DB2 Install Continued

So I am in the middle of installing IBM DB2 for Windows on my workstation. And it asks me to name my DB2 Copy. Does that make any sense at all? The install just says that this is the place where products are installed. Does that mean the directory where the DB2 executable is? Or are we talking where the data for instances/databases is located? I decided to just accept the default values. Let's hope I made a good choice.

The install allowed me to choose the name of a new user on my machine for the DB2 Administration Server (DAS). A little check mark on the bottom of that page enabled me to use this same user for the rest of the DB2 services. That seemed a bit sneaky. But maybe this is the most common configuration. Again, I accepted the default choices.

Now here is where I got into some trouble. I chose a password for the DAS user. I kept getting an error message that the password was too short. This happened even for one that was 12 characters long. OK. So I typed in the mother of all passwords. The result? Password too long. WTF? Knowing a little about password policies from other databases and operating systems, I decided as a last resort to try a password that was stronger (upper/lower case, numbers, etc). That one worked. Time for IBM to debug their install software a little more?

Another part of the installation that threw me was setting up notifications. I wanted the database to e-mail me when some things went wrong. But I needed to provide an unauthenticated SMTP Server. Hey. I am not a system administrator. And although I have company e-mail, I am sure those servers are authenticated. So I had to skip this option. Bummer. Even a quick search on Google did not give me a lead to install a free SMTP Server on my workstation.

A feature I initially liked was the ability to create the DB2ADMNS and DB2USERS groups on my workstation. I figured this would give me control over who could do what. But it turns out it was not that easy. When I tried to use Windows to add myself to these groups, I needed to enter a user name and password for someone who could administer the domain I was on to complete the task. Again, I am not a sys admin. I started to think I would never get the access needed to use my own database. Then I recalled a trick from somewhere. I gave "Everyone" access to these two groups. A hack but let's hope it works. You would think I should be able to add a user from a domain to my local workstation group without being an administrator of the domain. Might have to issue a trouble ticket to Microsoft on this problem.

Another regret I had during the install was that I did not have Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 installed already. Part of the IBM DB2 install allowed you to install IBM DB2 Add-Ins to VS2005. Too bad. Let's hope I can figure out how to write Visual Studio app which connect to DB2 without the Add-Ins.

Installing DB2

My company provides me with a PC to do things like checking company e-mail. This PC is separate from the secure one on which I do work for our client. I figure the company PC is the best place to install a practice version of IBM DB2. It also helps that my company PC has a huge hard drive with not much on it.

I also have access in my company to a lot of technical books online. One in particular titled "Understanding DB2" has helped guide me along my first DB2 install. It pointed me to "setup.exe". Of course I should have known that was the app to run for installation.

Checking the requirements for DB2, I counted myself lucky that my work computer had Windows XP Professional installed. My home PC does not have Professional so it is probably not ready to host DB2. One troubling part of the install was when I clicked on a link to see the DB2 Disk and Memory Requirements. This led me to a web page that stated "The topic that you have requested is not available." Lucky I am not a paying customer of IBM yet. Otherwise my confidence would be dropping at this point.

One nice thing about the DB2 project (and maybe any other IBM ones) is that there are APARs which document known issues. Now that sounds professional and well tracked. I did need to make some hard choices for the install. For example, I had a number of DB2 versions to choose from:
  • Enterprise Server
  • Workgroup Server
  • Express
  • Personal Edition
All I was looking for was something for myself which was not too crippled. But the right choice was not intuitively obvious. My DB2 book helped guide me to Personal Edition. This version does not allow connections from other computers, which is fine for me. OK now let me take the plunge and install this thing.

The Leap to DB2

These days it seems that database companies give away their software for free to developers. This good will comes back to them when a developer can influence the choice of databases at work where the company might shell out big bucks for the project. Imagine my surprise when I found out that IBM does not give free database licenses to developers. Strange indeed.

Well at least IBM has a try before you buy program. I have 90 days from when I install DB2 until I have to pay for the thing. So I figure I might as well get the latest and biggest version they have. The download was 500 Meg. And wouldn't you know it? IBM made me register to even qualify for the download. This is not feeling too developer friendly.

I unzipped the DB2 installation file and it created a whole hierarchy of directories. Not exactly sure where to start. Guess it is time to read some documentation. Or I could click one of these executables in one of the directories. Good luck to me.

New to IBM

My current project is ending in one month. The next project is going to be something new for me. It is programming for the IBM z/OS and DB2 database. Both of these are new to me. So I am starting this blog to chronicle my introduction to the tool set that IBM provides to developers.

Some programming friends of mine who are mainframe developers have told me that I am finally going to do some real work now. I guess my old job of PC application software does not count. Good thing I have a lot of experience. So I do not think a new environment should take too long to learn.

The first step will most likely be to get familiar to the DB2 database. I have done Informix, Microsoft SQL*Server, and a whole lot of Oracle. How much different could it be?