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DB2 z/OS Development Webinar: SQLCODE -911 – Now What?

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WEBINAR: SQLCODE -911 – Now What?

Thursday, December 14 2017 2:00PM-3:00PM Eastern

Register here

The Deadlock timeout, or Db2 z/OS sqlcode -911, is a problem that Db2 developers, as well as operations and production personnel, frequently encounter. It happens when a job attempts to access a resource, such as a row, page, table, or index that is locked by another job.

Identifying the ‘participant’ job holding the lock is critical for the developer trying to diagnose the problem. Developers often don’t even know that they caused an issue for the ‘victim’ job receiving the -911. Unfortunately, this can be difficult and sometimes impossible to identify without help from a DBA or someone with higher permissions. Left unresolved, the issue can cause serious production performance degradation.

Join SoftBase’s z/OS Db2 expert Neal Lozins for a webinar on December 14th at 2PM Eastern to:

• Learn common causes of SQLCODE -911
• Understand why troubleshooting -911 is challenging
• Review manual techniques for identifying -911 error source
• Discover automated tools that can help you quickly resolve -911

Neal will also show you a live demo where you’ll learn how to quickly diagnose a -911 code with SoftBase’s Db2 DeadLock Advisor and Db2 Catalog Guide.


Register now


SoftBase Announces Rebranding of Batch Healthcare

All Baseline Posts, Uncategorized

SoftBase is proud to announce the rebranding of Batch Healthcare, our flagship product. The facilities under the Batch Healthcare umbrella will now be known as Db2 Attach, Db2 Batch Analyzer, Db2 Checkpoint / Restart, and Db2 DeadLock Advisor. Over time, each of these Db2 application deployment components have grown to support the increasing functionality of IBM Db2 for z/OS. SoftBase components’ rich features and functionality dictate a new name is needed to reflect current and future enhancements.

This name change not only shows the independence of each component, but also allows us to introduce an additional component, Db2 Catalog Guide. The Db2 catalog is a wealth of information. This information is useful to developers, testers, and production staff. Most tools, however, lock the data in the catalog or users forget to specify FOR QUERY ONLY WITH UR when querying the catalog. Even when they remember to specify it, it is often dynamic SQL which can also obtain locks on the catalog. Db2 Catalog Guide is 100% static SQL that will not lock the catalog. The catalog itself is a very complex database. Db2 Catalog Guide makes navigation of the database easy. There is a Db2 command interface as well as an explain interface for SQL in the catalog.

Please visit the SoftBase website for additional information on the complete family of SoftBase products and components.

SoftBase Announces General Availability for TestBase Release 6.1

All Baseline Posts, Application Testing

TestBase 6.1 further improves performance and Db2v12 support.


New features in TestBase 6.1 include:

  1. Pre-Compiled with Db2V11 and Db2V12
  2. Testbase divided into 7 different components that can be licensed separately ( * New Components)
    Db2 Mask – Mandatory masking of sensitive Db2 data and files
    Db2 Subset – Subset, generate data in Db2 data and files
    Db2 Edit – Edit/View data in Db2 tables and views
    Db2 Slice – Test together or independently within one set of tables and tools to unload and load data
    * Db2 Query Build – Build complex SQL statements easily
    * Db2 SQL Debug – Executes and explains SQL in Source Programs
    * Db2 Catalog Guide – View Db2 catalog objects and their relationships like ISPF option 3.4
  3. Db2 Slice and Db2 Subset can now use Db2 Utilities to load and unload
  4. TestBase display commands for use anywhere in the product:
    Option ==> RS (release summary display)
    Option ==> LI (component & license status display)
    Option ==> LIMIT (panel to reset volume limit)
  5. TestBase uses Enterprise COBOL for z/OS®, V5.2


As TestBase continually strives for better performance, items 1,3,4, and 5 deliver just that.


Interested in TestBase?

Click here to learn more about TestBase or contact us by clicking here or calling 800-669-7076.

Announcing Softdate Version 4.5

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We’re please to announce that Softdate version 4.5 is available now.

The Softdate Date and Time Simulation (DTS) Data Protection Suite allows you to simply and easily test date and time logic in your key applications by “time traveling” to future dates and times that are significant to your business logic.

New features in 4.5 include:

  • Beyond year 2042 support. Current hardware and software limitations in zSeries systems and z/OS restrict the maximum date that the system clock can handle to 17 September 2042. Now Softdate v4.5 uniquely allows you to test your applications with dates greater than 2042, meaning you can now test application logic around long-dated events such as mortgage and life insurance policy maturation.
  • Different virtual clocks for distributed DB2 users. Different distributed users of a single DB2 subsystem can now each run with different virtual clock settings, allowing maximum flexibility when testing distributed apps.
  • SETS enhancements for distributed DB2. The exclusive SETS (Softdate Enterprise Time Synchronization) cross-platform feature was already available in v4.4. Now, in v4.5, SETS can automatically synchronize virtual clocks for distributed DB2 users across z/OS, Windows and Linux/Unix to enable seamless cross-platform enterprise app testing.
    Softdate/z version 4.5
  • Java support in multiple concurrent Softdate/z systems. Softdate/z was already unique in being able to run multiple copies in the same z/OS image to allow easy migration to new releases. However, Java (and TIME PC) support could only be active in one of these systems. Now, with v4.5, Java and TIME PC support can be turned on in multiple concurrently running Softdate/z systems.
  • Other miscellaneous enhancements, such as daily warning messages as licence expiry approaches, and removal of the need to disable JIT-compilation for Java date/time classes for Java 7.1 and above.

Contact us to learn more about this release.

SoftBase Announces General Availability for TestBase Release 5.2

All Baseline Posts, Application Testing

TestBase 5.2 further improves test data management with Enterprise COBOL optimization, improved data privacy features, and DB2v11 support.


TestBase helps DB2 shops test new database applications faster and with fewer resources, reducing both time to market and overall development costs. The newest version, 5.2, includes several features that enable faster extraction and manipulation of test data by through Enterprise COBOL optimization, in addition to performance enhancements inherent in DB2v11. Enhanced data management features enable users to extract a subset from an existing subset, in addition to being able to mask data by replacing the target data with data from a different source.


New features in TestBase 5.2 include:

  • Pre-Compiled with DB2V11 and DB2V10
  • V5.1 with highest level of optimization which seems to yield about a 10% performance enhancement resulting in faster file extracts, data masking and load
  • TestBase Privatize and Populate option now provides the ability to extract from an existing subset of slice data
  • TestBase Mandatory Masking (Data Privacy) now allows users to replace the object being masked with a different source (table, view, TestBase view, etc.)
  • TestBase Slice – Lock table process allows for the removal of statements from a source library
  • Some TestBase install tables add keyword VOLATILE to protect against inadvertent RUNSTATs
  • TestBase file compare – Option added to eliminate tables that match from the report


Click here to view the full release summary.

Interested in TestBase?

Click here to learn more about TestBase or contact us by clicking here or calling 800-669-7076.

Interesting Article: Back to the Future with the mainframe

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We ran across an interesting mainframe article on CA’s website: Back to the Future with the mainframe

The author, CA’s Michale Madden, makes a humourous comparison between today’s mainframe programmers and the characters from the 1980’s hit movie ‘Back to the Future’. Michael makes some excellent points as to why the mainframe isn’t going away anytime soon, and discusses how today’s cloud platforms can learn a thing or two from the mainframe, including:

  1. Multi-tenancy
  2. Dynamic scaling
  3. Unique user experience
  4. Fine-grained usage monitoring
  5. Support thousands of users with a small group of admins

You can read the full article here.

Test like you mean it! Shorten DB2 z/OS development time by increasing testing.

All Baseline Posts, Application Testing, Webinars

WEBINAR: Test like you mean it! Shorten DB2 z/OS development time by increasing testing.
DATE: | Watch the recorded webinar here

Application Development and QA Management often find themselves caught between the need for applications to meet rigorous quality standards and the ever-increasing pressure to get new code into production as fast as possible. In many cases, the development process becomes bottle-necked by testing requirements.

TestBase, SoftBase’s test data management solution for z/OS, both accelerates application development and helps your code meet high quality standards by empowering developers to test faster and more thoroughly than ever.

Join us for this free webinar for a brief webinar where you’ll learn how TestBase can help you improve your application development and QA process:
• Test faster with referentially intact subsets of data instead of full production data
• Test more completely by establishing and reusing important test cases
• Test concurrently and independently with individually managed test areas of the same database

Even if you can’t attend the live event, sign up anyway, and you’ll receive a link to the recording. We look forward to seeing you there!


Learn more about TestBase or contact us.

DB2 z/OS Development Webinar: Better Testing = More Testing

All Baseline Posts, Application Testing, Webinars

WEBINAR: DB2 z/OS Development: Better Testing = More Testing
Watch the replay here

Is your DB2 application development process bottle-necked by testing? Does the quality of your application suffer because there is insufficient testing?

Driven by cost constraints and expectations of instant gratification, DB2 shops have less time than ever to get new code into production, yet applications should still pass rigorous QA standards.

TestBase, SoftBase’s test data management solution for z/OS allows you to meet these contradictory goals. It accelerates and improves DB2 z/OS application development and implementation by empowering developers to perform tests faster and more thoroughly and by consolidating the test data management processes.

Watch this recorded webinar where DB2 expert Neal Lozins will show you how TestBase can help you:

TEST FASTER with referentially intact subsets of data instead of full production data

  • Reduce test load, setup and run time by using less data
  • Use less disk space and avoid fighting for DASD acquisition
  • Perform iterative tests and verify results quickly and easily
  • Do more testing with fast and simple setup and verification

TEST MORE EFFICIENTLY by establishing and reusing important test cases

  • Store, find and quickly retrieve test cases using TestBase’s documented test case inventory
  • Ensure test cases are retained, even if table changes occur, with automatic data conversion

TEST CONCURRENTLY & INDEPENDENTLY with individually managed test areas of the same database

  • Execute multiple tests against the same database at the same time without interference
  • Empower users to load test cases to their own test region and test at any time
  • Remove hesitance to share test data by making it repayable on demand

Watch now

Learn more about TestBase or contact us.

[Podcast] Fastest DB2 Test Data Subsetting: From 300M rows production to 100,000 rows RI test data in <2 minutes

All Baseline Posts, Application Testing, Podcasts

One of our TestBase customers, a very large Federal Agency, recently broke what we think must be a world record for fastest RI DB2 test data extraction and subsetting live DB2 production data. Listen to the 6-minute podcast below to learn how this company was able to:

  • Extract a 100,000 row subset of Referentially Intact (RI) DB2 data (to be used for testing) from a 300M+ row database of live customer production data in UNDER 2 Minutes
  • Took advantage of several clever DB2 features to help facilitate this extremely fast transfer, including
    • Multi-Row Fetch
    • Multi-Row Inserts
    • Global Temporary Tables
    • Key Value Assignments

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Not mentioned in the audio above, the same customer was also able to create a similar extract of 25M rows of RI DB2 test data from the same live production database in under 40 minutes – quite an impressive feat.

Click here to learn more about TestBase or feel free to contact us here.

Webinar Replay: Top 10 Best Practices for Date Time Simulation Testing z/OS Application

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Watch the replay of Tuesday’s webinar: Top 10 Best Practices for Date Time Simulation Testing z/OS Applications.

James Phillips with our partner company DDV Technologies did a great job explaining the need, tools and techniques for proper Date/Time Simulation testing.



Below is a link to the webinar slide deck and some resources we referenced in the webinar:

Slide Deck – Top 10 Best Practices for SOA Date and Time Simulation Testing.pdf

SoftBase SoftDate Webinar Best SOA Practices for DTS.pdf

Case Study – SoftDate and Large US Federal Agency.pdf

SoftDate’s Total Cost of Ownership.pdf

SoftDate and SOA.pdf

SoftDate zOS Date & Time Simulation Datasheet.pdf