THINK Conference - Db2 for z/OS Highlights

The IBM THINK conference was an interesting event with over 33,000 people in attendance that braved the cold San Francisco weather and rain while going to the many different conference session locations.

One of the best sessions during the week was given by Db2 for z/OS Director Mo Townsend and Distinguished Engineer Jeff Josten on Db2 for z/OS Trends and Directions.

They discussed the 2018 Db2 for z/OS deliveries and the three new V12 functions levels that are anticipated in 2019. The DB2 for z/OS development team is getting into a good continuous delivery rhythm and providing new Db2 for z/OS innovations on a somewhat regular basis. For example in 2018 the development team delivered transparent dataset encryption and casting numeric to GRAPHIC/VARGRAPHIC in Function Level (FL 502 APAR PI95511) and Db2 AI for z/OS (Db2ZAI) migration support on DATA CHANGE OPERATIONS for Temporal auditing, enhancements for replication of system-period temporal tables and generated expressed columns in FL503 APAR PH00506.

Recently the new Db2 for z/OS Version 12 Db2ZAI features in FL 504 (APAR PH05323) no longer require the prerequisite FL503. The only Db2 for z/OS Version 12 Db2ZAI FL504 prerequisites are the IBM Machine Learning for z/OS V1.2, APARs PI99400, PI99401 and PH202006 and the Linux package (x86-64 or Linux on Z). Db2 for z/OS Version 12 Db2ZAI FL504 provides better analysis for determining improved Sort space optimization and better query parallelism for overall improved performance. Db2ZAI also provides facilities and positions Db2 for z/OS to quickly adopt further enhancements for automation and query optimization in coming function levels.

The next big news is that the IDAA query accelerator features are becoming fully integrated into Db2 for z/OS and maybe fully available later in 2019. These Db2 for z/OS IDAA enhancements use and leverage the Db2 LUW BLU technology with its industry leading extreme data compression, data skipping capabilities, parallelism, and SIMD CPU CACHE optimization. The Db2 for z/OS IDAA full integration provides huge opportunities to enhance query optimization, transaction performance while providing the integrity to see the latest committed transaction data. Also this full integration will lead to the elimination of the CDC replication facilities currently required to supply data to the IDAA environments.

On the administration side the Db2 for z/OS team is bringing administration services to provide better object change management facilities. These new change management administration services will provide automation provisioning facilities, automated operation options around RUNSTATS and provide more schema and partitioning flexibility for your database objects. These new administration services and other features are bringing better Db2 for z/OS ease of use capabilities for managing the massive Db2 install base with their enormous amounts of transactional and analytical data.

Db2 for z/OS is also enhancing its RESTful POST SQL Request capabilities to provide all types of application, services and micro-services capabilities within Db2 applications. RESTful SQL calls are being developed for all types of new micro-services and these new native Db2 capabilities and the z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition can provide great opportunities to incorporate RESTful interfaces into your applications.

Db2 for z/OS REBIND capabilities are also being enhanced to be able to non-disruptively install and rebind new or replace existing Db2 packages within a high availability application environment. New REBIND facilities and options will non-disruptively REBIND packages into active environments. These new Db2 for z/OS REBIND capabilities are being modeled and will work similarly to the CICS new program functionality where the old Db2 package usage will be phased out and new application package requests will then be phased in utilizing the new rebound Db2 package.

Another new Db2 for z/OS enhancement takes care of that pesky legacy problem of having multiple tables in an old style tablespace. New enhancements are providing Db2 V12 capabilities to provide online reorganization facilities to take those multiple table tablespaces to seamlessly migrate them to universal tablespaces partition by growth (UTS PBG) tablespaces.

Another great enhancement is expanding the memory available within a Db2 subsystem. With the expanding Db2 buffer pools and bigger workloads the Db2 for z/OS memory is being expanded to be able to have a full 32TB of memory for a single Db2z server.

Next blog will talk about the THINK conference AI and ML themes and how companies are leveraging all the new technology capabilities.

Dave Beulke is a business strategist, systems architect and performance expert specializing in big data, data warehouses, and high-performance internet solutions. He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group (IDUG), and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His strategies, architectures, and performance tuning techniques enhance analytics, security, and performance so organizations can better leverage their information assets and save millions of dollars in time to market, CPU, development, and overall costs. Follow his blog at or on Twitter here (@DBeulke) or connect through LinkedIn here (

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