Articles & Content

Fillmore Group

The Fillmore Group was founded by IBM DB2 Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr.

Note: The content of this blog is the opinion and thoughts of the blogger and does not necessarily represent the opinions of IDUG.

 

 
IBM Think Conference Call for Speakers is **OPEN**The IBM Think 2019 Conference will be held in San Francisco, on February 12 – 15.  For those like me, who felt the Las Vegas conferences were becoming one exhausted blur, San Francisco is a welcome change. I hope this year’s Think Conference will offer excellent networking (why I go!), along with the opportunity to learn about new and "coming soon" solutions.  For technical folks there should be plenty of opportunities to learn and improve your skills. As with past IBM conferences, presenters get a free pass. The conference fee is set at $2,295 – and we all know getting a free pass makes asking your boss to fund a week in San Francisco much easier.  And the Call for Speakers is now open. I suggest anyone interested in presenting, particularly if it’s your first time submitting a presentation, share your presentation idea with your local users group and ask for their feedback. Users groups – like the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group – review presentations throughout the year as part of the process of selecting meeting sessions.  Our board members can provide feedback to make your session abstract stand out (in a good way!)  Many of our board members have also delivered presentations, and welcome the opportunity to share their experiences with "newbie" presenters. From IBM’s Call for Speakers announcement – “If you or your client have faced a challenge that led to a breakthrough in your industry, reinvented your processes, or resulted in success worth sharing, submit your proposal to become a speaker at Think 2019. All formats are welcome: lectures, labs, panels, breakout sessions, etc.” The submission link is here.  Don’t lollygag – submissions must be submitted by July 16, 2018. Other dates to note: speakers selected will be notified in September; final presentations are due to IBM in December. I hope to see you at Think!
*FREE* Hands-on IDAA Training – Columbus Class Announced for July Gold Consultant and Z Systems Champion Frank Fillmore will deliver a free, hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator/IDAA class on Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, at the IBM Dublin Campus near Columbus, Ohio. Class has been updated to showcase the new IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and covers the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organizations upgrading from the Mako (V5) to Sailfish. The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  The registration link is here and the course outline is below. I will send travel information and recommendations to everyone registering (I’m working on them now!) Finally, if there is any additional information needed please feel free to email me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com. IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training Dates (2 days):  Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, 2018 Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees Instructor:  Frank Fillmore Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP). Topics: An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities – Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI – Table acceleration – Query processing and analysis Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem – Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated? – Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator? – Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively? Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation – Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP – Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing
IBM Extends Support Options to Include PostgreSQLIBM's strategy is difficult to understand at first, but often makes eventual sense.  There's been a great deal of discussion recently about the future of Db2.  Db2 on the mainframe has an established customer base consisting of some of the planet's largest and busiest organizations.  While many of these organizations are continuously searching for better, faster and/or cheaper technologies, the mainframe continues to deliver and justifies continued Db2 for z/OS investment. Db2 for LUW, on the other hand, has always been a technical leader, but expensive, and a support challenge.  Never a market leader, Db2 for LUW has suffered in the marketplace from a lack of skilled DBA's and Developers, and IBM's inability to deliver affordable and consumable Db2 for LUW training has hampered DIY customer efforts to "build" DB2 support teams.  For many years the snob appeal of great technology that only a few understand seemed the most promising approach.  This, however, does not seem to have driven many customers to Db2 for LUW. So the IBM teams are taking some interesting new approaches to Db2 for LUW and their distributed data management tools.  The "Flex Pricing" announced earlier this year enables customers to purchase solutions within 3 broad product groups (core databases, data governance and management tools and analytic solutions) and re-purpose the license entitlements within the product groups as their business needs change.  This won't excite anyone making an initial purchase but may translate into "found money" sometime down the road.  It's a great idea. IBM has also been working on new strategies for distributed database support and recently announced a support offering for -- drum roll -- open source databases.  The one that interested me initially was PostgreSQL, as many Db2 customers use Postgres within their organizations, and it has many similarities with Db2.  IBM sellers are now actively promoting IBM's Postgres support offering, along with services to support Postgres.  One IBM seller reached out to me recently about a customer considering purchasing Postgres support along with Postgres support services, and through my search for a Postgres Architect, I met a terrific consultant named Joel whose background includes database design, application architecture, hiring a Postgres development team, managing DBA's, etc., etc., etc.  As a Db2 snob, I was super impressed!  And by the way, he's available if you are considering your first Postgres application... The IBM support deal is through the Subscription and Support program.  The annual cost to purchase support for one Virtual Core License (explained in the attached Announcement Letter) is $1000 per year.  What do you get?  According to the announcement, "While your Software Subscription and Support is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions, and code-related questions. IBM provides assistance by telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For additional details, see the IBM Software Support Handbook. Software Subscription and Support does not include assistance for the design and development of applications, your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment, or failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under the applicable agreements. " If your organization is giving Postgres a look please let me know -- I would love to introduce Joel and connect the dots to enable your organization to access IBM Support for Postgres. PostgreSQL Database Support IBM Announcement Letter
IDUG 2018 Thoughts and NotesLast week's annual International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) Conference in Philadelphia was interesting and -- as always -- a great time to reconnect with friends and colleagues.  With IBM in what feels like perpetual transformation mode, I was curious to compare this conference with others I've attended in the past, to get a sense of how Db2 customers are perceiving the state of Db2 in these uncertain times.  My impressions: Db2 for z/OS customers, while not excited about growing workloads on System z, appear to be more confident their organizations will maintain what's in place and invest in mainframe infrastructure when and where it makes sense.  I expected to hear the "we're getting off the mainframe in 3 years" comment and did not; instead I was encouraged to see existing IDAA customers expressing interest in the new "Sailfish" model (V7.1).  Shameless plug:  if you were one of these people, please join us for our free IDAA class in June.For Db2 for LUW, the times are changing, and hopefully for the better.  Jon Lind's Technical Advisory Board meeting offered participants a chance to express their concerns with the ecosystem, marketing, competitiveness, enablement, and I could go on, list of challenges around keeping Db2 for LUW relevant in the RDBMS market.  Jon Lind's team has a refreshing willingness to listen, and the opportunity to revive Db2 for LUW.  Keep an eye on this team:  they have a long list of requests, and spent much of the conference talking with end users and partners about what they can do to help.  I wish them great success!!Kudos to the IDUG team for a fabulous location and super well organized event.  I wish we could have had some competitors join us for the community dinner to check out the enthusiasm (and noise level!) in the dining room.  There was ENERGY to spare!  And special thanks to IBM's Surekha Parekh and Jim Reed for hosting such a great event at the conference and for all their support.One-name Rocket woman Saghi also deserves a shout out for gathering the local user group leaders for lunch and extending IDUG's support to our Db2 communities.  The Db2 for z/OS RUGs are incredibly strong and doing their best to ensure LUW users have access to similar community resources.So, I will end this post on my experience at IDUG with one final thank you, to Steve Cricchi, from T. Rowe Price, whose presentation on loading data into the IDAA was very well done and will be shared with the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group at an upcoming meeting.  Well done!  Frank's waiting for his beer... 
Free Hands-On IDAA V7.1 Training June 19th and 20thI am pre-announcing (if that's a word) our upcoming free, hands-on IDAA training class scheduled for June 19th and 20th at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore.  This class is being updated to support the IDAA V7.1 ("Sailfish") and will contain content covering the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organization upgrading from the Mako model IDAA's to Sailfish. The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Frank and I will be at IDUG next week promoting the class -- if you have any questions and would like to discuss the class content, your IDAA challenges, or anything else IDAA-ish -- let us know if you will be there and we will try to meet. The registration link is here.  My email is kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com -- email me with any questions. IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training Dates (2 days):  Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20, 2018 Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees Instructor:  Frank Fillmore   Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP). Topics: An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities -- Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI -- Table acceleration -- Query processing and analysis Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem -- Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated? -- Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator? -- Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively? Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation -- Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP -- Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing
Win a *FREE* Pass to IDUG North America!All Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Members are invited to participate in a drawing for a *free* IDUG pass -- a $2195 value, thanks to IBM and the World of Db2. The annual International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) North America conference is scheduled for April 29th – May 3rd in Philadelphia, PA. To participate in the raffle you must register as a member of the World of Db2  and join the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group on the World of Db2. You must also agree to be part of an IBM promotion announcing free pass winners.  This will include uploading a photo of yourself on the World of Db2. To join our group on the World of Db2 click on “All Groups” and select the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group.  Once you’ve completed the process to join us please send an email to the board letting us know you’ve joined:  board@bwdb2ug.org. The winner will be selected at our board meeting on April 12th. Please note:  Government and government-owned entity employees are ineligible, as are IBM Business Partners and IBM employees. I hope to see you on the World of Db2 and at IDUG in Philadelphia!
IDUG Philadelphia Early Bird Discount Extended – Register Now!!For those of us weathering the Spring snowstorm of 2018 on the East Coast -- not in sunny Las Vegas, an incentive to think Spring and plan for warmer weather in Philadelphia during IDUG, scheduled for April 29th -- May 3rd. The Early Bird discount has been extended until March 31st.  There are -- now -- ten more days to register and take advantage of the reduced price. As Bill Shipley emailed earlier today:  Remember this is the 35th Anniversary of IBM Db2 for z/OS, 25th Anniversary of IBM Db2 LUW and 30th Anniversary for IDUG. IDUG 2018 offers new educational opportunities and more training than ever before! Attendees will experience: •Five days of education sessions •Half and full-day workshops •More than 100 one-hour technical sessions •Two expert panels on z/OS and LUW And my birthday's in there, too...hope we can celebrate together in Philly!!
Skipping ThinkFrank asked me to respond to an email from an IBM’er asking whether we will be at the Think Conference in Las Vegas. I started the reply and then decided – in the interest of efficiency – to post my response on our blog so that I can direct inquiries here. Apparently there’s a bit of pressure on to boost attendance. After attending every IOD, Insight and World of Watson conference, Frank and I have decided to skip Think. The arc of the annual IBM data-centric conferences has in many ways paralleled the arc of The Fillmore Group over the past 10 years. I haven’t given up on achieving success in the future, but the status quo is unsettling. Some history: when IBM announced the first Information on Demand/IOD Conference, I was fairly new to The Fillmore Group. I sold and coordinated technical training for companies in the Mid-Atlantic prior to joining TFG and was involved in the Greater Baltimore Tech Council, whose quarterly wine tastings were legendary – fun, great for business, and fabulous networking. Frank loved the idea, and we hosted our first wine tasting at the first IOD annual conference in Anaheim. At this event I was introduced to the IBM Lab Services Data Management team, who became our largest customer for the next three years. After the first year the conference was moved to Las Vegas, where each year we have rented a suite and hosted a champagne tasting. One year we couldn’t get a large enough suite and had to put the champagne in the bathtub (see the picture below – only in Vegas!) I recall that year particularly vividly as Frank gushed afterward at the number of IBM Data Management VP’s in attendance (6 – and my guess is he can still name them!) We had a great time introducing IBM’ers to their colleagues and wow’ing our customers by introducing them to the stars of the Db2 world. At one of the conferences Steve Mills attended our event as well as the IBM Data Champions luncheon where he gave Frank an award for our consulting team’s support of the JP Morgan Chase Oracle to Db2 migration effort. Frank is rarely speechless; on this occasion he was. So why aren’t we looking forward to another conference? First, we want to be where our customers are. I am the chairman of the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group and I only know of one of my member organizations sending people to Think. We have a lot of Federal agency members, and they stopped attending years ago, but even the commercial customers don’t seem to be interested. I believe the Db2 technical people, if attending any conference at all in 2018, will be at IDUG. The IDUG session abstracts explain what will be presented in a font that allows for the use of multiple words, and the topics are of interest to the audience. I understand a few will be at SHARE next week…along with most of the IBM z technical team. Who can afford 3 weeks out of the field attending conferences before the end of the first half? Second, IBM’s often contradictory messaging regarding the role of Business Partners is particularly confusing this year. What is the value of this partnership and what do partners provide to IBM and its customers? What is IBM doing to support us in return? In the past there was recognition for our product promotion and outreach. For these efforts, primarily related to marketing and reselling IBM software, partners like The Fillmore Group were provided with sales leads and co-marketing funding to offset event costs. Over the past year IBM has “transformed” the Business Partner program. They claim the new program recognizes skilled partners, and claim partners will be allocated sales leads and co-marketing funding based on the achievement of technical competencies. Competencies – according to IBM – are determined by the certifications earned in a particular category, demonstrating technical skills, and reselling a minimum of one million dollars’ worth of software in each category. I giggle as I type. Our team has historically supported customers running IBM replication solutions. Has anyone paid (channeling Mike Myers’ Austin Powers as Dr. Evil) ONE MILLION DOLLARS for replication? Meanwhile IBM is trying to transform (oh that word!) their software licensing to a cloud-based, SaaS model, and encouraging Business Partners to develop the ability to collect monthly software license fees from customers. Will the new partners ever achieve the one million dollars of sales within one Analytics sub-category and qualify as “competent”? If not, will the top partners grow IBM’s software business or simply continue to slow revenue slide along with IBM? On the 2018 IBM Business Partner kickoff call, IBM’s General Manager for Global Business Partners listed his 5 top initiatives for 2018. One is to better support IBM’s top 300 resellers, of which The Fillmore Group is not one, and another is to attract new Business Partners.  IBM has 19,000 Business Partners. As one of the 18,700 IBM Business Partners IBM has abandoned, we plan to attend IDUG with some technical folks and customers and hope maybe someday IBM finds us of value again in the future.
Congratulations Double Champion Frank!Frank's on a roll -- he recently received notification his US Secret clearance was approved and learned this morning he's been named an IBM Champion in a second category -- IBM System Z -- making him a "Double Champion" in both System Z and IBM Analytics.  And he recently earned his Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect certification so he can help Db2 for LUW users deploy on the Amazon cloud when, you know, management tells them they must. Frank is juggling a couple current projects and managing The Fillmore Group's consultants.  If you are in need of IBM System Z and/or Analytics education, consulting, staff augmentation or purchasing assistance he would be happy to chat with you about how our team can help.  And don't forget to congratulate him -- he is one of four consultants recognized by IBM for the "Double Champion" status! The Fillmore Group's capabilities statement listing all the areas where we can help is attached.  Take a look -- and to Frank say, CHEERS!!!! The Fillmore Group Capabilities Statement 2018
Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Annual Education Event – Wednesday, March 14thI am looking forward to the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group March education meeting -- in our new meeting location, the BWI Hilton!!  After months of discussion the board decided this location offers our members convenience, better traffic routes and an improved lunch facility (the Flight Deck; even sounds fun!) The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th, from 9:00am -- 4:00pm.  The cost is $250 in advance and $350 at the door.  Register HERE. March is of course the group's annual education session.  This year the group has invited Tony Andrews of Themis to present.  Tony's full-day session consists of topics selected specifically to assist developers with Db2 SQL programming performance and best practices. Attendees will gain knowledge of SQL programming, performance and tuning, and the SQL-PL native Stored Procedure language. The material provided to each attendee will include: -- SQL Standards and Guidelines -- SQL coding best practices -- SQL-PL coding best practices -- Many great SQL examples on rewrites -- SQL and program tuning tips -- SQL and program tuning step by step processes Session Topics: ? Learn the top reasons for poor performance ? Learn our top SQL rewrites every developer should know ? Learn our top SQL Tuning Tips for developers ? Learn our top reasons why you have to watch out for null columns ? Learn the top reasons why developers need to know their data ? Learn what filter factors are and why they are so important ? Learn our top 10 steps to tuning a query or program ? Learn our top SQL-PL stored procedures best practices Presenter Tony Andrews, Themis Inc., Consultant and Trainer Tony Andrews has more than 25 years’ experience in the development of relational database applications. For most of this time he has provided development and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Tony has written literally thousands of queries and programs and has also served as a database analyst. For the last 10 years Tony has been splitting his time between performance and tuning consulting engagements and training.  His main focus is to teach today’s developers the ways of RDMS application design, development and SQL programming --- always with a special emphasis on improving performance.  He is a current IBM Champion, and regular speaker at many regional user groups, IDUG NA, and IDUG EMEA.  He is also the author of a book for developers titled ‘DB2 SQL Tuning Tips for z/OS Developers’.