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DB2

Posted Apr 1, 2008

Understanding DB2: Learning Visually with Examples - Page 2

By DatabaseJournal.com Staff

1.2 The Role of DB2 in the Information On Demand World

IBM's direction or strategy is based on some key concepts and technologies:

On-Demand Business

Information On Demand (IOD)

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Web Services

XML

In this section we describe each of these concepts, and we explain where DB2 fits in the strategy.

1.2.1 On-Demand Business

We live in a complex world with complex computer systems where change is a constant. At the same time, customers are becoming more demanding and less tolerant of mistakes. In a challenging environment like this, businesses need to react quickly to market changes; otherwise, they will be left behind by competitors. In order to react quickly, a business needs to be integrated and flexible. In other words, a business today needs to be an on-demand business.

An on-demand business, as defined by IBM, is "an enterprise whose business processes—integrated end to end across the company and with key partners, suppliers and customers—can respond with speed to any customer demand, market opportunity, or external threat."

IBM's on-demand business model is based on this definition. To support the on-demand model, IBM uses the e-business framework shown in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2
The IBM e-business framework

In Figure 1.2 the dotted line divides the logical concepts at the top with the physical implemen-tation at the bottom. Conceptually, the IBM e-business framework is based on the on-demand business model operating environment, which has four essential characteristics: It is integrated, open, virtualized, and autonomic. These characteristics are explained later in this section.

The area below the dotted line illustrates how this environment is implemented by the suite of IBM software products.

  • Rational is the "build" software portfolio; it is used to develop software.

  • Information Management (where DB2 belongs) and WebSphere are the "run" software portfolios; they store and manipulate your data and manage your applications.

  • Tivoli is the "manage" software portfolio; it integrates, provides security, and manages your overall systems.

  • Lotus is the "collaborate" software portfolio used for integration, messaging, and collaboration across all the other software portfolios.

The IBM DB2 software plays a critical role in the on-demand operating environment. All elements of the Information Management portfolio, including DB2, are developed with the four essential characteristics of the on-demand business model in mind.

  • Integrated: DB2 software has built-in support for both Microsoft and Java develop-ment environments. It is also integrated into WebSphere, Tivoli, Lotus, and Rational products. In addition, the DB2 family has cross-platform capabilities and can be integrated natively with Web services and message-queuing technologies. It also provides support for heterogeneous data sources for both structured and unstructured information, including pureXML support.

  • Open: DB2 software allows for different technologies to connect and integrate by following standards. Thus, it provides strong support for the Linux operating system and for Java, XML, Web services, grid computing, and other major industry applications.

  • Virtualized: Grid computing technology, a type of distributed computing, collects and shares resources in a large network to simulate one large, virtual computer. DB2 soft-ware products support grid computing technology through federation and integration technologies. Both of these are discussed in more detail later in this chapter.

  • Autonomic: An autonomic computing system manages, repairs, and protects itself. As systems become more complex, autonomic computing systems will become essential. DB2 provides self-tuning capabilities, dynamic adjustment and tuning, simple and silent installation processes, and integration with Tivoli for system security and management.

The bottom of Figure 1.2 shows the operating systems in which the IBM software suite can operate: Linux, UNIX, Windows, i5/OS, and z/OS. Below that, the servers, storage, and network represent the actual hardware used to support the framework.

An on-demand business depends on having information available on demand, whenever it is needed, by people, tools, or applications. Information On Demand is discussed in the next section.

1.2.2 Information On Demand

Information On Demand, as its name implies, is making information available whenever people, tools, or applications demand or request it. This can be made possible by providing information as a service. IBM commonly uses the illustration in Figure 1.3 to explain what "information as a service" means. Let's use the following example to explain this concept in a more interesting way. Assume you are the general manager of a supermarket, and your main goal is to make this business profitable. To accomplish this, you must make good decisions, such as how to display items on shelves so that they sell more. In order to make good decisions, you need to have up-to-date, reliable information.

Figure 1.3
Information as a service

As depicted at the bottom of Figure 1.3, many businesses today have a large number of heterogeneous sources of information. For this particular example let's assume your suppliers use SAP and DB2, your sales department uses an internally developed application, your smaller supermarket clients use Peoplesoft, and Oracle, and so on. Thus, you see several heterogeneous applications with semi-raw data, which will only be valuable to you if you can integrate them all. In order to integrate the data, it needs to be provided as a service, and this is possible through the use of standards such as JDBC and ODBC, and wrapping each of these applications as a Web service. Once the data are integrated, you may come up with decisions that might not have been logical otherwise, such as putting beer and diapers in the same aisle in order to sell more of both products.

With the data integrated you can further massage it to perform some additional analysis and get insightful relationships. This further massaging of the data can be performed by other software, such as entity analytics, master data, and so on as shown on the right side of the figure. Finally, this integrated data can be passed to other processes, tools and applications, and people for further analysis.

1.2.3 Service-Oriented Architecture

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), as its name implies, is an architecture based on services—mainly Web services. SOA is not a product, but a methodology, a way to design systems that allow for integration, flexibility, loosely coupled components, and greater code reuse. With this architecture, business activities are treated as services that can be accessed on demand through the network.

Figure 1.4, which is also used in many IBM presentations, depicts the SOA lifecycle. It consists of four iterative steps or stages—Model, Assemble, Deploy, Manage—and a fifth step that provides guidance throughout the cycle: Governance & Processes.

Figure 1.4
The SOA Lifecycle

A more detailed explanation of each stage in the SOA lifecycle is provided in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2 The SOA Lifecycle Stages

SOA stage

Description

IBM Tools That Can Be Used

Model

This stage is used to model and optimize your business processes. It is also used to determine the kinds of services needed and the type of data these services would access.

WebSphere Business Integration Modeler

Rational Software Architect

Assemble

This stage is about building new services and/or reusing existing ones, and assembling them to form composite applications.

WebSphere Integration Developer

Rational Application Developer

Deploy

In this stage your services and applications are deployed into a secure environment that integrates people, processes, and information within your business.

WebSphere Process Server

WebSphere Message Broker

WebSphere Partner Gateway

WebSphere Portal

WebSphere Everyplace Deployment

Workplace Collaboration Services

WebSphere Information Integrator

WebSphere Application Server

Manage

In this stage, you need to manage and monitor your system, find and correct inefficiencies and problems, deal with security, quality of service, and general system administration.

WebSphere Business Monitor

Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA

Tivoli Identity Manager

Governance

Governance underpins all the lifecycle stages. It ensures that all the services from inside and outside the organization are controlled so the system does not spin out of control. Governance provides both direction and control.

N/A



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