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DB2/400 is enhanced with V5R1

Major enhancements to IBM's DB2 Universal Database (UDB) for OS/400 are planned with V5R1, the Insider Weekly has learned. V5R1 DB2 UDB enhancement highlights include:

* Trigger enhancements. All triggers will be programmed in SQL, allowing more triggers in the database. Prior to these enhancements, there could only be one of each type of trigger per database. With the new release, there can be up to 300 triggers per table.

* Read and Fetch triggers. These are triggers enhanced to increase security and privacy. Programmed to fire when data is read, they can also be programmed to prevent uncertified access and to log who is accessing information.

"New laws are defining access to records, particularly in the health care industry," offers Jeff Tanner, technical client engineering manager for DB2 UDB for iSeries, IBM Rochester, MN.

* Triggers can be suspended. This is important to shops moving data between applications because the triggers can be turned off for transport and mirroring, then can be restarted for data loading.

Queries will also be enhanced in the next couple of releases to allow for more complex searchings. With V5R1, look for:

* The Fetch-First query. This allows users to specify sample data to show the top N-rows, N representing the variable for rows to be selected. This has been enhanced to allow the re-use of open data paths and to choose an index for processing double-byte patterns.

* The Like-Predicate query. This also removes the restriction to reuse open data paths in a query. "You will see a performance improvement with the Like-Predicate," says Tanner.

V5R1 increases DB2 UDB scalability

* Table size is increased, doubling from 1/2 a terabyte up to one terabyte. The size of what is considered a large object is also increased, from 15 MB to 2 GB.

* A new journaling option allows users to minimize data when inputting to the journal. This improves I/O, scalability, and performance for replication, says Tanner.

* A new GUI-based Database Navigator comes free with Operations Navigator (OpsNav) interfaces and will be included with Client Access Express with the release of V5R1, according to Tanner. Database Navigator gives customers a GUI view of tables and indexes. This GUI has been enhanced with the ability to zoom in and out, add new columns, and map out database structure.

Another OpsNav enhancement is the ability users have to generate SQL. "Regardless of the creation language, it will generate an SQL statement," says Tanner.

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