, for instance) to the native DB2 SQL (SQE) engine. As you’ll see later, the ability to automate the conversion of DDS to DDL data objects is crucial to a smooth database modernization, because it frees you up for the next and more-complex steps of the modernization process. This tool’s provided functionality goes beyond the first step of the process, however; it can help with the whole process of modernizing the database, going as far as automating some steps.

But that’s something I’ll discuss on the next article, which will be about database modernization methodology. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you! Let me know what you think about this subseries and how I can improve it.

Rafael Victoria-Pereira

Rafael Victória-Pereira has more than 20 years of IBM i experience as a programmer, analyst, and manager. Over that period, he has been an active voice in the IBM i community, encouraging and helping programmers transition to ILE and free-format RPG. Rafael has written more than 100 technical articles about topics ranging from interfaces (the topic for his first book, Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i) to modern RPG and SQL in his popular RPG Academy and SQL 101 series on mcpressonline.com and in his books Evolve Your RPG Coding and SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide. Rafael writes in an easy-to-read, practical style that is highly popular with his audience of IBM technology professionals.

Rafael is the Deputy IT Director - Infrastructures and Services at the Luis Simões Group in Portugal. His areas of expertise include programming in the IBM i native languages (RPG, CL, and DB2 SQL) and in "modern" programming languages, such as Java, C#, and Python, as well as project management and consultancy.


MC Press books written by Rafael Victória-Pereira available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Evolve Your RPG Coding: Move from OPM to ILE...and Beyond Evolve Your RPG Coding: Move from OPM to ILE...and Beyond
Transition to modern RPG programming with this step-by-step guide through ILE and free-format RPG, SQL, and modernization techniques.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i
Uncover easier, more flexible ways to get data into your system, plus some methods for exporting and presenting the vital business data it contains.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide
Learn how to use SQL’s capabilities to modernize and enhance your IBM i database.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:
$

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: