IIUG Insider (Issue #49) July 2004

Highlights: Larry profiled, local group news, more on EGL, partner news, offers from IBM & 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. Larry Timmins profiled
  3. USA – New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA Local User Group Meetings
  4. EGL FAQ
  5. GUI for FourGen Business Accounting & FourGen Case Tools
  6. CopperEye now Available
  7. Update on Querix 4GL Training and Workshop
  8. France – Strasbourg – Software Development Technical Conference
  9. Great Opportunity for IDS 7 and Informix 4GL Customers
  10. White Papers
  11. Professional Certification Program from IBM
  12. IBM to Offer Free Problem Determination
  13. IBM to Offer Free Certification
  14. IBM Informix software withdrawal and service discontinuance
  15. Imagine the value of new technology…
  16. Get up to 40% Off many Books
  17. Useful Links
  18. Closing and Credits


The IIUG board is on its way to Toronto, ON, Canada, This is our second meeting this year and we are going to meet a few IBMers in the DB2 lab. Don’t worry, they are not trying to convince us that DB2 is a superior database to IDS (choose, we are either already convinced or they resigned on this task).

The board is going to meet and address subjects such as the coming technical conference, new technical and marketing programs from IBM (dedicated to the Informix community), local user groups and plenty of other things. Tough week end ahead.

Once more the Data Management Technical Conference is going to be in Las Vegas, well, it is *not* an ugly town, it is only far, for us European fellows, and there is basically no international direct flight. I guess we also would like to see something else (actually the real (un)official excuse is that we are all fed up at losing at black jack).

A few IIUG partners have news for you, so don’t miss them.

IBM has plenty of offers, some of them are renewal, but still, nice and cool things to read and learn.

We would also like to hear from you. Tell us what you like & dislike about the Insider. Send us a quick mail to enews@iiug.org. Enjoy this issue.

Jean Georges Perrin Editor

Larry Timmins profiled

Here is our last profile for the 2004 board, let me introduce you to Larry Timmins.

Q: How do you use Informix in your “real” job (DBA, Consultant, Developer, etc.)?
A: I’ve been working with Perl and DBD::Informix since Jonathan [Note: Jonathan Leffler] first made it available and was probably the first Digital Alpha DBD::Informix developer with a commercial ready applications for Linux and Digital UNIX. I’m heavily involved with many Perl-based applications and DBD::Informix, but now on mostly Intel Linux environment on ports of pre-existing BLOB databases used for document and multimedia imaging databases as well as newer web-based transaction and tracking databases for many consumer, privacy and regulatory projects involving virtual document distribution. Currently looking at latest ESQL/C beta tools from IBM (can’t say more until July?). As a DBA, I manage both Informix and Microsoft SQL Server databases for intranet and enterprise applications.
Q: How long have you been using Informix products?
A: It’ll be twenty years this August. I’ve been non-stop since I worked with Grumman and Digital to port the Plexus XDP Data Manager (based on Informix Turbo) to Ultrix/VAX and Ultrix/MIPS in late eighties. I then worked with Informix marketing and engineering to take over the Plexus Blob implementation and Optical Jukebox support directly into the Informix database engine and have been using it ever since. I have been doing benchmarking and DBA activities on many configurations of Linux for both Online and IDS.
Q: What is your role on the IIUG Board?
A: Presently, helping to maintain and expand the Special Interest Groups (AKA SIGS). We’ll see new developer forums for both classic developers as well as web-environments before the summer in 2004. Also, with the help of the ‘old-timers’ on the board, I’ve been involved with learning more about the extensive support infrastructure within IBM Data Management for Informix and plans for next three years. I hope to be able to assist IIUG to keep communications with IBM on the behalf of its members.
Q: Why did you volunteer to be on the board and what do you want to accomplish this year on the Board?
A: After so many years with Informix, I wanted to be in a position to understand what commitment IBM really had to Informix and then help get the word out. In IBM presentations in New York and Madrid there was a strong sense of support, but some confusion around how to get the word outside of IBM Data Management. I hope to get the SIGs active to more than those that are looking for some free maintenance and talented problem solvers — in 2004, I want to help reach many members within IIUG and other Informix users outside of IIUG to get involved with the SIGs. By end of year, I hope to be able to provide the equivalent of a white paper for management at firms to understand the future of Informix and how to manage this important software asset in the coming years.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in New York City in the U.S.A. and been living in the NY Metro area my whole life. My parents along with my seven siblings traveled many of my formative years and camped in over 35 states in the U.S. During my career, I’ve spent two to four months on the road annually working on government research and customer projects for approximately 23 years.
Q: Best Informix story?
A: Plexus was an Informix Turbo OEM partner and I volunteered to port the entire database the week before a major conference in NYC. After approximately 17 hours after flying from NY to CA and getting to work without a break, we completed the port, and passed their hour long quality assurance /regression test software (appropriately named Colossus) to test the database and blob-based optical support. After a 90 minute break to go to the hotel, take a shower, dress and return, we found out from a stunned sales VP that the previous record was six months! The Plexus partner in New York made good on a promise and supported our booth with their imaging application going to the DEC Ultrix/RISC server running Plexus XDP (AKA Informix Turbo (~4.1)) at the AIIM show. That port became the basis for all Digital UNIX imaging solutions for both MIPS/RISC and Alpha/OSF1 platforms for next eight years.
Q: Worst Informix nightmare.
A: When I had to move entire application suite to Microsoft SQL Server just to show a telemarketing VP that it wasn’t the database causing his division to have problems. (Happy ending — Linux/IDS replaced SQL server).
Q: Can you tell us about your family and hobbies outside of the IIUG?
A: I’m happily married (23 years in Sept) and have a daughter and son in high school. I’ve volunteered in their sports and scouting programs and love to kayak, fish, travel and snorkel.

USA – New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA Local User Group Meetings

New York:
(Please RSVP to: Steve Berg, NY User Group Leader, at sberg@nb.com)
The New York Metro-Area Regional Informix Users Group (NYMARIUG) will meet on Friday, July 30, 2004,12:00pm – 4:30pm at the IBM offices in Midtown Manhattan, 590 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor (1219) Conference Room New York, NY 10022 USA

Philadelphia, PA:
(Please RSVP to: James A Rotante, GPAIUG IBM Liason at jrotante@us.ibm.com)
The Greater Philadelphia Area Informix Users Group (GPAIUG) will meet on THURSDAY, August 12, 8:30am – 12:00pm at the IBM offices in Downtown Philadelphia at United Plaza Bldg, 13th Floor (13015) Conference Room, 30 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA USA

Topics presented:

  • “ICON” (IBMs Future Plan for Informix Marketing) – James A Rotante, Accredited IT Specialist, IBM
  • Websphere – Informix Interface – Marty Lurie, Certified DM IT Specialist, IBM
  • Utilizing EGL, Websphere, and Informix together – Christine Normile, WW Technical Sales, IBM
  • Informix and 4Js Genero – Four Js Staff.


Last month, we started a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) program for IBM WebSphere EGL. Here are the few questions and answers we got.

Q: What is the training path for 4GL certified professional to start using EGL as a tool for development?
A: Though we don’t offer a formal EGL certification program today, the EGL customer training is scheduled for availability in mid-July time frame.
The 1 day EGL- workshop is going to be created after the full blown course is available. We will be offering it at the DM Tech Con, check out http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/informix/4gl-wss/ for details.
Q: Can EGL be used to produce a portlet?
A: Yes.
Q: Does WebSphere Studio EGL now accept Informix 4GL syntax and constructs? And if so, can I copy-paste a 4GL program into it, make modifications to it and redeploy on the Web?
A: No. The migration tool will be available in Q4.
Q: Is EGL integrated in WebSphere Application Server Express?
A: EGL will be integrated into WAS-Express in mid-Q3 2004.
Q: Can I buy EGL on line?
A: EGL is component of WebSphere Studio Site Developer (WSSD) and WebSphere Studio App Developer (WSAD) and WAS-Express in near future. One can buy WSSD and WSAD online at using “Buy Online” feature on:http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/studiositedev/ http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/studioappdev/

Answers are coming from IBM. IIUG should not be liable for inaccuracy.

You have an EGL question? Send a mail to enews@iiug.org, subject EGL.

GUI for FourGen Business Accounting & FourGen Case Tools

FourGen Business Accounting users as well as FourGen CASE Tools (formerly I-4GL FORMS) users of version 4.X or older, written in Informix-4GL, now have the option to run these applications in GUI mode on Windows or via a browser. Gillani has recently completed the GUI conversion of these older FourGen software versions to support several hundred customers globally still using them in character mode. Gillani is also offering special pricing for GUI and FourGen support renewal through July 31, 2004.

For more information, visit http://www.gillani.com/FourGenBusinessAcctGUI.htm or call +1 877 424 8500.

CopperEye now Available

The April issue of the IIUG Insider included an introduction of a new DataBlade developed by CopperEye, Ltd., which was at the time undergoing Beta testing. That testing is now complete and CopperEye and IBM announced the general availability of the new DataBlade for customers in the UK and Europe on June 15th, 2004.

Developed jointly with IBM, the CopperEye Datablade incorporates CopperEye’s patent-pending data indexing technology that obliterates long-standing data indexing limitations to achieving superior database performance. Joint benchmarks conducted with IBM have established the enhanced performance in a laboratory environment, and beta customer implementations have confirmed the results in real-world operations.

The reviews of the new CopperEye DataBlade have been positive. Philip Howard of Bloor Research wrote, “First, as far as Informix is concerned, this is the first major new technology that IBM has announced for Informix users since it acquired the company. To some it may seem to be none too soon. However, these things take time. I know for a fact that IBM and CopperEye have been working on this Datablade for at least the last nine months. What it demonstrates is that IBM means what it says when it states that it will continue to develop Informix, which should be reassuring for users.”

Michael Thompson of Butler Group wrote: “Credit where credit’s due, and that should also go to IBM who had the foresight to work closely with CopperEye in order to help bring the first new commercially available Datablade, since its acquisition of Informix, to fruition.” He also had the following observation: “IBM has constantly promoted its support for Informix, but IT people like to see evidence (being suspicious creatures), and this should help ease any concerns about the long-term viability of the database. The added benefit is Informix just gained its go-faster stripes.”

For more information on the new CopperEye DataBlade for Informix, visit http://www.coppereye.com.

Update on Querix 4GL Training and Workshop

Update on Querix 4GL Training and Workshop venues for Coming Quarter

All workshops are full day ‘hands-on’ venues for 4gl & d4gl developers. The program for the coming three months is:

14-Jul-2004 Canada – Ontario – Markham IIUG Ontario Meeting
15/16-Jul-2004 Canada – Ontario – Toronto Technical Workshop 4.1
19-Jul-2004 USA – New York Technical Workshop 4.1
21-Jul-2004 USA – Atlanta Technical Workshop 4.1
23-Jul-2004 USA – Los Angeles Technical Workshop 4.1
09-Aug-2004 UK – Southampton 4GL Training C 1
16-Aug-2004 UK – Southampton 4GL Training C 2
23-Aug-2004 UK – Southampton 4GL Training C 3
02-Sep-2004 UK – Manchester Technical Workshop 4.1
13-Sep-2004 USA – Michigan Grand Rapids – Technical Workshop 4.1
14-Sep-2004 USA – Chicago Technical Workshop 4.1
15-Sep-2004 USA – Denver Technical Workshop 4.1
17-Sep-2004 USA – San Diego Technical Workshop 4.1
20-Sep-2004 USA – San Francisco Technical Workshop 4.1
22-Sep-2004 USA – Las Vegas Technical Workshop 4.1
27-Sep-2004 Germany – Munich Technical Workshop 4.1 & ‘Oktoberfest’ (Munich Beer Festival)

Arachne 4.1 Available for Beta Testing

Querix will be making its Beta version of the Arachne HTML advanced thin-client available from Friday 9 July, 2004. This can be downloaded from the Querix Beta Web site www.beta.querix.com/.

The completely revised Arachne client features an XML and XSLT framework, support for Querix .qxs script files and other server-side resources. Arachne is now fully capable of handling Dynamic 4GL Widgets and displaying multiple 4GL windows.

The latest version of Arachne also boasts greater functionality and flexibility. Restartprog functionality has been added to the CGI interface, and customized JavaScript can now be associated to specific form fields to allow ‘after field’ checking. Advanced users are able to modify, or even replace, the XSLT file to allow high-level customization of an application.

France – Strasbourg – Software Development Technical Conference

(Note from the editor: This is not something 100% related to our dear Informix world, but, as there is an IT event in my home town, I wanted to share it with you… …and some people will speak about EGL.)

“Come and join us in Strasbourg, France in October 12-15, 2004 for the brand new IBM Software Development Technical Conference. This conference is being widely heralded by the development community as a “must-attend” event and is aimed to offering you the chance to gain a full and deep understanding of the software development world and how your organization can meet your customers’ and partners’ requirements. In today’s on demand business environment, your customers and partners need you to be more responsive, flexible and more resilient than ever before.

This new conference offers you the complete picture of the IBM Software Development Solutions from our 5 Software Brands: Rational, WebSphere, DB2, Lotus, Tivoli and will provide you with more than just the trends and directions of the Software Development world.”

More information on: http://www.ibm.com/services/learning/conf/europe/softdev

Great Opportunity for IDS 7 and Informix 4GL Customers

IBM has updated the Informix and WebSphere Enteprise Bundle with WebSphere Studio 5.1.2 – Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) technology. Business-oriented developers using IDS 7 and Informix 4GL can trade-up to IDS 9.4 and start developing new, cutting-edge data-driven web applications with EGL technology and both IDS 9.4 and DB2 by leveraging their existing 4GL skills. The Informix and WebSphere Enteprise Bundle product license as well as trade-up license from IDS 7 is significantly discounted. IDS 7 customers are encouraged to start adopting the latest IDS 9.4 and EGL technologies by taking advantage of this attractive bundle of leading IBM Software Group products.

For more information, see:


White Papers

Here are a few white papers we found while surfing the Internet.


Informix Extended Parallel Server 8.3 (from IBM) http://www.itpapers.com/abstract.aspx?kw=informix&docid=11325


IBM DB2 Universal Database for Linux and SAP Standard Application Benchmarks (from IBM) See: http://www.itpapers.com/abstract.aspx?scid=1003&docid=45235&promo=831000

Introduction to DB2(r) for Linux in Enterprise and Cluster Environments (from IBM) http://www.itpapers.com/abstract.aspx?scid=1003&docid=69542&promo=831000

Professional Certification Program from IBM

Have you ever wanted to know what it brings to be a certified IBM professional? Here is a message from IBM.

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.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!

IBM to Offer Free Problem Determination

Free Problem Determination Mastery Tutorial Series for Informix Dynamic Server

IBM’s leading Informix technical support staff has developed this tutorial series to help provide the skills necessary to master the problem determination process and lead to effective and efficient problem resolution. These eight tutorials are designed to help you quickly identify and resolve problems or errors encountered. It will familiarize you with the IDS problem determination facilities and tools available and help you understand when it is most appropriate to use them.

For more information and to download for free, please visit: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/support/pdm/idstutorials.html.

IBM to Offer Free Certification

Free Certification at the DB2 Information Management Technical Conference: September 20-24 in Las Vegas, NV

Professional Certification will be complimentary to all registered conference attendees. For the duration of the conference, you can take as many exams as your time and of course space will allow. From IDS System Administration to Performance Tuning, there will be six comprehensive Informix exams available as well as exams for DB2 UDB, U2, CM and WebSphere. Registration for the conference is open and, for a limited time you may even qualify for a $150 USD discount of the regular registration fee of $1845. For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/services/learning/ites.wss/us/en?pageType=page&contentID=a0003456.

IBM Informix software withdrawal and service discontinuance

Effective July 8, 2004, IBM will withdraw from marketing the media packs licensed under the IBM International Program License Agreement (IPLA) listed in the Media pack withdrawals section.

On or after that date, you can no longer obtain the withdrawn programs directly from IBM. They may be obtained on an as-available basis through IBM authorized remarketers.

On or after that date, you can no longer obtain the withdrawn part numbers directly from IBM. They may be obtained on an as-available basis through IBM authorized remarketers.

More details here

Imagine the value of new technology…

Imagine the value of new technology if, along with it, comes the expertise to implement it correctly from the start…

IBM Software Services for DB2 Information Management (ISSD) is focused on providing our customers with the skills and experience necessary to take a project from its conception, through planning and development, to testing, implementation, and beyond. Our goal is to help you turn great technology into successful, innovative, end-to-end business solutions. To that end, we have just launched a NEW Software Services web site, featuring a new worldwide contacts interactive site, a news and offers section, as well as downloadable descriptions of many of our key software services offerings. Please visit the new site: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/services.

Get up to 40% Off many Books

Get up to 40% off many of the latest releases through the DB2 Information Management Books Web site!

IBM has developed a specialized books Web site for DB2 information management publications. This site features the latest titles on certification as well as books to help you get started and advanced titles to help you take your skills to the next level. Simply click on the title(s) of your choice and you will be quickly linked to the discount web site where you can purchase books using your major credit card. http://www-3.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.

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
Ron Flannery
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.