CA Packs Value Into DB2 Tools

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-02-03 Print this article Print

Computer Associates International Inc. is consolidating a line of database utilities and bundling it for free with an upgrade to its Unicenter Database Management for DB2 for z/OS and OS/390.

Computer Associates International Inc. is consolidating a line of database utilities and bundling it for free with an upgrade to its Unicenter Database Management for DB2 for z/OS and OS/390.

CA Value Pack for DB2, which is being announced this week along with the Unicenter upgrade, streamlines and automates database tasks, according to officials at CA, in Islandia, N.Y. It does this by giving database administrators the ability to manage referential integrity, change system parameters known as Zparms, terminate threads, process scripts and DB2 commands, and establish alternate catalogs.

Value Pack is good news for IT wallets, but committing to a broad suite of tools from a single vendor could be scary for some database tool shoppers, said Sheryl Larsen, president of Midwest Database Users Group, in Chicago.

"Its going to increase the value, since its only one license. For sites that are just now getting into purchasing tools, this is an easy way to get a whole bundle with just a minimum purchase," Larsen said.

On the flip side, "none of the vendors suites look like they map to each other," Larsen said. "It will take [DBAs] a little longer to go shopping, but once they do, theyll find the market has pushed vendors to really" take into account users return on investment.

Unicenter Database Management for DB2 for z/OS and OS/390 itself is a family of tools used for performance management, database administration, and backup and recovery of DB2 databases. One enhancement provides the ability to archive in Unicenter RC Extract. This enables administrators to shrink a sluggish database by picking off inactive customers and archiving all their relevant data, CA officials said.

Larsens interest was piqued by enhancements to Unicenter Subsystem Analyzer, which now identifies frequently used DB2 objects so DBAs can take a proactive performance analysis approach by quickly linking to Unicenter Index Expert to optimize the indexes on these objects.

"The DBA can get transaction execution frequency statistics through a link to Unicenter Detector and start creating an intelligent index suite for the workload before a severe problem occurs," Larsen said. That capability will ease the time-consuming task of index analysis, she said.

An enhancement to Unicenter Rapid Reorg provides online reorganization capabilities. Unicenter Database Administration now enables DBAs to scale maintenance to very large environments, officials said.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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