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Craig’s Published Articles.

Articles and Columns Published in 2017

For more details on database systems visit:

> Earlier articles

Which is better? “BETWEEN” vs. “<=” and “>=”.
datAvail Blog, December 20, 2017.

Checking if a value is between two other values seems simple enough, but there are a lot of variations that can impact how your SQL performs.

The Rising Need for Database Scalability.
NuoDB Blog, December 19, 2017.

Database Management Systems are at the heart of most applications and, as such, the ability to scale database systems elastically is important. This is the first in a series of pieces on the various methods of accomplishing database availability and elasticity.

The Pros and Cons of Database Scaling Options.
NuoDB Blog, December 11, 2017.

As cloud and container-based environments become ubiquitous, organizations are increasingly moving away from high-performance static hardware to dynamically changing, virtual, commodity infrastructure. Systems need to expand and contract easily to meet an ever-changing demand – and that includes the database.

Evaluating a DBA Job Offer.
datAvail Blog, December 7, 2017.

Are you a DBA? Are you thinking about changing employers? If so, make sure that you read this post that outlines things to look for and ask about as you interview for your next DBA job.

The High Cost of Poor Data Quality.
Database Trends and Applications, December 1, 2017.

In this month’s DBA Corner we examine the important topic of data quality and the impact when that quality is poor.

Moving Beyong Relational with Data Integration.
Big Data Quarterly, November 28, 2017.

As we move beyond relational as the only DBMS type that matters and embrace NoSQL and Hadoop data platforms, data integration can become more challenging and require new tools and approaches to achieve success.

Replacing UNION with CASE (Db2).
datAvail Blog, November 22, 2017.

When writing UNION to put together data from multiple queries, you might be able to use a CASE statement instead. The CASE statement can potentially enhance performance by minimizing the number of times the data is read.

Quick Thoughts on Db2 Performance.
datAvail Blog, November 9, 2017.

An overview on the cause of Db2 performance problems.

The Role of ACID in the Integrity of Your Database Data.
Database Trends and Applications, November 1, 2017.

In this month’s DBA Corner we examine what ACID means for your data integrity.

Is Information Overload a Myth?
, November 1, 2017.

The idea of information overload has been around for a long time, even pre-dating the Internet. Doesn’t it seem quaint that anyone even imagined the term “information overload” before the advent of the Internet? This article posits that information overload is a big myth!

Reading Things That Aren’t There… and Missing Things That Are!
datAvail Blog, October 26, 2017.

This article takes a look at how different database options can impact what data your programs will read. Specifically, it looks at the Db2 options SKIP LOCKED DATA and ISOLATION(UR).

What Type of DBA Are You?
Database Trends and Applications, October 18, 2017.

In this month’s DBA Corner we take a look at the different types of DBAs, compare the roles of generalist and specialist, and examine the responsibilities of several types of specialist DBAs.

On The Importance of Choosing the Correct Data Types.
datAvail Blog, October 11, 2017.

DBAs regularly deal with the pros and cons of choosing one data type over another. Sometimes the decision is easy, other times it is a bit more difficult. This article looks at both situations.

Limiting the Number of Rows Fetched.
datAvail Blog, September 27, 2017.

Application developers frequently need to retrieve a limited number of qualifying rows from a table. This article reviews different ways of achieving this.

The “Dirty Read” (AKA Uncommitted Read).
datAvail Blog, September 13, 2017.

An overview of using isolation level UR to achieve dirty reads including what is it, how it impacts your applications, the dangers involved if you choose to use it, and some administrative queries to help you understand where it is being used in your shop.

Don’t Neglect Database Performance.
Database Trends and Applications, September 7, 2017.

Database performance is the focus of this month’s DBA Corner column. This article looks at various techniques and capabilities for optimizing database performance.

Database Standards Can Be a Problem.
, September 6, 2017.

Standards are required for database access and development, but they should not be set in stone. They need to live and breathe and react to changing needs and requirements.

Know Your ISOLATION Levels.
datAvail Blog, August 30, 2017.

On overview of Db2’s capabilities for controlling how locks are acquired using ISOLATION level (the I in ACID).

Ensuring Data Integrity is a Tricky Business.
datAvail Blog, August 18, 2017.

Making sure that the data in your database is accurate should be a top priority. This article discusses various methods and mechanisms for ensuring data integrity.

The Importance of Referential Constraints for Data Integrity.
Database Trends and Applications, August 9, 2017.

This month’s DBA Corner column examines the importance of using referential integrity to improve data quality in relational database systems and applications.

Approaches to Access Path Management… or The Five R’s.
datAvail Blog, July 25, 2017.

BIND and REBIND are important tools in assuring optimal performance… but there are more steps involved in the process. This post outlines access path management best practices for DB2 for z/OS.

The New IBM z14: More Secure, Flexible, Powerful and Analytical Than Ever Before.
Planet Mainframe, July 18, 2017.

An overview of the new capabilities of the IBM z14 mainframe announced on July 17, 2017.

Basic DB2 Buffering and Memory Guidelines.
datAvail Blog, July 11, 2017.

One of the most important areas for tuning DB2 subsystem performance is memory usage. This post summarizes the basic buffer pool options and how they impact performance.

What is an In-Memory Database System?
Database Trends and Applications, July 5, 2017.

In this edition of the DBA Corner we examine in-memory database management system and their characteristics.

Cost vs. Advantage of Moving From IMS DB to Db2.
datAvail Blog, June 28, 2017.

This post offers up an answer to a question that was sent my way. In it, I evaluate (at a high level) the pros and cons of migrating from IMS DB databases to DB2 for z/OS database.

Autonomics to Modernize Database Administration.
TDAN, June 21, 2017.

The trend toward automation of DBA activities is clear and it is being augmented with autonomics as we move towards systems that are more self-managing.

The Impact of the Connected Economy on Data Management.
u-blox blog, June 16, 2017.

A quick look at the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it is causing data growth and changes to the way in which we manage data.

Planning Database Recovery Options.
Database Trends and Applications, June 1, 2017.

In this edition of the DBA Corner we take a look at the various options and scenarios involved in planning for database recovery situations.

A Short Introduction to Lock Avoidance.
datAvail Blog, May 29, 2017.

This article offers a good overview of lock avoidance in DB2 for z/OS explaining how it works, why it is important to know, and how you can use it to improve performance without degrading data integrity.

The Role of the DBA in Cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Sourcebook 2017, May 2017.

Security is an ever-increasing aspect of IT and database systems require special care and attention because that is where the data is. This article outlines the many different aspects a DBA can take to secure their database systems.

Database Performance Advice for DBAs.
Database Trends and Applications, May 5, 2017.

This month’s DBA Corner column offers up some high-level rules of thumb for DBAs to achieve their DBMS-related performance goals and maintain their sanity.

Understanding DB2 Performance.
LogicalRead Blog, April 25, 2017.

Before we can understand and improve DB2 performance, we need a definition for database performance. This article provides that as well as a high-level overview of the important components of database performance management for DB2.

Embracing the Challenges of Gaining Value from Analytics.
DirectionIT Magazine, April 17, 2017.

Customer expectations are changing dramatically in the age of big data and analytics. And much can be achieved but there are issues and technology hurdles to overcome. Doing so, though, promises a big ROI.

Can You Drown in a Data Lake?
IDUG Content Blog, April 11, 2017.

What is a data lake? This new term is not well-understood and this article takes a look at the reasoning and uses for data lakes in modern data management.

Taking Full Versus Incremental Database Backups.
Database Trends and Applications, April 7, 2017.

This month in the DBA Corner we look at the important topic of backup and recovery and the difference between full and incremental image copy backups.

Appreciating Metadata Through Music.
, April 5, 2017.

Although metadata is extremely important, many data professionals do not understand it… or simply ignore metadata management. This article discusses the importance of metadata using the familiar topic of popular music.

The Most Common Types of DBAs.
datAvail Blog, March 30, 2017.

Database administration encompasses many different skills and there are several different types of DBAs that correlate to those skills. This post takes a look at the most common DBA types.

Structuring Your DBA Staff: Generalists or Specialists?
datAvail Blog, March 23, 2017.

The job of a DBA is quite unique in any organization. A large organization typically will hire many DBAs, but in a small- to mid-sized organization, there’s often a single DBA. This article looks at the many roles that DBAs play and the responsibilities for each type of DBA.

Don’t Forget DISPLAY as a Part of Your DB2 Tuning Efforts.
datAvail Blog, March 16, 2017.

The DISPLAY command is a very useful and versatile command that DBAs can use to gather a lot of interesting performance and administrative details in DB2 for z/OS.

The Importance of the Relational System Catalog.
Database Trends and Applications, March 2, 2017.

In this month’s edition of DBA Corner we examine the heart of any RDBMS: the system catalog, and explain how it is used and give guidance on how optimize it for your database environment.

VOLATILE: A Useful Little Keyword.
datAvail Blog, March 2, 2017.

A discussion on volatile tables and how judicious use of the VOLATILE keyword (in DB2) can improve the performance of accessing them.

A Look at the Leading Operational Database Management Systems.
SearchDataManagement (TechTarget), February 13, 2017.

The market for operational DBMS products can be confusing, especially with so many choices. But knowing your application requirements can help point you in the right direction.

Digital Transformantion and the DBA.
Database Trends and Applications, February 9, 2017.

This month’s DBA Corner takes a look at digital transformation… what is it? And how is it impacting DBAs and their duties.

datAvail Blog, February 9, 2017.

This article take a quick look at two seldom-used SQL set operations.

Sorting Out a Solution in DB2.
datAvail Blog, January 26, 2017.

A common problem involves sorting a column that contains a day-of-the-week not in alphabetical order by in the order it appears in the week. This article walks through a sorting "trick" that can be used when you are dealing with days of the week.

Mobile Computing, The Mainframe, and z/OS Connect.
Planet Mainframe, January 11, 2017.

Mobile computing has altered our modern computing architecture, and it is impacting the mainframe, too. This article looks at how z/OS Connect can be used to incorporate your mainframe computing assets into your modern, mobile workload.

Trends Impacing DBAs in 2017.
Database Trends and Applications, January 3, 2017.

This month’s DBA Corner examines the trends impacting database administration circa 2017 and gives DBAs advice on how to succeed in a world of increasing complexity.