The queen of SQL for Db2 for i, Birgitta Hauser, joined us on iChime last week for an amazing information download! When she’s not joining us on iChime, this impressive IBM Champion is providing training and education all around the globe. Her time with us was spent deep diving into the world of SQL and sharing her extensive wealth of knowledge.
And when I say a wealth of knowledge, I mean a treasure trove of knowledge. After our planning meeting prior to iChime, I walked away with three pages worth of potential questions and we both cleared our calendars for the meeting.
Birgitta started out by giving us a peak into how she uses SQL in her day-to-day work.
“I use SQL whenever I can,” Birgitta said. Sometimes RPG is easier, but I try to move business logic out of my programs. There are so many things you can do with SQL other than accessing a table, such as accessing the IFS and web services. All these things are important to get, merge, and analyze the data.”
We moved on to discuss what RPG could be replaced and what these replacements empower developers to do. In SQL, there are many functions and services that are often overlooked by programmers, even those using modern programming languages. In going beyond the basics, these functions and services can be powerful tools utilized to replace and write around RPG. Things like string-handling, mathematical functions, and other functions that are not available options within RPG can be easily accomplished utilizing SQL.
The conversation flowed to discuss modernization, how SQL can support those efforts, and why moving business logic out of our programs and into our databases makes for good programming practices.
“The more we can get business logic out of our programs into the database, the better,” Birgitta said. “Normally you cannot see the database without your programs and the inverse. The more we can get into the database, the less we have to do in our program.”
Birgitta shared her insights on one of her favorite SQL tool – SQL Views. With this powerful tool, you can build very complex SQL Statements while hiding the complexity. This makes it so that everyone in your team can use the same procedure, independent of the programming language. It is a tool that can prove invaluable in modernization efforts.
The conversation continued and this overview just brushes the surface of a one or two diamonds in Birgitta’s treasure trove of SQL knowledge. She is a pro in every sense of the word, and I am so grateful she joined as a guest on iChime.