Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DB2 v12 – expected timeframe & features

Cypress is the code name for the next DB2 for z/OS release after DB2 v11. Granting no hurricanes, or similar branding catastrophe, one can expect the official name will be DB2 v12 (when Generally Available) – hence the title of this article. A year and a half ago, I published a post DB2 v11 – expected timeframe & features which is, by far, the most visited article on this blog. My “predictions” were quite accurate, so I decided to re-iterate, providing you with an expected DB2 v12 timeframe (based on past releases dates), and a summary of the DB2 v12 “likely” features (based on information presented during various DB2 User Groups - including IDUG).

Although IBM does not provide an exact schedule for their new versions of DB2, one can guess that DB2 v12 will be available in 2016, probably in Fall as usual. Indeed, looking at a the release schedule of DB2 over the last 15 years, you will notice that IBM releases consistently a new version of DB2 for z/OS every 3 years, and that the support of each version lasted 8 years – with the exception of DB2 version 8, which had an additional year of support. Worth mentioning as well, it’s no secret that the IBM development labs transitioned several years ago to an Agile development methodology. This method which tends to fix schedule (date of delivery) over amount of features delivered, and tends to make new version delivery cycles very predictable.

Here a graphical representation of the past DB2 for z/OS releases, with my best guess of dates for DB2 v12 (Cypress) :

What features can we expect?

I will start with a word of caution: The following statements regarding IBM plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion. In other words, the below information is “just” a summary of information collected either on the web, or during public session in various User Groups.

One first thing to note is that IBM will not provide any skip-migration from DB2v10 to DB2v12. That means you need to be on DB2v11 in order to upgrade to DB2v12. Based on comments from IBMers, the skip-migration from DB2v8 to DBv10 was an exception, and we should not expect any skip-migration process in the future.

DB2 Cypress: Early Thoughts

Based on 2013 IBM presentation (Jeff Josten) at BeLux User Group
  • Large Table Management Improvements
  • INSERT Performance and space management Improvements
  • Improved query performance and management, cope better with poorly written SQL
  • HW / SW integration and system autonomics
  • Easier application porting, SQL improvements
  • Expanded analytics capabilities

IBM Utilities themes for the future

Based on IDUG 2014 IBM presentation
  • Elimination of application impact from utilities
  • Elapsed time & CPU consumption reduction
  • Resource consumption reduction
  • Reduction in complexity & automation improvements
  • Solutions through DB2, Utilities & Tools

APPLCOMPAT – Application Compatibility

IBMers did mention (during IDUG) that the APPLCOMPAT feature (available in DB2 v11) should continue to be available in next versions of DB2. In a nutshell, IBM is updating DB2 SQL to be more in line with SQL standards, and this may introduce problems for existing applications. APPLCOMPAT is here to help!

You may remember a change in the DB2 DML SQL introduced in DB2 v10 that changed the results of the CHAR’s behavior when used to cast a decimal to a character or varchar (that is, any result of SQL using CAST (decimal AS CHAR) or CAST (decimal AS VARCHAR) may be different). IBM soon introduced a DSNZPARM keyword BIF_COMPATIBILITY to let DB2 SQL behave the “good old” way and provided IFCID 366 to help monitor and locate the potential programs impacted (so application can be corrected).

So, simply said, the APPLCOMPAT feature is an extension of BIF_COMPATIBILITY : APPLCOMPAT lets you run a new version of DB2, with the SQL DML behavior of a previous version. IFCIDs are also provided to help locate and correct existing programs. It was mentioned however, that, although this feature allows to upgrade DB2 with serenity (postponing required application changes to a later date), application changes have to be made, because IBM does not plan to provide application compatibility forever. In other words, with migrating to DB2 v12, we can expect APPLCOMPAT(V11R1) to work, but maybe not APPLCOMPAT(V10R1) any longer…


  1. Hi,

    What about Security administration?

    1. Hi, this article is summarizes public information found on the internet and heard from IBMers during various DB2 User Groups (International and Regional). As I do not work for IBM, and DB2 Cypress is not GA yet, I'm afraid not to have any additional detail ... Maybe someone from IBM would like to answer your question ?

  2. Great article! When do you think IBM will default values for parameters in a native sql store procedure? I noticed its available on other flavors of DB2 but just not z/OS.

    1. Hello,

      As i do not work for IBM, I do not have access to such details. However, you could open an RFE (Request For Enhancement) with IBM to suggest enhancements:

      The DB2 Lab at IBM operates in an Agile fashion, DB2 users can vote on RFEs they like. The more votes an RFE gets, the more chances to be implemented soon(er).

      Additionally, a week ago, IBM announced the Early Support Program for Cypress, which is now offically named DB2 12 for z/OS. Check this out:


    2. This is good to know! Thanks so much for this information. I will put in a few suggestions for them.