The iSeries Blog

Dec 11 2008   9:37AM GMT

Update your DB2 lingo so you don’t sound old

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

The bloggers over at iDevelop recommend updating your DB2 lingo so all the Oracle and SQL Server folks don’t think you’re from the 1970s.

Why? Well, not just because using the old lingo makes you seem old, but also because it makes DB2 seem old, outdated, and not as powerful as iDevelop believes it to be.

Oracle and other database users are often convinced that what we have is little more than a flat file system on top of which has been cobbled some half-baked database mechanism. If you think  about it, it’s hardly surprising. We constantly talk old-technology terms like  files and records, so we shouldn’t be surprised if others think that that they are the foundation of the system.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. What we have is a fully relational database system which, when called upon, can cleverly disguise itself as a flat file system! Those of us who use the platform can understand what a terrific advantage this is–but it’s understandable that others would view it with suspicion.

So here is the translation dictionary, with the DB2 word followed by the “updated” DB2 word:

  • A library should now be called a schema or collection
  • A file should be called a table
  • A record should be called a row
  • A field should be called a column
  • A logical file should be called a view when talking about how the program views the data
  • A logical file should be called an index when talking about performance

3  Comments on this Post

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  • DB2iguy
    Might also add: (DB2 for i term = other DBMS term) Journaling = Database Logging Remote Journaling = Log Shipping Materialized Query Tables = Automated Summary Tables Single Level Storage = no equivalent Encoded Vector Indexes = no equivalent Multiple Member Files = no equivalent Multiple Record Formats = no equivalent no need for = RunStats no need for = Integrity checkers no need for but is available with DB2 Multisystem = data partitioning
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  • Michael
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  • Yorkshireman
    Well, whilst true, you have to adopt the language when talking to uneductaed people, but you can't break the laws of physics. Unless we go to the metal level and refer to tracks and sectors and channels, files and records and fields are still the way the data exists on disk. Good design is always good design, and attempting to ignore the fundamentals behind new terminolgy is responsible for some truly terrible databases out there. Me! I'm happy to talk either dialect. Fighting a losing battle against gung-ho knowlege laden idiots who have no concept of what *really* happens when they create the (next to) impossible join. Hoorah for SQL Hoorah for DDL Hoorah for DDS and thinking *before* you write code
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