Db2 Web Query Lives On (Just Not V2.1)
November 13, 2019 Alex Woodie
There have been some rumors that IBM is going to sunset Db2 Web Query for i, or replace it with Cognos. Neither of those rumors is true, according to IBM, which recently made some changes to Db2 Web Query support.
Db2 Web Query for i, of course, is the OEM version of Information Builders flagship BI and analytics tool, WebFOCUS, that IBM brought to market in the 2007 timeframe. The Java-based tool enables users to write queries for the Db2 for i database (and other databases) and view the results in a variety of pre-canned and custom dashboards and reports.
Compared to the old Query/400 product, Db2 Web Query is light years ahead, and thousands of companies have adopted Db2 Web Query, which IBM has continued to update and improve with new releases every couple of years.
Back in September 2018, IBM announced that support for Db2 Web Query version 2.1.x would end on September 30, 2019. At this point, a month and a half beyond that date, any IBM i shop with one of the unsupported versions should be actively executing a plan to move up to Db2 Web Query version 2.2.1, which was announced two years ago with the TRs for IBM i 7.2 and 7.3.
IBM did not update Db2 Web Query with its recent October announcements, including IBM i 7.4 TR1 IBM i 7.3 TR7. That means that Db2 Web Query version 2.2.1 remains the latest release of the product, and it’s also the only release of the product that runs on IBM i 7.4. In charts about the announcement that IBM shared with IT Jungle, IBM confirmed that it’s working on a new release of Db2 Web Query.
In the meantime, the IBM i community can familiarize with some of the existing functionality that’s still relatively new in Db2 Web Query version 2.2.1. We wrote about some of the big features when 2.2.1 was initially launched, including the visual data exploration that allows users to peruse lots of data in a graphical fashion, which will hopefully let them more easily spot trends buried in the data.
But there are some other Db2 Web Query capabilities worth bringing up again too, including the new EZ-Install option that IBM introduced back in 2017. The EZ-Install provides a simplified process for installing Db2 Web Query, and IBM recommends that all customers use the EZ-Install option for both new installs and for updates. Users who haven’t purchased a license for Db2 Web Query can also use EZ-Install to load a trial copy of the product that’s good for 70 days.
Another feature worth mentioning are the new sample reports and dashboards for systems administrators. These reports and dashboards are designed to give admins the ability to quickly see key performance indicators about their system, such as proximity to system and database limits, which objects are consuming the most temporary storage, and what jobs are consuming the most CPU.
Admins will also benefit from reports that work across the entire system, including one that tells them exactly what PTF groups they have applied across multiple LPARs. With IBM i environments getting bigger and the growth of PTFs, this feature has the capability of being a real timesaver for admins.
The EZ-Install option also automatically creates a new data dimension table utility that will come in handy for IBM i shops that struggle to handle multiple legacy date formats. There are many different ways that dates can be handled in the system, and IBM addressed this in its utility. IBM says the utility will automatically create a row in the table for every date in your date range. It will also create a column for “every legacy date format we could think of,” IBM said. It also generates a column for data attributes (such as holidays).
IBM is not standing still with Db2 Web Query. And when IBM unveils a new release, you’ll hear about it first in IT Jungle.