REVIEWER: Shery C. Hepp, senior computer analyst (DB2 DBA) for Salt River Project.

BACKGROUND: Salt River Project (SRP) is the nation's third-largest public power utility and one of Arizona's largest water suppliers. SRP is two entities. The Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District provides electricity to more than 920,000 retail customers in the Phoenix area. The  Salt River Valley Water Users' Association, a private corporation, delivers nearly 1 million acre-feet of water annually to a service area in central Arizona.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: z/OS V 1.7 operating system DB2 UDB for z/OS DBMS platform.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We needed an automated process to produce an audit summary and detail of changes to customer information. Once the product was in house, we looked at using BMC Log Master for DB2 to replicate the customer operational system to a reporting system.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We have used BMC Log Master for DB2 to back out batch updates on a production system, leaving any online updates intact, and to replicate data  to a reporting system. This allowed us to replace a hardware solution for replication that required an outage for the clients. The hardware solution introduced additional risk due to required manual interventions. By using BMC Log Master for DB2, we are able to replicate the data with no outage to the reporting system and mitigate the risk of manual interventions. Using BMC Log Master for DB2 for this replication gives us real-time data from the operational system's data. The prior system held a 24-hour-old copy of the operational system's data. We also audit data in other systems and applications, and the product has assisted in determining appropriate recovery points per a specific point in time. The product was used to estimate additional DASD requirements needed by the DB2 logs before enabling data capture changes in the operational environment.

STRENGTHS: The functionality of the product gives the user the ability to report on numerous DB2 activities that are logged. The ability to create undo/redo/migrate SQL from the DB2 log to be used to back out changes, migrate changes or analyze changes to a table are other areas of strength. The restart process is easy to use. The ability for the tool to run one-time processes or ongoing processes is a plus. We have used both types. In the ongoing process, the tool automatically keeps track of where it last left off. The tool also has the ability to rerun a specific sequence within an ongoing process. We needed to use that when we required a rerun of a logical log but wanted to omit one mass delete operation from the process. The product also has the ability to replicate DB2 data to UDB and Oracle databases.

WEAKNESSES: Problems we encountered seem to be more specific to how our data center and operations are organized, such as increasing the region size to 1024M due to the large amount of log data we needed to read. Another change we needed to incorporate was to enable data capture changes on all objects. Because many mass deletes are issued by the application, we had to change some of the processes in order to replicate the data correctly. The product requires an image copy for compressed table spaces after a reorganization (reorg). It automatically assumes that the compression dictionary has changed when it may not have. As in our case, the reorg will not rebuild the compression dictionary, so accessing the image copy introduces a longer processing time after our reorgs. The product doesn't have the capability to replicate DB2 data to SQL Server.

SELECTION CRITERIA: This product initially was brought in for use of auditing data for our customer service system. The group leading the assessment chose the product because it fulfilled the client's auditing requirements.

DELIVERABLES: Audit reports are produced on a daily basis. Logical logs are created twice a day to be used as input into the BMC Apply Plus for OS/390 product for replicating the operational data to the production reporting and a test system. The output could be used to seed other environments with updates as well.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The vendor support has been outstanding. We've encountered numerous situations during our proof-of-concept project where we needed input from the vendor. The response from the vendor was timely and accurate. The support team is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation for the product can be difficult to navigate. It is hard to determine from the documentation the best way to accomplish what you need to do.

BMC Log Master for DB2
BMC Software
2101 CityWest Blvd.
Houston, TX 77042
(713) 918-8800

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