IBM Utilities

Last time, we looked at how Db2v13 improves on Security and Simplification and Serviceability. Today, we wrap up our survey of Db2v13 with a quick look at IBM Utilities.

There is a long list of new and improved capabilities in the IBM Db2 utilities that can improve your Db2 administration and maintenance tasks. I am not going to go over most of the enhancements in any detail. Some of the improvements include enhanced inline statistics collection (in REORG and LOAD) with page-level sampling, enhanced space-level recovery, and REPAIR WRITELOG dictionary support.

There is, however, one big improvement that I want to cover in a little more detail: utility history! Through Db2 12, the only place that stored any form of records regarding when Db2 utilities ran was the SYSIBM.SYSCOPY table. Db2 13 improves upon this significantly.

First things first: if your shop relies on processes that read SYSCOPY that data will remain as is and your processes will continue to work. 

So, what’s new? Db2 13, as of FL501, delivers the ability to collect metadata about the execution of all IBM Db2 utilities. This information is stored in the new Db2 Catalog table, SYSIBM.SYSUTILITIES, designed for this purpose. Furthermore, the announced intention is for the tables to be extensible for other vendors to populate with their utility execution details. But for now, the following IBM Db2 utilities are supported for history collection: 

CHECK LOB             COPY
REORG                 REPAIR

Of course, utility history will not start to be collected until you indicate to Db2 that it should. This is accomplished by setting a new DSNZPARM (UTILITY_HISTORY) to enable the collection of utility execution history.

This is another feature that IBM will be fleshing out and making more functional over time. But the ability to review what Db2 utilities were run, when they were run, and with information about their success or failure (along with other pertinent metadata) has long been a requirement of in-the-trenches DBAs. In my opinion, this is likely to be one of the most popular new features of Db2 13 for z/OS.

Consult the Manuals

Of course, an article such as this cannot be expected to cover every new bell and whistle in a piece of system software as complex as Db2 for z/OS. For that reason, you should regularly consult the manuals and web sites provided by IBM to support you.

The first page to bookmark is for the IBM manuals for Db2 13 for z/OS, which are available in PDF format for free download over the web at

You can also keep up-to-date on the Db2 13 function levels, including when they were made available and what functionality is delivered at

IBM also publishes redbooks, which are technical publications that provide in-depth information and guidance on various topics related to IBM hardware, software, and solutions. There are two redbooks in particular that will prove useful as you learn more about Db2 13 for z/OS:


The bottom line is that there is a new version of Db2 for z/OS that mainframe shops must learn and prepare for. There are many significant new features that should cause some organizations to move quickly to adopt Db2 13. As with any new Db2 version, it will be exciting to discover all the new capabilities that will enable us to do our jobs better… and improve our organization’s access to its data!


Regular Planet Mainframe Blog Contributor
Craig Mullins is President & Principal Consultant of Mullins Consulting, Inc., and the publisher/editor of The Database Site. Craig also writes for many popular IT and database journals and web sites, and is a frequent speaker on database issues at IT conferences. He has been named by IBM as a Gold Consultant and an Information Champion. He was recently named one of the Top 200 Thought Leaders in Big Data & Analytics by AnalyticsWeek magazine.

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