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DB2 and Beyond

Ushering in 2012 with increased focus on advanced, related technologies

A previous article discussed some of the findings from a survey that was taken earlier in 2011. Now is a good time to reflect on what those findings mean for IDUG members. Traditionally, IDUG has focused on delivering quality training on many different aspects of DB2. It is undoubtedly true that our members, DB2 users, still want to maintain the quality and depth of DB2 training that IDUG delivers. However, many members must also work with other technologies, including other RDBMS technologies and appliances such as Netezza.

It is an interesting challenge for hardcore DB2 users to ensure that they get enough knowledge to understand these technologies while maintaining their skill level in DB2. In response, IDUG plans to deliver other education elements on our relatively new website, which now gives us plenty of capability to support these elements. In fact, I suggest you be on the lookout for some of the extremely exciting developments we have planned. I wish I could go into detail on some of them, but I must keep the wraps on for now.

One peripheral area of technology that recently came to my attention is NoSQL. I learned about NoSQL through an excellent keynote presentation by Curt Cotner and Namik Hrle at the IDUG 2011 EMEA Tech Conference in Prague. It was interesting to hear not just about NoSQL but also about how NoSQL transitioned to Not Only SQL as people realized that SQL and relational databases still have important roles to play in business. I doubt anyone reading this article is surprised by that.

As Curt pointed out, the much-heralded death of the relational database is not upon us. IBM is addressing the NoSQL challenge (as you can read in more detail elsewhere). As Curt also noted, the emergence of the NoSQL challenge is reminiscent of the rise of OO. It seemed like OO was the way forward and would bring down the relational database. But user-defined types and the like enabled relational databases to rise to the challenge, just as they will meet challenges ahead as we work through 2012.

While the technologies we must support continue to advance, does the role of a DBA change that much? It will certainly evolve. But regardless of the platform, availability, reliability, and performance are still critical. New elements will come (and possibly go), and some will be relevant to only a subset of people. Ten years ago, availability, reliability and performance were the chief concerns of the DBA—and they still are.

From an IDUG perspective, we will continue to build on our strengths and deliver the vital DB2 information our community requires. But as the new year advances, we will also make material available for newer, lesser-used, or non-core technologies. Our goal, as always, is to address the evolving needs of the community.

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