IIUG Insider (Issue #21) 21 February 2003

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Highlights: DB Direction Survey, Dave Smith Profiled, Jan. Survey Report, and More…

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

Contents:

  1. New IIUG Survey: Where Are You Going with Informix Products?
  2. Dave Smith, IIUG Board Member, Profiled
  3. Results of the IIUG Survey on Member’s Preferences
  4. Andrew Watson, IIUG Member in the UK, on DB Monitoring Tools
  5. ServerMetrics Offers Free Informix Database Monitoring to IIUG
  6. Peter Wages Takes Over the IIUG Software Repository
  7. IBM DMDD: New Red Brick Article on Federating Queries
  8. Useful Links
  9. Closing and Credits

New IIUG Survey: Where Are You Going with Informix Products?

In last month’s survey to IIUG members, we heard you clearly tell us that you want IIUG to advocate to IBM on behalf of all Informix product users and partners. As a first step in that direction, the IIUG Board will soon launch another survey to gauge what the IIUG membership believes their future with Informix products looks like.

You will receive an e-mail notification with the survey is available. As done with the January survey on member priorities, results will be published, along with a list of actions that the IIUG Board intends to take to support member interests.

For commentary on this subject, please write to info@iiug.org.


Dave Smith, IIUG Board Member, Profiled

ENews profiles Dave Smith, IIUG Board member in his second term. Dave is also the ENews team lead.

Q: How do you use Informix in your “real” job (DBA, Consultant, Developer, etc.)?
A: I retired from my “real” job of 28 years with the Arizona Game and Fish Department shortly before being elected to the 2001 IIUG Board. As the Enterprise Systems Administrator, I also took care of the Informix Systems Administrator chores like space administration, backups, recovery and software installation and upgrades.
Q: How long have you been using Informix products?
A: We were first exposed to Informix after purchasing an accounting package as part of a platform migration to open systems (Unix) which began in 1993. By 1996, we had converted all of our applications to Informix running Online Dynamic Server for our transaction processing on a Bull AIX system called the Escala.
Q: What is your role on the IIUG Board?
A: Grandpa. Actually, I am the elder member on the Board and have enjoyed mentoring a couple of the new Board members this past year. Most of my duties center around writing and editing our various electronic communications. I was originally trained in journalism and I continue to enjoy writing whenever I get the opportunity.
Q: Why did you volunteer to be on the Board?
A: With retirement approaching, I felt I would have an opportunity to give some volunteer time back to the Informix community. I also felt it would help me remain connected to the IT World. I was intrigued by the IBM purchase and figured it would be pretty interesting to be involved. I was right.
Q: What do you want to accomplish this year on the Board?
A: I would like to be a significant contributor towards a dynamic IIUG which is able to meet the challenges and opportunities that IBM’s purchase of Informix has presented to the user community.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Phoenix, Arizona and still there.
Q: Best Informix story?
A: The successful migration of all our applications to Informix is a great story in itself. The first time we ran one of our random drawings for big game hunting permits as a 4GL application we were sure that the program had terminated prematurely because it had run so much faster than our old system. We spent several more hours trying to find what had went wrong only to finally confirm that the draw had run perfectly!
Q: Worst Informix nightmare?
A: I had many nightmares as a System Administrator. I was always trying to anticipate the worst-case scenarios. Fortunately, thanks to Informix reliability, they didn’t materialize. We had a few “hardware” failures and shoot your self in the foot incidents, but we were always able to recover with little trouble.
Q: Can you tell us about your family and hobbies outside of IIUG?
A: Married for 34 years, my lovely wife and I have 3 grown children and 5 grand children (yes, I am a Grandpa!). I don’t fish nearly enough, collect stamps, play guitar and write songs primarily for my own amusement. I also like to collect and maintain friendships whenever I can find them.

See Dave and other members of the IIUG Board of directors as captured attending the recent WAIUG Forum 2002 at http://www.iiug.org/iiug/09nov02_board3.html.


Results of the IIUG Survey on Member’s Preferences

In January 2003, IIUG conducted a membership survey to obtain feedback on services offered by IIUG and to help set IIUG’s priorities in 2003. We are happy to report that survey participation exceeded our expectations with close to 700 members submitting their responses.

The survey results were discussed during the February meeting of the IIUG Board Of Directors and taken into consideration when setting direction for 2003.

Here are some highlights of survey results:

  • 92% of respondents think the IIUG Insider e-newsletter is at least somewhat helpful.
  • 83% of respondents visit the IIUG website www.iiug.org at least occasionally.
  • 30% of respondents attend IIUG web casts at least occasionally.
  • 60% of respondents find special interest groups (SIGs) helpful and they subscribe to them. An additional 30% are interested but currently do not subscribe to SIGs.
  • Respondents think IIUG should spend its time and resources in the following activities, prioritized from highest to lowest:
    1. Advocating IDS 9
    2. Advocating Informix toolsets (4GL, ISQL, etc.)
    3. www.iiug.org website
    4. Local user group meetings
    5. Advocating IDS 7
    6. Informix User Conference planning
    7. SIGs/discussion forums
    8. Web casts
    9. Advocating XPS
    10. Providing information on other IBM products
    11. Advocating Red Brick
  • 97% of respondents are at least somewhat satisfied with the IIUG.

Respondents also gave IIUG the following feedback, as measured by recurring entries in the open commentary questions:

  1. More marketing/advertising efforts are needed by IBM for the Informix product portfolio.
  2. IIUG needs to do more to serve the needs of the U2 (UniVerse, UniData) users.
  3. A job posting board is a desired service that IIUG should provide.

The IIUG Board of Directors would like to thank to all those who responded and encourage every single IIUG member to continue responding to IIUG surveys, which provide hard data in support of the Board’s advocacy efforts.


Andrew Watson, IIUG Member in the UK, on DB Monitoring Tools

Just in time for IIUG’s release of ServerMetrics’ offer to IIUG members, Andrew Watson of the United Kingdom turned in his paper on remote database monitoring tools. You may find it posted in full at http://www.iiug.org/news/articles/database_monitoring_tools.html.

Andrew’s introduction to his write up reads as follows:

“Monitoring is one of the most important roles of database administration, but it can also be one of the most tedious, time- consuming and inconvenient. This article provides a high level overview of three tools, Informix Server Administrator (ISA), BusyBee and ServerMetrics, which take some of the drudgery out of this task.”

Thanks, Andrew! IIUG’s ENews team welcomes technical member contributions. If you are interested, please write us to enews@iiug.org.


ServerMetrics Offers Free Informix Database Monitoring to IIUG

ServerMetrics is offering free IBM Informix Dynamic Server 7.x and 9.x monitoring to registered IIUG members. ServerMetrics President, Keith Brownlow, says: “Observer, can provide Informix managers and DBAs with immediate, hassle-free monitoring of Informix instances thru any web browser.”

IIUG members may obtain their free ServerMetrics account by accessing the secured member area on the www.iiug.org website.

Caveats:

  • Observer will monitor any 5 user-selected instance resources for a single instance and for a single user.
  • Monitoring should be done against IDS 7.x or 9.x running on any platform and cannot be used against IDS 8.x/6.x, OnLine 5.x, Red Brick, SE or Cloudscape.
  • This promotion is limited in comparison to the commercial version of Observer and it will not include:
    • Multi-instance monitoring
    • Multi-user notification
    • Full access to the Observer monitoring library
    • Graphing
    • Reporting
    • Consulting, 24×7 support or other services

To learn more about ServerMetrics and its Observer product, please visit http://www.servermetrics.com.


Peter Wages Takes Over the IIUG Software Repository

IIUG is pleased to announce that Peter Wages is now officially the IIUG Software Repository Administrator. This role was originally defined by Walt Hultgren, co-founder and past president of IIUG, and IIUG Directors Award recipient.

The IIUG Software Repository (http://www.iiug.org/softwaindex.php) is one of IIUG’s most popular services to the Informix community. It contains free access to scripts, code, libraries and packages contributed by generous Informix fans and experts.

Walt Hultgren had this to say about his experience as the Repository’s administrator and Peter’s new role: “Overseeing the Software Repository has been one of my most rewarding IIUG activities, because of the tangible benefits to those who use it. It has also afforded me the opportunity to meet some of the true legends of the Informix user community, for which I am grateful. One of my few regrets is that I never seemed to have the time to do as much as I would have liked with the Repository. I’m looking forward to seeing how Peter’s new energy and ideas expand the service. I know I’m leaving it in capable hands!”

Peter Wages, long term IIUG member, said to ENews: “I am very honored to be asked to succeed Walt Hultgren as the Repository Administrator and I only hope I can continue the excellent job he has done. As the first administrator of the Informix-List (CDI) and the original anonymous ftp site at Emory University, Walt basically started the Software Repository and so Informix DBAs and developers around the world are greatly indebted to him. I’ve noticed in the last two or three months just how much the Informix community uses the Repository. So many people contribute! As the Software Repository Administrator, I will be looking at ways to promote these contributors, so please continue sending Informix shareware to software@iiug.org!”


IBM DMDD: New Red Brick Article on Federating Queries

IBM Data Management Developer Zone has a new article on Red Brick. Kathy Zeidenstein made the info available to IIUG:

How to Query Red Brick Tables from DB2 DataJoiner V2.1.x

Expand your world! This article describes a method for easily performing federated queries on IBM Red Brick and DB2 DataJoiner tables using provided SQL scripts.

Enjoy!


Useful Links

In response to your input, we have created a new page on the IIUG web site containing all the links we used to include. Please find it at http://www.iiug.org/quicklinks.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’s membership database now exceeds 16,000 entries 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, and
Fred Hubbard, IIUG Managing Director
For comments, please send an email to ug@iiug.org.

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