Highlights: Oracle 10g, election, new services, plenty of events & 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.
- Editorial (by jgp)
- IIUG – Election time IIUG Board of 2006
- IIUG – New e-services on IIUG.org
- IIUG – Board meeting in Rio, a quick summary…
- IIUG – New Server for IIUG.org courtesy of Sun Microsystems
- Event – Informix Tech Fair (USA, OR)
- Event – Chat with the Lab: More Performance Improvements with IDS v10.0 (WW)
- Event – The Atlanta Forum (USA, GA)
- Event – UK IUG meeting (UK, Warwick)
- Breaking News – Great Deals on IDS v10
- Service Offerings – Disaster Recovery Preparedness offering
- Product News – CobraSonic announces the availability of DBSonar 4.7
- Product News – Books & Certification
- Product News – IDS to be IBM’s flagship database
- Success Story – Informix in Prime Time at ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion
- Tech Experience – 10g vs. v10
- Dev Corner – DB2 on Open Source
- Dev Corner – DeveloperWorks in October
- Useful links
- Closing and credits
Dear Informix aficionado,
Don’t even think that I am back in command. Gary, your usual editor, took a well deserved (at least, that’s what he says) vacation in a no electricity, no water, no Internet place. As a result, if you wanted an Insider for October, it was on my shoulders!
I don’t mind doing the October issue. October is such a nice month; spring in Brazil, fall in Europe, with wonderful colors all around. Speaking of Brazil, the Board of Directors met in Rio de Janeiro and we have a summary for you.
IIUG goes high tech; we now provide a RSS feed for news! Developer Corner will discuss a bit about Open Source, XML, data types, .net… Customers are using IDS and they tell us why! Product news, service offerings: people are energizing in fall! There are even some people that thought it would be interesting to compare Oracle 10g to IDS v10. Did anyone compare flat files to RDBMS lately?
Quite a few events too. This is great, there’s life and people that mix and gather about Informix. This month’s news about the Atlanta Forum is that international visitors can attend for free. Being French but not jingoist, I think this is a wonderful idea. Some IIUG directors will be there too and it will be a great networking opportunity.
It is election time again. Consider standing for IIUG Board, it is a never ending challenge and a great experience. Well, finally, don’t run, I’ll have more chances to come back next year…
We also found out that you do not share the knowledge you get from IIUG much. Sharing IIUG is free! Send the link to the guy sitting next to you or in the other cubicle. He might be interested by other topics. She might be developer bored by DBAs… Help us grow. Talk about us to your colleagues, managers, suppliers, partners… Remember, it’s all free.
I hope you’ll find this issue interesting and entertaining. I tried to spend as much time as possible on it. My job hunt takes quite a few hours those days!
I wish you a pleasant reading. Feedback is always welcome at jgp at IIUG.org or gary at IIUG.org if you did not like my interim job.
Jean Georges Perrin (aka jgp)
Please consider standing for election to the IIUG Board of 2006.
The 2005 IIUG Board is made up of users, partners and IBM employees from countries as diverse as the United States, France, New Zealand, Israel and the UK. The current IIUG Board will complete its term at the end of this calendar year and in preparation for the upcoming election of the 2006 IIUG Board, an IIUG Nominating Committee, chaired by former Board Member Hal Maner, has been established.
The committee is currently seeking candidates to run for the 2006 IIUG Board. If you have a passionate interest in Informix products, and the drive, vision, and commitment to lead and represent the world’s most influential community of Informix users, please give your potential nomination serious thought.
The closing date for nominations is 18th November, and the election will take place shortly afterwards.
For additional info, visit: http://www.IIUG.org/iiug/committee.html.
If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague, please contact the IIUG Nominating Committee by writing to elections@IIUG.org.
IIUG.org adds a new service: a RSS news services. RSS is a form of news syndication, becoming more and more popular. For more information on RSS and syndication, visit http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/12/18/dive-into-xml.html or Wikipedia on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_syndication and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_%28file_format%29.
To get the RSS feed, you can use: for Windows: FeedReader, AwasuTM, on Macintosh OS X: NewsMac, on Linux Lifera. Mozilla Thunderbird also offers RSS support. RSSOwl is also a multiplatform news reader.
Twice a year, the Board physically meets somewhere to solve issues, enhance the service to membership, advocate Informix to IBM, etc. Well, it does its Board job, and I think 2005 was not a bad year: enhanced web site, new download area, regular Insider, membership growth and the IIUG/IDUG Conference.
The fall meeting was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for 2 consecutive days (Saturday and Sunday).
During this meeting, the Board decided to contribute to next year’s IDUG conference in Europe. All the details are not clear yet and we will cover this specific topic next year.
The IIUG President election has also been an item on the agenda. Stuart Litel has been re-elected. If Stuart is elected this year, reconfirmed by the new Board, he will be on his third term. From the winner himself: “It is a great honor to server once again as President of the IIUG”. We all think Stuart did a great job until now. If you want to congratulate him or to get a signed copy of his photo, send him a quick note at president@IIUG.org.
Finally the Board would like to thank you, our members, without whom we would not have a reason to raise the bar higher.
The International Informix Users Group would like to officially thank Sun Microsystems for its recent donation of a new server for the IIUG.org web site and e-services. The new server will replace our existing server which is approximately seven years old and was also donated by Sun at that time. During the last seven years the server has run continually with over 99.99% uptime and has been the workhorse of the IIUG.org.
The server is currently administered jointly by the IIUG Board of Directors with the help of our friends at Advanced Data Tools (http://www.advancedatatools.com). We expect the new server to be up and fully running in the next 30 days. Once again, the IIUG Board of Directors wishes to thank our friends at Sun Microsystems for their very generous gift and Advance Data Tools for their time in setting up the new server.
Talks include the following topics:
- Understanding Performance
- Optimizing Applications
- Under the hood of variable length data types
- Understanding the explain file
IBM Informix Advanced Support & Development Speakers
- Guy Bowerman
- Ian Ilsley
- Hyun-Ju Vega
- John Miller
Come see demos integrating several application technologies.
Having a problem or question about Informix? Talk to an engineer and get free advice about your specific issue. Time is limited.
|When:||November 10, 2005 between 9:15 – 4:30|
15300 SW Koll Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006
United States of America
On November 2, 2005, Chat with the Lab will feature Jonathan Leffler on discussing more of the performance improvement features of IDS version 10.0.
To register, visit: http://www.IIUG.org/resources/webcasts/chatlab_02nov05.html.
Our next call will be Thursday, December 8th in conjunction with Informix User Forum 2005. Mark Scranton will be speaking on Indexing and Fragmentation Strategies. Please note the day change to Thursday this one call.
As we have announced previously the Washington Area Informix Users Group and the Southeast Informix Users Group have teamed up to produce an exceptional conference, User Forum 2005, Moving Forward With Informix. From the previous experiences, I can only recommend to attend.
“The Informix User Forum 2005 has announced a special offer that will provide International attendees with a free full-conference pass.
“We are a simple non-profit, volunteer group with no administrative staff to handle international payments, so we decided to make it simple. If you can get your travel, hotel and any visa requirements, then you can attend Forum 2005 for free,” said Lester Knutsen, registration chair for the conference.
To qualify you must:
- Register online at the Forum 2005 Web site,
- Make your own travel, hotel and visa requirements
- Mail your registration and instead of a check, send a photocopy or other proof of a round trip ticket from outside the US.
If you haven’t heard about the Forum, it’s a two-day Informix user conference that will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 8-9, 2005.
Even though the Forum is being organized as a grass-roots effort, there will be over 30 technical sessions, vendor presentations and exhibits, and a few other surprises. For non-international attendees, the early-bird rate for the entire conference is just US$50.00 if you get your registration in by November 14.
To see all of the details on the conference, visit the Forum Web site http://www.IIUG.org/waiug/present/Forum2005/Forum2005.html. If you have any questions not answered there, e-mail forum2005@IIUG.org.”
From Walt Hultgren, Informix User Forum 2005 Conference Planning Committee
The next UK IUG meeting will be held on 9th November 2005 at IBM Warwick. The agenda for the meeting is:
|09:30||–||10:00||Registration and Coffee|
|10:10||–||10:15||Senior IBM Guest Speaker (Product Roadmap)|
|10:15||–||11:15||Mark Scranton – IDS V10 Deep Dive|
|11:30||–||12:15||Madison Pruet – Introduction to HDR and ER|
|13:00||–||14:00||Mark Scranton – IDS V9/10 Performance Tuning|
|14:15||–||15:00||Madison Pruet – ER (V9/10 Enhancements)|
|15:30||–||15:45||Raffle and wind up|
We have two heavyweight speakers:
- Mark Scranton (Informix Technical Evangelist, World Wide Team)
- Madison Pruet (Senior IDS Product Developer,Enterprise Replicaton Architect)
In February, IBM introduced the most significant release of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) since version 9 was introduced in the late 1990’s. Adoption of IDS v10.0 is going great and provides customers with more reason to upgrade and extend the use of IDS than ever before. IDS v10.0 can lower administration, improve performance and eliminate many restrictions of earlier versions or products. Take advantage of both the features of IDS v10.0 and other IBM middleware that can help your business by leveraging one of the offers below:
1) Buy IDS v10.0 or upgrades to IDS v10.0 from IDS 7, Standard Engine or Online and get 50% off one of the following:
- Enterprise Mobility for IDS (Everyplace) – Extend access to your IDS enterprise data to your mobile workforce
- AlphaBlox – Add customized Analytics to your existing applications
- DB2 Web Query Tool – Provide powerful ad hoc reporting capabilities against IDS data
- DB2 Table Editor – Quickly and easily update any IDS table without programming
2) Get Two for the Price of One
- For every IDS v10.0 licenses or IDS v10.0 Upgrade licenses purchased, get one “free”. Limits apply.
Many Informix customers chose not to continue maintenance on their Informix products after the acquisition. Typically, IBM charges a maintenance reinstatement penalty prior to allowing customers to purchase trade-ups to the latest products. For these customers, we will offer Trade-ups to IDS v10.0 without requiring purchase of reinstatement on existing products. Offers are available to either new or existing customers (except ‘Welcome Back’) and are available from your IBM Representative, your Business Partner or, in the United States, Europe, Middle-East and Africa, from your ISV (OEM).
Customers on current maintenance for IDS 9.x are entitled to upgrade to IDS v10.0 at no charge.
Timely Disaster Recovery Preparedness Assistance offering alleviates businesses’ data risks associated with flooding, fire, terrorism, viruses, hackers, etc.
Research Triangle Park/Durham, North Carolina, USA – M Systems International, Inc. announces the availability of its Disaster Recovery Preparedness Offering. Based primarily upon IBM Informix Dynamic Server’s High Availability Data Replication (HDR) facility, M Systems’ offering starts with preparedness and continues with disaster recovery when/if needed.
The very survival of businesses today depends upon the availability and integrity of their mission-critical data. In these times of uncertainty – hurricanes, floods, fires, terrorist acts, viruses, hackers, etc., it is vital that there be a mechanism which enables a business to bounce back quickly from any interruption.
M Systems’ Disaster Recovery Preparedness Offering allows businesses to resume normal operations almost immediately. M Systems Disaster Recovery Preparedness Offering is a comprehensive solution that is not necessarily limited to database technology. Drawing from many years of experience creating and supporting solutions based on Microsoft and Unix technologies including network and e-mail servers, M Systems team can help your company prepare its complete network infrastructure for Disaster Recovery Preparedness.
Here is what one M Systems client, a leading industrial valve distributor located in Virginia, USA had to say about M Systems and its offering:
As a result of some colleagues’ firms losing their businesses when they lost their data, “… our company looked to implement a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. M Systems developed a plan and documents and procedures and helped us acquire, configure and install two identical systems – the secondary is promoted to be the primary and full recovery is in place if necessary.”
“They have also been able to provide monitoring of both the system and database, utilizing Informix applications to provide significant benefit in creating and establishing certain applications to run automatically on a set schedule.
About M Systems International, Inc.
M Systems International, Inc., (http://www.msystemsintl.com/) a Research Triangle Park/Durham, North Carolina, USA based firm, helps companies solve complex business and technology problems – on time and within budget. Clients range from Global Fortune 500 to small local businesses. Its team can point to a long list of accomplishments, industry certifications, and advanced degrees, and takes pride in providing superior technical skills at a reasonable cost. M Systems International, Inc. is comfortable taking complete responsibility for projects as well as working together with other teams. M Systems International, Inc. is a Microsoft Certified Partner, an IBM Business Partner and an IIUG Gold Sponsor.
First international release of the Informix database management tool DBSonar, an application that has already gained an outstanding reputation among a growing number of customers in the Greater China Region
Taipei, September 29, 2005 – CobraSonic Software Inc., a leading provider of database management tools for Informix, announced today the release of the latest versions for its leading products, DBSonar Enterprise and DBSonar Professional.
With this release, CobraSonic makes its products available to the international Informix community for the first time, as this release will be the first to fully support English menus, online help, and user documentation. In the last 2 years DBSonar has already gained a high reputation with customers in the Greater China Region, including Asus, Gigabyte, and ChungHwa Telecom, which is the largest telecom provider in Taiwan with 23 million subscribers.
In addition to English language support, this release offers a new customizable trend chart module, a GUI for alert configuration, and easy monitoring of an infinite number of database servers from a single screen through a customizable directory-like structure.
“In recent years, our Informix database management products have gained a significant reputation in the Informix community here in Asia. This is due to our dedicated commitment to Informix, which has helped our customers gain higher system availability, optimized hardware utilization, faster application response time, reduced system administration effort as well as reduced software development costs.” said Burghardt Groeber, Global Alliance Manager. “It might be a new development in the software industry that products are released first in Chinese and then in the international market, but I am sure this will become a trend in the future. Based on an existing strategic partnership with IBM in the Greater China Region, our products will now be promoted worldwide.”
DBSonar combines a drill-down analysis approach with in-depth real-time monitoring of the IDS engine. It provides Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for database operations, highlights current database problems, traces performance problems to their root causes, and offers suggested actions. Customizable alerts are delivered via on-screen messages, SMS or e-mail. A comprehensive status report of the database, OS, and hardware along with suggestions for parameter improvements supports resource planning. A unique normalization algorithm for SQL statement analysis aids in tuning application performance, without requiring access to the application code. For more information, please visit us at www.cobrasonic.com or contact Burghardt Groeber at firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel. +886 9 1200 0839).
About CobraSonic Software Inc.
Based in Taipei, Taiwan, CobraSonic Software is a leading provider of enterprise database management solutions for Informix. The company provides innovative products that help customers achieve higher performance, productivity, reliability, and availability from applications, databases and infrastructure. CobraSonic provides customers and their partners with true value that is unique, widely recognized, and measurable. As resellers and consultants for Informix, we are also a long-term IBM Business Partner in the Greater China Region. CobraSonic Software Inc. is an IIUG Gold Sponsor. DBSonar is a Trademark of Cobarsonic Software Inc.
Updated Informix Professional Certification Roadmap
A key Certification Roadmaps has recently been updated to include new offerings and program changes. The Certification Roadmaps can help you define and map out your certification path effectively and efficiently. The roadmap updated is the IBM Informix and U2 Software Certification Roles. For more information or to download, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/roadmaps.html.
IBM Informix Dynamic Server Problem Determination Tutorial Series
This series of eight complimentary tutorials is designed to assist anyone supporting or developing in an Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) database environment, to quickly identify and resolve problems or errors encountered. It will familiarize you with the IDS problem determination facilities and tools available and help you determine when it is most appropriate to use them. For more information or to download, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/support/pdm/idstutorials.html.
Updated DB2 Information Management Bookstore
Now available, this recently updated site offers a new tab for International users featuring translated titles and discount ordering sites to cut down on shipping costs for our valuable International customers. In addition, this new site offers enhanced navigation on existing tabs by product and book categories. Check out the new site: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/. Note: within the international titles, there are no pure Informix / IDS books, but there are quite a few interesting titles on technologies like autonomic computing or grid computing.
Great things are happening with Informix @ IBM. This year Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) v10.0 was released as well as the first IBM Informix Express product, IDS Express v10.0. Look for more announcements yet to come in 2005 of new IBM Informix products. Stay tuned for more information regarding these in November’s IIUG Insider.
It is also a great thing that IDS v10.0 has been named IBM’s flagship database for pure OLTP and embedded computing. Being recognized as an IBM flagship is a significant milestone in the life of an IBM product. IBM flagships fill a unique and specific business need and are responsible for driving significant IBM revenue. Being named an IBM flagship signifies recognition of IDS’s many strengths in the marketplace and our desire to leverage its market position to grow the Informix business. We look forward to sharing Informix’s other successes with you via IIUG as IBM plans even more great things for Informix in 2006.
1990. When you are the first German broadcaster to offer around-the-clock programming, you need an IT infrastructure that offers the stability, performance and availability to keep you on the air, day or night.
2005. When you are Germany’s largest private television company and you run a fully-automated broadcasting company, you demand technological innovation and first-class technical support from your IT suppliers.
For ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion GmbH based in Munich and Berlin, the choice to use IBM Informix Dynamic Server was as easy. Informix Dynamic Server promises the best performance, the most innovative development, user friendliness and fast, highly proficient support.
ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion uses Informix Dynamic Server as for business critical and proprietary made-for-TV applications. One such application is the newsroom system which feeds the newsroom teleprompter at N24, Germany’s leading news channel. Informix Dynamic Server also runs the broadcast scheduling and controls for all broadcast stations of the corporation. In total, the database systems of ProSiebenSat.1 total 4.5 Terabytes of assigned storage. A 1.6 Terabyte data warehouse running on Informix Dynamic Server is just one of those systems and is separated into almost 1,000 chunks. The data warehouse indexes, stores, archives, retrieves and analyzes memory-heavy multimedia formats for reporting. ProSieben’s preproduction and development operations account for more than 4 Terabytes of additional data.
“The decision for IBM Informix as strategic database has proved to be the right decision for us. We are very much satisfied with the product stability and with the support of the IBM team,” says Bernd Biehler, director of the Server & Consulting department at ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion. “That’s why we chose IBM as the provider for further middleware solutions – now we have a one-stop solution, which has developed very well and that is capable of satisfying our fast changing demand.”
To maintain their technological lead in broadcasting, the ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion has classified a new IT-architecture that encompasses three levels. The backend of Informix works with features like stored procedures, triggers and a backup/restore technology on SAN-basis. The middleware components are now IBM WebSphere Application Server with a Java-based front-end GUI. The backend components, which are built as reusable Java beans within the application server, and the GUI components have been developed with the help of IBM Rational Software.
“We bundle the strength of our different software brands so that our customers can benefit from complementary advantages. ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion as one of our long-term IBM Software Group customers has recognized that. The company decided to choose IBM as its strategic middleware-solution provider because of our integrated approach,” explains Sebastian Krause, vice president IBM Software Group IMT Germany.
Informix Dynamic Server remains the ‘show runner’ for ProSiebenSat.1 IT architecture. It is the de facto choice for all new application development at the German broadcast giant. Even today, more than 10 years later, ProSieben is as satisfied with Informix Dynamic Server as they were back in 1993.
Visit ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion at:
Check out the ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion video trailers:
Jacques Roy compares Oracle 10g to IBM Informix v10 in a comprehensive paper.
People are deluged with ads claiming the superiority of Oracle. Oracle also claims that all your scalability and high-availability problems will be solved with RAC. Get past the sound bytes and learn why IDS 10.0 is a better OLTP database than Oracle 10g.
In this paper you’ll learn why the IDS architecture is superior to Oracle and why Oracle RAC is wrong for both scalability and high-availability. This highly recommended literature starts with:
“How do we select a database that will give us a business advantage over our competitors, a database that provides the best possible return on investment? This paper focuses on the technical characteristics that make a good OLTP database system and why IBM-Informix Dynamic Server version 10.0 is better than Oracle 10g release 2. One of the major challenges is to use technical information to do the comparison without getting bogged down in details. I try to avoid this pitfall by using technical details to analyze higher level requirements. However, I need to bring in and explain some related concepts relevant to our discussion as you’ll see below.”
DB2mag is publishing a small e-book on developing with PHP, Perl and REXX on DB2. The PHP explanation also covers connectivity to Cloudscape. Besides the specific connection part to the database, the information is certainly relevant to the Informix user.
DB2mag’s announcement: “When it comes to development, DB2 is open to all options. IBM’s commitment to open, standards-based interfaces and its support for a range of tools mean that developers can build DB2 applications with the tools and programming languages they like. This special e-book presents DB2-specific code, tips, and techniques for working with three increasingly popular choices: Perl, PHP and Rexx.”.
And the link: http://news.db2mag.com/cgi-bin4/DM/y/eqwD0HmxXf0FLd0DkGJ0A3.
Connect to Informix with ADO.NET, from connection to strongly-typed DataSets
Sean R. Durity (sdurity at cornercap.com)
Delve into the details of using ADO.Net and Informix® Dynamic Server beyond the basic connection string. This article covers stored procedures and parameterized SQL. Then it presents a model (with code) for generating your own strongly typed DataSets.
Date processing in Informix Dynamic Server, Let’s make a date
Jacques Roy (jacquesr at us.ibm.com)
IBM® Informix® Dynamic Server has several functions that manipulate date and datetime types. You can exploit these functions to provide better processing and analysis of your business data. You can also add new functions that will simplify the solution of some date-based business problems. You will learn about functions to figure out things such as the week of the year and the quarter of the year. It also discusses how to create a quarter function that follows a fiscal year that is different from the calendar year. The best part of it is that these functions are written in SPL.
By popular demand, here are a few links to previous articles that will sure help.
Generating XML from IDS 9.x
Jacques Roy (jacquesr at us.ibm.com)
This article describes how to use the extensibility features of IBM Informix® Dynamic Server to generate XML-formatted data. Sample code is included.
XML is becoming more and more important to the enterprise. Frequently users need to create XML documents from the contents of a relational database. This can be done in many ways, but the extensibility features of IBM® Informix Dynamic Server® version 9.x (IDS 9.x) give you the opportunity to create your own functions to generate XML output from your database. This article explains a simple approach to generating XML that can answer many needs and provide a building block for more elaborate solutions. The example that accompanies this article uses the stores7 demonstration database provided with the IDS 9.x product.
Link: Learn more
Using the IBM Informix XSLT and Web DataBlades
Susan Cline (clines at us.ibm.com)
This article presents an in-depth discussion of the Informix support for XML, including generating XML from database tables using the Web DataBlade, transforming incoming XML to XML, HTML or other text formats using the XSLT DataBlade, and using XML data as input to insert data into database tables. Examples are included.
Link: Learn more
In response to your input, we have created a page on the IIUG web site containing all the links we used to include. Please find it at: /quicklinks.html
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 25,000 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:||Jean Georges Perrin
Gary Ben Israel
For comments, please send an email to email@example.com.