International Informix Users Group (IIUG)
Volume 1 – May 12, 2001
Here is a summary of the major topics in this newsletter:
|I.||LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT:||Why the newsletter? Format and goals.|
|II.||IIUG NEWS AND EVENTS:||Local conferences, member surveys, and more.|
|III.||BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATE:||Meeting minutes, accomplishments, plans.|
|IV.||INFORMIX NEWS AND EVENTS:||Cloudscape, Ardent, Foundation 2000, and the i.Economy. Interview with Jean-Yves Dexmier.|
|V.||CLOSING:||Summary of the newsletter, request for feedback.|
You can update your IIUG information online at Update
I. LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Welcome to the first E-newsletter for the International Informix Users Group! We hope to use this newsletter as a way to provide you with valuable information about Informix and the IIUG. We plan to send it about once a quarter. It will provide you with information that is not given in our hardcopy newsletter or on the IIUG Web site. Also, the E-newsletter provides a convenient and summarized reference.
Here is a summary of the major topics in this edition:
- Information about the IIUG: How it can benefit you.
- Details about the Informix User Conference in October, an IIUG-driven event.
- Details about other upcoming IIUG and Informix events.
- Updates on Informix and its current products and strategy.
- Informix product strategies and portions of an interview with Jean-Yves Dexmier: Where is Informix going?
The IIUG’s operations are coordinated by the user group program office and a 12 member board of directors. Informix has demonstrated its commitment to the program by providing a user group program director as well as a dedicated member of the board of directors. The rest of the board consists of dedicated Informix users from all over the world.
See Board of Director Bios for details.
We really want to use this newsletter to help you understand our function and how we can help you. We feel that the most important benefit of the IIUG is to provide you with information, and we hope that we achieve that goal. Please send your feedback directly to me at email@example.com or to our user group office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
II. IIUG NEWS AND EVENTS
This section provides news and information about the International Informix Users Group.
The New Informix Users Conference!
The IIUG is proud to be a primary sponsor of the Informix User Conference! The conference will be held on October 24 through 27, 2000, in Orlando, Florida, USA. It will be combined with the partners’ conference as well. We are currently working on the content for the conference. The new agenda will be driven by YOU – the Informix user and will include major input from the IIUG at large. One of our operating themes for the conference is:
“Because Users Know What Users Want.”
Keeping in touch with its international client base, Informix also plans to hold Informix User Conference events in the following regions in 2001: Europe, Asia-Pac, and the Americas. The conferences will occur in 3-4 month intervals. The first conference will occur from October 24 27, 2000 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This event will be followed by a February conference in a European venue and an April conference in the Asia/Pacific region.
This October’s conference will be a combination of technical and corporate information. Informix marketing and product management will still be part of the program while IIUG will ensure that the content meets the needs of the user community. In the past, many attendees and exhibiting partners didn’t feel that the value justified the cost of the conference. This conference is different. Since it is driven by the IIUG, it will be targeted towards the user community while still satisfying the needs of management. Please watch www.informix.com/iuc for the latest news and information!
Regional and Worldwide User Group Meetings
To help bring the message closer to the users, Informix is stepping up its assistance with local user group meetings. These meetings are mini versions of the traditional Informix User Conference. The event in Washington D.C. (described below) was a stellar example of such a meeting (though the sponsoring user groups put forth an incredible effort to make the meeting happen). The following paragraphs describe upcoming and recent events.
Forum.2000 in Washington DC, USA: A huge success!
Author: Nick Nobbe, President, WAIUG
We recently completed Forum 2000, a successful, event-packed two-day user conference, co-hosted by Informix and three major user groups on the U.S. eastern seaboard. We registered 275 people, most coming from the East Coast of USA. The conference was small and intimate, and provided an excellent setting for the exchange of information about Informix.
High points of the conference were the keynote speech by Informix president and CEO, Jean-Yves Dexmier, a “meet the authors luncheon” with leading Informix-Press authors, and a full morning seminar on data warehousing by Red Brick guru and president, Ralph Kimball. Informix added the finishing touch, set in Washington’s recently renovated Union Station: A buffet dinner and networking session, including entertainment by the “Capitol Steps” political comedy troupe.
Informix TecForum a Success!
Hundreds of Informix customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa attended the first annual Informix TecForum in Frankfurt, Germany recently. Customers were given the opportunity to discuss current Informix technologies with their peers from around the world as well as with members of Informix’s development staff.
Technical presentations and Q&A sessions provided customers with an opportunity to exchange experiences, gain valuable insight to utilizing Informix technology, and learn about the latest Informix products being released.
TecForum provides customers an excellent time to discuss the usage and optimization of Informix technology with the Informix experts who work directly on product development. Organizers of this year’s event are already making preparations for TecForum 2000.
If you would like more information on TecForum 2000, or have questions, please send email to email@example.com
Local User Group Corner
The IIUG provides worldwide support to any local user group (LUG). We believe that the LUGs are the conduit between many Informix communities and the IIUG, and we greatly value their input.
If you’re interested in starting a LUG or want any type of help with an existing LUG Or your events and meetings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Dawn McGuire at 650-926-6762. The following sections provide some LUG news.
- Nordic UG Region Conference
- The next Annual Nordic UG Conference will be held in Iceland on September 9th and 10th, 2000. The Nordic UG Meeting is an annual meeting that rotates between the various Nordic countries. For more information, please contact Bjorn Gustavsson at email@example.com.
- Israel UG Region Conference
The next Israel Region Conference will be next week on May 17, 2000. More information is available at
- Danish UG Region Meeting
The next event in Denmark will be held May 23, 2000. Please look to
- for more information.
- Swiss UG Region Meeting
The next Swiss UG Region Meeting is coming in June, Date to be announced. Check the Swiss Local UG site or contact Ralf Halter at
- German Local UG Workshop Session
The German Local UG Workshop is coming June 8, 2000 and more information is available at the local web site at
Please See Our New Events Web Page At: www.iiug.org.
To list your local event in this newsletter or on the IIUG web site, please send your event information to firstname.lastname@example.org
III. BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATE
The IIUG board is a 10-12 person group that is dedicated to serving the needs of the IIUG community. The board is made up entirely of volunteers that spend their own time to serve the needs of the IIUG. You can find biographies of each board member at www.iiug.org/iiug/iiug_board.html.
Following are some current highlights:
- Coordination of the Informix Users Conference in Orlando. The board is always heavily involved in the conference. Because the IIUG is one of the primary sponsors of this year’s event, we’ll be busier than ever!
- Last board meeting. In March of 2000, the board met in Washington D.C. to review current initiatives and plan ongoing strategies for the organization. As required at each of our board meetings, the business plan was reviewed and updated; for more details, see the following article.
- Subcommittees. To increase productivity, the board has formed three subcommittees. These committees are designed to increase efficiency in membership, operations, and promotions. The teams are led by Sudhir Nair (membership), James “Mac” Horn (operations), and Rob Vorbroker (promotions).
- User conferences. A major part of the last meeting was to find a more effective way to conduct Informix conferences. There will now be three major Informix conferences around the world yearly. Also addressed at this meeting was the next round of elections. There will be a detailed explanation of the upcoming elections emailed to the membership shortly.
- The Business Plan. On June 20th, 1999 the board documented the strategic plan (business plan) for the organization. This plan was created by a subcommittee of the board, approved by the entire board and ultimately approved by the Informix User Group Leadership Council (IUGLC). The plan is a living document and is reviewed at every board meeting to ensure effective ongoing management of the IIUG. The entire business plan can be reviewed in the About section of our Web site. We invite comments and questions regarding the plan. We encourage people to help us achieve the objectives. If you or someone you know is interested in assisting or leading any of the IIUG programs please send an email to email@example.com or any of the members of the board of directors.
- Our objectives. The top four objectives of the IIUG board of directors currently are:
- Sustain and document the on-going operations of the IIUG.
- Increase the breadth of the IIUG membership and investigate the demographics of said membership.
- Increase and promote the value proposition of the IIUG to the IIUG membership and to Informix Corporation.
- Increase IIUG membership participation in the activities the IIUG sponsors or takes part.
- Next meeting
The next meeting of the IIUG Board will take place from June 17-21, 2000. Please inform us of any topics that you think should be covered.
WEB SITE UPDATES
The IIUG Web site provides a wealth of information about Informix and the user group.
The most popular part of the Web site is the software archive, which includes literally THOUSANDS of different Informix-related utilities. In addition, the site includes an Informix FAQ, search features, membership information, and the complete (searchable) archive of the Informix newsgroup (comp.databases.informix).
You can obtain other detailed information online at the following locations:
|Charter and bylaws:||www.iiug.org/iiug/charter.html|
|Board of directors:||www.iiug.org/iiug/board.html|
Please take a few moments to use our site and find out how it can enhance your professional Informix experience.
IV. INFORMIX NEWS
Ron Flannery, lead author of the upcoming Informix Handbook, recently completed a comprehensive interview with Informix president and CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier. Their conversation addressed many user concerns and helped to define and clarify Informix’s overall corporate direction.
To give you an idea of the scope of that interview, this newsletter provides a product summary, along with Dexmier’s answer to the first interview question. Because of the length of the interview and its summary, we decided not to include it in this newsletter. For the complete text of the interview, current information, and live Web links, go to the Informix Handbook Web site at www.informixhandbook.com.
First, we’ll introduce some core concepts of the new Informix. These items will help you understand the entire interview. Here is a list of some of the current products:
- Informix Dynamic Server.2000 (IDS.2000). IDS 2000 is a combination of the former IDS 7.3 and Universal Data Option 9.1 products and has been assigned the version number 9.2. It provides object-relational functionality built directly into the server, as well as retaining the database functionality that is the core of Informix’s current customer base. Through at least June of 2000, Informix will provide a no-cost upgrade to IDS.2000 for 7.x or 9.x customers with currently active support (users may have to pay a higher support renewal cost).
- Informix Internet Foundation.2000 (usually called Foundation.2000). Foundation 2000 offers all the functionality of IDS.2000 and provides several additional built-in products, including Web DataBlade, Excalibur’s Text DataBlade and Java in the Server.
- Ardent. Recently acquired by Informix, Ardent is a company specializing in many data warehouse (Business Intelligence) solutions for reporting, data loading and cleansing. Their flagship product is considered to be DataStage, an ETL tool.
- Cloudscape. Another company that was recently acquired by Informix, Cloudscape’s main product is a relational database that is written entirely in Java. It can run on any Java Virtual Machine, from hand-held units to UNIX workstations to IBM mainframes. The Cloudscape database can communicate with many other relational databases.
- i.Sell. i.Sell is a complete E-commerce solution that uses Foundation.2000 as its core database. i.Sell is packaged as a full solution that includes both services and database products.
- i.Reach. i.Reach is a content management solution that provides a way to administer an online document repository. It provides many administrative tools that allow users to manage documents on an intranet or Internet site. Like i.Sell, this product also is presented as a complete solution.
- Media 360. Another recently acquired product, Media 360 is a specialty solution that facilitates the management of various digital assets, including both video and still pictures. It provides a digital repository of all data types, cataloguing of the data and comprehensive search capabilities.
All of these products are described in detail on Informix’s Web site. They are all a core part of the future of Informix and Jean-Yves references them in the interview.
Here is the first question from the interview:
RON FLANNERY: What is the i.Economy or Internet Economy?
JEAN-YVES DEXMIER: It is the new way of doing business. The Internet has changed the way that the world operates. Because of the massive amounts of data, different types of data, and need for immediate information, businesses need more powerful solutions. People want REAL TIME, instant results. Today’s customer is concerned about SPEED to market, not time to market. This is the i.Economy.
Think about the types of data you access today: video, audio, movies, pictures and more. They generate massive storage and processing requirements. Your applications need to be able to store the data and display it in an efficient manner.
Today’s solutions have to be to be implemented FAST. Businesses move at “Internet speed.” Companies can be created and go online within a matter of months. They need a strong technology that can get them online fast. Our products provide this capability. For example, our i.Sell solution allows users to create a fully functioning E-commerce site in as little as six weeks.
The i.Economy also calls for personalized content. Users demand immediate answers to their questions. They want to be able to click and receive immediate answers. For example, if a Web site knows about its customers, it can really help sell the company’s products. This type of personalized solution requires a solid technology.
A simple way to describe the i.Economy is by defining the “i.” It can mean three different things:
- Individual – A Web user wants to access content that is customized to his or her needs and is shared between many individuals.
- Internet – The Web and the Internet provide the means to deliver this personalized content.
- Informix – The new “i.” products from Informix can really help build a foundation for the i.Economy. That is why the core product of our new strategy is called Foundation.2000 — it provides a core building block for solutions in the i.Economy — much like building a solid foundation for your house.
Ron Flannery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The entire text of the interview, as well as live Web links, can be found on www.informixhandbook.com.
INFORMIX FINANCIAL DETAILS
Informix continues to grow at an outstanding pace. Its revenue for the fourth quarter of 1999 was a record $251.1 million, compared with $214.0 million for the fourth quarter of 1998, and increase of 17 percent. Compared to the fourth quarter of 1998, license revenue was up 15 percent at $135.3 million and service revenue was up 20% at $115.8 million. Informix’s balance sheet continued to improve during the quarter, with $229.1 million in cash and short-term investments and stockholders’ equity of $312.5 million. The first quarter of 2000 also provided revenue of over $250 million, aiming Informix towards its first-ever $1 billion year.
Who is the IIUG and how can they help me?
The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an international organization that is designed to enhance communications between Informix and its worldwide user community. The IIUG now has over 10,000 members and has major support from Informix. We also help local user groups get started and promote their groups. Here are some of the benefits you receive through your membership in the IIUG:
- Get technical “how to” information from Informix, Informix Partners, and other Informix users.
- Gain access to a channel of communications to Informix.
- Influence Informix product development, service offerings, and overall corporate strategy.
- Network with peers from around the world.
- Participate in beta tests and pre-releases.
We hope that this newsletter can help us reach these goals.
Thank you for reading this version of the E-newsletter! You can expect the next version soon. Please give us your valuable feedback by sending email to email@example.com. If you do not wish to receive future editions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “UNSUBSCRIBE enews” in the text of the message. To delete your record from the IIUG database, send an email to email@example.com with the words “DELETE iiug-membership” in the text of the message.
Acknowledgments: Nick Nobbe, President, WAIUG; From Informix: Dawn McGuire, Tom Rieger and Mike Serpe
Editor: Ron Flannery, Informix Handbook, and IIUG Board of Directors
Assistance: Shawn Dagg, Fred Hubbard, Rob Vorbroker, Meg Hilbert, and IIUG Board of Directors.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dawn McGuire at 650.926.6762