Robert's Blog

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Looking for DB2 Answers?

Everyone who has a DB2-related job - systems programmer, DBA, application developer, manager, consultant - has DB2-related questions. Where do you go for answers? In this post, I'll provide some of my favorite sources of DB2 information. I hope that they will be of use to you. Here we go:
  • DB2-L - The DB2 discussion list, sponsored by the International DB2 Users Group (aka IDUG), is a terrific resource for DB2 people. Here's how it works: you join the list at the DB2-L Web page (it's free, thanks to IDUG). Once you've done that, you can send a question to the discussion list, and it will soon reach the other 2300 Listers (as they are commonly known) via e-mail. Generally speaking, someone will respond to your question within an hour or two. The responder could be an experienced DB2 user, a leading DB2 consultant, or even an IBM DB2 developer. Some DB2-L Listers are DB2 for z/OS people, and some are DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW) people. I have an e-mail folder
    for really good question-and-answer notes, and I end up putting several DB2-L items there almost every business day (it's a pretty active list).
  • IDUG member's area - This is the part of the IDUG Web site ( that requires a member login for access. Not an IDUG member? No problem - you can register online and for no charge at the IDUG Web site. Once you're a member, log in to the member's area and take advantage of a slew of information resources, including: discussion forums (these are of the bulletin-board variety, versus the "push" type exemplified by the DB2-L list), the handy e-tip of the week, the Code Place (where IDUG members post useful pieces of code that can help DB2 people do their jobs better and more easily), the Technical Library, and conference sessions (many of these are presentation files synched with the audio from the session). Note that IDUG also has a premier-level membership (included in the registration fee for conference attendees, and available to others for a $100 fee) that provides the earliest access to the most recent conference sessions, and provides a substantial discount off the regular price of recorded sessions available for purchase.
  • IDUG Solution's Journal - The "SJ" is the technical magazine published several times per year by the International DB2 Users Group. It's available for free in electronic format at IDUG's Web site ( - just click on the Solutions Journal link near the top of the IDUG home page. SJ articles are packed "news you can use" - stuff aimed at helping DB2 people get the knowledge they need to be better at what they do. Some of the best in the business - IBM DB2 developers, independent consultants, and users - write for the SJ.
  • DB2 Magazine - This journal, also free and available online (, is another rich source of technical DB2 information, with a heavy contribution by people from the IBM DB2 development organization (IBM sponsors DB2 Magazine). I've been a DB2 Magazine columnist since 2000.
  • The DB2 manuals on IBM's Web site - You can access DB2 for z/OS manuals for Version 8 and Version 9.1 (and Version 7, which will go out of service on June 30, 2008). The books can be downloaded to your PC in PDF format, or accessed in HTML form through a browser-based interface (this is my personal preference). Among the manuals I turn to most frequently are the Administration Guide, the Installation Guide, the Application Programming and SQL Guide, and the SQL Reference. Also available on IBM's Web site are manuals for DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows - Version 9 and Version 8.
  • IBM's online DB2 for z/OS "space" - This Web site, part of the developerWorks area of, provides a varied and rich source of information about DB2 for z/OS.
  • The planetDB2 blog aggregater - planetDB2 is the place to go to see the latest postings from over two dozen DB2-related blogs (including mine). There's some great stuff here from IBM people and from some top-notch DB2 consultants.
  • Google - Yep, I mean the 800-pound gorilla of search engines. Not always the first place to which I turn for DB2 answers, but if I come up empty elsewhere I can sometimes find what I need by typing in a few keywords and sifting through the pile of links returned.
The list above is not exhaustive (there are other Web locations that provide DB2 information), but it does tell you where I often go to get DB2 answers. Get out there, and build up your DB2 smarts.


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