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Planet DB2 is an aggregator of blogs about the IBM DB2 database server. We combine and republish posts by bloggers around the world. Email us to have your blog included.


September 17, 2019

Craig Mullins

IBM Unleashes the z15 Mainframe

In New York City, on September 12, 2019, IBM announced the latest and greatest iteration of its Z systems mainframe computing platform, the IBM z15. And I was lucky enough to be there for the unveiling. The official IBM announcement letter can be found here if you want to dive into the details. But before you go there, consier first reading what I have to say about it below. Before going any...

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September 16, 2019

Data and Technology

Implementing a Database Infrastructure

I recently received a question about hot to put together a database environment from scratch. This is a quick question that requires an in-depth answer — usually moreso than can adequately be...

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September 10, 2019

Kim May

Join Gold Consultants for a V12 Upgrade Webinar Wednesday, October 9th

The Time is NOW! Upgrade to Db2 12 for z/OS! Date:           Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Time:          11:00am EDT Register:     HERE You are invited to join a live webcast hosted by IBM Gold...

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September 08, 2019

DB2Night Replays

The DB2Night Show #217: Light at the End of the Encrypted Tunnel

Presented by: Greg Stager Developer, IBM Toronto Lab "The DB2Night Show #217: Light at the End of the Encrypted Tunnel" Replays available in WMV and M4V formats! 100% of our studio audience learned something!Greg presented a thorough introduction to using TLS with Db2 LUW 11.5. Watch the replay...

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September 05, 2019

Data and Technology

Ancelus: an Intriguing New Type of Database

There are many different DBMS types and products on the market these days. We have relational, key/value, document, wide column stores, graph, in-memory, multi-model, and even pre-relational DBMS...

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Ember Crooks

Ember Speaking at Midwest Users Groups Meetings September 10 and 11

One of the things I most enjoy in my career is speaking – whether it is at conferences or for Users Groups. I’ll be speaking at Users Groups in St. Louis and Milwaukee September 10 and 11.

Also speaking will be one of my favorite speakers – Pavel Sustr.… Read the rest


September 04, 2019

Craig Mullins

The Power of Data Masking for Data Protection

Data privacy regulations and the desire to protect sensitive data requires methods to mask production data for test purposes. Data masking tools create structurally similar data that is not the same as the actual data, but can be used by application systems the same way as the actual data. The capability to mask data is important to be in compliance with regulations like GDPR and PCI-DSS, which...

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September 02, 2019

Frank Fillmore

#IBMz #IDAA v7.1 Webinar Recording and Material #Db2

Extending appreciation to all who participated in the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7.1 webinar on August 28, 2019.  If you weren’t able to join us, here is the webcast recording.  In a...

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August 30, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Updated: Cloud App Security - an introduction

IBM Cloud offers security services Two years back, I had created two blog articles providing an introduction to cloud app security with an overview of topics, then discussing details on how to...

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August 29, 2019

Robert Catterall

The Two Aspects of Db2 for z/OS Support for JSON Data

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a form of data representation that is popular with people who develop what you might call "very modern" applications, including those that are cloud-based and those that have a mobile front-end. One reason this is so: a JSON document is easy for a program (or a person) to parse, as you'll see from examples I've included a bit further down in this blog entry. As interest in JSON has grown, more folks have asked about the support that Db2 for z/OS provides...

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August 28, 2019


August 19, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Offboarding on IBM Cloud: Considerations when removing a user

Only authorized persons have access Over my past blog posts I have looked into how to rotate credentials in different compute environments. I looked at Cloud Foundry on IBM Cloud, Cloud Functions...

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Antonio Cangiano

Join My Team at IBM

This is a heads up that my team has several developer positions available. The job post is not live yet, but it will be shortly. If you are interested and you meet the requirements below, feel free...


August 15, 2019

Craig Mullins

BMC AMI for DevOps Intelligently Integrates Db2 for z/OS Schema Changes

Organizations of all types and sizes have adopted a DevOps approach to building applications because it effectively implements small and frequent code changes using agile development techniques. This approach can significantly improve the time to value for application development. The DevOps approach is quite mature on distributed platforms, but it is also gaining traction on the mainframe. As...

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August 12, 2019

Kim May

Join Frank for a Free Webinar: IDAA Afternoon Show

Several people who registered for The Fillmore Group’s Columbus IDAA class in July were unable to attend, so we’ve decided to borrow the “Db2 Night Show” format, with Frank hosting the “IDAA...

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Henrik Loeser

Get some REST with Db2

Db2 has a REST API Many of the IBM Cloud services have a REST API, an overview of REST APIs is here in the IBM Cloud docs. Recently, I realized that I had not yet tried the Db2 on Cloud API and the...

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August 07, 2019


August 01, 2019

Craig Mullins

DevOps is Coming to Db2 for z/OS

Mainframe development teams are relying on DevOps practices more extensively, bringing the need to incorporate Db2 for z/OS database changes into the toolset that is supporting their software development lifecycle (SDLC). But most mainframe professionals have only heard a little about DevOps and are not really savvy as to what it entails. DevOps is an amalgamation of Development and Operations....

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Henrik Loeser

Use a Delivery Pipeline to rotate credentials

Job in Delivery Pipeline to rotate keys In my recent posts I touched on updating credentials for solutions deployed on IBM Cloud Functions or using Cloud Foundry on IBM Cloud. Today, I am showing...

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Robert Catterall

Db2 for z/OS - Talking About APPLCOMPAT (Part 2)

Last month, I posted to this blog part 1 of a 2-part entry on the APPLCOMPAT option of the Db2 for z/OS BIND PACKAGE command. In that entry I covered several aspects of APPLCOMPAT. In this part 2 piece, I will focus on one particular matter pertaining to APPLCOMPAT - namely, the management of this option for packages associated with the IBM Data Server Driver (or its predecessor, Db2 Connect) in a Db2 12 for z/OS environment. The IBM Data Server Driver is used by client application programs...

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July 29, 2019

Craig Mullins

Webinar: DevOps and Database Change Management for Db2 for z/OS - August 13, 2019

DevOps practices are gaining popularity on all development platforms and the mainframe is no exception. DevOps relies heavily on agile development and automated software delivery. However, the ability to integrate and orchestrate database changes has lagged. To learn more about DevOps, change management, and Db2 for z/OS, I am delivering a webinar on this topic along with John Barry of BMC. We...

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July 26, 2019

Data and Technology

Happy SysAdmin Day… for DBAs, too!

Today, July 26, 2019 is SysAdmin Day, otherwise known as System Administrator Appreciation Day. Actually, it is the 20th annual SysAdmin Day! What is SysAdmin Day, you may ask? Well, it is a day to...

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July 18, 2019

Kim May

Don’t Miss IDUG Blog: Meet the Crusher

The Fillmore Group has had the pleasure of working with Steve Cricchi for the past several years.  Steve is a database administrator and technical problem solver who has done some amazing work with...

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Henrik Loeser

Rotate service credentials for Cloud Foundry apps on IBM Cloud

Keep your cloud environment secure A popular PaaS (Platform as a service) technology is Cloud Foundry. On IBM Cloud, it is available both as public Cloud Foundry instances in multiple regions as...

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July 17, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Rotating service credentials for IBM Cloud Functions

Keep your service keys secret If you have followed some of my work, you know that I use IBM Cloud Functions, i.e., a serverless approach, for many projects. The tutorials with a database-driven...

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July 16, 2019

Craig Mullins

Proud to be an IBM Champion

Just a quick post today about the IBM Champions program, which if you haven't heard about, is a special program run by IBM to recognize and reward non-IBM thought leaders for their work associated with IBM products and communities.  IBM publishes the list of IBM Champions annually and the title is valid for one year. So, champions must be nominated each year to maintain their...

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July 15, 2019

Data and Technology

A (Very) Quick Intro to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of on your own computers. The “cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet. When you hear the term...

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July 11, 2019

Cognitive Class

Scrum Ceremonies: Daily, Planning, Review, and Retrospective Meetings

What are scrum ceremonies?

Scrum is a framework for organizing work in a team. We use scrum ceremonies to organize all software development and course content creation at Cognitive Class.

Scrum is well suited for agile software development. It’s possible to use scrum to organize other kinds of teams. For example, The Rhesus Chart is a fun Sci-Fi novel by Charles Stross about a coven of vampires using Scrum to take over London. For now, my scrum experience is focused on software development.

Agile software development is a fuzzy term that encompasses everything that’s not waterfall software development; waterfall being a multi month cycle of planning-developing-testing with discreet stages. Scrum is a specific, iterative way of doing agile.

Scrum is composed of several scrum ceremonies:

  • Planning
  • Daily standup
  • Review or demo
  • Retrospective

Scrum is important both from a task-management perspective — what will I accomplish today? — and a project management perspective — when will the feature be finished?

Scrum ceremonies are used humourously in The Rhesus Chart by Charless Stross

As a vampire, Mhari needs to use Scrum to take over London

Who am I?

My name is Leons Petrazickis and I am a Platform Architect for Cognitive Class. Cognitive Class is an educational site that let you take free online courses in data science and AI at your pace and at your place. Course completion is rewarded with badges and recognized with certificates backed by IBM. Many courses have hands-on labs, and the technical underpinnings of that lab environment is my area of specialty.

We use scrum ceremonies at Cognitive Class both for organizing our software development and for organizing our course content creation.

I’m fifteen years into my career as a developer or, as they say in California, engineer. I’ve built a lot of cool things. In the context of our scrum, I am the Scrum Master.

Our team has many developers, data scientists, and paid interns. Scrum ceremonies have helped us organize our work and deliver results.

Cognitive Class logo

Did you know you can take free courses in Python, Deep Learning, and AI at Cognitive Class?

Who are the stakeholders in scrum ceremonies?

There are three types of contributors in scrum:

  • Individual contributors.
  • The scrum master, who acts as a mentor.
  • The product owner, who insists on business value and deadlines.

Older descriptions of scrum divided people into pigs and chickens. Pigs have a lot of stake in a project and chickens contribute occasionally. All three above are pigs in that sense.

Planning and scheduling as scrum ceremonies

A key component of scrum is breaking up work into small chunks. If a feature is going to take more than two weeks to implement, it doesn’t fit in a scrum context. You need to break it up into smaller, self-contained features before you can start on it.

Once you have a backlog of small features, you can schedule and assign them into 1-week or 2-week sprints for your team. It is seldom sensible to plan more than one sprint in advance. As Helmuth von Moltke observed, no plan survives contact with the enemy.

Low tech is often best for managing a small backlog. There are many software tools for planning work, but the closer the tools are to post-its on a whiteboard, the more effective they will be, at least from a task management perspective. Post-its on a whiteboard are less valuable from a project management perspective which is more concerned with due dates and velocity of work.

A feature has to be described as a user story. Purely technical tasks aren’t stories, nor are simple bug fixes. A story takes the following format:

As a [role], [name] needs [feature description] in order to [benefit description].

For example:

As a data scientist, Alice need a visualization library in order to communicate the key data in her reports to executives.


As a miser, Ebeneezer Scrooge needs three ghost visits in order to learn to be a nicer person.

Daily standup as a scrum ceremony

The daily standup can be eponymous with scrum itself — often we just call it the scrum.

The reason it’s a “stand” “up” is because people who are standing are uncomfortable and so less likely to ramble about unrelated topics. Stands ups have to be quick to not waste people’s time. There’s rarely a true need for someone to say more than three sentences in a standup.

The traditional standup consists of every person speaking in turn and answering these three questions:

  1. What did I accomplish yesterday?
  2. What will I accomplish today?
  3. Am I blocked by something?

An important phrase to remember for a scrum master: “Let’s discuss that AFTER we finish the stand up.”

As a scrum master, my role is to mentor everyone on the team. The scrum master should help individual contributors get past any roadblocks, as well as recognize architectural, security, technical and other challenges in work descriptions.

This year my focus has shifted from scrum being used to organize developers working on a shared project to something more like a Scrum of Scrums being used to organized our interns each working on their own individual project. There, another question becomes important:

  1. When will I finish all my work in this sprint?

“Finished” is a contentious word. To a developer, “finished” can sound the same as “development-complete”, but that doesn’t finish the user story. “Finished” means “available to the person named in the story”. Your feature is not finished until it’s available in all the production environments to all the end users.

Review as a scrum ceremony

One way to prove that a new feature that you delivered is finished is to demonstrate it to the rest of the team. The more unconnected everyone’s projects are, the more important it is to have regular demos. The demos communicate the value and nature of your work to your teammates.

The end of a sprint is a good time to demo.

Retrospective as a scrum ceremony

After the team finishes a big release, it’s good to discuss what worked and what didn’t, what was learned and what mistakes were made. The discussion should be blameless — not in the sense that you need to anonymize faux pas, but in the sense that we all make mistakes and that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. This discussion is the retro or retrospective scrum ceremony.

How do we streamline our development process?

How do we streamline our development process?

Part of the scrum process is to refine the process itself and to make it fit your team. Applying critical thought and introspection to the previous sprint can only make the next sprint more effective.

The post Scrum Ceremonies: Daily, Planning, Review, and Retrospective Meetings appeared first on Cognitive Class.


July 10, 2019

Craig Mullins

There’s a New Db2 12 for z/OS Function Level (505)

In late June 2019, IBM delivered more great new capabilities with the latest new function level for Db2 12 for z/OS, Function Level 505 (or FL505). If you do not know what a function level is, then you probably aren’t yet on Version 12, because function levels are how new capabilities are being rolled out for Db2 12 and beyond. It is how IBM has enabled a continuous delivery model for Db2...

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July 03, 2019

Robert Catterall

Db2 for z/OS - Talking About APPLCOMPAT (Part 1)

The Db2 for z/OS package bind option APPLCOMPAT is not new - it was introduced with Db2 11. Even so, I think that now is a good time to spend some time thinking about APPLCOMPAT, for two reasons: 1) I've encountered some misunderstandings pertaining to APPLCOMPAT, and I'd like to clear those up; and 2) Db2 12 has introduced some changes that relate to APPLCOMPAT, and folks should be aware of those changes. In this first of a two-part blog entry, I'll cover several aspects of...

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