DB2 11 for z/OS Application Developer - Part 1

Earlier this year (2015) IBM announced a new certification for DB2 for z/OS - IBM Certified Application Developer - DB2 11 for z/OS. This certification is intended for application developers for DB2 for z/OS and thus may be appealing for individuals and organizations who are developing applications using DB2 for z/OS as their backend. The certification itself requires one test only - Test C2090-313: DB2 11 Application Developer for z/OS and a required pass score is 63% out of 60 questions within 75 minutes time frame.

If you continue reading you are probably willing to learn more or even start preparing for the test (depending on your role). The objectives of the test reveal the topics covered by the test, total of 10 areas are part of the test:

  1. Database Objects
  2. Data Retrieval & Manipulation
  3. Distributed Access to DB2
  4. Coding SQL in Application Programs
  5. Processing Options that affect program design
  6. Performance Considerations
  7. Units of work, concurrency, and checkpoint/restart
  8. Application Design & Lifecycle
  9. Access to Non-Structured Data
  10. Advanced Programming Topics

If you already passed some certifications like DB2 Fundamentals and DB2 Database Administrator, you will probably find some of the topics familiar. Similarly, if you are a regular developer for DB2 for z/OS, you should already have a solid knowledge of some of the topics. However, if you are willing to invest some time to educate yourself instead of just passing the test, you are probably going to study the topics in more details.

What is the first thing to start with? I would say calm down and look at the recent discussion at IDUG.org or go directly to a linkedin page where Chris Crone, IBM Distinguished engineer, expressed his approach to the test. OK, good news is that you are not supposed to read and learn every single manual from the top to the bottom, but you need to focus on some specific things, some of which you probably know a lot already.

What sources are available? To my knowledge, there are currently (as of June 2015) no certification guides available that you could use for your studies. The test preparation website mentions just the IBM knowledge center and some courses you could take. Also, there is a sample test you can pay for a trial.

This did not work for me, so I decided to collect all available information, where I could learn more about the fields of interests in order to be prepared for the certification. My primary resources were:

  • IBM knowledge center for DB2 11,
  • IBM manuals available for download, especially the Application Programming and SQL Guide and the SQL Reference,
  • few redbooks for information management related to DB2, unfortunately some of them a bit outdated,
  • and also some resources at IDUG.org

Still a lot of information and materials to read, isn’t it? What I did next was going through the individual topics and narrowing the materials as per the test objectives. Some of the items I already knew, some of them not, as usual in this world. What I would like to do in the next few short blogs is to share my links with some additional comments from the IDUG Content Committee, so that we can eventually discuss the topics and share the knowledge.

This blog covers the first objective - Database objects - of the certification test 313 as we discussed in the introduction. The topic itself is divided into several subcategories, which will follow below in this post. If you are working as a DBA this will probably be an easy part for you, but let’s start from the beginning.

A nice introduction to DB2 objects is contained within the Introduction to DB2 guide, section DB2 Data structures; while you can find some more advanced discussion in the administration guide, section Implementing your database design; and database objects from the application programming perspective in the Application programming guide, section Creating and modifying DB2 objects. Of course the SQL reference gives you the details for each individual option you can use, but I guess the test does not require you to remember everything.

OK, let’s move further and focus on the topics covered by this part.

Create and alter database demonstrating knowledge of database attributes

Create and alter tables demonstrating knowledge of table attributes

Demonstrate knowledge of types, attributes, and purpose of indexes

Create table columns demonstrating knowledge and application of various data types

Apply constraints to database tables and columns

Correctly apply encoding schemes to tables

Manage sequences and identities on tables

Create views and understand the best practices for the use of those views

Emil Kotrc
CA Technologies


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