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January 06, 2009

Tracking XML Changes Changes for the Better

I spent part of 2008 learning and blogging about XML support delivered in DB2 V9 for z/OS. Well, the learning process (as well as the blogging process) are on-going. Read two of my DB2utor blog entries here and here. This week I'm pleased to report that IBM is making life easier for XML developers.

For those who develop applications using XML technology, it's important to know what's new and what's changed each and every time maintenance is applied. DB2 systems programmers typically turn to the ++HOLD data to learn of the latest changes. However, IBM recently released APAR II14426. This informational APAR essentially puts everything in one place by linking all of the XML support delivery APARs.

These APARs aren't just for fixing problems--they also introduce new features. Some of the new features provided through DB2 maintenance include:

XMLTABLE and XMLCAST--two new XML functions introduced in PK51571, PK51572 and PK515723.

fn:name, fn:local-name, fn:max, fn:min,
fn:distinct-values, fn:upper-case, fn:lower-case,
fn:translate, fn:last, fn:position,
fn:matches, fn:replace, fn:tokenize
These 13 new XPATH functions are provided with PK55585 and PK55831.
                                               
APAR II14426 also includes various other fixes that are designed to improve performance, locking and more.

If you're experiencing an XML-related problem and want to know if someone else has reported this issue, go here for a list of all known XML-related problems. Using the search function, you can pinpoint your APAR search.

Remember, you may have maintenance on your system that provides new XML features that aren't documented in the XML Guide. For instance, I just checked the latest XML Guide and the 13 new functions listed above aren't in there.