Steve Thomas

Speaker Details

Bio

Steve is a Principal Engineering Services Architect at CA Technologies and a member of the R&D team. His role involves ensuring customers get the most out of their tools as well as influencing future product strategy and direction. Steve has been a DB2 Specialist for over 25 years, an IBM Champion for Analytics since 2009 and is a regular speaker at User Groups and Conferences around the world. He was a member of the Conference Planning Committee for IDUG EMEA for 11 years from 2006 and was honored to serve as Chair of the 2015 IDUG EMEA Conference in Dublin.

Past presentation
29 May 2019
11:30 - 12:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2019 Developing Db2 for z/OS Applications using RESTful APIs

One of the most important trends in Application Development over the last few years has been the explosion of interest in using RESTful APIs. This session will eplain why this has happened, the benefits and drawbacks of using RESTful APIs and how Db2 for z/OS now provides strong support for using them in your own applications. We’ll then provide a step by step instructions of what you need to do to develop your own Db2 for z/OS applications using RESTful APIs, using a simple example as a guide. 


26 May 2019
18:45 - 19:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2019 New DB2 solution – DB2 Analytics

26 May 2019
15:30 - 16:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2019 CA Technologies Mainframe Solutions

13 June 2018
11:30 - 12:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2018 All about Triggers

The idea of this is that it will cover Basic Triggers (which have been available for some time) in the first half and then move onto Advanced Triggers which were added in DB2 12 and which allow a lot more functionality during the second half


13 June 2018
09:00 - 10:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2018 BUILT-IN Functions - I didn't know Db2 could do THAT!
Were you aware than Db2 for z/OS now supports more than twice as many SQL BUILT-IN functions as it did 20 years ago? The World has moved on significantly from the basic Functions such as SUM, COUNT and AVG which were all that were available when many of us first learnt SQL. There are now well over 200 Functions supported providing a huge range of powerful features. As well as the basic data manipulation and Mathematical Functions you would expect there are advanced analytical capabilities, sophisticated array management and aggregation features, XML, Security and more, all provided out of the box. Unfortunately many users have not kept up to date with advances and we find Programmers still coding requirements manually in whatever language they are using when the Database itself could be doing much more of the heavy lifting. This session will review the current capabilities of the native BUILT-IN functions provided by Db2 for z/OS and will highlight some of the more useful ones. It will be valuable whether you’re a new Application Programmer or an experienced DBA looking for an update on SQL capabilities.

12 June 2018
10:45 - 11:45
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2018 Feedback and Profiles - is it a dream?

This already exists and is actually one written by Steen Rasmussen and used with his permission although I will update it. It covers RUNSTATS profiles and the new SYSSTATFEEDBACK options provided by SQL where the Optimizer can tell you what Statistics are missing which might have allowed it to choose a better access path


10 June 2018
18:30 - 19:15
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2018 New DB2 solution – DB2 Analytics

10 June 2018
15:30 - 16:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2018 CA Technologies Mainframe Solutions

10 April 2018
15:00 - 16:00
SQLAdria Seminar - Ljubljana 2018 BUILT-IN Functions - I didn't know Db2 could do THAT!

Were you aware than Db2 for z/OS now supports more than twice as many SQL BUILT-IN functions as it did 20 years ago? The World has moved on significantly from the basic Functions such as SUM, COUNT and AVG which were all that were available when many of us first learnt SQL. There are now well over 200 Functions supported providing a huge range of powerful features. As well as the basic data manipulation and Mathematical Functions you would expect there are advanced analytical capabilities, sophisticated array management and aggregation features, XML, Security and more, all provided out of the box. Unfortunately many users have not kept up to date with advances and we find Programmers still coding requirements manually in whatever language they are using when the Database itself could be doing much more of the heavy lifting. This session will review the current capabilities of the native BUILT-IN functions provided by Db2 for z/OS and will highlight some of the more useful ones. It will be valuable whether you’re a new Application Programmer or an experienced DBA looking for an update on SQL capabilities.


14 June 2017
11:30 - 12:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2017 Top tips to improve the Performance of Dynamic SQL

In the early days of DB2 for z/OS the use of dynamic SQL was minimized at most DB2 installations due to fears over unreliable or unpredictable performance. That approach has been almost completely turned on its head now and it is common to find sites where the vast majority of application SQL is Dynamic rather than Static in nature. There are many reasons for this change, including the increasing use of languages such as Java rather than traditional COBOL and PL/I as well as Dynamic based Packaged Applications such as SAP. However, in order to support this gradual change over the years DB2 has also added many features to allow better Performance as well as Management of Dynamic SQL. Many don’t require application changes to allow you to exploit them, but others do and relatively minor changes in coding practice can produce significant benefits. This presentation will describe a variety of methods to improve the performance of Dynamic SQL and provide useful tips on how to best exploit them. Topics covered include using the Local and Global Statement Cache as well as the new Dynamic Plan Stability feature added in DB2 12 for z/OS and more.


14 June 2017
10:00 - 11:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2017 Partitioning data in DB2 for z/OS – so many choices!

The ability to partition DB2 tables has been available in DB2 since the very earliest releases, but over the past 10 years or so the number of choices available to DBA’s has exploded. During that time we’ve seen increases in the number of partitions, Table based rather than Index based partitioning, Data Partitioned Secondary Indexes, UTS objects which are partitioned by Growth or Range, and now in DB2 12 for z/OS Relative Page Numbering and the capability to create enormous objects. It’s got to the point where almost all DB2 tables are partitioned in one way or another – you just have to decide which option to choose. This session will run through all the options in turn, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each. We’ll provide hints and tips on how to get the best performance while minimizing Management and will highlight things you might need to watch out for when managing partitioned objects in your systems.


12 June 2017
15:00 - 16:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2017 A Beginners guide to Locks, Latches, Claims and Drains in DB2 for z/OS
This session will provide an introduction to how data integrity is achieved within DB2 for z/OS by a variety of methods including Locks, Latches, Claims and Drains. Once you understand how this works we will describe how you can use this knowledge to improve performance and data availability in your applications while maintaining data integrity.
While being an important topic for all users of DB2, the session is primarily aimed at Application Developers and others who may not have been exposed to the detailed internals of DB2 operations. The intention is to explain how Locking works in simple terms and describe how you can exploit this without confusing you with all the gory details of the internals.

11 June 2017
18:30 - 19:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2017 New DB2 solution – DB2 Analytics

15 June 2016
11:30 - 12:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2016 Recent Changes in DB2 for z/OS Logging

How well DB2 handles Log data can be a critical factor in maximizing performance, particularly in a high transaction rate environment. There have been a number of changes in the area of Logging over recent DB2 releases. Some of these have been obvious improvements such as the ability to use DFSMS Striping for Active Log datasets, but there have been Logging implications in some other changes such as the introduction of Reordered Row Format. However, many sites I visit have not really investigated these changes in any detail and the impact they might have on their operations. This presentation provides an update on changes to how DB2 manages logging updates and some useful hints and tips you will be able to take away and use to review your logging environment.


14 June 2016
15:00 - 16:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2016 A Review of BIND and REBIND parameters for DB2
Over the past few releases many new features have been added to DB2 which can be used to enhance the Performance and Availability of your Applications. Many of these are controlled by new keywords and parameters that have been added to the BIND and REBIND commands. This presentation will provide a useful summary and review of the most important newer capabilities, as well as taking another look at some of the more critical older options where the recommended settings may have changed since you started using DB2 for z/OS. 
Topics to be covered will include setting appropriate Isolation Levels and when to acquire and release resources, High Performance DBATs, Controlling when Optimization occurs, providing hints to the Optimizer and managing access path degradation using Plan Stability and/or the new APREUSE and APCOMPARE functionality.

13 June 2016
14:45 - 15:45
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2016 Using Statement Level Access Path Hints in DB2 10 and 11 for z/OS

Optimizer Hints have been available since DB2 Version 6 in 1999. This old method was hard to use and prone to error as it relied on the QUERYNO for each statement to link the SQL to the hint. If your program changed causing the QUERYNO to be different then the hint would not operate correctly. To resolve these problems DB2 10 for z/OS introduced a completely new method of providing hints based on the SQL Text and a Repository built into the DB2 Catalog. They can be applied to an SQL statement wherever it appears in the DB2 subsystem. Other advantages the new method provides include the ability to override certain Bind Options at the Statement rather than at the Package level, such as controls over Star joins and Parallelism options. DB2 11 has built on the initial implementation by allowing you to provide Filter Factors for predicates where the Optimizer is not able to calculate them, such as where Host Variables, Parameter Markers or Expressions are being used. This allows the Optimizer to make a more informed decision on the correct access path to use based on your knowledge of the application. This session will describe how to use Statement Level Access path hints as introduced in DB2 10 for z/OS, along with the additional features that have been added with DB2 11 for z/OS. 


12 June 2016
18:30 - 19:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2016 New DB2 solution - PAD

12 June 2016
15:30 - 16:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Šibenik 2016 CA Technologies Mainframe Solutions

17 June 2015
11:30 - 12:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2015 RTS – Are you making the most of this valuable information?

It’s been well over 10 years now since Real Time Statistics were first made available by a PTF to DB2 V7. Originally they were provided as an optional feature but since DB2 9 they have always been collected and the data is now fully integrated into the DB2 Catalog. The original aim of RTS was primarily to provide data to assist with the management of Imagecopies, Reorganizations and other Housekeeping tasks. While that remains a primary reason for their existence and something every site should be using, the last few releases of DB2 have added valuable data to RTS which can be used for a variety of other purposes including performance analysis and even database index design. Are you getting the most value from the RTS data which you are burning CPU cycles to collect? Come to this session and understand how RTS data is collected, how you can manage and control this process and most of all how to make the most of this valuable data source.


16 June 2015
15:00 - 16:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2015 Archiving data – DB2 comes to the rescue (twice)

The majority of the data stored in many OLTP systems is relatively old. It doesn’t change much and may be referenced only rarely but must be retained for many years, usually to satisfy compliance or regulatory requirements. Keeping this data in the main database tables can cause Performance problems as well as an increase in Storage costs. We all know it should really be archived or at least moved to different tables than the more active rows. However the drive to implement new systems quickly usually means that implementing an archiving policy is either simply dropped or at best relegated to a later phase of Development which frequently never gets funding as it doesn’t show immediate and obvious value to the business. Up to now apart from a few products nothing has been available to assist, but in the last year or two DB2 has provided two alternative solutions to the Archiving problem. This session will describe how the DB2 Transparent Archiving feature introduced in DB2 11 for z/OS and the High Performance Storage Saver feature of the DB2 Accelerator for z/OS 3.1 and 4.1, both of which support DB2 10 for z/OS, can be used to automate the archiving of old data. Depending on what you need to do and how your data is organized it may even be possible to implement archiving into an existing system with little or no changes to the application code.


14 June 2015
16:15 - 17:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2015 CA Technologies Mainframe Solutions

28 May 2014
08:30 - 09:15
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2014 Archiving data – DB2 comes to the rescue (twice)

The majority of the data stored in many OLTP systems is relatively old. It doesn’t change much and may be referenced only rarely but must be retained for many years, usually to satisfy compliance or regulatory requirements. Keeping this data in the main database tables can cause Performance problems as well as an increase in Storage costs. We all know it should really be archived or at least moved to different tables than the more active rows. However the drive to implement new systems quickly usually means that implementing an archiving policy is either simply dropped or at best relegated to a later phase of Development which frequently never gets funding as it doesn’t show immediate and obvious value to the business. Up to now apart from a few products nothing has been available to assist, but in the last year or two DB2 has provided two alternative solutions to the Archiving problem. This session will describe how the DB2 Transparent Archiving feature introduced in DB2 11 for z/OS and the High Performance Storage Saver feature of the DB2 Accelerator for z/OS 3.1, which can be used with DB2 10 for z/OS, can be used to automate the archiving of old data. Depending on what you need to do and how your data is organized it may even be possible to implement archiving into an existing system with little or no changes to the application code. 


26 May 2014
14:15 - 15:15
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2014 Using System Level Access Path Hints in DB2 10 and 11 for z/OS

Optimizer Hints have been available since DB2 Version 6 in 1999. This old method was hard to use and prone to error as it relied on the QUERYNO for each statement to link the SQL to the hint. If your program changed causing the QUERYNO to be different then the hint would not operate correctly. To resolve these problems DB2 10 for z/OS introduced a completely new method of providing hints based on the SQL Text and a Repository built into the DB2 Catalog. They can be applied to an SQL statement wherever it appears in the DB2 subsystem. Other advantages the new method provides include the ability to override certain Bind Options at the Statement rather than at the Package level, such as controls over Star joins and Parallelism options. DB2 11 has built on the initial implementation by allowing you to provide Filter Factors for predicates where the Optimizer is not able to calculate them, such as where Host Variables, Parameter Markers or Expressions are being used. This allows the Optimizer to make a more informed decision on the correct access path to use based on your knowledge of the application. This session will describe how to use System Level Access path hints as introduced in DB2 10 for z/OS, along with the additional features that have been added with DB2 11 for z/OS. 


25 May 2014
16:15 - 16:45
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2014 State of Mainframe Database Management

12 June 2013
09:00 - 10:00
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2013 A Review of Bind Parameters with a focus on Performance impact

10 June 2013
15:30 - 16:30
European SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2013 Virtualise Production in DB2 z/OS with Profiles

28 September 2012
12:30 - 13:30
SQLAdria Seminar – Zagreb 2012 A new catalog and directory structure in DB2 for z/OS

For the second time in three releases of DB2 for z/OS a larger number of changes than normal have been made to the Catalog and Directory structure. At first sight the introduction of Unicode and Long Names along with DB2 V8 might appear to be more fundamental, but the improvements made in DB2 10 for z/OS are likely to yield equally important benefits. Chief among the changes are introduction of UTS objects and the removal of the internal links, but that’s not all. We will soon be able to issue SQL against some Directory objects, and the introduction of many more LOBs, some of which can be Inline, will affect the way we need to manage the Catalog. These changes are very significant in their own right and taken together are probably the second most wide ranging (at least) since DB2 was first released back in the mid-1980′s. This session describes all the changes that have been made, their benefits and how they will impact the way we need to manage the Catalog and Directory moving forwards.


28 September 2012
11:15 - 12:15
SQLAdria Seminar – Zagreb 2012 Recent changes in DB2 for z/OS logging

How well DB2 handles Log data can be a critical factor in maximizing performance, particularly in a high transaction rate environment. There have been a number of changes in the area of Logging over recent DB2 releases. Some of these have been obvious improvements such as the ability to use DFSMS Striping for Active Log datasets, but there have been Logging implications in some other changes such as the introduction of Reordered Row Format. However, many sites I visit have not really investigated these changes in any detail and the impact they might have on their operations. This presentation provides an update on changes to how DB2 manages logging updates and some useful hints and tips you will be able to take away and use to review your logging environment. 


12 June 2012
16:00 - 17:00
SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2012 INLINE LOBS – Dare We Go There?

You’ve been working with LOBS for a while now, but V10 has more opportunities to streamline your LOB processing. What’s up with this new INLINE LOB thing? How will it affect your processing? Is it worth messing with? This presentation will explain the structure of LOBs, discuss the benefits of using the new INLINE syntax, and give you a heads up on how they may impact your processing. I’ll also talk about the new DB2 10 options for processing LOB data.


11 June 2012
14:15 - 15:15
SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2012 The Online Schema Revolution

The latest improvements in Online Schema capabilities introduced in DB2 10 for z/OS represent something more like a Revolution rather than an enhancement to the OLS Evolution capabilities we’ve been used to seeing in successive releases of DB2. For the first time DBAs can register the changes they wish to make and then implement them at a time of their choosing using an Online Utility rather than having the object concerned move into an Advisory Status which may cause serious Performance Issues or worse.
This session will describe the new OLS capabilities, how to use them and some pitfalls which may not be immediately obvious when you read the new features list. Come and listen to the way of the future as far as making Changes to your DB2 database structures is concerned.


15 June 2011
09:00 - 10:00
SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2011 RRF – Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

The format of the physical rows stored on a page has remained essentially the same since DB2 Version 1, but DB2 9 for z/OS changes all this with the introduction of Reordered Row Format. This new feature is on by default so you are very likely to start using without even noticing – it’s implemented whenever you create a new object or when you run the first REORG or LOAD of a table after going to V9 NFM. The good news is that in almost all situations using RRF is a thoroughly good thing and almost all sites will benefit from it. In fact most sites will remain in blissful ignorance that the row format has even changed internally. However, as often happens there are exceptions to the general rule even if they’re rare and it’s far from clear from the documentation what you can do if you find yourself in one of these situations.

This session will explain how RRF is implemented together along with some tips regarding when you might want to take a closer look at whether it may be hurting you and what you can do if you find yourself in such circumstances.


13 June 2011
14:15 - 15:15
SQLAdria Seminar – Dubrovnik 2011 Can you really change DB2 for z/OS Schemas Online?

Ever since I started working with DB2 back in 1989 with Version 1.3, DBAs have needed the ability to change database structures with minimal or zero interruption to the Business Service. Back then almost all you could do was to add new columns to the end of a Table but fortunately the situation has improved significantly over the years and many more schema changes can now be made online. However, just recently I have been speaking to more customers who have needed to change Tablespace characteristics such as DSSIZE or SEGSIZE, or to convert objects to the UTS format introduced in DB2 9 for z/OS. Before the Deferred Alter functionality introduced in DB2 10 for z/OS making any of these changes required you to Unload and Load the data, leading to an extended business outage.

This presentation explains what you can change online and, perhaps more importantly, what you can’t. We also discuss some of the other implications when making a Schema change, such as the impact on Packages, Triggers and Dependent Views. We will discuss a vendor neutral method for reducing the outage required when making changes that cannot be accomplished with an Alter Statement. The session will discuss features available in versions up to and including DB2 10 for z/OS and the new Deferred Alter referred to above.


 

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SQL Adria is the independent, non-profit organization that gathers relational database users for Croatia and Slovenia. It was founded 1994. and in the same year it has become the regional user group.

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Events in 2019

Ljubljana - 9th & 10th April 2019
Belgrade - 12th April 2019
Šibenik - 26th - 30th May 2019
Zagreb - 26th September 2019
Opatija - 28th & 29th November 2019