IIUG Alert (Issue #18)
March 8, 2002
Welcome to the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) Alert! It contains time-sensitive material for the IBM Informix community. You are receiving it because you are an IIUG member or a local Informix user group leader.
- JOIN IIUG AND ADD YOUR VOICE
- Letter from the President: Successes, Growth and Changes
- Mexico Users Group Meeting a "Muy Grande" Success!
- Linux and IBM Informix - SIG Report
- Archecker Feedback Needed
- Bag Clips - Even the Little Things Matter
- Chicago Revival Highlights Local User Group News
- Useful Links
- Closing and Credits
JOIN IIUG AND ADD YOUR VOICE!
Membership in the IIUG is open to everyone within the Informix user community, including end-users, vendors, and employees of IBM. If you have been receiving the full Email Alert in your email, then you are already an active member of the IIUG.
However, if you were referred to the web site and are reading this online, then you are most likely either not a member, or your membership is not active. If you joined IIUG in the past and think your membership needs to be reactivated, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and email address. If you have never joined the IIUG, please sign up and add your voice to ours. Please visit http://www.iiug.org and click on the free membership link to join.
Letter from the President: Successes, Growth and Changes
A new IIUG President's letter to the membership is now posted at http://www.iiug.org/news/letter/08mar02.html. The letter provides an update on the state of the IIUG, including the following topics:
- The IIUG Board's first meeting of 2002, in Mexico City.
- Malcolm Weallans' departure.
- Recognizing James Edmiston for his work on LUGs.
- Membership exceeds 13,000 and may exceed 17,000 by year's end.
- Success collecting Informix references, more than 120 of them.
- IIUG, Inc. and its not-so-new Managing Director.
- High level plan for 2002.
- A request to refer colleagues and friends to join IIUG.
Mexico Users Group Meeting a "Muy Grande" Success!
The key reason for the IIUG Board of Directors' meeting to take place in the most populous city on earth, Mexico City, was to support the launch of the Mexican Informix Users Group. Five IIUG board members stayed the extra day, along with Shaun Jones, IBM Data Management Solutions marketing executive, to attend and participate in the meeting.
With a blue-chip user base, Informix database products have the lion's share of the Unix database market in Mexico. 120 enthusiastic fans of IBM Informix products attended the meeting, a very strong turnout, especially considering that some flew from cities like Guadalajara before dawn to make it on time.
The agenda opened with Gerardo Toussaint, IBM Data Management Mexico, giving a presentation about the database market in Mexico. Fred Hubbard spoke about the value of the IIUG and Local User Groups. Meg Hilbert gave her product road map presentation. Aquiles Loranca, Informix Tech Specialist for Latin America, gave a presentation on IDS tuning tips with pointers to the IIUG software repository.
Fred Hubbard wrapped things up with a Q&A that addressed the IBM Informix acquisition, product strategy and marketing communications among other subjects. Shaun Jones, IBM Data Management Marketing Director, responded to questions and concerns.
It was a very good experience and very encouraging to see the energy and enthusiasm shared by Informix users across the boundaries of country and language. We are now looking forward to the next Mexican Informix Users Group meeting sometime in May! For more info, please write Fred@IIUG.org.
Linux and IBM Informix SIG Report
Sean Durity, leader of the IIUG Linux SIG e-mail discussion list, has produced a report that summarizes the list's sentiments and IBM's current strategy and challenges for IBM Informix on Linux. The conclusion paragraph of Sean's well-written report provides a good summation:
Informix on Linux is a great product! It pairs top notch technology with availability on a stable, inexpensive platform. It can easily grow from a basic RDBMS to a sophisticated e-business or Decision Support System. Participants on the Linux-Informix list tout its reliability, cost-effectiveness and portability. Plus, IBM has a strong commitment to the Linux platform in general. The challenge, however, is for IBM to dye Informix deep blue. It desperately needs to be integrated with IBM's other tools and marketing efforts. Best wishes to Darren Hanson, (IBM Data Management's Linux Czar) and his team as they work on this worthy task!"
Note: This is Sean's full report on state of Informix on Linux..
There is no doubt that IBM is touting Linux as a compelling OS platform for business. Perhaps you have seen IBM's ads touting the Linux platform, or the well-publicized $1 billion that IBM spent in 2001 on supporting and developing Linux. IBM reported that they have already recouped their investment and will continue the spending. In fact, IBM is one of the sponsors of the Open Source Development Lab, which is working on enterprise upgrades and tools for Linux.
The question, however, is: What will IBM do with Informix on Linux?
As a (sort of) CTO who chose to run our critical business applications on IDS 9.21 on Red Hat Linux 7.1, I am very interested in the future of Informix on Linux. As the DBA and developer of these applications, I am concerned about the integration of tools with Informix on Linux. Also, as moderator of the linux-informix mailing list (sign up at www.iiug.org), I want to provide the list members with useful, current information. So I contacted Darren Hanson, IBM Business Development Executive, Linux Data Management Division. Here is what I found out.
Linux is a Priority Platform:
Darren said that Linux will continue to be a Priority Platform for Informix. As with DB2, IBM will set the requirements as the kernel and glibc versions, not a specific Linux distribution. However, IBM has worldwide agreements with Red Hat, Caldera, TurboLinux, and SUSE, so these distributions will be tested. (NOTE: these are the distributions featured on IBM's Linux page - www.ibm.com/linux). Other distributions will be tested and supported regionally. Testing and support for specific distributions may vary by Informix product.
The Linux-Informix Team is Optimistic About Growth:
Darren and his team have set a goal of 100% growth in Linux-Informix revenue for this year. He understands that a zealous and informed user base is essential for that growth. So, Darren has joined the linux-informix mailing list, in order to hear from the real users. He has even agreed to a monthly phone conversation with me to keep us all informed about what is happening. I believe that his team is working very hard, but...
Linux-Informix is not Blue (Yet):
The cold reality, however, is that Informix doesn't seem to have been assimilated into Big Blue's awareness. For example, if you go to IBM's Linux page or their alphaWorks Linux developers page, you will not find Informix mentioned even once. IIUG members who attended LinuxWorld recently noticed that. Eventhough IBM had a huge presence at the conference, there was no mention of Informix. Apparently, some of the booth staff didn't even know about Informix, and, speaking from personal experience, Informix training classes get canceled instead of being filled by IBM employees or partners. (The particular class which I am interested in has been canceled twice.)
However, DB2 is all over the place. Print ads, television spots, conferences, the website, and so on. You can price and evaluate DB2 from IBM's web site. You can't do that yet with Informix (the web site does say that on-line ordering is coming soon). IBM's free Linux Developer's Kit includes DB2. Try to get an Informix developer's kit...
Although assimilating a product like Informix into a strategy including DB2 is difficult, this reality is somewhat baffling. IBM spent $1 billion for Informix too. Informix seems to be a good tool for reaching IBM's recently announced top priority: the small to medium business. But, Informix is barely on IBM's radar, it seems.
Darren and his team are aware of these challenges. Their biggest problem, he says, is bandwidth. As in most businesses, there is more work to do than there are people to do it.
Informix on Linux is a great product! It pairs top notch technology with availability on a stable, inexpensive platform. It can easily grow from a basic RDBMS to a sophisticated e-business or Decision Support System. Participants on the linux-informix list tout its reliability, cost-effectiveness and portability. Plus, IBM has a strong commitment to the Linux platform in general. The challenge, however, is for IBM to dye Informix deep blue. It desparately needs to be integrated with IBM's other tools and marketing efforts. Best wishes to Darren and his team as they work on this worthy task!
Archecker Feedback Needed
The archecker utility included with IDS is meant to verify ontape and onbar archives. However, for IDS 7.3x on Sun Solaris 2.6 and above, there is a special version of the utility that is available to enhance archecker to provide the ability to restore a specific table, or even rows or columns of a table, without restoring the entire IDS instance. This utility was written by a handful of engineers and is available on the IIUG web site at www.iiug.org/archeck. It does require downloading and installing an executable that is specific to your hardware platform.
On the email@example.com email discussion list, there have been several emails recently discussing the need for this "feature" in other IDS versions and platforms. We need to know if this is something you would support.
Please subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org and post your response to there. For more information see: www.iiug.org/resources/SIG_forums_list.html
Bag Clips - Even the Little Things Matter
A Las Vegas IBM Informix Conference attendee wrote recently: " First, thanks for running a great conference last year. It was VERY informative. One thing that was below par was the clip supplied on the bag IBM gave out (which often broke at first use). Several people said that replacements would be sent out after the conference to replace the (original) ones. So far, everyone I've spoken to hasn't received them. Any idea if and when they are coming?"
We were informed that replacement clips could indeed be requested from Scott Millar at 800.845.0888 or at email@example.com. Please provide him with your name and mailing address.
Chicago Revival Highlights Local User Group (LUG) Schedule for March
IIUG Board Member Ron Flannery reports that the Great Lakes Informix Users Group is back! It is being revived with a kick-off meeting in Chicago March 20, from 1:00 to 3:30 PM at the Sears location in Rockford. Topics include a review of Informix and Data Management product futures, technical details and future information about IDS and Foundation, and IBM's support of Linux, both for Informix and otherwise. We'll also work with the users to establish a new board and structure for the group, so please be there! For more details on time and location, visit their snappy new web site and get in on the ground floor of the revival at:www.iiug.org/gliug
In other LUG news, the month of March is busy with many events!
Following is a recent excerpt from the calendar:
March 6 - Washington Area Informix Users Group (WAIUG) Meeting - Bethesda, Maryland
March 7 - Virginia (Hampton Roads) Informix User Group - Hampton/Newport News, Virginia
March 8 - New York City Informix User Group Meeting - New York City, New York
March 13 - Colorado Informix User Group Meeting - Englewood, Colorado
March 20 - Arizona Informix User Group Meeting - Phoenix, Arizona
March 20 - Great Lakes Informix User Group (GLIUG) - Chicago, Illinois
March 26 - Michigan Informix User Group Meeting - Southfield, Michigan
If you are planning an event, please make sure it is listed on the IIUG calendar. Visit www.iiug.org, click on Calendar, then Events. If you would like to add or modify any item on the calendar, please send an email to UG@IIUG.org.
The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an organization designed to enhance communications between IBM and its worldwide user community. IIUG now has more than 13,000 members and enjoys the support and commitment of IBM's Data Management division. Key programs include local user groups and special interest groups, which we promote and assist from launch through growth.
Sources: IIUG Board of Directors
Editors: David Smith and Ron Flannery, IIUG Board of Directors
For comments, please send an email to UG@IIUG.org.