DataDirect Accelerates DB2 for z/OS Performance

New feature lets coders use static SQL for scenarios in which they might otherwise depend on dynamic SQL

Earlier this month, DataDirect Technologies (formerly NEON Systems, and now an operating company of Progress Software Corp.) introduced a new version of its DataDirect Shadow RTE mainframe integration suite. The revamped Shadow RTE boasts new data-connectivity features and development tools for mainframe DB2 and IAM databases, DataDirect officials say.

The Shadow suite consists of four different products: Shadow z/Services (supporting Web services connectivity for service-oriented architectures); Shadow z/Events (for event-driven capabilities); Shadow z/Direct (generates SQL for direct data access and provide transactional support); and Shadow z/Presentation (generates automatic presentation layers to help retrofit screen-based applications for the Web).

DataDirect’s Shadow Studio—an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE)—functions as Shadow’s design front-end. Among other improvements, it boasts a new Dynamic-to-Static SQL Facility which the company claims gives DB2 for z/OS users the benefits of static SQL, such as reduced resource consumption and faster performance for dynamic SQL code.

DataDirect isn’t just making an idle claim, either. In benchmarks performed at its mainframe development lab, Shadow’s new Dynamic-to-Static Facility helped boost performance by up to 70 percent, the company says. One upshot of this, according to DataDirect, is that developers can tap DataDirect’s Dynamic-to-Static Facility SQL to get the benefits of dynamic SQL in many scenarios where—because of performance or resource-utilization issues—they might otherwise have ruled it out.

The Dynamic-to-Static Facility is part of Shadow Studio, so it gives programmers a one-stop, GUI-based environment in which to reevaluate their SQL performance requirements and recode existing dynamic SQL jobs as static SQL.

Elsewhere, Shadow boasts improved support for for the Innovation Access Method (IAM) database. Many organizations use IAM’s disk file storage scheme as an alternative to the mainframe’s traditional (record-oriented) VSAM approach. IAM-friendly improvements in the latest version of Shadow support SQL access via ODBC and JDBC client drivers, as well as SOAP and XML event interfaces for Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA).

"While others offer point-to-point data access, DataDirect Shadow gives software architects and application developers a strategic alternative for mainframe integration," said John Goodson, vice president of product operations at DataDirect Technologies, in a statement. "With our latest enhancements, we've made things easier and more cost effective for our customers while also extending our already considerable leadership position in mainframe data integration."

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.