DB2 Temporal Tables – Capturing a Snapshot of Your Business

DB2 offers application designers new functionality for their data warehousing requirements.  The new DB2 10 Temporal Tables provide a way to have a snapshot in time of the status of customers, orders or any other type of business situation.
DB2 Temporal Tables, with their built in functionality, automatically understand the business time or system time of the data entered into the system.  This functionality is ideal for handling and documenting the condition of the any business aspect at a certain time.  This functionality is driven from two new column definitions, BUSINESS_TIME and SYSTEM_TIME, defined within a table definition.  Using these new time period columns within a DB2 Temporal Table definition provides a system-maintained, a period-maintained or bi-temporal time period for your data.  

Many systems today have manual processes or utilities that migrate their real time data to history tables.  The new DB2 Temporal Tables with their new system time and business time columns can be used in conjunction with a user-defined trigger to automatically migrate transactional temporal table data to another user defined HISTORY table.  Having these facilities built into the database greatly improves regulatory compliance, operations and overall DB2 performance tuning.
Separating out the real time transaction data versus the old data within your database using the HISTORY table requires planning and design steps.  The separation of the old data from new data guarantees application and SQL performance does not suffer when your database is fully populated.  Separation of the old and new data also helps DB2 performance tuning management so more resources can be delegated to maintaining base new transaction data where DB2 performance tuning matters for business operational success.

Over the coming weeks I will go through the steps and design decisions required to set up a Temporal Table.  We will go through the SYSTEM_TIME, BUSINESS_TIME and a bi-temporal table design.

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