Db2 for z/OS and its ecosystem

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Db2 for z/OS continuous delivery is not only function levels!

By Paul McWilliams posted Wed July 12, 2023 04:46 PM


With the release of Db2 12 for z/OS, Db2 development shifted from our previous three-year release cadence to continuous delivery, where new capabilities are available to customers as soon as possible, with less frequent new releases. Function levels were introduced to enable customers to control the introduction of new capabilities into their database applications and Db2 for z/OS environments when necessary. The function levels and their new capabilities always get a lot of the attention, but continuous delivery is not just about function levels!

Many new capabilities and enhancements in Db2 do not require function level control because they are transparent to your database applications, and they do not require the same maintenance to be applied equally on all members in Db2 data sharing. In such cases, the enhancements are introduced immediately when you apply the PTF for each APAR, and you might have already seen my recent post summarizing APARs of this type that were released in the first half of 2023.  

You can now find a list of all “new-function” APARs in each Db2 release in useful pages that were recently added in the online documentation by the  Db2 for z/OS content design team.  We have maintained lists of these new-function APARs since very early in the lifecycle of Db2 12, but the tables on the top-level page are somewhat new. See New-function APARs for Db2 13, or see New-function APARs for Db2 12, if you are still running Db2 12. (The page for Db2 13 also contains descriptions of all new function APARs released after the GA of Db2 13, even a PTF is also available for Db2 12, so you only need to look at the page for your current version of Db2.)


The new table format in each these pages provides a handy overview of the available new-function APARs.  Each table has with a headline, APAR number, and PTF availability month for each new-function APAR. The APARs are listed in newest-first order, so you can always check back and find the newest items at the top. The headline is also a link to the overview of the new capability being introduced. Those descriptions usually include links to new or changed areas of the related online product documentation, and a link to a page that contains the closing text and a link for obtaining each APAR.

We also recently updated the list, so that it now includes a row the APARs that enable activation of each available function level, plus a list of the functional-code APARs for each new capability in the function level (these APARs generally don't change the behavior of Db2 until you activate the function level, and often not until you raise the application compatibility level or your applications.)

It’s worth noting that these pages are strictly intended as guides to new-function items delivered through APARs for continuous delivery in a Db2 release. They do not constitute comprehensive lists of all APARS in the Db2 maintenance stream, nor do they replace important tools like RETAIN or SMP/E. “Bug fix” APARs are never included, and the APARs listed here are likely to have many prerequisites that are not shown in the list. 

If you are still preparing for migration to Db2 13 for z/OS, you might also be interested in a new single online documentation page entitled Overview of what's new in Db2 13. As the title suggests, this page provides a broad overview of everything available in the Db2 13 release and in continuous delivery. This page mainly reuses content that is also published in other sections, so it’s most useful for readers who want to look at all the new capabilities currently available in Db2 13 for the first time. The new-function items are organized into categories here, and within each category they are generally ordered based on when we planned them, so you would find the newest things at the bottom of each category. 

If you are already in Db2 13 and looking for the latest APARs or function levels, these sections are better for you to look at:

Also, if you prefer to access documentation in PDF format, you can always find these same updates in Db2 13 for z/OS What new? and Db2 12 for z/OS What’s New? Like all of the Db2 for z/OS online product documentation and PDF manuals, we publish new PDF editions for What’s new? as needed, as often as weekly (and you can now find the date that any PDF manual was built right on the cover), so do check the online version often. The URLs of these PDFs do not change as we update them, so a browser bookmark will always take you to the latest edition.