IIUG Insider (Issue #48) June 2004

Highlights: Sponsorship, Visionary, Querix, EGL, DMTC & 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.


  1. Editorial
  2. Sponsorship
  3. Mark Scranton profiled
  4. Complimentary Informix and U2 pre-conference tutorials
  5. Value of the Professional Certification Program from IBM
  6. Looking for an Informix job?
  7. Visionary is back!
  8. Querix releases it’s latest 4GL & ESQL/C development suite ‘Hydra 4.1’
  9. Informix Infobahn
  10. WebSphere EGL FAQ
  11. WebSphere EGL Announced
  12. News from Phil White
  13. Useful Links
  14. Closing and Credits


This issue is really showing IIUG’s will to be open to more products, technologies and news in the Informix world.

We are proud to introduce our sponsorship program, which will provide benefits to both IIUG members and IIUG sponsors.

We will also discover new products from Rocket Software, Querix… Finally the last big thing from IBM: WebSphere EGL. Discover all the news around IBM’s new technology.

Do not hesitate to send us feedback, at enews@iiug.org..

The Insider editorial team


IIUG will be starting a Sponsorship program for Informix related partners (VARs, services, and re-sellers) over the next few months. This will consist of three levels and will be open to any member of the IIUG where the partner is Informix related. The three levels will range from a FREE listing of your services on the IIUG web site. We will also have a “Gold” and a “Platinum” Sponsorship level to IIUG where the Sponsor will receive special benefits for their paid sponsorship to reach thousands of Informix users including a presence on the IIUG web site that receives millions of hits annually.

We would like to assure our members at NO time will we release any membership information to any of these sponsors, but in order to assist the Informix community for members and Informix related partners to reach each other we will provide these services and we will not be sending out any additional e-mails to the membership for the Sponsors. The program will be launched over the next few months, but if your company is interested in becoming a paid sponsor, please contact Stuart Litel, IIUG President at president@iiug.org. We hope to be launching the FREE listing service with the next issue of the Insider in July 2004, followed by the Gold and Platinum sponsorship level the following month.

Mark Scranton profiled

This month, let’s discover together board member Mark Scranton.

Q: How do you use Informix in your real job?
A: I have been employed by Informix since 1995, and then by IBM after the acquisition. I focus exclusively on the engine products – IDS and XPS. 80% of the first 7 or so years were in the classroom teaching the engine products, including the IDS/XPS Masters Workshops, Performance Tuning, and Internal Architecture. The other 20% was consulting on IDS. In the last few years though, I have done more consulting than teaching on IDS, as well us focusing on the client base for user groups and conferences.
Q: How long have you been using Informix products?
A: Since 1995, full-time on the IDS and XPS engines.
Q: What is your role on the IIUG Board?
A: I work with the webcasts delivered to the user community. As an IBM employee as well, I do function as a liaison between IBM and the board, along with Mohan.
Q: Why did you volunteer to be on the board?
A: I have truly enjoyed both the Informix products AND the Informix community over the years. I do believe that Informix developed a bit of a “family” feeling amongst the technical user base, and I would like to see that continue. I also feel that with the acquisition, we lost some of our “family members” unnecessarily, and I believe I am in a position to influence client product choices due to my work with the user groups, conferences, and the classroom. I have always tried to disperse my “passion” for this product to the user base, and I feel the IIUG board will elevate that potential.
Q: What do you want to accomplish this year on the Board?
A: I want to see our board release the negative conversations and feelings about the acquisition, and develop a strong, positive swell of a future vision with Informix. I do believe that IBM is fully committed to this effort, and as a board member – and one that is trusted by the user community – I feel I can project this commitment to the clients. This will help encourage them to “stay the course” and develop their businesses around the Informix product.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I live in Colorado, but was born in Indiana.
Q: Best Informix story?
A: Seeing my work, effort, and passion being acknowledged with the IIUG Directors Award for 2003. I have always felt it a privilege and honor to speak in front of users, and this just confirmed that it has been as valuable to them as it’s been rewarding to me. My dream job has always been to teach – and this is what Informix has allowed me to do since 1995. The Directors Award focused on that teaching primarily and the educational efforts. It validated the value of good education and training in this industry, and further validated our client bases’ effort to continue their education.
Q: Worst Informix nightmare.
A: Driving into the office after taking my month-long sabbatical only to find out that we had been acquired. At first, I was angry. The Informix product has always been technically way ahead of the pack, and should have been able to led the industry and put Informix on top. I sat down and thought about what it meant, and then realized that being purchased by someone like IBM could very well be a great thing for our product due to the IBM presence in the industry. Although I acknowledge that the acquisition has had some challenges, overall I think for me personally, it has been great. I do also think that the user base is starting to see some of the benefits in the stability and features of IDS 9.4, and will continue to with 9.5 and 9.6.
Q: Can you tell us about your family and hobbies outside of the IIUG?
A: I have four wonderful children, ages 24, 22, 20, and 18 (as of Feb 2004). They all have different interests – and not a one in the computer field! There are 3 boys and one (not spoiled at all) daughter. We spend a great deal of our year going to concerts together all over the country, and making music (2 guitarists, one vocalist, and one keyboard player/singer (me)). When not with the kids, I spend a great deal of time at my piano, or on the water, ice, land, snow windsurfing with water boards, kites, snowboards, or land boards, all over the country.

Complimentary Informix and U2 pre-conference tutorials

Pre-conference tutorials for Informix at the DB2 Information Management Technical Conference
September 20-24, 2004
Las Vegas, NV

The DB2 Information Management Technical Conference gives you a great way to extend and maximize your week long learning experience with pre-conference classes and tutorials. Fly in Saturday, enjoy an additional evening in Las Vegas and save on airfare too. As a thank you, IBM is offering the following no charge tutorial sessions for the Informix product family on Sunday, September 19th:

  • Rapid Application Development For IBM DB2 and Informix With IBM WebSphere Studio EGL (9am -5pm)
  • IDS 9.4 – IDS Performance Stories from the Road (8am – 11am)
  • Problem Determination Techniques for the IBM-Informix Dynamic Server (11:30 am to 2:30pm)
  • Usages of Replication in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server (3pm – 6pm)

Enrollment for these complimentary sessions is available on our web site now. We look forward to holding these pre-conference tutorials if there is sufficient enrollment.

Don’t miss these exciting tutorials at the event uniting the DB2, Informix and U2 communities! Get an early conference registration discount of $150 when you register by August 2, 2004.

For more details and to enroll in the conference and pre-conference tutorials visit:


Value of the Professional Certification Program from IBM

Message from IBM Professional Certification Team:

“IBM is proud to launch a new campaign that demonstrates the value of the Professional Certification Program from IBM — the program that provides IT professionals an opportunity to showcase their proven skills in the latest IBM technology. We’ve updated our certification program with new resources to help you get there:

  • An electronic certification kit (e-Kit)
  • An on-line video
  • A collaboration center
  • Our New Quarterly e-Journal: “Certification Today” — read it at http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/media/2Q04-ejournal.pdf

IBM certification lays the groundwork for your personal journey to becoming a skilled world-class resource to your customers, colleagues, and employer. Your potential is out of this world. Are YOU ready for blast-off? Check out the updated IBM certification Web site with the new value campaign! http://www.ibm.com/certify/certify_splash.shtml

And please, enjoy this inaugural edition of Certification Today!”

Looking for an Informix job?

Looking for an Informix job? Or do you have an opening and you are looking for Informix talent? Did you know the IIUG has a Job Board available free of charge for all members to post and read about Informix openings worldwide. The online Job board was launched in the summer of 2003 (/news/insider/insider_27jun03.html#1) and will look forward as the employment is changing for this service to be used more frequently.

So if your employer has an opening for an Informix related position, please tell them they can list the job on the IIUG site. The site can only be read by IIUG members so they will be reaching the best audience for the positions. The Job Board may be viewed by going to /members and logging into the Member area. Once in the member area click on the JOB BOARD button.

Visionary is back!

Many of you may well have used Informix Visionary in the past; a revolutionary database visualization tool developed by Dr. Michael Stonebraker during his tenure as CTO of Informix. Following the Informix acquisition, Visionary became an IBM offering before being acquired by Rocket Software, a Boston-based IBM business partner.

Since acquiring the software in mid-2002, Rocket Software has significantly built upon Visionary’s core concepts. Recently released Visionary 4.0 introduced a pure Java runtime model with over 30 new graphical layouts, along with a wide variety of productivity enhancements. Staying true to its heritage, Rocket Visionary also retains the many Informix optimizations that make it particularly well-suited to operating against IDS and XPS.

If you are looking for a powerful solution for rapidly developing and deploying visually intuitive analytical applications and executive dashboards then Rocket Visionary may be the tool for you.

A few useful links:

  1. Full-featured 30 day trial software ftp://download1:rocket@ftp.rocketsoftware.com/fromRocket/Visionary/Developer.zip
  2. Sample Visionary World (including sources) ftp://download1:rocket@ftp.rocketsoftware.com/fromRocket/Visionary/SampleWorld.zip
  3. Introductory tutorial ftp://download1:rocket@ftp.rocketsoftware.com/fromRocket/Visionary/IntroTutorial.doc
  4. General Product Information http://www.rocketsoftware.com/portfolio/visionary/indepth.htm
  5. Product contact Jonathan.lehr@rocketsoftware.com

Querix releases it’s latest 4GL & ESQL/C development suite ‘Hydra 4.1’

Querix has made a large number of enhancements to this new version of the suite, giving it the potential to become the ultimate 4GL business application development system.

Some of the most significant enhancements to Hydra 4.1 are:

  • A new generation of advanced thin-clients, for Windows, Java2 and HTML based on the XML framework
  • The Hydra Studio IDE, which now features a Graphical Form Designer (GFD)
  • Full support for Informix Dynamic 4GL extensions

Hydra 4.1 will support all 21 major Unix/Linux & Windows Platforms.

The Database Connectivity is also extended and now supports (using Querix’ unique Dynamic SQL translation) Informix, IBM-DB2 and many other databases.

‘One’ Executable application file built from the same ‘project source’ compiled using Hydra 4.1 can be run in conjunction with all Database types, Advanced Client Systems and Report extensions:

  • Phoenix (MS-Windows client)
  • Chimera (Java2 client applet and standalone application with Java WebStart support)
  • Arachne (XML-HTML Web Client)
  • Eko (ASCII text client)
  • Hermes (HTML Report Writer)

A small extract on the latest features:

  • Fully compatible Informix 4GL AND ESQL/c
  • Automated E-SQL translation for multiple databases at runtime
  • XML WEB Framework
  • Syspgm4gl project systems table support
  • Dynamic 4GL support for graphical and logical controls
  • Support for all Dynamic 4GL Widgets
  • Server-side scripting
  • Intelligent Server-Client Resource Distribution & Updates
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer) data encryption with security certification
  • Improved performance
  • Enhanced ‘out-of-the-box’ graphical rendering
  • Enhanced message & dialog boxes
  • Improved True Type font handling & graphical layout customization
  • Improved handling of multiple forms
  • Modernized Look & Feel for Graphical Components
  • Enhanced client-side BLOB handling & processing
  • Addition of flat windows display (without frame) – (flat, windowed, mixed)

Informix Infobahn

IBM defines Infobahn as: “Informix Infobahn is an information forum where customers and Business Partners can learn first-hand how to leverage their current investment in Informix software. This forum offers a full-day of sessions – led by IBM executives and regional managers — outlining our strategic programs and future plans for Informix products including: Standard Engine, OnLine Extended Edition and 4GL. In addition, you’ll learn how we’ve enhanced IDS 9.4 — making it a flexible solution that integrates easily with your IT environment, while ensuring compatibility with other IBM software such as DB2(r) Universal Database, WebSphere(r) and Tivoli(r).”

New dates for Europe:

  • 3 June Croatia Zagreb
  • 8 June Slovakia Bratislava
  • 9 June Bulgaria Sofia
  • 10 June Czech Republic Prague
  • 15 June United Kingdom London
  • 16 June Italy Rome
  • 22 June Germany Berlin
  • 23 June France Paris
  • 24 June Germany Munich
  • 25 June Switzerland Zurich
  • 29 June Germany Cologne

More details on http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/infobahn/.

WebSphere EGL FAQ

To celebrate WebSphere EGL arrival, IIUG Insider team will collect all your questions you have around EGL and will produce, with IBM, a Frequently Asked Questions list, which we will make available on the IIUG Web site.

To ask your question, send an e-mail to enews@iiug.org, with subject “EGL”.

WebSphere EGL Announced

IBM delivers first release of the modern Informix 4GL solution with WebSphere Studio 5.1.2 – Enterprise Generation Language (EGL).

On May 21, 2004, IBM announced the first release of the modern Informix 4GL solution with the availability of IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer and IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer, version 5.1.2. The Informix 4GL – WebSphere Studio integration is IBM’s strategic Informix 4GL modernization strategy and it is based on valuable feedback by the International Informix Users Group (IIUG).

WebSphere Studio offers the best solution for accelerating application development with IBM Databases, both DB2 and Informix. Whether you need to build your next generation OnDemand web application, or are just getting started with this new technology, WebSphere Studio and IBM Databases provide an open, comprehensive development environment that tightly integrates with “Ready for WebSphere Studio” Partner plug-ins and third party Eclipse-based offerings. Founded on open technologies and built on Eclipse, WebSphere Studio provides a flexible, portal-like integration of multi-language, multi-platform and multi-device application development tools for building, testing and deploying dynamic applications.


WebSphere Studio 5.1.2 products include important Informix 4GL constructs in a new implementation of IBM’s EGL, a proven, high-level 4GL language that Informix 4GL developers, unfamiliar with Java, can use to quickly build data-driven Web applications and business logic. Informix 4GL developers can write and debug their applications in EGL and WebSphere Studio generates the Java code for them. Used in conjunction with JavaServer Faces (JSF), EGL allows Informix 4GL developers to build dynamic Web applications without having to learn the Java language. This new capability opens up Java development to a new class of Informix 4GL developers that can apply their business domain expertise and use their skills as procedural developers to quickly build dynamic Web applications with IBM Databases.

The integration of the remaining Informix 4GL constructs will be complete in the WebSphere Studio 6.0 time-frame in Q4 2004, when Informix 4GL-style character user interface functionality, as well as a conversion utility will be made available to help achieve significant conversion from Informix 4GL to WebSphere Studio EGL. Conversion will allow field-tested Informix 4GL business logic to be used in the next generation of EGL applications.


“As a 15 year Informix 4GL developer, we are excited about the possibility of reusing our existing skills to create new web applications using Enterprise Generation Language (EGL),” said Patrick van Dorsselaer, Senior 4GL Developer – Informa. “Our experience with EGL and WebSphere Studio has been very positive and we are thrilled to be one of the first IBM business partners in EMEA to provide EGL support for Informix 4GL customers!”

“As a Premier IBM Business Partner we are very pleased with the new versions of WebSphere Studio products and fully endorse the Informix 4GL – WebSphere Studio Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) integration. By leveraging EGL we plan to enhance our Informix 4GL based FourGen Case Tools and ERP applications,” said Syed Kamal, CEO, Gillani, Inc. “We consider EGL as a key business growth driver that provides our customers opportunity to adopt the strategic IBM WebSphere and DB2 Information Management middleware platform, as well as opening the DB2 market to the Gillani solutions.”


  • New trial download, Webcast, White paper, and Data Sheets available @
    • http://www-306.ibm.com/software/websphere/info/easierjava/index.jsp
  • Free one-day workshop — Rapid Application Development for IBM DB2 and Informix with IBM WebSphere Studio EGL — by Richard Hoffman available as a pre-conference tutorial at the Data Management Technical Conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, September 19, 2004.
  • WebSphere Studio – EGL sessions at the Data Management Technical Conference in Las Vegas from Monday, September 20, 2004 till Friday, September 24, 2004.
    • J2EE and EGL essentials for 4GL developers by Jean Georges Perrin
    • EGL – Roadmap and Ask the Experts by Omkar Nimbalkar
    • What is new in EGL for a 4GL customer? by S. Venkatesh Gopal
    • The evolution of Informix 4GL – What is EGL? by Shawn Moe
    • Converting your Informix 4GL to EGL – a case study by Shawn Moe
  • Additional information on IBM WebSphere Studio products @
  • An IIUG Webcast on WebSphere Studio 5.1.2 – EGL for Informix 4GL customers and business partners will be conducted on Thursday July 15th 2004. Watch out for an invite soon!


IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer v5.1.2 and IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer v5.1.2 are available from May 21, 2004. In the United States IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer v5.1.2 is $4,000 per user – IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer v5.1.2 is $1,000 per user. Prices for countries other than the United States will vary due to shipping and delivery costs, custom clearance costs, translations, and other factors. Non-United States customers should consult their local sales office for the prices in their country of intended usage.

IBM Informix and WebSphere (Blue) Bundles will be updated shortly with WebSphere Studio 5.1.2 to enable Informix 4GL customers to easily access the new EGL technology.


Informix 4GL and other IBM Database application developers can be immediately productive with the new WebSphere Studio products, building rich user interfaces, data connectivity and business logic for Web applications. WebSphere Studio supports the JavaServer(tm) Faces (JSF) standard recently approved by the Java Community Process(SM), and the proposed Service Data Objects (SDO) standard. WebSphere Studio leverages these standards to minimize the Java coding and manual tasks required to build data-driven Web applications and rich Web user interfaces. Visual tools for JSF and SDO enable developers to simply drag and drop JSF user interface components onto a page and point and click to connect a data source such as a relational database or a Web service.

“The new Java Server Faces tools in WebSphere Studio provide an easy way to develop user interfaces for J2EE applications and to integrate relational databases,” said Dr. Rolf Kremer, Chief Development Officer, Pavone AG. “WebSphere Studio eliminates a lot of the labor intensive hand-coding we used to do and now makes our development more efficient.”

In addition, this release of WebSphere Studio Application Developer includes IBM WebSphere Portal Test Environment, new visual portlet development tools and support for a new industry standard portlet Application Programming Interface that ensures portlet interoperability and portability. Visual tools for building portlets simplify portal development and integration with JSF makes it easy to include rich user interface (UI) components and Web forms within portlets. This makes the overall portal development experience significantly easier and faster than in the past, and doesn’t require a highly skilled developer.

“This product is a great step towards allowing us to utilize staff with Visual Studio skills in Java Server engagements,” said Scott McIntosh, Technical Director, ICF Consulting. “It has the potential to attract some Visual Studio users that have always considered Java as too difficult.”

News from Phil White

Good news? Bad news? See for yourself: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/legal/0,39020651,39156021,00.htm

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: /quicklinks.html

Please visit the IBM Redbooks web site at http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/mail for more details and up-to-the-minute technical information.

Closing and Credits

The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an organization designed to enhance communications between its worldwide user community and IBM. IIUG’s membership database now exceeds 18,000 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
IBM Corp.
Rocket Software
Editors: Jean Georges Perrin
Stuart Litel
Fred Hubbard
Stuart Litel
Sam Gentsch
For comments, please send an email to enews@iiug.org.
Categorized as Insider

By Vicente Salvador

Board member since 2014, a user since 1989 and Informix fan. I'am software architect which allow me to combine technical and business skills.