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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2001
Being a mainframe DB2 DBA for IBM Global Services, I found this book useful but not the "Bible" that some have branded it. It covers a wide array of topics relating to mainframe DB2. As some have indicated this is not a text for the UNIX or WINDOWS environment. It is exclusively for OS/390. It is a great starting point for someone looking to gain an overall knowledge of how DB2 works in that environment. But, here again, a text short on depth in many areas. But, in defense of any author trying to put together a text on DB2, there are just too many areas of depth that would have to be covered. I would like to see a text that covers typical knowledge areas and scenarios that a DB2 DBA would encounter on a daily basis and give solutions on the problem. A text that could be used as a training manual for people who want to become a certified DB2 DBA. Still, if you are looking for the one book you should have to begin with, this is the best one so far.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I am an experienced COBOL and DB2 programmer and purchased this book to use as a reference. It does cover a lot of material and co-workers use it frequently as a source for answers to in depth questions not available in other references. There is a lot of good stuff in this book.
However, I find it extremely difficult to use as a reference because the index seldom contains an entry relevant to my question. There is a LOT of information in this book and the index could stand to be several times larger in order to successfully direct you to that information. Unless you already know what you're looking for, chances are slim that you will find it in the index.
For example, I found a parameter in a SELECT statement "WITH UR" and needed to know what it meant. There was no entry under "WITH" nor "UR". There was nothing about this parm in the index under "SELECT" either. I had to go to the online IBM manuals to find out that "UR" is an isolation level and was then able to go back to the "DB2 Developer's Guide" index to find the information that I needed indexed under "isolation level".
My experience is almost exactly the same every time that I try to use this book. Again - there's a lot of info and I like the book when I do find what I want, but it be warned that you may also have difficulty using the book as a reference.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2001
This is the first time I have used any of Craig S. Mullins's books. I found it to be indispensible for those who wish to have a clear and readable companion to help them with their understanding of DB2 UDB for OS/390. Although IBM's manuals online are essential for the minute details, this book helps simplify matters so that you can apply the required jobs, utilities, names and so on in a coherent and safe way. It probably means thatyou have the equivalent of 2 years or more DBA experience just by keeping it on your desk. As a mainframe programmer, I have found that it has enabled me to support DB2 Databases with an expertise which would have taken me a number of years to acquire without Mr Mullins's help. I must thank him for giving me a big boost to my career.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2000
I have over 10 years of DB2 DBA experience and see this book owned by every DBA. This is a useful book but with many shortcomings. I liked the Third Edition better and would not buy this book to move from V5 to V6. The author attempts to cram a bookshelf of DB2 manuals and IBM Red Books into one book. No wander it is incomplete and is full of errors and inaccuracies. The book grew from 1,395 pages to 1,640 pages in current edition. I expected many corrections from previous edition but many errors remain. For example Craig has no mention of UNLOAD EXTERNAL option for REORG utility neither for DB2 V5 nor V6. What about INSERT via SELECT ? REFORMAT ? Left join example, and so on. The list can go on for pages. The current fourth addition is even worst then previous. Many errors from the third edition are not corrected, DB2 V6 features are scattered thruout the book without clear distinction from earlier versions. In this edition, the author has abandoned clear identification of material by DB2 version. New DB2 V6 features are summarized in useless three page appendix at the end of the book. After discovering several errors, I found myself always double checking the book against IBM manuals. I would certainly not use this book the "Bible".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2002
If you are a savvy DB2 developer/DBA, you ought to own this book. This book will take you from the basics to the intricate details about DB2 internals. It also talks about data warehousing briefly so one can get an idea.
If you work with DB2 then you should own this book as a handy reference. I have benefitted with this book a lot and I would like to thank Craig for that!!! Craig keep writing.....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 1999
I don't even reach for the IBM manuals right away any more, - I always check Mullins first. His style is so much more readable and succinct than IBM's than it's easy to get caught up just reading it instead of looking up a single item. Very much worth the money - I'm buying my own copy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
[A review of the 5th EDITION 2004.]

IBM invented relational databases and its DB2 is one of the company's core technologies. While it trails Oracle in market share, the capabilities as shown here by Mullins are probably at least the equal of Oracle's 10g.

This book is designed for a full time DB2 administrator or developer, who needs an extensive reference on it. It's fair to say that you would not want to learn the theory of relational databases from this book. Sadly, there is only one, passing reference to E F Codd, in the context of normalisation of data. Minimal acknowledgment of the founder of relational modelling. Seek a learning of theory elsewhere.

Instead, the book focuses on all the options built into DB2. By now, possibly person-centuries of IBM's programmer sweat have gone int this latest version 8. You can take advantage of this accrued expertise. Though the time needed to absorb a chapter may be nontrivial.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2001
Craig Mullin's FOURTH EDITION is impeccably organized and precisely written for the DB2 practitioner. The text covers DB2 for OS/390 (Version 6), including the functions and features attributed to IBM's UDB family of Relational Database Systems. Craig provides introductory treatment of the DB2 Subsystem Structures; Flows; and Interfaces; Predictive Analysis characteristics of the DB2 Optimizer; and extensive focus on DB2 EXPLAIN for maximizing application and Subsystem Performance.
The FOURTH EDITION is laden with Best Practices for the DB2 Developer; Administrator; and Technical Support communities.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of all facets of of Version 6 DB2, and as such, can direct you to the appropriate System Reference Library manual in the fewest number of hops.
If you are a DB2 / UDB practitioner, Craig's FOURTH EDITION should become your Companion Guide.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
With over 25 years experience as an application developer on IBM mainframes, including 15 years with DB2, I thought that there was little that I didn't know until reading Craig S. Mullins book. It goes into the depth required (and beyond) for professional developers and even deeper into the domain of the DBA's territory. An excellent source of reference with a good index, but a novice might require a lot of determination to filter out the parts that meet their requirements.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 1998
I've been programming for just 2 years and found this book a great tool in working with DB2 SQL and DB2/Cobol programs. When I take this book to work, its borrowed so often I sometimes dont see it for days. I would recommend it to any programmer, new and experienced. Its coverage of SQL and DB2 techniques are outstanding.
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