IIUG Insider (Issue #15) 29 November 2002

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Highlights: 20% Discount for the Americas, Stuart Profiled, Webcast News and More…

Welcome to the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) Insider! Designed for IIUG members and Informix user group leaders, this contains timely and relevant information for the IBM Informix community.

Contents:

  1. A Note from the Editor – David Smith, IIUG Board of Directors
  2. 20% Discount on IBM Data Management Tool Licenses for the Americas
  3. Profiling Stuart Litel, IIUG Board Member
  4. Informix Database Driver for Perl Version 1.04.PC1 Released
  5. Informix Local User Group News
  6. Informix Partners Get Help Through IIUG
  7. Informix & MS-SQLServer: A Performance Tuning Exercise
  8. Upcoming Webcast Events
  9. IIUG Webcast Replays: Good Only Through 11 Dec. 2002
  10. Useful Links
  11. Closing and Credits

A Note from the Editor – David Smith, IIUG Board of Directors

The Insider is a little early this week to allow some of our ENews team to enjoy the traditional USA holiday, Thanksgiving. This is a time set aside originally by proclamation of the first US President George Washington to commemorate a special meal of thanks held after a very difficult first year of settlement in what was then a colony of Great Britain. Only about half of the original Pilgrim colony had survived the first year. They were joined by their Native American “hosts” and one of the menu items, wild turkey, has led to turkey becoming one of the traditional fares for the annual feast.

The wild turkey was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin as the new nation’s national bird. The Bald Eagle was ultimately selected, however, if Benjamin Franklin had prevailed, we would be carving the States’ national bird each Thanksgiving.

So, even though this holiday is purely a tradition in the USA, the theme of appreciation and thanks for survival can be appreciated by anyone, anywhere. We can also be thankful “Informix” survives and sup with our IBM hosts as we share hopefulness for a brighter future.

As an international users group, we can be thankful for international friendships and helpfulness that know no national borders or barriers in this virtual community. The “Thanksgiving” holiday may be purely a USA tradition, but the spirit of thankfulness for whatever is right with the World can be enjoyed everywhere.


20% Discount on IBM Data Management Tool Licenses for the Americas

IBM Data Management informed IIUG that it has launched a discount program for tool licenses, good through May 19, 2003, in all countries located in the Americas.

IBM’s complete announcement can be found at http://www.ibmlink.ibm.com/usalets&parms=H_302-228.

Snippet:

  • “For a limited time only, if you acquire a qualifying Informix Passport Advantage new or renewal software license, you can receive a 20% discount off the Passport Advantage Suggested Volume Prices (SVP) for eligible IBM Office Connect and DB2(r) Data Management tools.”

Profiling Stuart Litel, IIUG Board Member

Who in the world is Stuart Litel? This URL shows you who Stuart is not: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/stuartlittle/. However, this URL http://www.iiug.org/iiug/09nov02_board3.html shows him with IIUG Board members in attendance at WAIUG.s Forum 2002.

Stuart is the fourth IIUG Board member to be profiled by ENews. True to Stuart’s style, his profile is wordy and folksy, so we have not been able to include it in its entirety. However, here is a set of excerpts and a link to the rest of the story:

Q: How do you use Informix in your “real” job (DBA, Consultant, Developer, etc.)?
A: I am a freelance Informix consultant specializing in applications (4GL, 4Js) and DBA work (5.X, 7.X and 9.x) for about the last 12 years.
Q: How long have you been using Informix products?
A: TOOOOO LONG…. for almost 19 years I have been using Informix products, including doing the beta test on the Informix products that included the very first versions of the SQL products, 4GL, RDS, Interactive Debugger, and the original version of OnLine which was then called Turbo. I have been using their products almost every work day for the last 19 years.
Q: What is your role on the IIUG Board?
A: I am responsible for the IIUG Server and have been overseeing the server, including developing the Member Area and getting much of the content for it. I think there needs to be some “genuine Informix” material available to members only.
Q: Why did you volunteer to be on the board?
A: I actually enjoy it. The biggest reason is to meet and work with Informix users around the world. In fact, I possibly communicate with more Informix users on a regular basis than anyone else given my responsibilities running the IIUG Server and as webmaster of iiug.org. The part I actually enjoy is meeting the people personally, so if I travel I try to meet the people I might know in the area I’ll visit. Over the past years I have met thousands of Informix users and communicate with many of them still today. Just a few weeks ago, at Forum 2002, I ran into an Informix user I had not seen in about six years. Great talking about old times!

The complete profile may be found at: http://www.iiug.org/iiug/bio_slitel.html.


Informix Database Driver for Perl Version 1.04.PC1 Released

This is another contribution from an esteemed IIUG Directors Award winner: the very famous Jonathan Leffler. His original posting was made in CDI, but we’ve taken the liberty to do a little copying and pasting:

IBM Informix Database Driver for Perl (also known as DBD::Informix) is the driver code that enables Perl 5.005 or later to access Informix databases via the DBI module. You will need the code for DBI version 1.14 or later as well. You should upgrade to – at least – version Perl 5.8.0. The code is available for download via:

http://www.perl.org/CPAN/modules/by-category/07_Database_Interfaces
http://dbi.perl.org/

  • When you successfully build Informix Database Driver for Perl, use the ItWorks (Perl) script to report your configuration to the maintenance team at either dbdinfmx@us.ibm.com (yes, this is a change from the 1.00.PC2 release), and copy Jonathan Leffler. Note that ItWorks does not send email to anybody; you have to do that yourself.

New in release 1.04:

  • This release is supported by Jonathan Leffler. It isn’t clear what IBM’s official stance on the product is. However, they do support DBD::DB2 so there is likely to be minimal objection to this work.
  • This release provides support for INSERT cursors.
  • This release provides support for UPDATE of blobs (BYTE and TEXT).
  • This release provides semi-tested support for BEGIN WORK WITHOUT REPLICATION.
  • This release works with ClientSDK 2.80; the prior versions of DBD::Informix do not because the version string changed radically.
  • Has better support for non-standard Perl installations.
  • You can tell DBD::Informix to avoid testing smart blobs if you have IDS 9.x but no smart blob spaces. You can also say which smart blob space to use if you don’t want to use ‘sbspace’.
  • Fix up file locations so it works better with CPAN.

Release 1.03:

  • Functionally the same as 1.04, but with the wrong Announce file. It’s amazing how you never spot these problems until too late.

As always, see the ChangeLog file for details about what has changed.

Jonathan Leffler (jleffler@us.ibm.com, jleffler@earthlink.net)

Thanks, Jonathan!


Informix Local User Group News

The last quarter of 2002 is full of Informix-themed events. With the InfoBahn road show in full swing and a bevy of local user group meetings, the Informix community will have ample opportunities to meet, learn and network.

Important highlights of the last month include user group meetings in Northern California, Southern California, Washington DC, Central Florida, and Germany. Typical of local user group topics of interest, the Northern Cal group’s agenda included Mark Scranton’s IDS Performance Tuning Foundations, case studies from our local members and an overview of what’s new in IDS 9.4.

Most importantly, though, were the foundational meetings for future user groups in Seattle, Washington, and Toronto, Canada. Interest in both cities was very strong. We expect to see new user group meetings there soon!

For December, local user group meetings are scheduled at:

Dec. 4: Boston, Massachusetts – http://www.iiug.org/neiug/
Dec. 5: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – http://www.iiug.org/gpaiug/
Dec. 6: New York City, New York – mhiskey@us.ibm.com
Dec. 10: Chicago, Illinois – http://www.chiug.org/
Dec. 11: Brüttisellen, Switzerland – http://www.idbug.ch/
Dec. 18: Phoenix, Arizona – http://www.iiug.org/aziug/

2003 will be upon us too soon. IIUG would like to encourage all local user groups to begin planning their first meeting of the year and let us know those dates to make sure you are in our calendar.


Informix Partners Get Help Through IIUG

IIUG’s efforts to provide Informix partners a place to exchange valuable business and technical information continue. The Partners special interest discussion list now exceeds 100 members; IBM’s representative to the list has begun sharing information and requesting suggestions. If you are an IBM Informix partner and want to participate, please visit the IIUG Member Area at www.iiug.org/members, then click “Subscriptions” and select the appropriate SIG list.

Additionally, a new and open e-mail alias has been created to support Informix partners: ibmifmxpartners@iiug.org. The objectives of this new tool are:

  1. To supplement IBM’s PartnerWorld Partnerline [http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/pwhome.nsf/weblook/questions.html] as a secondary resource for IBM Informix partners.
  2. To answer channel related topics when the legacy Informix partner doesn’t know where else to go.
  3. To add IIUG into the IBM Informix partner resource mix.

Informix & MS-SQLServer: A Performance Tuning Exercise

IIUG member Rudy Fernandez recently published a very interesting note at http://www.geocities.com/RudyFernandes/DBAStuff/SQLvInformix/Main.html, sharing a series of tests he ran to “get a feel of how well SQLServer/W2K used resources of a machine when compared to Informix/Linux” using the same hardware.

Good job, Rudy! And thanks so much for allowing us to refer your story.


Upcoming Webcast Events

Please take note of the following upcoming webcasts which IIUG considers of interest to the Informix community:

    • Dec. 5: IBM’s “IBM Informix DataBlades Solving Business Problems”. Details at

http://www.iiug.org/resources/webcasts/ibm_webcast_05dec02.html

    .

  • Dec. 10: IBM’s “IBM Informix OnLine Extended Edition 5.20 and Classics Tools”: http://www.iiug.org/resources/webcasts/webcast_10dec02.html.

IIUG Webcast Replays: Good Only Through 11 Dec. 2002

Please note that IIUG’s webcast replay facility will no longer be available after 11 December. We encourage you to visit our Webcast Corner at http://www.iiug.org/news/webcasts.html to review past events. Among them:

  • Getting the Best Performance from the IBM Informix API Products
  • Informix Future Visions: A Follow-up on the Informix User Conference and Latest Product Information
  • Using IBM Office Connect with the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)
  • IBM Informix 4GL Modernization Interactive Webcast
  • The Websphere App Server and Informix Dynamic Servers
  • Best Practices for Informix Database Performance: A Field Study

Useful Links *** Newly Update by Popular Demand ***

IBM Informix Homepage: http://www.ibm.com/informix/
IIUG Software Repository: http://www.iiug.org/software/
Informix Answers Online: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/pubs/library/
Informix Product Family News: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/news/
Informix Today – Subscription & Archive: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/informixtoday/
IBM Informix Support Site: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/support
Informix Developer Zone: http://www7b.boulder.ibm.com/dmdd/zones/informix/
Data Management Certification Program: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/db2/skills/cert.html
Informix Page Within IBM PartnerWorld for Developers: http://www.developer.ibm.com/data/informindex.php
Recent Data Management Product Announcements: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/launch/
Upcoming IBM Conferences Worldwide: http://www.ibm.com/services/learning/conf/
Bad Press on Nasty Informix Competitors: http://www-3.ibm.com/software/data/news/competitors.html

Closing and Credits

The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an organization designed to enhance communications between IBM and its worldwide user community. IIUG now exceeds 16,000 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, IIUG Board of Directors
Jean Georges Perrin, IIUG Board of Directors
Fred Hubbard, IIUG Managing Director, and
Paul Etcheverry, IIUG Editor
For comments, please send an email to UG@IIUG.org.

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