IDUG (the International DB2 Users Group) is sponsoring a worldwide contest initiative called The XML challenge – Search for the xml superstar. This contest aims to recognize developers (students or professionals) that create XML solutions, in one of the following categories: Video, Gadget, Query, PortableApp and XML Contest.
They are offering thousands of dollars in prizes, including Wiis, Zunes, iPods, Conference passes, Notebooks, GPS, etc…
If you live in US, you can submit your Video and Gadget entries until December 16th and 17th, respectively. The XML programming contest has also started and submissions will be accepted till January 31st.
For other countries, keep checking the website xmlchallenge.com for updates on your local contest.
Last month I completed the visit of the 4 major US universities that were on my To Visit list. After Sanford and Berkeley during my internship in California, visited Boston this October for a conference and had the opportunity to visit the Harvard and MIT campuses.
While Harvard is a beautiful place to visit with all the fancy coffee shops and restaurants around Harvard Square and a very nice bookstore, that makes you feel you are still in the XVIII century.
As for MIT, not much to see, besides lots of geeks (yes, they are easily spotable) and lots lots of bicycles in the parking lots. Just a few funny buildings like the ones in the picture.
As for Boston city, although at first it looks just like a small size NYC, after a few walks around the city you can feel its own vibe and style. For food, you must try the Italian restaurantss in the North End. For guided tours, the list of attractions listed on the trolleys is just a joke, i.e., “Access to MIT campus and Harvard Square” means: we let you out close to a subway station where you can catch the subway to there
I’m back to fiddling around with my Ruby on Rails experiments(1)(2). I was able to create a very useful 2-way mapping between Ruby objects and xml data stored in DB2 pureXML. Basically, trying to replicate some of ActiveRecord’s functionality but for XML data. I still find it odd, though, that both ROXML and xml-mapping haven’t had much activity as of late. I’m wondering if there is any new OXM library around that I don’t know of.
Also on the same topic:
Last week, after my presentation at University of Minho about the DB2 on Campus and DB2 Student Ambassador programs and the pureXML features in DB2, one student came to me and asked me if DB2 was available for Mac. My answer was a ‘no’, but things will change pretty soon.
My ‘office neighbor’ Antonio Cangiano just made public IBM’s intention of releasing a DB2 Express-C port to Intel Mac. This is one more big step from DB2 Express-C towards the community, after very open licensing conditions, Ruby on Rails driver and adapter, soon-to-come Python and Django driver and adapter, DB2 Express-C orum and DB2 Express-C blog, etc….
After reading Alcides Fonseca’s post regarding is opportunity to become an MSP and asking whether other companies have similar programs, I would like to introduce two programs related with DB2 that are targeted for university students: DB2 On Campus and DB2 Student Ambassador.
DB2 on Campus: The DB2 on Campus Program is a project designed to promote the use of DB2 in universities. The logistics and delivery of the program is performed between the DB2 Express-C team, and the local IBM Academic Initiative representative. The program consists of the following items and activities:
I will be at University of Minho on September 19th doing the speech for the DB2 on Campus program. There was not enough time to prepare the full-day event, but if you or someone at your university is interested in having this full-day event happening at your university, please feel free to email me and I’ll put you in contact with the program’s manager in order to schedule the event (my email is vrodrig at us.ibm.com).
There is a DB2 On Campus Facebook group. Follow these instructions to join.
DB2 Student Ambassador: This is a program for individual students that want to promote the use of DB2 at their education institutions. Though the program is voluntary, it gives students a chance to learn more about DB2, develop presentation skills and marketing skills. All of these skills will be valuable in their careers. At the end of the program, the student will receive a letter of recommendation from IBM including all the details of the activities performed. The more activities performed, the better the letter of recommendation! We hope this will help the student get a job more easily in the future.
I consider this to be an excellent opportunity to get involved and interact with developers from a huge project like DB2, distributed across Toronto and Silicon Valley laboratories.
More information about this program can be found here: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/db2/express/students_programs.html#ambassador
Although I’m only familiar with the DB2 programs, for the ones interested, there is also an IBM Academic Initiative program, focused on Open Standars, Open Source and IBM resources for the academic world.
The opportunities are out there, so just grab the one you like and boost your career
(1) Yes, it is the fully loaded version available for free, with one limitation: it can only use up to 4GB of RAM
Latest articles checked out from my “toread” folder in delicious:
The most common way used to generate and retrieve access plans in DB2 is by using DB2 Control Center. CC provides a graphical representation of a query’s access plan, and it also includes an Index Advisor, that you can use when you are not sure about which indexes to create and to use.
However, not always you have access to a graphical environment (needed to run DB2 Control Center). For the command line, there are two utilities that you can use. DB2 EXPLAIN command and the db2exfmt utility. Although the first one is more complete, I find the second one to be easier to use. So, in order to get an access plan for your query using db2exfmt, you just need to do:
Detailed information about the access plan for your query will be in the file output.txt. By using this information, you can see which indexes are being used or not as also other performance considerations about your query.
PS: don’t forget to run "db2 set current explain mode no" when you are done with your access plans, so the queries will be executed.
For the first time in many months, I really gave some rest to my laptop during my vacations. Last week was spent mostly with family, girlfriend and friends. So, only now I got to do the review of the year 2006:
Lots of stuff happening, mostly at work. I have the feelling that I could have done more, but I’m still happy with the results. I did more/better than what I was expecting one year ago.
In the personal life, besides the long awaited vacations in Portugal, all the other events where caused by work or work related (look for job, move to canada, trip to NY).
While I was trying to create a stored procedure in my DB2 Express-C windows installation, I got the following error message:
DB21034E The command was processed as an SQL statement because it was not a
valid Command Line Processor command. During SQL processing it returned:
SQL0219N The required Explain table "SCHEMA.EXPLAIN_INSTANCE" does not exist.
LINE NUMBER=16. SQLSTATE=42704
At first, this error message didn’t make much sense. Why would DB2 need to use the explain tables if I’m not running this command in the explain mode? Even doing a db2 set current explain mode no didn’t seem to help. But, creating the explain tables would solve the problem (you can create the explain tables by hand by runing db2 -tvf ~/SQLLIB/MISC/EXPLAIN.DDL). If creating the explain tables would solve the problem, it was because somehow, DB2 was running in the explain mode when creating the stored procedures.
Investigating the DB2 registry variables (db2set -all) I noticed the existence of the variable:
[i] DB2_SQLROUTINE_PREPOPTS=explain yes
A search for this term on DB2 documentation and the answer was found. The variable DB2_SQLROUTINE_PREPOPTS is used to specify the precompile and binding options for store procedures. After knowing that was the problem, the fix is easy. Just update the registry variable running db2set DB2_SQLROUTINE_PREPOPTS="explain no".
Note: Since this is an instance level variable, the changes will only make effect after you restart your DB2 instance. Just run db2stop and db2start and you’re good to go!