Saturday, January 27, 2007

New DB2 security book available on paper and as pixels

image of book coverIBM Press: Understanding DB2 9 Security

Before you run away screaming at the first mention of LBAC, you should know that this book also covers several other DB2 security features, many of which have been available for quite a while. That would make sense, considering that lead author Rebecca Bond had already written several chapters before Hurricane Katrina, an event which occurred well before most insiders had access to the Viper beta code. One can guess that the non-technical sections (including a decent overview of the current regulatory climate) were probably written while waiting for Viper, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Despite its title, the book zooms out a bit to provide some helpful context about the alphabet soup of laws (SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, FISMA, etc.) that now impact the DBA at least as much as they affect anyone else in the company.

Since security is an all-encompassing issue, it's only fitting that Rebecca Bond and her co-authors, Kevin Yeung-Kuen See, Carmen Ka Man Wong, and Yuk-Kuen Henry Chan, attack it from several angles and with varying degrees of technical depth. You'll find a nut-and-bolts breakdown of LBAC and the DB2 audit facility, but there's also a good overview of how Kerberos and LDAP work as security plugins for DB2. If you find yourself a bit bewildered by the stacks of encryption, identification, and authentication protocols that used to be relegated to your network admins, this book aims to rescue you by discussing them from a DBA's perspective.

Once you get over the hokey metaphors of the DBA as a hero who wears a "super-invisible cape", I think you'll find that Mrs. Bond and her crack team of DB2 experts from the Toronto Lab have put together a terrific resource for DBAs who are looking (either by choice or by necessity) to improve the security and reliability of their DB2 databases.

Understanding DB2 9 Security is currently available in hardback edition and retails for USD$49.99. IBM is offering a 35% discount and free FedEx shipping when you use promotion code BOND5709 at the IBM Press store. It's also available as a downloadable eBook and as part of the online library service from Safari Bookshelf.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Neat example of XML and XSL with a DB2 twist HTML documentation for a database schema

And you probably thought that all of the DB2 enthusiasts in Toronto only worked for IBM. Nick Ivanov, a database consultant who has been posting helpful DB2 advice on various message boards for several years, is a recent and welcome addition to the community of DB2 bloggers. His latest post on his DB2 blog is a uniquely interesting approach to publishing DB2 data as XML, which is then transformed into HTML by an XSL style sheet, without any bulky content management system overhead.

With the help of XMLFOREST and other XML publishing functions within DB2, it's possible to build valid XML documents with sophisticated nesting and repeating elements, even from a single SQL SELECT. By employing the approach laid out in this article, you could take your XML data as is and publish it directly to the web.