Steve's Barcelona Musings

Counting down to the IDUG EMEA Tech Conference Barcelona, Steve Thomas will share his thoughts on Barcelona, the conference and everything around it. Don't miss the latest installments here.


October 2th
Time flies past quickly as always and there's now less than 2 weeks to go until the IDUG Conference in Barcelona. If you're interested in DB2 for z/OS you'll no doubt have seen the official announcement of DB2 11 from IBM yesterday. This is yet another reason to attend - IDUG will be the first major DB2 event after the announcement and you'll be able to hear everything about the release there, as well as on DB2 LUW including the new BLU Acceleration feature, Big Data, Analytics and more.

I promised in my last note to inform everyone about what's happening on Sunday in Barcelona. Although the Conference itself doesn't start until Monday morning there's a lot happening to keep you entertained if you can avoid the temptations of the City itself. For those of you interested in taking Certification exams while you're here there are the usual full day crammer courses on both DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for LUW. In addition this year there's also a complimentary full day seminar on Best Practices learnt from Customer DB2 Health check studies. Places are limited so you need to register for these at where you can also find more details. We'd like to thank IBM, Suadasoft and Infocura for sponsoring and providing these sessions. Although I may be risking getting flamed for an Ad after my recent job switch for any CA Technologies customers there's also the usual CA User Day - contact your local CA rep for details on how to register for this. As well as these there are always a lot of people arriving on Sunday so the hotel is usually a good place to collar your favorite expert and to start hassling them...

Finally this week here's a useful tip to find a very handy Personal Agenda feature that we've hidden away so carefully that most people don't even know it exists. To find it go to the IDUG website and sign on as usual, then link to the the Conference Registration page which is and click the "View your Registration Details" link on the right hand side. Now click the "My Agenda" tab and you'll find a personal agenda tool. The tabs at the top allow you to create and edit you own personalized copy, print it in various formats and even download it to your computer. If you've kindly agreed to Moderate a session it will even prevent you choosing to attend another session at the same time. It's a bit late for this year but we really need to make this more visible in the future, but at least you now know it exists if you've made it this far!

I'm running out of space so I'll try and post another entry over the weekend covering more topics as I keep getting suggestions on things I can talk about.

See you all in Barcelona,


September 23th
Hi everyone. Apologies for the delay in getting this second "IDUG musing" to you. I was originally going to comment on Sunday's activities but the hotel situation is worth commenting on first. I'll post another note about Sunday later in the week but if you are making travel plans it's worth making sure you're around then as there will be a lot going on.

You may have seen some messages from IDUG that the main Conference Hotel has sold out on a couple of the nights. In many ways this is mixed news. Of course it's great for the Conference that we have a good number of registrations, but equally it's always nice to be able to stay close to the action so you can participate fully in everything the Conference has to offer. Well all is not lost. There are 6 hotels listed on the IDUG Conference website at which are all within close walking distance and which have rooms available so you still have a good choice of convenient places to stay.

The other thing I wanted to mention this week is how to get to the hotel from Barcelona airport. Of course you can do the simple thing and jump into a taxi. It's about 12km from the airport to the hotel, so the cost shouldn't be too bad but there are reasonable and cheaper options available too. The first option is to catch a train into Sants station (line C2) and then the metro Line 3 (green) in the direction of "Zona Universitària". It's only 3 stops to the "Maria Cristina" station from where it's a 5 minute talk up the Avignuda Diagonal to the hotel. Trains run every 30 minutes and the metro is frequent. Alternatively you can take an airport bus to the "Plaça Espanya" and then the same L3 Metro line to "Maria Cristina" - it's 5 stops this way. Buses run every 15 minutes, and the total journey is likely to take you an hour or so. More details on all these are options can be found on the IDUG website at

Well that's it for today. More details on Sunday's activities to follow later in the week.CA Technologies invites you to the DB2 User Day and Dinner on the Sunday the 13th of October. 

This is your opportunity to kick-start your IDUG week by joining some of the most experienced mainframe and DB2 experts in the business. To register and for further information click here.

August 30th

Starting with IDUG EMEA 2010 in Vienna, and continuing with 2012 in Prague and 2013 in Berlin, Phil Grainger posted a regular set of what he called Musings about that year’s IDUG EMEA Conference both on DB2-L and on his website. As you may know Phil is now a member of the IDUG Board of Directors so as one of the longest serving members of the Conference Planning Committee I have been asked to try and do the same for this year’s Conference in Barcelona. Of course it’s impossible to replace Phil, but I promise to do my best to provide you with regular updates along with hints and tips on how to get the most out of attending IDUG EMEA 2013.

As I hope you’re all aware by now the IDUG EMEA Conference in 2013 is taking place from October 13th to 18th at the Grand Hotel Princess Sofia in Barclona, Spain. At the core of the Conference as always is a very strong grid of Technical Sessions. We’ve done our best to ensure there’s something for everybody this year, and the Conference includes sessions on DB2 for z/OS 11, DB2 for LUW 10.5 (including the new BLU Acceleration feature), Big Data, Analytics, performance tuning, monitoring, reporting, tooling and a host of other topics that will help you get the most from using DB2. Full details of the grid can be found on the IDUG website at When you factor in the Keynotes, Expert Panels, Free IBM certification exams and associated preparation courses, complementary Workshops, Expo, Bookstore and networking opportunities you can see how much value to can get from attending.

This year is a particularly notable one because it’s the 30th Anniversary of DB2 and the 25th Anniversary of IDUG so it’s sure to be an event to remember. Registration is now open at You’ve got just over 2 weeks remaining to catch the Early Bird discount which saves 275 Euro off the full registration fee so don’t delay!

Next week I’ll be discussing the added value events taking place on the Sunday before the Conference and how to get to the Hotel from the airport at a reasonable cost