| Craig S. Mullins Articles (older)
1999 and Prior
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1999
XML Marks the Spot
Database Trends, December 1999.
XML is getting a lot of publicity these days and if you believe everything you read, XML is the panacea that will solve all of our problems. This article take a look at the reality of XML within the context of data management.
Linux and the
of an eDBA.
What's In A
in SQL Server
The IT Skills
Mixing DB2 and
The PDA DBA
Warehousing Guidelines for DB2
and the Procedural DBA
What is Knowledge and Can It Be
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1998
Managing and Improving the IT Infrastructure
Computing News & Review, December 1998.
In the past decade information technology has evolved from mainframe-only computing to complex, highly distributed computer systems that span every desktop and department across multiple regions, countries, and even continents. Distributed computing provides many benefits, but along with these benefits come significant challenges. This article discusses the significant difficulties involved in managing your applications, databases, desktops, networks, and systems in an integrated fashion, and suggests a solution.
Using Check Constraints To Simulate Domains
The Data Administration Newsletter, December 1998.
All of the popular RDBMS products provide table check constraints: Oracle, Informix, DB2, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server. Check constraints enable enhanced data integrity without requiring procedural logic (such as in stored procedures and triggers). This article examines the basics of database check constraints and discusses how they can be used to simulate a relational domain.
Storage Impact of Type 2 Indexes
DB2 Update, December 1998.
What is the storage impact of migrating to Type 2 indexes? The answer, not surprisingly, is "it depends!" There are quite a few differences between Type 1 and Type 2 indexes that impact storage. This article discusses these differences and gives recommendations.
Using Constraints in SQL Server
SQL Server Update, December 1998
Microsoft SQL Server provides many different types of relational constraints to help enforce data integrity. This article discusses the types of constraints (i.e.. referential, check, etc.) available and gives advice on how to implement them.
SQL Analysis and Review
Computing News and Review, November 1998.
A critical imperative for assuring efficient applications when relational databases are involved is a formal and thorough analysis and review of the SQL being used by the applications. This article discusses why this is so and provides guidance on how to accomplish effective SQL tuning.
The Pros and Cons of Procedural SQL
SQL Server Update, November 1998.
One of the biggest benefits of using a relational database management system is the ability of SQL to operate on sets of data with a single line of code. However, this very capability also limits SQL's functionality. Procedural dialects of SQL, such as Transact-SQL, used by Microsoft SQL Server, can overcome these limitations.
The Future of SQL
IDUG Solutions Journal, October 1998.
The future of SQL may be bright but its present is under fire. This article discusses the features of SQL that make it so compelling, the current perceived threats to SQL as a database access language, and what the future of SQL holds for SQL.
Evaluating DBA Tool Vendors
Computing News and Review, October 1998.
DBA tools are required by most organizations to ensure efficient and effective database applications. This article discusses what qualities to look for from vendors of such tools to make sure you get the appropriate level of quality, support, and functionality.
Dealing with Fragmentation and Disorganization
Oracle Update, October 1998.
With SQL data modification is easy using insert, update, and delete statements the RDBMS takes care of the actual data navigation and modification. But to accomplish this the RDBMS handles the physical placement and movement of data on disk. This can cause performance problems due to suboptimal data organization. This article discusses the need for reorganization of Oracle data structures due to fragmentation and disorganization.
Preparing for DB2 Version 6
DB2 Update, October 1998.
DB2 Version 6 is scheduled for a June 1999 general availability date from IBM. This new release includes many new and exciting features, but the most important item for every DB2 shop is to understand what is not in this new release. For the first time IBM is removing features from DB2 that can impact your production applications and DB2 subsystems. This article examines each of the features to be removed.
Character Versus Numeric Data Types
DB2 Update, October 1998.
Most DBAs have faced the situation in which a code is required to identify products, accounts, or some other business object, and the code values are always numeric and will stay that way. This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using character and numeric data types in this situation.
Referential Integrity in Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server Update, October 1998.
This article analyzes the referential integrity (RI) features provided by Microsoft SQL Server. RI is examined from a conceptual level first, and then from a practical, implementation oriented viewpoint. The DDL necessary to create tables using declarative RI is discussed as is using triggers to implement complete referential integrity.
Defining Database Performance
Computing News and Review, September 1998.
DBAs are accustomed to dealing with database performance problems. But before you can implement a truly successful database performance management plan, you need to define what is meant by "database performance." This short article provides a basic definition.
Java: Hype or Hope?
IDUG Solutions Journal, August 1998.
So you've heard that Java is going to transform the world of IT? But do you understand its import and impact on database management? This article tries to slice through the hype surrounding Java by investigating what Java means to the world of DB2 for OS/390.
Data Warehousing Guidelines for DB2
Enterprise Systems Journal, August 1998.
More and more organizations are building their data warehouses using DB2 for OS/390 because of the scalability, reliability, and robust architecture that it provides. You can use the following guidelines as rules of thumb when you're designing, implementing, and using your DB2-based data warehouse.
Computing News and Review, August 1998.
Does it seem that every time you finally catch up with the latest industry acronyms and buzzwords, another batch of them suddenly appear? In the business of IT this feeling is probably more common than in most. This article takes a humorous look at the increasing number of confusing acronyms computer users face on a daily basis.
Software Scrubbing Bubbles
Computing News and Review, July 1998.
As database management becomes more and more complex, organizations need to offload DBA tasks to the computer. This requires proactive, intelligent database administration software that acts as a sort of software scrubbing bubble. You remember that old commercial where the scrubbing bubbles clean the bathtub the bubbles "work hard so you dont have to!" In this case, the computerized DBA tools work hard so the DBAs don't have to.
Accessing DB2 Over the Internet
DB2 Update, June 1998.
This short article provides an overview of the technology required to access data from DB2 for OS/390 over the web.
Finding DB2 Information Using the Internet
DB2 Update, June 1998.
There is a wealth of DB2 information accessible via the Internet... if you know where to look for it. This article focuses specifically on sources of DB2 information available online through the Internet. It covers web sites, mailing lists, newsgroups, and more. Useful for all DB2 users.
The Procedural DBA
Oracle Update, June 1998.
As Oracle advances into the object/relational age, more application code is being stored in the database. This may take the form of a stored procedure, a trigger, a user-defined function, or a data cartridge. Regardless of the form, a proper methodology for handling these server code objects must be established to effectively administer application code that is stored in the database. This article discusses these new code-based objects from an Oracle perspective and suggests a useful re-definition of the role of a DBA in this changing environment.
Tools for a Comprehensive Database Environment Part 1, Part 2
The Data Administration Newsletter, June 1998, September 1998.
The administration and maintenance of database applications is time-consuming if you use only the standard features of the DBMS. Fortunately, many tools that enhance the functionality of relational database management systems are available from third party vendors. Be sure to read both parts of this two part article to cover all of the tools addressing database management and administration.
Wanted: New Type of DBA
Computing News and Review, June 1998.
Modern database management systems are engineered to manage not just data, but application logic as well. The logic may take the form of triggers, stored procedures, user-defined functions, constraints, and complex object. In order to effectively manage the modern DBMS, a new type of DBA is required. This article discusses the new roles required of DBAs in this changing environment.
The Most Important Thing is Performance
Computing News and Review, May 1998.
With any database application the issue that will cause the most trouble for DBAs is performance. This article focuses on the types of database performance problems you may encounter and ways to analyze, monitor, and tune the database for optimal performance.
DB2 and the Year 2000
DB2 Update, May 1998.
Ensuring Year 2000 compliance is a pervasive issue throughout the IT industry. Yet, there are many aspects to ensuring this compliance, especially for DBMSs like DB2 for OS/390. This article addresses the year 2000 crisis as it impacts DB2 from various perspectives including administration and development, data administration, staffing, performance and tools.
The Age of the VHDB
Computing News and Review, April 1998.
Databases are growing in size and the increased volume of data complicates database administration. This article discusses the pace of database growth and how to manage in the VHDB (Very Huge Database).
Finding Oracle Information on the Internet
Oracle Update, April 1998.
The IT world is increasingly becoming an online world. Instead of relying on unresponsive support lines or the over-worked local expert, try using the resources outlined in the article for answers to your Oracle questions.
Data Warehouse Administration: The Challenges Never Stop
IDUG Solutions Journal, March 1998.
The issues that DBAs face when they manage and monitor a data warehouse are both similar to, yet distinct from, typical database administration. This article discusses some of the differences DBAs will encounter as they administer data warehouse databases.
Death Valley Days for the DBMS?
Computing News and Review, March 1998.
Some of the major DBMS vendors have felt the sting of bad news, but does this mean that the days of rapid growth for adopting and using databases has passed? This article discusses the landscape for DBMS tools in the wake of recent news.
Changes to the System Catalog for DB2 Version 5
DB2 Update, March 1998.
With each new release of DB2, IBM modifies and tunes the system catalog and directory structures. This is done for many reasons including the addition of new features and to make old features more efficient. This article provides an overview of the changes and additions made to the DB2 catalog to support Version 5. Most useful for performance analysts and DBAs.
What's In A Name: Database Naming Standards
The Data Administration Newsletter, March 1998.
Establishing and enforcing naming conventions requires significant thought and preparation to ensure success. What amount of effort should be extended in the creation of appropriate database naming standards? This article discusses the issues. Useful for DBAs and database designers.
Data Warehouse and Data Mart Administration
Computing News and Review, February 1998.
Sometimes people forget that a data warehouse is a special-purpose database and databases require administration. This article discusses the twists that data warehousing puts on database administration.
Openness Complicates Database Management
Computing Canada, January 26, 1998.
As organizations implement heterogeneous database management systems and use the DBMS for an increasing number of purposes, complications accrue. This short article discusses this complexity and provides some tips on how to manage it.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1997
This article is an excerpt from my book, DB2 Developer's Guide. It covers the section on DDL guidelines and naming conventions for DB2 objects.
The Oracle Environment.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1996
Stored Procedure Guidelines for DB2.
DB2 Magazine, Winter 1996.
Both of the major implementations of DB2 (DB2 for MVS and DB2 for Common Servers) provide support for stored procedures. In this article, I discuss tips and tricks for implementing useful stored procedures, as well as guidelines for proper stored procedure administration. Most useful for programmers, analysts, and DBAs.
Managing Systems in the Age of the Web.
PLATINUM Edge, September 1996.
As the web and Internet computing become pervasive, the way we manage information systems will need to adapt to include web technology. This article discusses the many ramifications of this oncoming change.
Optimizing DB2 Outer Joins.
DB2 Update, August 1996.
Although coding outer joins in DB2 may appear to be straightforward, there are techniques that can be used to optimize their performance. This article discusses several ideas to aid outer join performance. Most useful for SQL developers and application programmers.
Enterprise Systems Journal, July 1996.
As SQL migrates from a query-only language to a procedural language, understanding the basics of procedural SQL will become an intrinsic component of the database professional's job. This article discusses the impact of procedural logic on SQL. Useful for anyone using SQL and RDBMS technology.
Distributed Query Optimization. [Adobe Acrobat Format - PDF]
Technical Support, July, 1996.
Distributing data using RDBMS technology is quite popular, but few current products enable distributed joins and those that do are not efficient. This article discusses the challenges of distributed querying and table joining.
Security Enhancements in DB2 V4.
DB2 Update, June 1996.
Several useful security and authorization techniques were introduced to DB2 with Version 4. This article discusses these features and their impact on DB2. Most useful for DBAs and security analysts.
Using Variable Character Data in DB2.
DB2 Update, June 1996.
Database designers frequently run into trouble when deciding whether or not to implement DB2 tables with variable character columns. This article briefly discusses the "pros and cons" of VARCHAR and provides some useful SQL statements to monitor the effectiveness of variable vs. fixed columns. Useful for database designer, performance analysts, and DBAs.
Storing Procedural Logic in the Database.
Sybase Technical Journal, Spring/Summer 1996.
Sybase pioneered the concept of storing procedural logic within a database using stored procedures and triggers. Increasingly, organizations are adopting this technique within their client/server applications. This article offers guidelines and examples of how and when to effectively use and administer server code objects using Sybase SQL Server. Most useful for programmers, analysts, and DBAs.
Tools for a Comprehensive DB2 Environment.
IDUG Solutions Journal, Issue 2, 1996.
Although DB2 for MVS, as offered by IBM, is a complete, full-function RDBMS, users quickly realize that the functionality to adequately support large-scale database development is not provided by DB2 alone. This article examines the burgeoning DB2 add-on product market identifying key product categories and their benefits. Useful for all DB2 users.
Industry Trends Impacting Database Administration.
Computing News and Review, May 1996.
As the IS organization evolves from one of centralized control to an open, heterogeneous environment, the role of database administration necessarily expands. This brief article provides an overview of the DBMS industry. The article highlights pervasive trends (data warehousing, data mining, OO, the Internet) and discusses how these trends impact database administration. Useful for all database professionals.
DB2 Version 4 Catalog Revisions.
DB2 Update, April 1996.
With each new release of DB2, IBM modifies and tunes the system catalog and directory structures. This is done for many reasons including the addition of new features and to make old features more efficient. This article provides an overview of the changes and additions made to the DB2 catalog to support Version 4. Most useful for performance analysts and DBAs.
Although data warehouses are currently
all the rage, few professionals consider the problems that "dirty
data" can cause for a warehousing project.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1995
Gathering DB2 Information in Cyberspace.
Enterprise Systems Journal, December 1995.
Finding information using on-line services can be a daunting task for the "newbie." This article focuses specifically on sources of DB2 information available on-line through the Internet, CompuServe, and other on-line services. Useful for all DB2 users.
The Procedural DBA.
Database Programming & Design, December 1995.
More and more DBMS vendors are providing methods of including application code into the DBMS (in addition to the data). A proper methodology for handling these server code objects (triggers, stored procedures, check constraints, etc.) must be observed in order to effectively administer this change. This article discusses these new code-based objects and suggests a useful re-definition of the role of a DBA in this changing environment. Useful for all RDBMS users.
DB2 V4 Outer Join Basics.
DB2 Update, October 1995.
Coding a DB2 SQL outer join used to be difficult and complex. However, DB2 Version 4 provides in-depth support for outer joins. This article discusses these features. Useful for all DB2 users.
Referential Integrity in SYBASE SQL Server 10.
Relational Database Journal, Sept-Oct 1995.
Details the manner in which SYBASE supports referential integrity (RI). Covers declarative RI and trigger-supported RI. Useful for all SYBASE users.
An Introduction to the Architecture of DB2 for OS/2.
PLATINUM Edge, September 1995.
An in-depth analysis of the architecture and composition of Version 2 of DB2 for OS/2. Fourth in a four part series. Useful for all users of DB2 for OS/2. Reprinted in the March 1996 edition of DB2 Update.
DB2 V4 In-Line Views.
DB2 Update September 1995.
The ability to specify a SELECT statement in place of a table name in the FROM clause of a SQL statement is a major benefit provided by DB2 Version 4. This article discusses how to code these in-line views. Useful for all DB2 users.
Distributed Query Optimization.
IDUG Solutions Journal, July-Sept. 1995.
Distributing data using RDBMS technology is quite popular, but few current products enable distributed joins-and those that do are not efficient. This article discusses the challenges of distributed querying and table joining.
An Introduction to the Architecture of ORACLE.
PLATINUM Edge, Summer 1995.
An in-depth analysis of the architecture and composition of ORACLE7. Third in a four part series. Useful for all ORACLE and RDBMS users. Co-authored with Christopher T. Foot.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1993
DB2 Version 3: A Closer Look (Part 2).
PLATINUM SYSJOURNAL, Winter '93.
Second part of a multi-part series exploring the implementation considerations surrounding the new features of DB2 Version 3. This article discusses hiperpool support and Query I/O Parallelism. Useful for DBAs, Technical Support, and anyone who designs DB2 databases.
The Object-Oriented Tutorial Series: Part IV. "Making Object Relational Successful"
Data Management Review, December 1993.
Delineates the components of OO technology that will need to be "merged" with relational technology to produce a new technology dubbed Object Relational. Useful for all technical audiences. (Last in the OO series)
Preparing for DB2 Design Reviews.
DB2 Update, December 1993.
Outlines the seven design review phases that can be implemented over the course of a DB2 application development project. Each phase is documented detailing what needs to be accomplished at the review and who should attend it. Useful for all DB2 users.
Denormalization Techniques for DB2 Tables.
Relational Database Journal, November 1993 - January 1994.
Discusses techniques for denormalizing DB2 tables for performance. Several reasons for denormalizing are presented after which techniques for accomplishing that type of denormalization are outlined. Also elaborates on administrative issues and re-analyzing denormalization decisions as systems change. Useful for all DB2 users.
DB2 Version 3: A Closer Look (Part 1).
PLATINUM SYSJOURNAL, Fall 1993.
First part of a multi-part series exploring the implementation considerations surrounding the new features of DB2 Version 3. This article discusses data compression and extended buffer pool support. Useful for DBAs, Technical Support, and anyone who designs DB2 databases.
A BASE for CASE.
Data Management Review, September 1993.
Opinion piece on the state of CASE in the early 1990's. Discusses CASE integration issues and human factors. Useful for all audiences.
How DB2 2.3 Impacts EDM Pool Size.
DB2 Update, September 1993.
General purpose article on the impact of DB2 V2.3 on the size of the EDM Pool. Useful for intermediate to advanced DB2 users. Originally published in IDUG Globe, January 1993.
Preparing for DB2 Version 3 Buffer pools.
DB2 Today, August 1993.
A very short synopsis of solutions for implementing a buffer pool strategy to exploit the 60 buffer pools available in DB2 Version 3. Intended audience is intermediate level DBAs and technical support.
The Object-Oriented Tutorial Series: Part III: "Object vs. Relational"
Data Management Review, August 1993.
Provides a comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of ODBMS and RDBMS. Useful for all technical audiences.
The Buffer Pool: DB2 Tips, Thoughts, and Rumors (column).
Relational Database Journal, August - October 1993.
This is the second installment of a regular column discussing DB2 tips, tricks, and techniques. Useful for all DB2 users.
DB2 Tips & Techniques: DB2 Data Set Placement.
PLATINUM SYSJOURNAL, Summer 1993.
DBA-oriented article on DB2 data set placement. Covers system catalog, logs, table spaces, and indexes. Useful for beginning to intermediate DB2 shops.
DB2 Organizational Issues: It's Here, But Now What?
Data Management Review, July 1993.
In-depth article on political and organizational issues that will be encountered as shops embrace DB2. Useful for DBAs, managers, technical support, and programmer/analysts. Targeted toward new DB2 shops.
The Doors to DB2. (cover story)
DB2 Today, May 1993.
Discusses the teleprocessing monitor choices for DB2 application development. (i.e. CICS, IMS/DC, TSO, and CAF). Geared toward new and intermediate level DBAs, technical support, and programmer/analysts.
The Object-Oriented Tutorial Series: Part II: "An Object Oriented Tutor"
Data Management Review, May 1993.
General discussion of object-oriented terminology. Useful for all audiences.
How DB2 V2.3 Will Affect Your Standards.
DB2 Update, May 1993.
This article discusses DB2 standards development and maintenance and the impact of a new release of DB2 on shop standards. Useful for all DB2 users - beginning to advanced.
The Buffer Pool: DB2 Tips, Thoughts, and Rumors (column).
Relational Database Journal, May - July 1993.
This is the first installment of a regular column discussing DB2 tips, tricks, and techniques. Sort of like Andy Rooney becomes a DBA! Useful for all DB2 users.
The Databases of Our Lives.
PLATINUM SYSJOURNAL, April 1993.
Humorous discussion of DB2 trends and directions. Probably DBAs and tech support personnel will find this article most interesting, but P/As might also find it useful.
The Object Oriented Tutorial Series: Part I: "To ODB or Not To ODB, That Is The Question"
Data Management Review, February 1993.
General discussion of object-oriented terminology. Useful for all audiences.
A Critical Look at the DB2 Catalog (Parts I and II)
Technical Support, January 1993 and February 1993.
A technical article digging into the internals and structure of the DB2 Catalog. Mostly for intermediate to advanced DBAs and systems programmers. Many changes to the DB2 Catalog since V3 have caused much of this article to become outdated. Still, from an historical perspective, as well as from an academic design review and analysis perspective, this article may be of some interest.
How DB2 V2.3 Impacts EDM Pool Size.
IDUG Globe, January 1993.
General purpose article on the impact of DB2 V2.3 on the size of the EDM Pool. Useful for intermediate to advanced DB2 users.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1992
Technical Tips for Users of DB2 V2.3.
PLATINUM SYSJOURNAL, September 1992.
Basic tips and tricks for V2.3. Most of these tips are still useful as of DB2 V4. Geared mostly for DBAs and programmers.
The Future of DB2 Security (Parts I and II).
Data Management Review, July 1992 and August 1992.
This is a "blue sky" type article containing my wish list for DB2 security features, some of which have been subsequently implemented by IBM. Written for all DB2 users.
Craig Mullins: Articles Published in 1991 and Earlier
Dynamic SQL For DB2.
Enterprise Systems Journal, December 1991.
Contains in-depth discussion of each type of dynamic SQL supported by DB2. Oriented toward intermediate to advanced programmer/analyst types. Should also interest DBAs who have to support dynamic SQL applications.
One View Per Base Table? Don't Do It!
Database Programming & Design, February 1991.
Designed to provoke thought, this has probably been my most commented-upon article. It provides reasons why DB2 shops should avoid using base table views. Useful for all levels of DB2 users - but probably most beneficial for new DB2 users (to help them avoid making a costly mistake).
Mastering Disaster Recovery.
Database Programming & Design, January 1991.
This article discusses DB2 disaster recovery techniques and approaches as of DB2 V2.3. Many of the techniques are still applicable as of DB2 V4. Useful for all DB2 users - beginning to advanced.
DBA Shoptalk: Dusting Off The Database.
Database Programming & Design, August 1990.
Outlines Mellon Bank's usage of DB2 circa 1990. There is probably not much general interest in this article at this late date, but it is an interesting period piece discussing the "data technology" division of a large commercial bank at the beginning of the 1990's.
DB2 V2.2: A Few More Bells & Whistles.
Database Programming & Design, June 1990.
An overview of DB2 V2.2 features. Of limited historical interest only.
Effective DB2 Object Monitoring Using The DB2 Catalog.
Mainframe Journal, May 1990.
Although this is an old article, it is still useful as of DB2 V4. Though some of the DB2 Catalog tables have changed (necessitating tweaking the SQL in the article), the approaches outlined are still useful. Geared toward beginning to intermediate DB2 users.
© 2010, 1999 Craig S. Mullins, All rights reserved.