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Craig’s Published Articles.

Articles and Columns Published in 2016


For more details on database systems visit:

> Earlier articles

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 relational DBMS overview.
SearchDataManagement, December 5, 2016.

One in a series of DBMS platform product overviews produced in association with my seven part series on database
management systems for TechTarget. This one focuses on Microsoft SQL Server 2016.

Modernizing Database Administration with Autonomics.
Database Trends and Applications, December 1, 2016.

This month’s DBA Corner takes a look at how autonomics can help  DBAs manage as more data and different types of
database systems must be managed with fewer skilled professionals.

What Does a DBA Do? 22 Responsisilities - Part 2.
datAvail Blog, December 1, 2016.

Part 2 of a 2-part post outlining the job responsibilities of database administrators (DBAs).

A look at the EnterpriseDB Postgres data management platform.
SearchDataManagement
, November 30, 2016.

One in a series of DBMS platform product overviews produced in association with my seven part series on database
management systems for TechTarget. This one is on EnterpriseDB and PostgreSQL.

Inside the Amazon DynamoDB NoSQL cloud database as a service.
SearchDataManagement
, November 28, 2016.

One in a series of DBMS platform product overviews produced in association with my seven part series on database
management systems for TechTarget. This one is on Amazon DynamoDB.

DB2 Performance Monitoring Overview.
datAvail Blog, November 17, 2016.

An introduction to the basics of DB2 performance monitors and monitoring essentials.

The Ten (Database) Commandments.
TDAN, November 16, 2016.

A look at the ten commandments if they were written by a DBA.

Navicat: A Helpful Toolkit for DBAs.
Database Trends and Applications, November 9, 2016.

This month’s DBA Corner takes a look at an award-winning toolkit for DBAs, examining its features and functionality.

What Does a DBA Do? 22 Responsisilities - Part 1.
datAvail Blog, November 6, 2016.

Part 1 of a 2-part post outlining the job responsibilities of database administrators (DBAs).

Legacy Systems of the Future.
DirectionIT Magazine, October 2016.

DB2 performance can be improved by coding SQL correctly and efficiently from the beginning. This article offers up some tips on creating good SQL for optimal performing DB2 applications.

An Overview of Today’s Leading DBMS Platforms.
datAvail Blog, October 27, 2016.

A summary of a series of DBMS overview for 14 leading operational DBMSes with links to product descriptions and a 7-part
series of articles on how to review and select a DBMS.

Using Extended Indicator Variables in DB2 for z/OS.
Toad World, October 20, 2016.

Extended indicator variables can simplify your DB2 application coding efforts.

How Many DBAs?
datAvail Blog, October 20, 2016.

It can be difficult to determine how many DBAs are needed to support your database environment. How do you figure out how many DBAs you need?  This article offers up some guidance.

DBA as a Management Discipline.
datAvail Blog, October 12, 2016.

DBAs are a valuable resource. Indeed, sometimes the only source of database management and development knowledge within the organization is the DBA. But the job of database administration is sometimes handled with little forethought or planning.

Designing for Batch Database Applications.
Database Trends and Applications, October 7, 2016.

Sure, the online, web-facing apps get all the press coverage, but there is still a big need for batch processing in today’s modern organization. This month’s edition of the DBA Corner discusses options for improving the design of your batch programs.

The Importance of Database Design Reviews.
datAvail Blog, September 29, 2016.

Design reviews are an important facet of the system development lifecycle for database applications. This article outlines the different types of design reviews elaborating on why they are necessary, who should participate, and when they should be conducted.

DBA Roles & Responsibilities: Constantly Changing.
datAvail Blog, September 27, 2016.

One of the biggest challenges I see these days for DBAs is the ongoing redefinition of their job roles and responsibilities.
What can DBAs do to keep up?

Use a Little SQL Magic to Clean Up Your Data.
Toad World, September 26, 2016.

Advice on using SQL for data cleansing.

Business Eye for the DBA Guy.
datAvail Blog, September 22, 2016.

Heads-down DBAs who know technology, but not their company’s business, soon will be on the endangered species list. This piece discusses the importance of business knowledge to the DBA.

Data Modeling Concepts Every DBA Should Know.
datAvail Blog, September 20, 2016.

Although the job of the DBA is primarily involved with the physical management and administration of the database system and how it is accessed, knowledge of the logical side of database design - data modeling - is an important aspect of the job, too.

Introduction to Database Design: From Logical to Physical.
datAvail Blog, September 8, 2016.

This post introduces the most important aspects of logical and physical database design for DBAs.

Big Data Guidance for Relational DBAs.
Database Trends and Applications, September 2, 2016.

As big data and analytics projects continue to redefine the data management landscape, this month’s edition of the DBA Corner offers up some guidance to long-time relational DBAs for dealing with the big data phenomenon.

How to Evaluate DBA Tool Vendors.
Toad World, August 22, 2016.

This article offers a series of questions to pose to vendors as you evaluate their DBA tools.

Improving IT Security with Database Auditing Techniques.
Database Trends and Applications, August 4, 2016.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column discusses the importance of database auditing and examines several different techniques for auditing activity in your database systems.

A look inside the SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer.
SearchDataManagement
, July 22, 2016.

The eighth of a series on database performance management vendors; produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers SolarWinds.

An overview of Dell's database performance management tools.
SearchDataManagement
, July 21, 2016.

Seventh in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers Dell Software (Toad).

Inside IBM's Data Server Manager and other database performance tools.
SearchDataManagement
, July 21, 2016.

Sixth in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers IBM.

Hashing and Hash-Organized Tables in DB2.
Toad World, July 19, 2016.

An overview of how and why you might want to implement hashing for DB2 tables.

When Not to Index.
datAvail Blog, July 19, 2016.

Most of the time you will want to add indexes to optimize access to your DB2 tables… but sometimes it makes sense to avoid creating any indexes. This article discusses when to avoid indexing.

New Trends in Database Administration.
Database Trends and Applications, July 12, 2016.

This month’s edition of the DBA Corner column takes a look at the changes and industry trends impacting the role of the DBA.

Exploring Bradmark Technologies' database performance monitoring tools.
SearchDataManagement
, July 8, 2016.

Fifth in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers Bradmark Technologies.

Exploring the features of Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c.
SearchDataManagement
, July 8, 2016.

Fourth in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers Oracle Corporation’s OEM.

Inside IDERA’s database performance manaement and optimization tools.
SearchDataManagement
, July 7, 2016.

Third in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers IDERA.

Inside BMC’s database performance tools for DB2 for z/OS.
SearchDataManagement
, July 6, 2016.

Second in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers BMC Software.

Database performance management requires keen attention.
SearchDataManagement, June 29, 2016.

I wrote part 1 of this multi-part handbook on database performance issues and tools.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 6 (Autonomics).
BMC Blog, June 24, 2016

Part 6 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications. This post focuses on the growing importance of autonomics on management and administration.

Tips on selecting the right database performance tools.
SearchDataManagement, June 23, 2016.

Part 4 in a four part series on database performance tools, this one providing advice on matching your needs and requirements to specific database performance providers and tools.

Using DB2 SQL Functions to Count the Number of Character Occurrences.
Toad World, June 22, 2016.

Did you know that you can use a couple of DB2 functions to count the number of times a specific character appears in a text column?

Examining the functions and features of database performance tools.
SearchDataManagement, June 17, 2016.

Part 3 in a four part series on database performance tools, this one looking at the core functionality to expect for each category of performance tool.

Sequence Objects and Identity Columns.
datAvail Blog, June 14, 2016.

A frequent design request for database applications is for a column that contains sequentially generated numbers. DB2 for z/OS offers two ways of doing this: sequence objects and identity columns. This post examines the pros and cons of each.

The Importance of Keeping Your DBMS Up-to-Date.
Database Trends and Applications, June 9, 2016.

It can be difficult to keep your DBMS software updated to the current release and version, but not doing so can cause security and operational issues. This month’s DBA Corner column looks into these issues.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 5 (SQL and Development Trends).
BMC Blog, June 9, 2016

Part 5 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications. This post focuses on application development trends and changes.

Three indicators that could signal database performance issues.
SearchDataManagement, June 8, 2016.

Part 2 in a four part series on tools and utilities for managing the performance of databases and database applications.

The Two Biggest DB2 Performance “Things”.
datAvail Blog, June 7, 2016.

Although DB2 performance is a complex subject, this article examines what I think are the two biggest things you need to get control of to keep DB2 and SQL performance in check.

Inside CA Technolgoies’ database performance management products.
SearchDataManagement
, June 3, 2016.

First in my series of database performance management vendor overviews produced in association with my four part series on database performance products for TechTarget. This one covers CA Technologies.

The Nexus of Forces Impacts the Mainframe, Too.
Planet Mainframe, May 26, 2016.

Gartner’s Nexus of Forces does a good job of describing the changing dynamics of digital business… and it applies to the mainframe just as much as it applies to all computing environments.

A Quick Intro to DB2 SQL Functions.
datAvail Blog, May 18, 2016.

Functions can save a developer a lot of coding work. But many developers are unaware of the many functions available in DB2’s SQL. This article offers up an introduction to the benefits of using functions in your SQL statements.

DB2 – What’s in a Name?
Toad World, May 18, 2016.

When you say “DB2” which one are you talking about? This article talks about the differences between the DB2s and the importance of specifying which DB2 you mean when you say “DB2.”

What You Need to Know About Database Performance Software.
SearchDataManagement
, May 12, 2016.

Part 1 in a four part series on tools and utilities for managing the performance of databases and database applications.

On DB2 Naming Conventions.
datAvail Blog, May 12, 2016.

Naming conventions are a fundamental aspect of effective database administration. But you can make mistakes that will haunt your environment for years if you do not create reasonable, useful naming standards. Read this for guidance.

To REBIND or Not to REBIND.
datAvail Blog, May 11, 2016.

An examination and evaluation of the different mindsets on when to REBIND your DB2 application programs.  

The Importance of SLAs.
Database Trends and Applications, May 4, 2016.

Assuring optimal performance is one of the most frequently occurring tasks for DBAs, but without SLAs the task is quite difficult. This month’s DBA Corner column looks into service level agreements and why they are so important.

How to Tell Your Mom About the Mainframe.
Planet Mainframe, May 3, 2016.

How would you describe what a mainframe is to somebody who is not in the IT world?

Character Versus Numeric Data Types.
datAvail Blog, May 3, 2016.

Ever faced the situation in which a code is required to identify accounts or some other business object? And the code values are always numeric and will stay that way. Let’s investigate the pros and cons of using char and numeric data types in this situation.

What are NoSQL Databases?
TDAN, May 1, 2016.

There is a lot of activity and hype surrounding NoSQL database systems these days; this article describes the 4 types of NoSQL database systems and offers up some advice on their adoption.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 4 (Data Structures and Other DDL).
BMC Blog, April 29, 2016.

Part 4 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications. This post focuses on the various and sundry changes to DB2 data structures other than LOBs and UTSs.

The Mainframe Dilemma: Coping With an Aging Workforce.
Planet Mainframe, April 2016.

The mainframe continues to chug along even as those of us who manage it are aging. How can companies keep their mainframe infrastructure viable as the workforce retires?

Dynamic SQL and Performance.
datAvail Blog, April 21, 2016.

An overview of the issues and considerations involved in achieving good performance with DB2 dynamic SQL.

An Education in DB2.
Toad World, April 20, 2016.

Ensuring access to proper DB2 educational materials should be one of the first issues to be addressed after your organization decides to implement DB2. But education sometimes falls through the cracks...

How to Improve Database Security.
Database Trends and Applications, April 19, 2016.

Even though database security is receiving more attention and budget allocation these days, a better understanding of database security is still required. This month’s DBA Corner column offers up a discussion on database security topics and techniques.

Intelligent Automatic Reoptimization?
datAvail Blog, April 12, 2016.

A review of the REOPT parameter and the impact of its four (4) different options.

Craig Mullins Aims to Introduce Data Summit Attendees to Big Data Concepts.
Database Trends and Applications, April 8, 2016.

An interview with Database Trends & Applications about my presentation at the 2016 Data Summit conference on the topic of
Big Data for Relational Professionals.

Learning Metadata Through Music.
Toad World, March 28, 2016.

Metadata is an important, though sometimes confusing aspect of data management. This article provides a broad explanation
of metadata concepts using the metadata necessary to manage a digital music library.

The Most Important Things is Recoverability.
datAvail Blog, March 24, 2016.

Don’t confuse frequency with importance; being able to recover your databases is the most important DBA task.

Five factors to help select the right data warehouse product.
SearchDataManagement
, March 22, 2016.

Once you've decided to implement a data warehouse you need to choose the technology that's right for your organization. In part 4 of this 4 part series of articles, we take a look at leading data warehouse platforms and vendors.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 3 (Unstructured Data and LOBs).
BMC Blog, March 16, 2016

Part 3 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications. This post focuses on the growing importance of unstructured data and using DB2 LOBs to manage such data.

The DB2 Performance Advisor: What is Performance?
Planet Mainframe, March 2016.

Assuring optimal application and system performance is one of the most important goals of DB2 developers and DBAs. But even though tuning and monitoring are often daily tasks, a firm definition of “performance” remains elusive. This article attempts to provide a solid, high-level definition of database performance.

Selecting Every Other Row in DB2.
datAvail Blog, March 15, 2016.

A blog post answering a question from a reader on how to “get the odd and even number of rows from DB2 tables…”

Pivotal Greenplum streamlines big data query optimization.
SearchDataManagement
, March 11, 2016.

Ninth in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers Pivotal Greenplum data warehouse platform.

A Look Inside the SAP IQ column-oriented DBMS.
SearchDataManagement
, March 10, 2016.

Eighth in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers the SAP IQ columnar DBMS.

Examining the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse.
SearchDataManagement
, March 9, 2016.

Seventh in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse.

The Integrity of Your Data is of the Utmost Importance.
Database Trends and Applications, March 3, 2016.

A discussion on the different types of data integrity and its importance to your organization.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 2 (Universal Table Spaces).
BMC Blog, February 26, 2016

Part 2 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications. This post focuses on changes involving Universal table spaces.

DB2 Performance Advisor: SQL Tuning Basics.
DirectionIT Magazine, February 25, 2016.

DB2 performance can be improved by coding SQL correctly and efficiently from the beginning. This article offers up some tips on creating good SQL for optimal performing DB2 applications.

Evaluating the keys features of Data Warehouse Platforms.
SearchDataManagement
, February 24, 2016.

Choosing between the different types of data warehouse platforms can be difficult, but it becomes easier if you know the deployment options that best match your project requirements. In this third part of a 4 part series of articles, we examine the key features to look for in modern data warehouse platforms.

The History of DB2 for z/OS.
Toad World, February 23, 2016.

This post tracks the releases and functionality of DB2 for z/OS over time, starting with Version 1 more than 30 years ago…
all the way to the present (DB2 11, with DB2 12 in ESP).

IBM dashDB delivers with cloud data warehouse.
SearchDataManagement
, February 19, 2016.

Sixth in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers IBM’s dashDB DWaaS platform.

What to Expect from Oracle Exadata Database Machine.
SearchDataManagement
, February 18, 2016.

Fifth in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers Oracle’s Exadata Database Machine.

On Date Formats in DB2 - Part 2.
datAvail Blog, February 18, 2016.

A followup Q+A on storing dates in DB2 and a plea to use proper data types!

Examining the IBM PureData System for Analytics appliance.
SearchDataManagement
, February 16, 2016.

Fourth in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers IBM’s PureData analytics platform.

Using Data Models to Improve Development.
Database Trends and Applications, February 10, 2016.

Data models are for much more than creating a schema for your database. Properly used, they can improve the efficiency of your development team.

Exploring the Actian Analytics Platform.
SearchDataManagement
, February 9, 2016.

Third in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one covers the Actian Analytics Platform.

On Date Formats in DB2 - Part 1.
datAvail Blog, February 9, 2016.

A quick Q+A on date formats and displaying date data in DB2.

Exploring the HPE Vertica Analytics Platform.
SearchDataManagement
, February 8, 2016.

Second in my series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one is on Vertica from Hewlett Package Enterprise.

Big Data and the Mainframe: A Perfect Partnership.
Planet Mainframe, February 2016.

Mainframes are not often mentioned in big data articles and advertising, but they should be. This post explains why!

Exploring Amazon Redshift cloud data warehouse as a service.
SearchDataManagement
, January 28, 2016.

One in a series of data warehouse platform product overviews produced in association with my four part series on data warehousing for TechTarget. This one is on Amazon RedShift.

DB2 Date and Time Data.
datAvail Blog, January 26, 2016.

An overview of the benefits and issues when using DATE and TIME data types in DB2.

It’s Not Your Daddy’s DB2! - Part 1 (Industry and DBA Trends).
BMC Blog, January 19, 2016

Part 1 in a multi-part series on the changes that are impacting DB2 for z/OS and how that changes the way DBAs manage DB2 databases and applications.

DB2-L: The DB2 Mailing List.
Toad World, January 19, 2016

A quick introduction to the DB2 mailing list (hosted by the the International DB2 User Group (IDUG).

Expert Interview: Changing Roles for DBAs.
Syncsort Blog, January 13, 2016

Syncsort interviewed me on the changing role of the DBA including discussions on big data, analytics, metadata, ETL, MDM, IT budgets, and more.

Does the Title “DBA” Still Apply?
Database Trends and Applications, January 7, 2016.

What does it mean to be a DBA circa 2016? The job has morphed into more than just managing database structures.

Evaluating Your Need for a Data Warehouse Platform.
SearchDataManagement
, January 6, 2016.

Big data may be all the rage, but data warehouse platforms are still being utilized by companies of all sizes. In this second part
of a 4 part series of articles, we begin an exploration of the technology used for data warehousing circa 2016.



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