Here's how to create descriptive table and column names that make DB2 for i easier for end users to navigate
by Rafael Victoria-Pereira
Editor's note: This article is excerpted from chapter 4 of SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide, by Rafael Victoria-Pereira.
Chapter 3 led us on the first step toward a true database, but it kept most of the hallmarks that make a DB2/400 database very "user-unfriendly": the table and column names are short, in the typical and old-fashioned way of the AS/400. However, end users' demands in regard to data queries have evolved significantly in recent years. The users of our UMADB are particularly data-hungry and are overtaxing the university's IT staff labor resources. This added burden on the IT staff is something that often occurs when you "open up" the database to the end users. The problem is that the database is not always ready to be used by someone not used to short, cryptic names, and this ends up causing additional stress on the IT staff, because it requires additional time and effort to "explain the database" to users and help them navigate the nearly indecipherable table and column names.