DB2 System Catalog Tables

Ever wondered, when any new DB2 object is created like Table,View,Stored Procedure,DBRM etc. where all the information is stored. Is there any place where I can look up to get all the details like all the Indexes of the table, all the columns in an index, Referential integrity on the table etc..

DB2 system catalog tables is the answer and Good Developer/programmer should know about it.

All the mainframe shops generally have tools to get this information.

These tools goes by different name , most common of those and people many know is by BMC.
BMC Change and Catalog Manager,BMC Main View for DB2 etc.

This tool will get you all this information and have easy to use User interface and navigation but this tool in background also use the information from DB2 Systems catalog table.

So, DB2 system catalog tables is the ultimate source where all information is recorded.

As the name suggest , there are set of special tables where information get recorded automatically whenever any object is created. With proper access we can just query these tables ,like we query any other tables, and get the desired information.

All catalog tables are qualified by schema SYSIBM.


Sample query -

WHERE NAME = <Table name>

More about it in upcoming posts.


Cusror in DB2 ---> Part III (Multirow fetch)

==> Click Here to Read Part I <==

==> Click Here to Read Part II <==

In this post ,we are going to discuss how to fetch and process multiple rows (Multirow fetch) at a time using single fetch statement in DB2 cursor.

The multirow fetch was introduced in DB2 version 8 onwards.

Why to use it ?

By fetching multiple rows at once, your request can become more efficient and it can improve the performance by reducing the CPU time.

How to use it ?

As we know with regular Cursor fetch statement we can fetch one row at a time, values will be fetched into host variables and processed later into the program.

Ex -

      IN TO :A,:B

Now if we want to use Multirow Fetch feature, First of all our Cursor should be defined with something called as "With Rowset positioning".

A rowset is a group of rows that are operated on as a set. Such a cursor enables your program to retrieve more than one row using a single FETCH statement

Define Cursor:


Now with this cursor when we use fetch statement we will get multiple rows at a time which normal host variable structure will not be able to handle it as it was designed to receive only one row at a time.  

So,  to use a multi-row fetch you must have defined the appropriate structures to receive multi-row data. This means you must defined an array of host variables into which the fetched rows can be placed. Each column fetched requires its own host variable array into which its values will be placed. If column is nullable then make sure we have separate  host variable array defined for null indicator.

Be sure to match the array size to the rowset size. This way a single FETCH statements can be written to retrieve more than a single row from the result set.

Fetch Cursor :

     FOR 10 ROWS

So it looks exactly like normal fetch statement except the word ROWSET and FOR 10 ROWS.

ROWSET keyword indicates that this is a cursor with Rowset positioning.
The FOR 10 ROWS clause specifies the size of the rowset to be returned. The maximum rowset size is 32,767.

Rowset cursors are very useful when you need to retrieve many rows or large amounts of data.
By retrieving multiple rows with a single FETCH, multiple trips between the application and the database can be eliminated, thereby improving network performance.


LOB Data type in DB2.

We have various different type of data types in DB2.  For ex- SMALL INT,INT,CHAR,VARCHAR..

These data types seems to work fine and do their job perfectly .But if you want to store large audio,video, images or any other file which has much larger size than 32kb they cant handle it.

VARCHAR ,VARGRAPHIC,VARBINARY has the storage limit of 32 KB.

For data objects that are larger than 32 KB, you have to use something called as large object (LOB) data types to store these objects.

DB2 provides three different type of LOB data types to store these data objects as strings of up to 2 GB in size:
Character large objects (CLOBs) :
Use this data type if your data is larger (or might grow larger) than the VARCHAR data type permits. It can store up to 2GB. For example, you can store information such as an employee resume, or the text of book in a CLOB.
Double-byte character large objects (DBCLOBs)
Use the DBCLOB data type to store large amounts of DBCS data, such as documents that use a DBCS character set.
Binary large objects (BLOBs)
Use the BLOB data type to store large amounts of non character data, such as pictures, voice, and mixed media.
If your data does not fit entirely within a data page, you can define one or more columns as LOB columns.

Example :



DB2 SQL query in COBOL program - Bind Warning

When we write embedded SQL in COBOL-DB2 application program , we know that

  • It should be always within EXEC SQL END-EXEC.
  • If we are doing a SELECT or using a Predicate with specific value passed in variable for comparison, that variable should always be preceded by :

All the variables preceded by : called as Host Variable.

Ex :




Here :WS-DATE ,DAY OF TABLE_A are host variable , declared somewhere in working storage section with appropriate definition.

What would be the consequence if somehow we miss this variable to precede with :(Say TABLE_A.DAY was not preceded by : in above query)

Will we able to compile the program ?? Bind it ?? What error will we get , if query is getting executed.

First of all, yes program can be compiled, and bind will be successful. But there will be a warning message in your Bind step with SQLCODE 203 and SQLSTATE 01552.

So lesson learnt is if your bind is successful not necessary mean that all is well, carefully look at if there is any warning provided by DB2 precompiler.If you miss it , you will be in for surprise Production/Test failure. Just here in this case if you just go ahead and move the code with Bind warning and when program runs and try to execute this query it will fail with SQLCODE -206