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DB2 has been popular in large IT environments running proprietary IBM hardware (mainframes and the AS/40) for many years. As the DB2 UDB product becomes more popular in Unix and Windows environments, the user base continues to grow both in number and diversity. No longer is DB2 the exclusive province of the mainframe world, although it definitely still has a strong presence in that realm. IBM's recent initiative to make DB2 available on the Linux platform shows that IBM is dedicated to supporting the most popular operating system platforms rather than simply positioning DB2 as "the database you run if you're running an IBM system."

DB2's Web database capabilities, which focus on high performance, support for complex types of data, and multiplatform interoperability, make DB2 a leading RDBMS. As with other advanced databases, there are many opportunities for those who want to work in DB2 administration or design. IBM supports those pursuing DB2 career paths by providing an excellent technical Web site for personal research as well as established training and certification options. Although third-party support for DB2 is not as great as for some other RDBMSs, this is changing as DB2 transitions from a primarily mainframe oriented product to one that enjoys significant popularity on a full spectrum of operating systems.

Books



DB2 may be the best-kept secret of the database world. It doesn't get nearly the attention or respect it deserves, and DB2 folks like it that way. Why? Because DB2 professionals say they make more money and get the same job done faster than the more popular database specialists. To begin your trek on this less traveled path, check out the following books available on DB2.

Beginner Book Titles

Chamberlin, D. D. A Complete Guide to DB2 Universal Database. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1558604820.

Visser, Susan. Teach Yourself DB2 Universal Database in 21 Days. Sams, 1998. ISBN 0672312786.

Whitehorn, Mark, and Mary Whitehorn. DB2 for Windows NT-Fast. Springer-Verlag, 1998. ISBN 3540762000.

Advanced Books

Cook,Jonathan, Robert Harbus,Tetsuya Shirai, and Hershel Harris. DB2 Universal Database V6.1 for Unix, Windows, and OS/2 Certification Guide. Prentice-Hall, 1999. ISBN 0130867551.

Lawson, Susan, and Roger A.Yevich. DB2 High Performance Design and Tuning. Prentice-Hall, 2000. ISBN 0132037955.

Cook, Jonathan, and Robert Harbus. DB2 Replication Certification Guide. Prentice-Hall, 1999. ISBN 0130824240.

Reference Books

Sanders, Roger E., and Janet Perna. DB2 Universal Database SQL Developer's Guide. McGraw-Hill, 1999. ISBN 0071353895.

Mullins, Craig S. DB2 Developer's Guide (4th Edition). Sams, 2000. ISBN0672318288.

Online Information and Resources

The DB2 world is a bit different from that of the Oracle or SQL databases. And this is reflected in the online information and resources supporting DB2. Professionals working on DB2 appear to have a secret, and they like to keep it that way. Drop into the quiet, yet profitable world of DB2 by looking into the resources below.

Newsgroups

The challenge with newsgroups is not every ISP carries every newsgroup.You might find it very useful when researching specific questions to query the Usenet archives at the www.deja.com/usenet Web site. Newsgroups to check out include:

comp.databases-This newsgroup provides generic database technology discussions or discussions referring to a database for which a specific group does not exist.

comp.databases.ibm-db2-This newsgroup provides DB2 discussions.

Magazines and Journals

As with most technology oriented periodicals, database related magazines tend to maintain an online presence to augment their printed publications, and some include content not available in the printed versions. Be aware that because many DB2 sites are large corporations with huge mainframe data centers, some DB2 resources are priced for that market (in other words, they are very expensive for an individuals to acquire on their own). If the company for which you work runs DB2, check your organization's technical library for copies of those periodicals. If your favorite magazine is not in the following list, try searching for it by title on www.altavista.com to locate its Web site.

DB2 Magazine (www.db2mag.com)-This site contains a quarterly magazine about DB2 and includes content for current and past issues. Print subscriptions are free to qualified readers.
 
Xephon (www.xephon.com/db2update.html)-This site contains a monthly journal about DB2, which includes DB2 news and issue tables of contents as well as code to accompany various articles. The list of articles in all issues is freely available.To access the code, you must subscribe to the journal. Print subscriptions are $380 per year.
 
DB2 Performance Journal (www.ylassoc.com/Journal/perfjrnl.htm)-This site contains the DB2 Performance Journal, which is a technical magazine about DB2. It also includes archives of past issues, white papers, and tips and tricks. Print subscriptions are $700 per year.

Web Pages

There are two types ofWeb sites of interest to database administrators and designers database vendors' technical support/marketing sites and user-to-user sites. Note that vendor maintained sites are a source of marketing spin as well as invaluable technical information, such as support knowledge base articles, product details, Web searchable documentation, and sometimes tutorials.The IBM Web site at www.ibm.com/db2 is a valuable source of technical support information, software patches, and news related to the DB2 product.

Additionally, some end-user maintained sites related to DB2 include:
 
DB2 Family (www.dunhamsoftware.com/db2.htm)-This site offers a substantial list of DB2 related links.
 
DB2 News and Resources (www.best.com/~arnoud/db2)-This site is the home of a DB2 FAQ.

Professional Associations

DB2 has an international users group as well as numerous local and regional groups.You can find out more about the DB2 users groups on the Web at the following sites:

The International DB2 Users Group's (IDUG) Web site is located at www.idug.org.

IDUG also maintains a list of regional DB2 users groups at www.idug.org/neo_apps/url_magnet/index.cfm.
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