What is being announced?

IBM Db2 12 for z/OS (Db2 12) and select IBM Db2 Tools for z/OS (Db2 Tools) offerings have recently been refreshed, allowing IBM to provide much more current SMP/E base installable product images. These images provide a streamlined method for clients creating new installations, or for Db2 clients planning to install and/or migrate to Db2 12.These point-in-time product images drastically reduce the time required to be up and running to take advantage of new features and functions.   


New features delivered at regular intervals via Continuous Delivery for Db2 12 and Db2 Tools have focused on enhancing support for mission-critical transactional processing on IBM Z while also extending into analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) as clients develop their hybrid cloud strategies.  Read the full announcement letter for all the details.

What are some of the features and value that are included in the refresh?

Db2 12 delivers greater analytic and hybrid cloud capabilities and extended support for mobile and AI development while optimizing resources for changing, diverse, and growing workloads. In Db2 12, IBM introduced continuous innovation through continuous delivery via function levels. These are designed to release new Db2 features to market more rapidly and to respond to changing market and competitive conditions faster, all with less risk and effort. Function level 500 – 508 inclusive can be enabled according to your schedule.   

Db2 Tools for z/OS provide the required Db2 12 function level support to meet your business needs on your timeline. Db2 Tools deliver on a continuous release schedule, committed to Db2 for z/OS support, delivering timely value for critical Db2 applications and systems.You can take advantage of the features in the Db2 functions levels with the support provided by Db2 Tools.  For example:

  • Db2 function level 508 provides the capability to move data from multi-table simple or multi-table segmented (non-universal [non-UTS]) table spaces, which have long been deprecated, to Universal Table Space (UTS) to improve quality, stability, function, and availability. UTS permit the consolidation of data and table to Db2’s strategic table space type. This feature enables clients to automate the conversion of thousands of existing deprecated tables to the modern UTS format, where they can take advantage of availability features that help improve application and database operations and performance without an outage. The Db2 Administration Tool for z/OS helps with a faster, easier, and safer conversion to Universal Table Space Format. It easily identifies table spaces requiring migration, generates a job to create the new UTS table spaces, and automatically runs all actions required to move the data and rebind packages as needed.
  • Db2 function level 505 provides a new REBIND phase-in capability for application packages, which enables database administrators to issue REBIND PACKAGE commands successfully when target packages are being concurrently executed. Db2 Object Comparison Tool issues the REBINDs for packages invalidated during a change for fewer REBIND failures as a result of timeouts and less manual intervention. Db2 Administration Tool supports COPYID column for packages. SQL Performance Analyzer for z/OS finds candidate packages that can benefit from REBINDs. Db2 Query Monitor and OMEGAMON XE for Db2 PE can perform CPU and elapsed-time comparisons before and after the REBINDs to verify the improvements

For more details about Db2 Tools and Db2 12 function level support, see the Db2 12 function level compatibility tables.

In addition, Db2 12 has delivered more than 450 enhancements based on client requests (RFEs and Ideas), with more than 1900 collective votes cast, including the following:

  • Next-generation application support that enables modern applications to access and consume Db2 for z/OS data. This feature promotes rapid, agile development of new and existing applications, enabling you to reuse existing assets and further your Db2 return on investment. New Db2 commands have been delivered for greater control and support for versioning of REST services. This gives you more flexibility to create and deploy new application requirements without affecting existing applications. Another update supports the promotion of services from a development to production environment. This is designed to enable you to copy existing REST services more easily, which can save time and resources.

Significant Db2 Tools enhancements have also been added through continuous delivery that improve operational efficiency, optimize actionable insights and automation, and provide greater business readiness and protection, including the following:

  • Db2 Administration Tool for z/OS
    • Adds API support that enables clients to take advantage of their investment in Db2 and Db2 Tools. This can enable clients to easily include existing capabilities in their Db2 applications, which can speed time to market for Db2 applications by reducing time in development, testing, and maintenance.
    • Provides new capability to detect timeout conditions and automate restarts, which can reduce manual interventions to make changes more reliably to Db2 applications.
    • Provides enhanced recovery support with the capability to automatically retry failed timeouts by specifying the number of retries and the amount of time between retries. This feature enables you to better implement Db2 object changes on your time schedule, removing wait time, manual restart, and optimizing resources.           
  • Db2 Automation Tool for z/OS provides advanced SQL for index selection, giving users more control over index criteria to invoke intelligent automated actions. This feature provides a simplified way to target automated maintenance to only the indexes that require it.
  • Db2 Log Analysis Tool for z/OS provides automated table versioning support. With a growing and complex Db2 environment, the Db2 log files increase in size. Table versioning and dropped columns alter a table's mapping based on a point in time can cause a mismatch, requiring manual intervention, affecting availability. Db2 Log Analysis Tool detects these object changes and enables automated table versioning to improve availability and productivity.

Who benefits from this announcement?

To simplify the adoption of these enhancements, new Db2 clients, or Db2 11 clients who have not completed their migration to Db2 12 in all environments can benefit.  The Db2 for z/OS SMP/E contains more than 1800 PTFs, including all function-level activation PTFs, up to and including function level 508. The Db2 for z/OS installation verification testing has validated a greatly simplified product installation, largely due to the reduced number of PTFs to apply and the reduced number of applicable HOLD actions to evaluate.  Additionally, the new install of the product image using z/OSMF dialogs has streamlined and automated the process of running the multiple jobs required to successfully install and configure Db2.

New Db2 Tools customers, existing IBM Db2 Tools clients who are not on most recent release of product or have purchased additional Db2 Tools(s) or a client who is participating in a Db2 Tool Proof of Concept (PoC)  can benefit from the integration of more than 1630 PTFs collectively.  Installation verification and regression testing has been performed on all these updated Db2 Tools images. Additionally, the Db2 Tools product images included in the announcement use z/OSMF dialogs to reduce installation time and effort.

Both Db2 for z/OS and the Db2 Tools included in this announcement are available in Shop zSeries by using the order information in the Reference Section of the announcement.


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