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Craig’s Published Articles.

Articles and Columns Published in 2015

Q+A: Locking.
datAvail Blog, December 24, 2015.

In this short post, I answer a reader’s question on locking… this time about deadlocks and timeouts.

Consider Table Expressions to Improve Performance.
datAvail Blog, December 23, 2015.

Table expressions are frequently overlooked as a potential solution for resolving problems using only SQL. Table expressions can be used to force the optimizer to choose a specific processing order. This post explains how.

Database Performance and Row Size for DB2.
datAvail Blog, December 18, 2015.

This post answers the question: “Does the number of columns or size of the row matter in terms of performance?”

DB2 Optimization and Access Paths: Understanding the Basics Part 3: Optimization Class.
Toad World, December 14, 2015

Part 3 of this three-part series on DB2 SQL optimization basics discusses the optimization class parameter (found in DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows) and its impact on access path formulation.

Q+A: Nulls and DASD.
datAvail Blog, December 14, 2015.

In this short post, I answer a reader’s question regarding the impact of nulls on DB2 storage.

Every IT Professional Should Work in a Mainframe Environment (…at some point).
Planet Mainframe, December 9, 2015.

On the benefits of working in a mainframe environment in order to learn about proper methods of ensuring performance, security, control, scalability, and reliability. These things are second nature to mainframe computer systems and applications.

Determining Your Database Backup Schedule.
Database Trends and Applications, December 2, 2015.

This month in the DBA Corner we take a look at the challenges involved in establishing a reasonable backup schedule for your databases.

DB2 Optimization and Access Paths: Understanding the Basics Part 2: Join Methods.
Toad World, November 20, 2015

Part 2 of a multi-part series on DB2 SQL optimization basics: in part 2 of this 3 part series, we examine the different techniques DB2 can use to join table data.

The Benefits of Deploying a Data Warehouse Platform.
SearchDataManagement
, November 2015.

Big data may be all the rage, but data warehouse platforms are still being utilized by companies of all sizes. In this first part of a 4 part series of articles, we begin an exploration of the technology used for data warehousing circa 2015.

The DB2 Performance Advisor: What is Performance?
DirectionIT, November 2015.

In my first DB2 Performance Advisor column for the new DirectionIT magazine I provide a definition of database performance and offer a few guiding principles for performance management.

The Difference Between Development DBAs and Production DBAs.
Database Trends and Applications, November 9, 2015.

This month in the DBA Corner we examine two broad categories of DBA: those that support development work and those that support the production systems.

Consider Capping to Control Costs.
Planet Mainframe, November 7, 2015.

Reducing/eliminating costs is an important goal for every IT department, especially so these days for companies with mainframe computers. An often overlooked opportunity for cost containment is soft capping. This article looks at this opportunity.

DB2 Optimization and Access Paths: Understanding the Basics Part 1: Scans vs. Indexed Access.
Toad World, October 29, 2015

Part 1 of a multi-part series on DB2 SQL optimization basics: starting with the difference between table scans and indexed access to data.

VARCHAR versus Compression.
datAvail Blog, October 27, 2015.

If you think about it, both the usage of variable character columns and compression have the same goal - to save storage space. This short piece looks at the tradeoffs in comparing the use of VARCHAR columns with compression in DB2.

DBAs: Get Your Priorities Straight!
Database Trends and Applications, October 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column examines the priorities that DBAs place on their activities - and perhaps offers some revisions that should be considered.

A Sample DBA Job Posting.
TDAN, October 2015.

The job of a Database Administrator (DBA), is constantly changing and adapting to the technologies used to manage data in modern organizations. This sample DBA job posting lists most of their regular duties circa 2015.

Understanding DB2 for LUW Messages.
Toad World, September 17, 2015

Most DB2 technicians can relate to the frustration of trying to decipher a cryptic error message… This article helps by breaking down the format of the messages that can be sent by DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows (circa 10.5).

The Problem with Database Standards.
Database Trends and Applications, September 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column takes a look at the convoluted state of database standards and offers up some guidance.

Evaluating DB2 Tool Vendors.
datAvail Blog, September 1, 2015.

An overview of the issues and considerations involved in selecting and evaluating DB2 tools and vendors.

How to select the best DBMS software: A buyer’s guide.
TechTarget, August 27, 2015.

A roadmap through the different types of database management system software so you can choose what's best for your organization. Discusses relational, NoSQL, and in-memory options.

Using Date and Time Arithmetic in DB2.
Toad World, August 20, 2015

An overview of the importance of choosing proper data types for date/time data and the options available in DB2 for manipulating and performing arithmetic operations on date and time values/columns.

Adding Column Names to an Unload File.
datAvail Blog, August 19, 2015.

An easy solution to a reader’s question: do any of the DB2 unload utilities provide the ability to include column names in the same file as the unload output data?

The Big Unstructured Data Lie.
Database Trends and Applications, August 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column examines the world of “unstructured” data and why that term is not a very good one.

SAP HANA in-memory DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, August 7, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on SAP’s HANA in-memory RDBMS.

Advice on Using Variable Character Columns in DB2.
datAvail Blog, August 4, 2015.

One of the long-standing, troubling questions in DB2-land is when to use VARCHAR versus CHAR. This article offers up some high-level advice on the usage of variable character columns.

Redis Open Source DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 29, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the Redis key/value NoSQL DBMS.

Riak NoSQL DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 29, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the Riak multi-model NoSQL DBMS.

MySQL Open Source RDBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 28, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on MySQL, an open source RDBMS.

DB2 Compression: z/OS versus LUW.
Toad World, July 28, 2015

A high level overview on the benefits of compressing DB2 data, as well as the different ways to compress on different platforms (mainframe vs. distributed).

Neo4j Graph DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 21, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the Neo4j graph DBMS.

MongoDB NoSQL DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 18, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the MongoDB document store DBMS.

MarkLogic Server NoSQL DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, July 16, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on MarkLogic Server.

A Compendium of DBA Quotes and Wisdom.
Database Trends and Applications, July 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column takes a humorous look at famous quotes through history and how they can apply to the job of database administration.

InfiniteGraph distributed graph database overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 29, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on Objectivity’s InfiniteGraph.

So Just What is a Big Database These Days?
Toad World, June  26, 2015.

With the current level of interest in Big Data and analytics many of you may be asking yourself “What exactly does it mean to be Big?” As it turns out, that is a very good question!

IBM DB2 relational DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 19, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on IBM DB2.

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 relational DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 18, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on Microsoft SQL Server.

Amazon SimpleDB overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 16, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the cloud database offering, Amazon SimpleDB.

Apache Cassandra DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 16, 2015.

Part of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the NoSQL DBMS, Cassandra.

Aerospike NoSQL DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 15, 2015.

Part 2 of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the in-memory NoSQL DBMS, Aerospike.

Which in-memory DBMS best fits your company’s needs?
SearchDataManagement, June 12, 2015.

The final installment of a 7 part series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment examines the leading in-memory DBMS offerings.

What is a NewSQL Database System?
Database Trends and Applications, June 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column examines a new category of DBMS: NewSQL.

How to determine which NoSQL DBMS best fits your needs.
SearchDataManagement, June 5, 2015.

The sixth part of a 7 part series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment examines the leading NoSQL DBMS offerings.

Oracle Database 12c relational database management system overview.
SearchDataManagement, June 5, 2015.

Part 1 of a multi-part series of DBMS overviews reviewing the strengths and features of the leading DBMS products focusing on relational, NoSQL, and in-memory offerings. This one focuses on the market leader, Oracle Database.

The Never-Ending To-Do List of the DBA.
Toad World, May 27, 2015.

As a DBA, doesn’t it always seem like there are more things to do at the end the day? The roles and responsibilities of the DBA are varied and wide… as this article will attest!

Returning Only Numeric Data.
datAvail Blog, May 26, 2015.

What can you do when you want to query a CHAR column in DB2, but want to return only numeric data?

How and When to Use DB2 Scrollable Cursors.
datAvail Blog, May 19, 2015.

With scrollable cursors, you can move directly to the rows you want without having to FETCH every other row returned by the cursor. This short post covers the highlights of coding scrollable cursors.

How Effective Are Your DBAs?
Database Trends and Applications, May 2015.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column focuses on measuring the effectiveness + quality of your DBA staff.

Accessing Partitioned Data in DB2 for z/OS.
datAvail Blog, May 1, 2015.

One area that tends to confuse some DB2 developers, at least until they gain some experience, is how DB2 partitioning works - especially in terms of how partitioned data is accessed. This article sheds light on the topic.

Which relational DBMS is best for your company?
SearchDataManagement, April 2015.

The fifth part of a series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment examines the leading relational DBMS offerings.

How to determine if an in-memory DBMS is right for your company.
SearchDataManagement, April 2015.

The fourth part of a series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment examines the pros and cons of In-Memory DBMS.

A High Level Overview of DB2 for z/OS.
Toad World, April 21, 2015.

The title of this article clearly describes what is covered… no additional details needed!

Data Modeling Still Applies.
Database Trends and Applications, April 2015.

Even as technology advances and trends comes and go, one thing remains the same – well-designed database systems requite a data model to ensure a successful project.

Using Nulls in DB2.
datAvail Blog, April 6, 2015.

Nulls can be confusing and tricky to master, but understanding them is an important part of effectively using DB2 – or any relational DBMS. Start with this article.

Key criteria for deciding if a NoSQL DBMS meets your IT needs.
SearchDataManagement
, March 2015.

The third part of a series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment focuses on the pros and cons of the NoSQL DBMS.

A Reasonable Approach to View Creation.
Toad World, March 19, 2015.

This article offers up three rules for implementing effective and useful database views.

Missing Information and the Relational Null.
Database Trends and Applications, March 2015.

This edition of the DBA Corner column discusses the ins and outs of using nulls to represent missing information in relational databases.

A Short Overview of DB2 Connect.
Toad World, February 24, 2015.

A short primer on IBM’s DB2 Connect gateway.

Key criteria for deciding if a relational DBMS meets your IT needs.
SearchDataManagement
, February 2015.

The second part of a series of articles examining the landscape of DBMS offerings circa 2015. This installment focuses on the pros and cons of the relational DBMS.

DSNTEP2 a.k.a Batch SPUFI.
datAvail Blog, February 19, 2015.

A short primer on DSNTEP2 (DB2 for z/OS).

The Impact of Change on Database Structures.
Database Trends and Applications, February 2015.

This edition of the DBA Corner column  discusses database change management, which can be complicated and therefore requires knowledgeable DBA staff and robust system management software to be handled appropriately.

VSAM Demystified.
datAvail Blog, February 2, 2015.

VSAM is used “under the covers” by DB2 for z/OS, but some folks are confused about what exactly VSAM is, how it can be used, and how it differs from a DBMS.

Evaluating the Different Types of DBMS Products.
SearchDataManagement
, January 2015.

The first part of a series of articles examining the types of database management system products currently available on the market and outlining their use cases, strengths and weaknesses and guidance on acquisition.

DB2 SQL Query Tweaking.
Toad World, January 24, 2015.

Tuning poorly-performing DB2 queries can be a full-time job, but it helps immensely if you know how to tweak queries to behave the way you’d like them to behave.

Key Developments in Big Data, Data Management, and New Tech in 2014.
Database Trends and Applications, January 2015.

The first DBA Corner column of the year, as always, looks back at the year that was in data and database systems.

Know Your Isolation Levels.
Toad World, January 5, 2015.

DB2 offers several ways to manage & control locking and data stability. By setting the isolation level you can tune the manner in which row/page locking is implemented for your DB2 programs. Learn how, and what the impact of modifying isolation level will be on your applications in this article.



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