Simply using SQL is not the answer for backing up an entire database. You can use the export command (non-mainframe DB2 only) or the copy utility.
The export utility exports data from a database to an operating system file, which can be in one of several external file formats. An additional benefit of export is that the table definitions can be saved by using the IXF file format. The saved table (including its indexes) can then be recreated using the import utility. Import is also used to bring the data back.
The DB2 copy utility (mainframe) can be used to backup data to a flat file - and then the recover utility is used to bring the data back from the backup file (and the logs).
You might also want to consider an automated backup and recovery product that simplifies this process and guides you through the steps required to backup/recover a database. BMC Software offers SQL-BackTrack for distributed systems and Recovery Manager for mainframe systems. More information on these products can be found at:
This was first published in November 2002