Computer Associates (CA) has unveiled enhancements to its three new suites for IBM's hierarchical database IMS running on z/OS, the operating system for IBM's zSeries 900 mainframe range, which supports a 64-bit architecture as well as Java- and web-based applications.
The suites are the Unicenter Database Performance Management Suite 5.1, the Unicenter Database Administration Suite 5.1 and the Unicenter Database Backup and Recovery Suite 5.1.
The Unicenter Database Management Solution enables a user to centrally manage numerous types of databases from one console including IBM's IMS, IBM's DB2 on zSeries, Linux or Unix as well as Microsoft's SQL Server and an Oracle database.
Users can choose from FastPath support, which provides the basic tools to manage these databases, or the Expanded FastPath support, which tacks on online reorganisation and integrity verification of their databases plus extended back-up and recovery services and support.
The Durham Solutions Centre of EDS Canada currently runs the Database Performance Management Suite 4.3, which was released in July 2002. Additionally, the centre has been beta testing new features of the Unicenter Database Analyzer, which is part of the Database Performance Management Suite 5.1, since December 2003.
John Manning, information specialist at the Durham Solutions Centre, which has numerous IMS FastPath databases, said with Database Analyzer's new features it is easier to load or unload data from the IMS databases. He added that it is faster than the previous version.
Moving from a hierarchical database like IMS to a relational database has been something EDS has been examining, said Manning.
"I think there are some compelling reasons to move and there are also some compelling reasons not to, mainly because of the investment in the old technology," he said. "There are some things that are unadvisable to do unless you have a clear path, and not [worth] just doing for the sake of doing it."
While relational databases can retrieve data faster, Manning said IMS is still definitely a viable system.
Continuing on the line of hierarchical databases, CA has also released a new version of another legacy database, the Advantage CA-IDMS release 15 (r15), which runs on IBM's zSeries mainframes.
Steve Lemme, director of product marketing for Unicenter Database Management at CA, said the IDMS database is now web-enabled and has a graphical user interface.
Additionally, he said CA is increasing support for Oracle's database, unveiling the CA Productivity Pack for Oracle, which provides a common console for administrators to create, test, deploy, administer and maintain applications built for Oracle databases.
"Now a customer can design a database-driven application and seamlessly flow through the lifecycle of design, testing, deployment, administration and performance management all within a single offering," Lemme said.
The Productivity Pack includes CA's AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler, a tool for designing and deploying database applications and the Unicenter Enterprise DBA, a database administration tool, which streamlines and automates tasks ranging from a simple create to complex compare-and-synchronise operations.
Also part of the Pack is the Unicenter Fast Unload, which aids in extracting database information, and the Unicenter Database Performance Management, which automates the evaluation of database performance.
Additionally, the Unicenter SQL-Station lets users create, edit and test SQL, PL/SQL, Java and server-side database code and the Unicenter TSreorg restructures objects that have become fragmented by heavy usage.
Rebecca Reid writes for ITworldCanada
This was first published in April 2004