Published By - Brian Curtis

Tech Talk: Smarter, Faster and Easier Integration Design with the New Datastage Flow Design

Tech Talk: Smarter, Faster and Easier Integration Design with the New Datastage Flow Design

IBM DataStage® Flow Designer is a web-based user interface for DataStage. You can use it to create, edit, load, and run DataStage jobs. The greatest benefits are:

No need to migrate jobs

You do not need to migrate jobs to a new location in order to use the new web-based IBM DataStage Flow Designer user interface. Any existing DataStage jobs can be rendered in IBM DataStage Flow Designer, avoiding complex, error-prone migrations that could lead to costly outages. Furthermore, any new jobs created in IBM DataStage Flow Designer can be opened in the Windows-based DataStage Designer thick client, maintaining backward compatibility.

No need to upgrade servers and purchase virtualization technology licenses

Getting rid of a thick client means getting rid of keeping up with the latest version of the software, upgrading servers, and purchasing Citrix licenses. IBM DataStage Flow Designer saves time AND money!

Easily work with your favourite jobs

You can mark your favourite jobs in the Jobs Dashboard, and have them automatically show up on the welcome page. This gives you a fast, one-click access to jobs that are typically used for reference, saving you navigation time.

Easily continue working where you left off

Your recent activity automatically shows up on the welcome page. This gives you a fast, one-click access to jobs that you were working on before, so you can easily start where you left off in the last session. No need to go through several levels of folder navigation to find your job.

Efficiently search any job

Many organizations have thousands of DataStage jobs. You can very easily find your job with the built-in type ahead Search feature on the Jobs Dashboard. No need to go through several levels of folder navigation. For example, you can search for job name, description or timestamp to find what you are looking for very quickly. Built-in Virtual Scrolling allows the result page to scale for thousands of jobs. You can also organize jobs by using sorting and group-by. The Category option allows you to drill-down to a specific job starting with a folder.

Cloning a job

Instead of always starting Job Design from scratch, you can clone an existing job on the Jobs Dashboard and use that to jump-start your new Job Design. Open the cloned job and start editing connectors and stages.

Quick Tour and videos

As a new user, you don’t know how to navigate on the new user interface. Take the built-in Quick Tour to familiarize yourself with the product, or watch the Create your first job video on the welcome page.

Flow Designer Features

IBM DataStage Flow Designer has many features to enhance your job building experience. You can use the palette to drag and drop connectors and operators on to the designer canvas. You can link nodes by selecting the previous node and dropping the next node, or be drawing the link between the two nodes. You can edit stage properties on the side-bar, and make changes to your schema in Column Properties tab. You can zoom in and zoom out using your mouse, and leverage the mini-map on the lower-right of the window to focus on a particular part of the DataStage job. This is very useful when you have a very large job with tens or hundreds of stages.

Automatic metadata propagation

IBM DataStage Flow Designer comes with a powerful feature to automatically propagate metadata. Once you add a source connector to your job and link it to an operator, the operator automatically inherits the metadata. You do not have to specify the metadata in each stage of the job. For example, if your source is Db2 and you link it to the sort operator, it will automatically show you the columns that are eligible for sorting. Changing metadata in a DataStage job can be a very time-consuming process because you must go to each subsequent stage and redo the change. IBM DataStage Flow Designer automatically propagates the changed metadata to subsequent stages in that flow, increasing productivity.

Storing your preferences

You can easily customize your viewing preferences and have the IBM DataStage Flow Designer automatically save them across sessions. Preferences, such as showing lists or tiles in the Jobs Dashboard, or Flow Designer settings to show and hide node types, links or annotations, are designed to make the user interface work for you!

Saving a job

IBM DataStage Flow Designer allows you to save a job in any folder. The job is saved as a DataStage job in the repository, alongside other jobs that might have been created using the DataStage Designer thick client.

Highlighting of all compilation errors

The DataStage thick client identifies compilation errors one at a time. Large jobs with many stages can take longer to troubleshoot in this situation. IBM DataStage Flow Designer highlights all errors and gives you a way to see the problem with a quick hover over each stage, so you can fix multiple problems at the same time before recompiling. When the compilation is successful, you can view the generated OSH script for your job.

Running a job

IBM DataStage Flow Designer allows you to run a job. You can refresh the status of your job on the new user interface. You can also view the Job Log, or launch the Ops Console to see more details of job execution.

Watch this video to get more information about the Smarter Faster and Easier Integration Design with the New DataStage Flow Designer.

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