Monday, July 03, 2006

Stay abreast of the plannning for IDUG North America 2007 in San Jose.
Regularly visit the IDUG North America 2007 blog for up to date information about what's coming for 2007.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

IDUG 2006 - North America Exceeded Expectations

More than 1,200 members of the worldwide DB2 and Informix user communities gathered together for IDUG 2006 - North America, representing an estimated 10 percent increase in attendance from the 2005 conference. View the full wrap-up article for more information on this year's highly successful conference.

Message from Paul Turpin, IDUG 2007 Presentations Committee Chairperson

I echo all the positive words of Joe Burns, in his May 10th post. The conference facility was wonderful, with all the session rooms close together. The technical content of the program this year was top-notch and I’m sure that will be reflected in the post-conference attendee surveys. Several times I overheard attendees discussing which session they should attend, because they were having trouble deciding among 2 or 3 sessions in the same time slot. As a member of the conference planning committee, this was extremely gratifying to hear.

I congratulate David Simpson on his Best Overall Presentation and Best User Presentation awards. It has been a long time since a user won the best overall presentation, so this is doubly impressive. Congratulations also to the rest of the Top 10 Overall Presenters and Top 10 User Presentations. The IDUG conferences benefit greatly from the tremendous efforts put forth by all the speakers, whether they are consultants, IBM speakers, user speakers or vendor speakers. Countless thousands of hours were spent by speakers preparing for their IDUG presentations. Their preparations shined through in their presentations. I’m proud to be associated with all of them.

At the Call for Presentations 2007 meeting, there were a number of potential IDUG 2007 NA speakers asking lots of good questions. This gives us an early indication that we will have lots of excellent user presentations on the IDUG 2007 NA program for San Jose, California. It will be great having the conference in the backyard of IBM’s DB2 for z/OS lab!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

IDUG 2006 Best Overall Presenter
IDUG 2006 Best User Presenter
David Simpson
IIUG 2006 Best User Presenter
Art Kagel
IIUG 2006 Best Overall Speaker
John Miller

Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulations to the IDUG 2006 Top 10 User Presenters and Top 10 Overall Presenters!
Top 10 Users and Top 10 Overall Presenters are selected based on the user feedback surveys.

The Top 10 IDUG User Presenters (in alphabetical order)
Jon Capelli, Highmark Inc.
Rob Crane, FedEx Freight System
Robert Goodman, Florida Hospital
Joan Keemle, John Deere
Lisa Ouellette, Wachovia
David Simpson, TransUnion
Anne Stout, Dow Jones and Co.
Thanikachalam "Billy" Sundarrajan, Fifth Third Bank
James Surber, Universal Underwriters
Paul Turpin, Wachovia

Top 10 Overall Presenters (in alphabetical order)
Chris Eaton, IBM
William Favero, IBM
Brian Holroyd, Database Consulting Service
Sheryl Larsen, Sheryl M. Larsen, Inc.
Dale McInnis, IBM
Roger Miller, IBM
Terry Purcell, IBM
David Simpson, TransUnion
Bryan Smith, IBM
James Surber, Universal Underwriters

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Notes from the IDUG North America Chair – Wednesday.

Hello. First, just some updates from yesterday. The Tuesday sessions went well, there were some really good ones going on. There was more than one time when I had a tough time deciding which room I would sit in on.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that the IBM certification room seems to be quite busy. I don’t have any official numbers yet on how many people took DB2 and Informix certifications, but it looks like quite a few from just what I’ve observed.

I’ve also noticed that many of the VSP sessions have been quite well attended. We’ve got some good VSP sessions this year and apparently people are really taking advantage of them. There were a couple of really interesting ones that dealt with more than just a vendor’s product. Things that dealt with performance, high availability and reducing costs. Of course there is always some marketing in these sessions, after all that’s what they’re designed for. But having some additional technical content that the attendees can take away from it seems to be a real draw.

Earlier this morning we also had our first Special Interest Group sessions. This is something that’s a little new for us. We usually have the SIGs during a single time slot on Wednesday evening. But we wanted to give attendees a chance to see more than a single SIG so we put some in the morning and some in the evening. In fact we’ve even got some more on Thursday. The biggest challenge of course is the early time of the SIG. It started at 7:15am and that’s pretty early after you’ve been through 3 days of a very busy conference. But the turnout was good for some, and a little light for others. We like the idea of offering them in more than 1 time slot, but maybe we’ve just got to find a different time. Challenges for next year.

Saw some great sessions this afternoon. I’ve got an idea that one of the sessions I saw is going to win Best user speaker. I won’t say which in case I’m wrong, but everyone in the session was really raving about how much they got out of it. That’s the best, especially when it’s one of our user speakers.

Well, that’s it for now. We’ve had a very full day, with more to come tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.

Joe Burns
IDUG 2006 – North America
Conference Planning Committee Chairperson

IDUG 2006 – North America - More Daily Updates

Evaluation Card Raffle Winner!!
Congratulations to David Link of West Corp, winner of Tuesday’s evaluation card raffle. Please report to IDUG Headquarters at Registration to claim your prize. One winner will be drawn each day so remember to fill out your evaluation cards!

Networking Game Winners!
The following people are winners of the IDUG 2006 - North America DB2 and Informix (Crypto-Definitions) game.

-Tim Parke, PA CLEB
-Debra Moleen, Systems & Methods, Inc.
-Thomas Provencher, KB Toys
-Ken Ernstein, CSC
-Jerry Fuller, Farmers Insurance
-Hardy Lewis, CheckFree
-Pamela Rozehnal, CSX
-Randy Ficken, NSHE
-Eric Rowell, NVR
-John Carlson, Home Depot
-Dick Gunnell, Watkins
-Motor Lines, Inc.
-Kathy Mitchell, Discover Financial

All winners should report to Registration to claim their prize.

IBM DB2 and Informix Professional Certification Testing
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Room 12, Tampa Convention Center

Certification Update
On Monday, 119 IDUG attendees were tested with a 64% passing rate. Don’t miss your chance to become a certified professional this week. A total of 158 attendees were tested this already this week with a overall 63% passing rate.

Become an IBM Certified DB2 or Informix professional at no additional cost to you. That’s right, it’s FREE! Take as many tests as often as you want! Each exam takes approximately 75 minutes.

Review the full list of exams available on page 14 of your Final Program.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

IDUG 2006—North America – Daily Updates

Day Three: IDUG 2006 - North America
Day Three of IDUG 2006 - North America brings another full conference line-up. Don’t forget to sign up for the Dine Around at Registration and make sure to hand in your questions for the IBM panel discussions on Thursday. Read through Wednesday's issue of the Daily Globe at to stay on top of everything going on at the conference.

RUG/IUGLC Volunteer Leadership Breakfast
7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m., Room 11

Continental Breakfast
7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m., Ballroom C
Breakfast will also be served outside the SIG (Special Interest Group) rooms.

Passport to Prizes
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Exhibit Hall

Don’t miss the Passport to Prizes presentation following lunch in the Exhibit Hall directly at 12:30 p.m. Must be present to win.

Meet the Speakers / IBM Developers Reception
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom – Marriott Hotel

Hosted by IDUG, here’s your chance to meet the conference speakers and IBM developers. Take advantage of this unique forum to talk one-on-one with your favorite speaker or ask IBM representatives about DB2 and Informix topics, including future DB2 or Informix releases.

NOTE: This event will not be taking place at the Tampa Convention Center

Schedule Changes - Wednesday
- Session N08: Open Up! IDS Application Development with PHP, will now feature Venkatesh Gopal of IBM as speaker.

** New addition - Session A10: DW Performance and Scalability, with Kondal Yennaram of IBM in Room 20 at 2:30 p.m.

- Session L10: Informix Application Development in Depth (Part 1 of 2) will now feature Amit Dandekar of IBM as speaker.

- Session L11: Informix Application Development In Depth (Part 2 of 2) will now feature Amit Dandekar of IBM

- Vendor Solution Presentation V29: Data Integration and Warehousing in System z will now occur in Room 14.

** New Addition – Vendor Solution Presentation V34: Pragmatic Solutions: Syspedia: Metadata Web Services for Performance with speaker David Beulke, will occur at 10:00 a.m. in Room 15.

** New Addition – Vendor Solution Presentation V01: Database-Brothers: Taking a Bite Out of Data Crimes and Corruption, with speaker Scott Hayes, will occur at 10:00 a.m. in Room 13.

** Special Interest Group (SIG) Informix DBA Best Practices will now occur in Room 1 & 2.

Notes from the IDUG North America Chair – Tuesday morning.

Day two of the technical sessions has begun and it started with a bit of a thunderstorm. Early this morning a storm moved through and although it was raining quite hard, you wouldn’t know it from looking out the window now. Suddenly the sun is back and it looks like the Florida from the postcards again.

We’ve only just had our first session of the day, and I peaked in a couple of the rooms. Looks like the storm didn’t hamper anyone’s plans from showing up for sessions. A number of them were quite full.

We also had the IDUG Annual Breakfast meeting this morning. Sometimes people aren’t exactly sure what it is, and it takes them a little by surprise when we suddenly start off a meeting right in the middle of the main breakfast hall. But IDUG is a user organization and we want to be open with the members and attendees on where the organization is going, and who is leading it. So Bob Omerza, the current IDUG Board president leads the meeting and he gives some background on IDUG and then introduces the slate of candidates for the board. This is then approved by the audience in attendance.

This year’s incoming Board members are Maria Sarikos and Elizabeth Moore. I know both of these folks personally, and there couldn’t be any better picks. Definitely good for the board. That’s the good news. The bad news is that outgoing members are Sandy Smith and Cathy Peck. Anyone who’s been around IDUG at all knows how much both of these people have put into the organization. Their energy and guidance will be missed. The new president was also announced and that will be Robert Caterall. Again, I think this is a great move on the board’s part, and I look forward to big things coming from IDUG next year.

I also wanted to mention something that came up at last night’s RUG leaders meeting. IBM was quite sincere and insistent about insuring the RUGs are receiving proper support from their IBM liaison. If you’re running a RUG, and you’re not getting the support you need, send Mike Swift ( or Maria Sarikos an email. They want to help, and with the backing of Paul Rivot, who was also in the meeting, they will be able to help.

The last thing I want to pass along is the link to another great BLOG. Willie Favero has been posting conference updates on his BLOG as well. And he’s got some great stuff out there. So check it out at:

That’s it for now.

Joe Burns
IDUG 2006 – North America
Conference Planning Committee Chairperson

Monday, May 08, 2006

IDUG 2006 - North America
Daily Conference Updates:

Schedule Changes for Tuesday

  • Session I05 - Embarcadero Technologies: Enterprise Monitoring of DB2 LUWDatabases is now in Room 14
  • Session J05 – DB2 Disaster Recovery and HighAvailability Features [Part 2 of 2] is now in Room 22.
  • ** New Addition ** VSP27 - Princeton Softech: Data Growth Management for DB2, UDB and InformixDatabases, Speaker Jim Mazzeo, will occur from 2:30 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. in Room 4

Certification Update
On Sunday, 37 IDUG attendees were tested with a 62% passing rate. Don’t miss your chance to become a certified professional this week.

Evaluation Card Raffle Winner
Congratulations to Jerry Fuller of Farmers Insurance, winner of Monday’s evaluation card raffle. Please report to IDUG Headquarters at Registration to claim your prize.One winner will be drawn each day so remember to fill out your evaluation cards!

Don't Forget Tuesday's Breakfast Meetings

  • IDUG General Business Meeting & Breakfast7:30 a.m.– 8:30 a.m. Ballroom CD
  • IIUG Breakfast with Bruce Weed7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Room 1 & 2

Read the full version of the Daily Globe at

Stop back here for more conference updates throughout the week!

Notes from the IDUG North America Chair - Monday.

Hello. Well, the conference is off and running and so far things seem to be going well. Attendance is up this year and that’s just a great thing on so many levels. And there’s a real nice energy to the conference this year. People are upbeat and excited about the education, and of course also about Tampa. It is a very beautiful city and the convention center is really laid out nicely.

We had the Ed Seminar sessions on Sunday and they seem to have gone very well. I heard a number of comments that the seminars were really well done this year. So I’ll say “many Thanks” to our Ed Sem instructors for that.

We also had the welcome reception on Sunday evening, and that was a lot of fun. One of the things we did new this year was to have the Conference Planning Committee dressed to blend in with the reception theme. The theme this year is a Pirate theme (it’s Tampa right), and so the CPC were wearing black pirate caps and bandanas….. aaargghh me hearties…. It was different, it was interesting, and since we get to keep the hats, I now have a fun gift for my three year old.

Monday morning we had the keynote presentation by Bob Picciano and I thought it went exceptionally well. We had a full house, and Bob brought some energy, and a great message about DB2 and Informix and how they stacked up against some of the competition. In particular he had some great slides on the newest release of DB2 for open systems, and I think I can summarize his message by saying something like “DB2 viper is going to kick butt”. Lots of good stuff about DB2 for Z and Informix as well.

The other great thing about the keynote was the short DB2 video that IBM ran right before Bob’s keynote. It was really upbeat with some great music and some real eye opening customer testimonials. Really nice to see IBM aggressively putting the right message out there. I’ve had at least 3 people ask me about the video because they would love to have a copy to share back home with their company or regional user group. I’ve asked Bob about this, and he seems agreeable to it, so we’re going to work out the details. Look for something more on that.

Well that’s about it for now, except that I did want to pass along a little tip for everyone who’s fortunate enough to be down here in Tampa with us for the conference. I had dinner the other night at a wonderful little restaurant that had just great food and a really fun atmosphere. The name of the place is the Laughing Cat, and it’s down in Ybor city. I have to admit that when we first got there it seemed like a bit of a “hole in the wall” place. But some of the locals corrected my misperception and said that it was a great place and I was in for a treat. They were right. We had family style Italian food, and each dish that came out was just better than the last. If you have a chance check it out. Incidentally it’s one of the restaurants participating in our Wednesday dine around. Which you can sign up for right next to the registration area.

Ok, time to get back to conference stuff. Hope everyone is enjoying this week as much as I am.

Joe Burns
IDUG 2006 – North America
Conference Planning Committee Chairperson

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Notes from the IDUG North America Chair.

Hello, it’s Saturday afternoon before the start of the big conference, and I thought I’d drop a few lines. You know it’s funny, we spend so much time planning and preparing for this conference and now that it’s here I can hardly think where all the time went. Seems like just a few hours ago we were just finishing up the 2005 conference in Denver. But I supposed time flies when you’re having fun… or when you’re hurtling along on a tight schedule, with an insane timeline and a seemingly endless parade of issues. But mostly I think it’s the fun. And it has been a lot of fun. Being on the conference planning committee and being the chair for this year has been a lot of work, but it’s also been very rewarding for me. I work with a great group of folks, and they’ve put together a great event.

So, enough about planning the conference. Let’s talk about actually BEING at the conference. There’s some new things this year, and hopefully you’ll find them enjoyable. You know each year, there’s always some little thing or another that we sort of worry and obsess over. Usually it’s something that didn’t work so well the year before so we are all hypersensitive about making sure that it works this year. This year the issue we obsessed over sounds a little trivial but it’s not. The issue was cell phone reception at the convention center.

Denver was a great site for IDUG and the facility was absolutely one of the best we’ve been in. BUT for some strange reason there was almost no way to get a cell phone signal in the actual convention center itself. Think about the squadrons of IT professionals roaming the halls of the convention center desperately seeking a signal so they could “connect” to the outside world. I honestly think that without the Internet Café there for people to “plug in” and get their fix, there may have been a riot. Not pretty when us IT types take it on ourselves to riot.

Well rest assured that shouldn’t be a problem this year. We visited the site in August of 2005 and toured the facility. Everyone was checking to see if there cells worked. I’m certain the center personnel thought we were a bit off our rockers. Think about a group of 10 of us wandering about like little lost ducks with our cell phones held up proudly in front of us …. “can you hear me now? Can you hear me now??” Comical. But the good news is that cell phones worked just about everywhere. So, obsession is over for this year. Wonder what next year will be.

Well enough for now. I’ll try to drop some notes throughout the conference. The Ed Seminars start tomorrow and we’ve got some really good ones going on this year. And of course the Welcome reception in the evening. I’m really looking forward to that. That’s one of the really great things about IDUG. You get to see old friends, and even make new ones.

Hopefully if you’re reading this you’re at the conference already. And if, unfortunately you’re not going to be at the conference, then at least you can always check in with your friends by calling them on their cell phones.

Joe Burns
IDUG 2006 – North America
Conference Planning Committee Chairperson