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Planet DB2 is an aggregator of blogs about the IBM DB2 database server. We combine and republish posts by bloggers around the world. Email us to have your blog included.


July 18, 2019

Kim May

Don’t Miss IDUG Blog: Meet the Crusher

The Fillmore Group has had the pleasure of working with Steve Cricchi for the past several years.  Steve is a database administrator and technical problem solver who has done some amazing work with...

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Henrik Loeser

Rotate service credentials for Cloud Foundry apps on IBM Cloud

Keep your cloud environment secure A popular PaaS (Platform as a service) technology is Cloud Foundry. On IBM Cloud, it is available both as public Cloud Foundry instances in multiple regions as...

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July 17, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Rotating service credentials for IBM Cloud Functions

Keep your service keys secret If you have followed some of my work, you know that I use IBM Cloud Functions, i.e., a serverless approach, for many projects. The tutorials with a database-driven...

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July 16, 2019

Craig Mullins

Proud to be an IBM Champion

Just a quick post today about the IBM Champions program, which if you haven't heard about, is a special program run by IBM to recognize and reward non-IBM thought leaders for their work associated with IBM products and communities.  IBM publishes the list of IBM Champions annually and the title is valid for one year. So, champions must be nominated each year to maintain their...

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July 15, 2019

Data and Technology

A (Very) Quick Intro to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of on your own computers. The “cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet. When you hear the term...

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July 11, 2019

Cognitive Class

Scrum Ceremonies: Daily, Planning, Review, and Retrospective Meetings

What are scrum ceremonies?

Scrum is a framework for organizing work in a team. We use scrum ceremonies to organize all software development and course content creation at Cognitive Class.

Scrum is well suited for agile software development. It’s possible to use scrum to organize other kinds of teams. For example, The Rhesus Chart is a fun Sci-Fi novel by Charles Stross about a coven of vampires using Scrum to take over London. For now, my scrum experience is focused on software development.

Agile software development is a fuzzy term that encompasses everything that’s not waterfall software development; waterfall being a multi month cycle of planning-developing-testing with discreet stages. Scrum is a specific, iterative way of doing agile.

Scrum is composed of several scrum ceremonies:

  • Planning
  • Daily standup
  • Review or demo
  • Retrospective

Scrum is important both from a task-management perspective — what will I accomplish today? — and a project management perspective — when will the feature be finished?

Scrum ceremonies are used humourously in The Rhesus Chart by Charless Stross

As a vampire, Mhari needs to use Scrum to take over London

Who am I?

My name is Leons Petrazickis and I am a Platform Architect for Cognitive Class. Cognitive Class is an educational site that let you take free online courses in data science and AI at your pace and at your place. Course completion is rewarded with badges and recognized with certificates backed by IBM. Many courses have hands-on labs, and the technical underpinnings of that lab environment is my area of specialty.

We use scrum ceremonies at Cognitive Class both for organizing our software development and for organizing our course content creation.

I’m fifteen years into my career as a developer or, as they say in California, engineer. I’ve built a lot of cool things. In the context of our scrum, I am the Scrum Master.

Our team has many developers, data scientists, and paid interns. Scrum ceremonies have helped us organize our work and deliver results.

Cognitive Class logo

Did you know you can take free courses in Python, Deep Learning, and AI at Cognitive Class?

Who are the stakeholders in scrum ceremonies?

There are three types of contributors in scrum:

  • Individual contributors.
  • The scrum master, who acts as a mentor.
  • The product owner, who insists on business value and deadlines.

Older descriptions of scrum divided people into pigs and chickens. Pigs have a lot of stake in a project and chickens contribute occasionally. All three above are pigs in that sense.

Planning and scheduling as scrum ceremonies

A key component of scrum is breaking up work into small chunks. If a feature is going to take more than two weeks to implement, it doesn’t fit in a scrum context. You need to break it up into smaller, self-contained features before you can start on it.

Once you have a backlog of small features, you can schedule and assign them into 1-week or 2-week sprints for your team. It is seldom sensible to plan more than one sprint in advance. As Helmuth von Moltke observed, no plan survives contact with the enemy.

Low tech is often best for managing a small backlog. There are many software tools for planning work, but the closer the tools are to post-its on a whiteboard, the more effective they will be, at least from a task management perspective. Post-its on a whiteboard are less valuable from a project management perspective which is more concerned with due dates and velocity of work.

A feature has to be described as a user story. Purely technical tasks aren’t stories, nor are simple bug fixes. A story takes the following format:

As a [role], [name] needs [feature description] in order to [benefit description].

For example:

As a data scientist, Alice need a visualization library in order to communicate the key data in her reports to executives.


As a miser, Ebeneezer Scrooge needs three ghost visits in order to learn to be a nicer person.

Daily standup as a scrum ceremony

The daily standup can be eponymous with scrum itself — often we just call it the scrum.

The reason it’s a “stand” “up” is because people who are standing are uncomfortable and so less likely to ramble about unrelated topics. Stands ups have to be quick to not waste people’s time. There’s rarely a true need for someone to say more than three sentences in a standup.

The traditional standup consists of every person speaking in turn and answering these three questions:

  1. What did I accomplish yesterday?
  2. What will I accomplish today?
  3. Am I blocked by something?

An important phrase to remember for a scrum master: “Let’s discuss that AFTER we finish the stand up.”

As a scrum master, my role is to mentor everyone on the team. The scrum master should help individual contributors get past any roadblocks, as well as recognize architectural, security, technical and other challenges in work descriptions.

This year my focus has shifted from scrum being used to organize developers working on a shared project to something more like a Scrum of Scrums being used to organized our interns each working on their own individual project. There, another question becomes important:

  1. When will I finish all my work in this sprint?

“Finished” is a contentious word. To a developer, “finished” can sound the same as “development-complete”, but that doesn’t finish the user story. “Finished” means “available to the person named in the story”. Your feature is not finished until it’s available in all the production environments to all the end users.

Review as a scrum ceremony

One way to prove that a new feature that you delivered is finished is to demonstrate it to the rest of the team. The more unconnected everyone’s projects are, the more important it is to have regular demos. The demos communicate the value and nature of your work to your teammates.

The end of a sprint is a good time to demo.

Retrospective as a scrum ceremony

After the team finishes a big release, it’s good to discuss what worked and what didn’t, what was learned and what mistakes were made. The discussion should be blameless — not in the sense that you need to anonymize faux pas, but in the sense that we all make mistakes and that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. This discussion is the retro or retrospective scrum ceremony.

How do we streamline our development process?

How do we streamline our development process?

Part of the scrum process is to refine the process itself and to make it fit your team. Applying critical thought and introspection to the previous sprint can only make the next sprint more effective.

The post Scrum Ceremonies: Daily, Planning, Review, and Retrospective Meetings appeared first on Cognitive Class.


July 10, 2019

Craig Mullins

There’s a New Db2 12 for z/OS Function Level (505)

In late June 2019, IBM delivered more great new capabilities with the latest new function level for Db2 12 for z/OS, Function Level 505 (or FL505). If you do not know what a function level is, then you probably aren’t yet on Version 12, because function levels are how new capabilities are being rolled out for Db2 12 and beyond. It is how IBM has enabled a continuous delivery model for Db2...

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July 03, 2019

Robert Catterall

Db2 for z/OS - Talking About APPLCOMPAT (Part 1)

The Db2 for z/OS package bind option APPLCOMPAT is not new - it was introduced with Db2 11. Even so, I think that now is a good time to spend some time thinking about APPLCOMPAT, for two reasons: 1) I've encountered some misunderstandings pertaining to APPLCOMPAT, and I'd like to clear those up; and 2) Db2 12 has introduced some changes that relate to APPLCOMPAT, and folks should be aware of those changes. In this first of a two-part blog entry, I'll cover several aspects of...

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Ember Crooks

Why dsmtop isn’t Even Half as Good as db2top

I think I’m beginning to better understand why IBM is not fond of tools like db2top. The truth is that the developers really only get exposure to the largest Db2 clients. These are the ones that really pay the developer’s salaries, after all.… Read the rest


June 28, 2019

Henrik Loeser

New! Db2 11.5 is available

Db2 11.5 is available A quick post to inform you that Db2 11.5 has been released. Check out the What's New for Db2 Version 11.5 GA section in the Db2 Knowledge Center. You can download the GA...

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June 21, 2019

DB2Night Replays

The DB2Night Show #216: Db2 LUW Problem Determination Class (3hr)

@pavel_sustr Special Guest: Pavel Sustr Sr. Manager IBM Canada Lab Db2 LUW Problem Determination Class! 100% of our HUGE audience learned something! In show #211, Pavel shared his favorite Db2 problem determination tricks. In our special Season #10 finale, Pavel teaches his full THREE HOUR problem determination class covering his tricks, best practices, and various techniques for chasing down a variety of problems from crashes to...

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June 20, 2019

Ember Crooks

The DBA is Dead? No, the DBA as Gatekeeper is Dead!

I still remember this meeting when I had been a DBA for less than a year at IBM. It was IBM, so I was the lone primary DBA for this internal client. With 3 whole months of experience and a shiny college degree.… Read the rest


June 19, 2019

Ember Crooks

Working with Db2 copies …on Windows

How to investigate Db2 copies installed on a Windows system

According to one of the definitions from the UrbanDictionary, adding the words “in bed” to any sentence can make that sentence “more interesting”. I like to think that the Db2 LUW world equivalent of that is taking a task – such as working with Db2 copies – and adding words “…on Windows”.… Read the rest


June 18, 2019

Data and Technology

Digital Transformation and Database Scalability

Today’s business systems are undergoing a revolutionary transformation to work within the digital economy. This phenomenon is known as digital transformation. There are four over-arching trends that...

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June 17, 2019

Kim May

Vote for me! Replication Enhancement to Support ASM

IBM recently introduced the Data and AI ideas portal for clients where users are invited to request enhancements.   And vote on them – sort of like voting for class president. I submitted a...

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Craig Mullins

Two Types of Db2 for z/OS Temporary Tables: Declared vs. Created

Db2 for z/OS has provided the ability to create temporary tables since way back in Version 5. But the initial functionality was practical only in certain circumstances due to some inherent limitations. The first type of temporary table supported by Db2 is now known as a created temporary table.  But IBM’s support of temporary tables expanded since (in Version 7) and Db2 offers two different...

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June 14, 2019

DB2Night Replays

The DB2Night Show #Z98: Optimizing Data Transformation with Db2 & IDAA

Presented by: Maryela Weihrauch Distinguished Engineer, IBM SVL "The DB2Night Show Z98: Optimizing Data Transformation with Db2 for z/OS and IDAA" Replays available in WMV and M4V formats! 100% of our studio audience learned something!Maryela discussed ETL problems and solutions in the z/OS environment. Watch the replay...

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June 12, 2019

Henrik Loeser

After IDUG is before IDUG: Back from Db2 conference in Charlotte, NC

Last week the IDUG NA 2019 was held in Charlotte, NC. It featured 8 parallel tracks dedicated to Db2 for z/OS and Db2 for LUW and emerging technologies. In addition, two tracks for hands-on labs and...

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June 11, 2019

Ember Crooks

Wrap-Up: IDUG Db2 North American Technical Conference in Charlotte

The IDUG Conference in Charlotte this year was one of the best-run North American Conferences I have been to. They rose close to the high standard that the IDUG European conference committee sets. I had fewer issues with how things ran.… Read the rest


May 31, 2019

Robert Catterall

Db2 for z/OS: IIPHONORPRIORITY and zIIP offload

There is something I have encountered a couple of times (most recently, just a month ago) that can have a negative performance impact on a Db2 for z/OS system, and it's something of which quite a few Db2 people are, I think, unaware. I'm referring here to the setting of a z/OS parameter called IIPHONORPRIORITY, and I want to use this blog entry to provide information on how the value of that parameter can affect the processing of a Db2 workload. IIPHONORPRIORITY is...

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Kim May

IBM Highlights Gold Consultants on

Thanks to the combined efforts of several Gold Consultants, notably Julian Stuhler and Ted Alexander, IBM Gold Program sponsors and advocates Jim Reed and Reid Gerson, and The Fillmore Group’s...

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Data and Technology

Craig Mullins Presenting at IDUG Db2 Tech Conference in Charlotte, NC

Craig Mullins will deliver two presentations at the 2019 North American IDUG Db2 Tech Conference Continue reading →

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May 24, 2019

Craig Mullins

Time for the IDUG North American Db2 Tech Conference 2019

It is hard to believe that May is almost over already and that means that the 2019 IDUG North American Db2 Tech Conference is right round the courner! This year’s event is being held in beautiful Charlotte, NC the week of June 2-6, 2019. That is a little bit later than normal, but I think that is a good thing as it should be nice and warm in North Carolina in June! I hope you’ve already made...

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DB2Night Replays

The DB2Night Show #215: Breaking News from IBM Toronto Lab - Db2 V11.5!

@kdrodger Special Guest: Kelly Rodger, IBM Canada Senior Development Manager Db2 BREAKING NEWS from IBM Canada LEARN about Db2 V11.5! 100% of our audience learned something! As Kelly pointed out, Db2 V11.1 will be three years old this summer! It must be time for a new and exciting release of Db2 for LUW! Db2 V11.5 has lots of new features and capabilities, and IBM is changing the licensing (again - LOLs), so enjoy Kelly's 70 slide...

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May 23, 2019

Ember Crooks

IDUG NA Technical Conference in Charlotte, NC – June 2019

This is my regular pre-conference blog entry. I write these every year to share details about the conference and to share my excitement for this form of education and networking. The IDUG conferences in the US and Europe are my favorite weeks of the year.… Read the rest


May 21, 2019

DB2Night Replays

The DB2Night Show #Z97: Why does the Db2 for z/OS Optimizer need a Data Sci

Presented by: Sheryl Larsen Worldwide Db2 Z Solutions Ambassador , BMC Software "The DB2Night Show #Z97: Why does the Db2 for z/OS Optimizer need a Data Scientist?" Replays available in WMV and M4V formats! 100% of our studio audience learned something!Sheryl discussed the new Db2ZAI product that enhances the Db2 optimizer. Watch the replay...

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May 13, 2019

Data and Technology

Craig Mullins Presenting at Data Summit 2019

The world of data management and database systems is very active right now. Data is at the center of everything that modern organizations do and the technology to manage and analyze it is changing...

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May 07, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Cloud-based FIPS 140-2 Level 4 crypto service

Locks, keys, and data security Yesterday, I got my hands on a FIPS 140-2 Level 4 cloud-based crypto service. If you are asking "what's that and what can I do with it?" you should continue to read....

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May 03, 2019

Henrik Loeser

Your chatbot with Watson Discovery News

Some months back I introduced you to a barebone news chatbot. Today, with the updated tutorial to build a database-driven chatbot in place, I want to show you how to easily combine Watson Assistant...

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May 02, 2019

Kim May

Mid-Atlantic Db2 LUW Meeting – Bethesda, May 7th

Thank you to the IBM Technical Team, Kay Groski and Warren Heising, for coordinating this terrific agenda and group of excellent speakers for the Mid-Atlantic Spring Db2 LUW Users Group Meeting! The...

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