CA Packs Value Into DB2 Tools

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-02-03

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.

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