Learning about Optim

Opinions are split when talking about IT certification and its importance in the industry. It is easy enough to pick up a book and study chapter after chapter, running through sample questions. Once confident enough you sit the exam and pass and then move on to the next one. Currently I am working my way through the IBM Optim Certification. The simple “read the manual” approach  does not apply to this particular certification. It is important to study but also to apply what you are studying and that is what I am currently doing with Optim. Get yourself a working demo and then work through the various revision notes and create actual archive files, extract files, access definitions etc. You may be wondering what Optim is and what an archive file has to do with anything so I have decided to share my learnings with you as I go along


Optim’s main function is to manage data growth and to archive legacy data, but this simple explanation would not be doing it justice.  In later posts I will talk about the full range of Optim’s capabilities.  In this post I will concentrate on how Optim can be used to manage data growth.


Data has been growing at an alarming rate over recent years. A lot of organizations experiencing this growth are not  managing it effectively. This can cause significant issues with various database utilities, specifically slow running transactions, backup and recovery problems and storage issues to name but a few.


The option of archiving data has been available to organizations for a long time but has been complicated rather than simplistic and has not been a process which delivers security, privacy, data integrity, storage media and the ability to keep up service levels. Previously, data that had been archived may not have been easily accessible or may have been deleted. Meeting service level agrrements and how data is decommissioned requires some planning, ensuring the data is archived in stages and only deleted once the agreed timescales have been met. This means that everyone is aware how long the data will be kept and its availability throughout each stage of its decommissioning. Optim has the capability to not only archive an order line but everything related to a particular order, for example a purchase made for a printer is not archived on its own, all related rows that make up the whole order are also archived, such as the customer who placed the order, the address where the order will be delivered, all related rows, the order as a whole is archived so that the data is relationally intact.


In the next blog I’ll look at installing Optim.





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