IIUG Insider (Issue #77) November 2006


Elections for the IIUG Board of Directors 2007, IDS 10 Free downloads for IIUG members, IBM launches IDS 11.0 beta

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 Back to top

After a very busy October with two conferences, two board meetings and a customer advisory council meeting, November was a quiet month. To be accurate, it was calm as far as IIUG activities but hectic at work.

In December we are going to have our annual elections for the IIUG board. All candidates are good people and I am sure the coming board will be a good one and will continue supporting Informix and its users.

Please participate in the elections. For you, it is a chance to influence the future board. For the new board, it is important to know they are representing many users.

In the meantime, enjoy this issue and stay tuned for our special Christmas and New Year issue in December.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor
IIUG Board of Directors

Highlights Back to top

Elections for the IIUG Board of Directors 2007

The elections will start: December 1, 2006 (Midnight Eastern USA)

And end: December 15, 2006 (Midnight Eastern USA)

The vote is open to all IIUG members who joined the IIUG 30 days prior to the elections.

Your vote is important

IDS 10 Free downloads for IIUG members

IBM is offering free IDS 10 Ux5 downloads.

Over 2,000 copies were downloaded already.

It is a full IDS 10 product except for replication. There is no time limit and the only limitation is a 5 concurrent session limit.

The downloads are available only at the IIUG member area. To obtain the downloads go to: /members and log in to the member area.

Once you login, go to “Software Downloads” and click on the IDS 10 button. Make sure you update your profile before you download. The profile information is very important for us, so please review it carefully and make sure it is up-to-date. If you are not an IIUG member, please join us – it is free of charge and offers much more than downloads.

Downloads are available for the following platforms:

Linux 32 Bit
IBM AIX 64 Bit
HP-UX 11i 64 Bit
Sun Solaris 64 Bit

The software is based on the latest version of IDS 10 Workgroup Edition and has no limitations except for a five-user limit. The IIUG wishes to thank the following people for making this happen: Bernie Spang, Jerry Keesee, Bruce Weed, Cindy Fung, Gary Proctor, and most important all, the IBM Informix Developers for creating the best database on the market today.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Board of Directors

IBM launches IDS 11.0 beta

The first drop of the IDS 11.0 beta program was launched in October. As a beta tester I cannot disclose information regarding specific features. All I can say after testing the product for over a month is that it contains loads of cool stuff. Judging by the quality of the beta product and the dedication of the beta support and development team, it will be GA on time. If you have the technical skills and can dedicate the time, join the open beta program planned for the beginning of 2007. You will not regret it. All I can say for now is:

This Cheetah really runs.

Stay tuned.

Gary Ben-Israel
National Institute for Testing & Evaluation

Conference corner Back to top

Informix User Forum 2006

A Two-Day User Group Technical Conference December 8-9, 2006 Washington DC, USA

The Washington Area Informix User Group (WAIUG) and the Southeast Informix Users Group (SEIUG), based in Atlanta, GA, are teaming up to present Informix and DB2 User Forum 2006, the premiere Informix and DB2 regional user group technical conference in the eastern U.S.

The Informix User Forum, previously sponsored biennially by WAIUG, has long had a reputation for excellence in both value and technical content. Now, the two groups have joined forces to evolve the Forum into an annual two-day conference. This year’s event will be held December 8-9 in Washington DC.

Forum 2006 promises to provide even more technical content, plus opportunities to network with fellow users and access to information on the latest vendor offerings. This, combined with a registration fee of US$ 120.00 (pre-register for $80) for the entire conference, makes the value of this event hard to beat.

Visit the Forum 2006 Web site at /waiug/present/Forum2006/Forum2006.html to find more details about the conference and an on-line application for submitting your presentation abstract.

The keynote speakers for the Washington DC Forum have been announced!

On Friday, December 8, Ambuj Goyal, General Manager of IBM Information Management, will speak. Then on Saturday, December 9, Arvind Krishna, WorldWide VP of Data Servers and R & D of Information Management, will speak. This is the first time either of these two special individuals have spoken at any user group meeting anywhere in the world, and here they will BOTH be speaking at the same event. So come hear them talk and see how Informix is such an integral part of the IBM Information Management portfolio. This is truly an event that is not to be missed.

Mark your calendar for May 6-10, 2007!!

Mark your calendar for the first week of May next year, and plan on attending the IDUG/IIUG North American Conference in San Jose California.

This will be another great technical conference offered to Informix users by the IIUG. We will be hosting FOUR full tracks of the latest and greatest INFORMIX ONLY technical content. These sessions will be given by Informix users, Business Partners and IBM Developers.

Here are just a few samples from more than 55 sessions on the schedule:

  • Fun with Onbar – How it works / how to make it work for you – Norma Jean Sebastian, Tellabs
  • Table Level Restore with ARCHECKER in Version 10 – Kevin Fennimore, UCI Consulting, Inc.
  • Enterprise Replication Basics – Nancy Balsbaugh, Cicso Systems
  • Cool Uses of SQL – Darryl Priest, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP
  • Encrypted Communications with IDS 10.0 – Jonathan Leffler, IBM
  • Using IDS v10 on Linux Kernel 2.6 – Tips & Tricks – Kozhikode Venugopalan, IBM
  • Utilizing onstat to make your engine hum – John F. Miller III, IBM
  • Java & IDS: JDBC, JSP & J/Foundation – Guy Bowerman, IBM

In addition to these great technical sessions, we will also be offering 6 half-day Educational Seminars given by some of the best Informix technical gurus around; Carlton Doe, Paul Watson, and Jean-Georges Perrin to name a few.

Go Further! Share your experiences. Learn from what others have experienced first-hand at the many networking opportunities available throughout the conference. Mingle with exhibitors in the exhibit hall. Benefit from extended face-to-face time with conference presenters and developers during the Speaker and IBM Developer Reception. Throughout the week you will be provided with many peer-to-peer networking opportunities.

Registration for this event is now open! Take advantage of the special early bird registration and attend IDUG/IIUG North America 2007 for only $1650. Use up those end of year budget dollars!!


See you in Silicon Valley – the birthplace of Informix!!

Cindy Lichtenauer
IIUG Board of Directors
IIUG Conference Planning Committee

Education Back to top

Chat with the Lab

Informix Chat with the Lab – Tuesday, December 5th
8 AM PST, 10 AM Central, 11 AM Eastern, 4 PM London, 5 PM Paris

Cheetah Roadmap

This month’s Chat speaker will be Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix Lab. Jerry will discuss a topic of great interest to the Informix community, the Cheetah Roadmap. This Chat will be a great introduction to Cheetah and will be followed by many more during 2007 covering Cheetah features in more detail.

RSVP at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=4972684

Comments, questions: lspina@us.ibm.com

V10 Administration Changes

Single User Mode

New in V10, and long overdue, Single-User mode is a true single-user fully functional maintenance mode where only the user ‘informix’ can connect the server. It is intended to be viewed as an intermediate mode between Quiescent and Online. Whilst in Single User mode all normal database operations are available, and it is intended to be used by DBAs to perform any SQL/DDL maintenance while preventing normal users from connecting.

To set Single-User mode:

  • Change from Offline mode to Single-User mode oninit -j
  • Change from Online or Quiescent mode to Single-User mode onmode -j
  • onmonitor menu
  • ISA “Single User” button on the mode panel

If you begin in online mode, the database server automatically disconnects any users who are connected with any user ID that is not user informix and the users receive an error message. As you expect if a connection is terminated during a transaction, the database server rolls back the transaction.

Onstat reports the mode as Single-User.

Dynamically Change ONCONFIG Parameters

With V10 it is now possible to dynamically update the value of a limited number of connection, PDQ, and memory configuration parameters.

  • Update the value of the specified configuration parameter in the database server including the ONCONFIG file using:

    onmode -wf <param>=<value>

  • Set value of the specified configuration parameter for the current session using:

    onmode -wm <param>=<value>

The following configuration parameters can be updated dynamically using onmode -wf and onmode -wm


Shared Memory over 4GB

Shared memory segments can be as large as the operating system segment size limit or the SHMMAX (or SHMSIZE) kernel parameter setting allows.


Virtual shared memory segment initial size, up to 4Tb on 64 bit platform


Virtual shared memory segment dynamic size addition, up to 4Tb on 64 bit platform


Total amount of shared memory (resident, virtual, message, and virtual extension portions)

Note: On-monitor does not support shared memory sizes greater than 4Gb.

Index Changes

Creating an index without locking the table

The following syntax is used to create an index on a table that other users are accessing, the index is not available until no user is updating the table.

CREATE INDEX idx_1 ON table1(col1) ONLINE;

Dropping an index without locking the table

Dropping the index is deferred until no user is using the index. After you issue the new syntax to drop an index, no one can reference the index, but concurrent DML operations can use the index until they terminate.


Memory Usage during Create Index Online

Shared memory pools, pimage_partnum and ulog_partnum, are created when a CREATE INDEX ONLINE statement is executed. The pools are freed when the execution of the statement is completed.

The ONCONFIG parameter, ONLIDX_MAXMEM, limits the amount of memory that is allocated. The default value is 5120 kb. Setting the value can allow performing a CREATE INDEX ONLINE statement on a column, and also perform other operations on the column, such as running UPDATE STATISTICS HIGH, without having memory problems.

IBM Training eCatalog – Winter Edition

Find out why IBM Training is always in session. We just announced 49 new courses and 22 updated courses in this winter’s eCatalog. Find out what 2007 conferences are coming soon! Get your skills in shape for winter. Find everything you need to build your technical skills portfolio.


First Class Savings from IBM

Your training dollars will go further in 2007 with $500 savings on public software classes scheduled in the first quarter in the US. What better time to attend software training when your business goals are set and your IT needs are immediate? You can enroll starting December 1 through March 28, 2007, in any eligible IBM publicly scheduled software classes in the US and receive $500 off the tuition. At enrollment, reference priority code 6N2KJO4W to receive your discount.

  • Take the training you need now before budgets are cut
  • Get award-winning training from IBM instructors/developers
  • Choose from hundreds of eligible software courses
  • Stretch your training dollars with up to 25% savings

All public IBM software classes in the US listed in the IBM Training Catalog (software category) are included in this offer, excluding Lotus, Microsoft, Tivoli and Linux. All classes must commence on or after January 1st and complete by March 30, 2007, to take advantage of this offer. Visit http://www.ibm.com/training/us/swsave1 for details.

Developer corner Back to top

Ruby/Informix 0.2.1

Ruby/Informix is a Ruby extension for connecting to IBM Informix Dynamic Server. It provides a convenient interface for querying an Informix database in Ruby programs.


The greatest undocumented environmental variable ever

OK, maybe it’s not that great, but it’s proved damn useful to me.


Basically, you set it to a timeout value, and with it set, you can issue, say, an ALTER TABLE statement without immediately getting an ISAM -106 (non-exclusive access). Instead, it keeps trying, waiting for the timeout, before giving the error. So if you need to alter a table or build an index where you have dirty readers out there, this is quite handy.

Detailed info here:


If it’s documented anywhere else, I haven’t found it. I only learned of it from the IBM Premium Support newsletter for November of 2006. Apparently, the feature was added in 7.31.xD5, 9.30.xC3, 9.40.xC1, and 10.00.xC1, back before February of 2005, but I just now learned of it. I thought I might not be the only one in the dark about this, and that others might find it as useful as I have.

Thomas J. Girsch

Changes to daylight saving time (DST) in the U.S. and Canada affect IDS

In March 2007, the effective dates of DST in the U.S. and Canada will change. You must take action to address this issue if you are using IBM® IDS® for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows®.



Informix news Back to top

Informix, the IIUG and GITEX Dubai

Well hopefully you know what Informix and the IIUG are, but what is GITEX?

Basically, GITEX is THE show for the Middle East and the third largest IT show in the world. GITEX celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2005 and continues to reflect the importance and phenomenal growth of the IT industry in the region by continually highlighting the latest technology and services from international manufacturers and suppliers. Although figures for this year are not available, in 2005 GITEX welcomed over 1,163 exhibitors representing over 2,724 companies from 61 countries. For those of you that attended the IOD event, this is over 10 times the size of IOD.

The large number of companies using Informix in the Middle East, primarily in the Petro Chemical, Oil Exploration and Financial sectors, led to the formation of a Dubai/Middle East User Group, and IIUG was there to help. The meeting started with an overview of IBM-Informix from Sameer Gupta, Regional Manager for Information Management. He was followed by William Friewah, Worldwide SWAC. The technical presentation was delivered by Paul Watson from Oninit who was asked to step in at the last minute when the IBM representative was unable to attend.

The attendance could have been higher, but we’ve all heard that before. With Gillani assisting with the formation of the group, there is a high likelihood that we will soon see a very active Informix user group in Dubai.

Paul Watson

Report on the Dubai Infobahn

An Informix Infobahn event was recently held in Dubai at the GITEX 2006 Show on November 20, 2006. Co-sponsored by Gillani, Inc., a Premier IBM Business partner and Informix advocate based in Dallas, Texas, Dubai Infobahn gave a chance for Informix users from the region to meet senior IBM executives and to hear the latest on Informix product road map and future releases. Among the world’s top three IT exhibitions, GITEX continues to be the most important gateway to the Middle East Information Technology market. GITEX Dubai 2006 attracted over 100,000 attendees. Informix users, both customers and business partners, attended the Informix Infobahn from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Sameer Gupta – Manager, IBM Information Management SW – Middle East/Egypt/Pakistan, presented the IBM Information Management strategy in Middle East, as well as IDS positioning in these markets.

William Freiwah – IBM Worldwide SWAC TeleWeb lead generation program for SMB market, underscored IBM’s commitment to the Informix product line by working with partners in the Informix community.

Paul Watson – Founder of Oninit in the U.K., and representing IIUG Board of Directors 2006, provided a detailed technical presentation on IDS 10 features, internals, and insight on the upcoming Cheetah release.

Syed Kamal – CEO of Gillani, presented Informix-4GL based application development, and how FourGen CASE Tools help in rapidly developing business applications in Informix-4GL, running on Informix Dynamic Server.

William Percival – Senior Solutions Consultant of Gillani, presented Informix-4GL based Gillani Financials – ERP/Accounting, and Gillani iDistribute – Supply Chain and Distribution Management solutions, running on IDS. These applications were formerly known as FourGen Accounting and FourGen Enterprise.

The attendees agreed to launch the Middle East chapter of IIUG in Dubai, to promote the interests of Informix users in the region.

For more information, contact Syed Kamal: +1 972-918-0400 or kamal@gillani.com

Linz seeks review of IT systems

Land Information, Linz, is preparing to carry out the first big revamp of its information technology systems since its $141 million Landonline system was completed in 2003.


Information Back to top

Oninit uptime survey

“IDS rocks for heavy OLTP compared to SQL Server and DB2”

Survey Provides Fascinating Insight into Real-Life Experiences of Informix

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey to investigate the real-life reliability and performance of Informix, within the IIUG community. This survey was co-sponsored by Oninit, the UK’s leading Informix Specialists and OpenPSL, IT distributors and part of the International Bell Microproducts Corporation.

Over 240 people from around the globe responded to the survey, providing an invaluable insight into the performance of Informix in the live environment. The survey investigated three key aspects of the database functionality – hardware efficiency, reliability and scalability.

The results have now been collated and the in-depth report provides compelling evidence that Informix should be the database of choice for mission critical applications.

Key highlights include:


Average uptime of 264 days*
84% of organisations experienced less than two outages


Average of 35 million transactions processed every day

Total Cost of Ownership

67% of companies spent less than 1 DBA day per week managing Informix
An average of 7 minutes DBA time / week / user

With so many organisations now relying upon Informix at the core of their mission critical applications, we are delighted that this survey provides compelling evidence that Informix is, without doubt one of the most reliable and stable databases available on the market today.

If you would like a copy of the full survey results, please email us at jilli@oninit.com

IDS is “set it and forget it”

* Version 9.x


I am always pleased to see more sites dedicated to Informix. This time I would like to point the Informix Zone:


IIUG Board Back to top

IIUG Election Procedures

Designation, Term of Office, and Election of Directors.

The Directors shall be elected by the Members that have joined the IIUG thirty days prior to the election date. The initial Directors shall be elected at the Organizational Meeting of the Corporation, to so serve until their successors are elected at the next annual meeting. All Directors elected shall take office on January first and will serve until December 31 for the term of one calendar year.

(a) In preparing for elections, the Board of Directors will form a committee (the “Election Committee”). Every attempt shall be made to either find a current board member who will not be returning or a previous board member to be the chairperson of the committee. The committee shall be made up of two other individuals in addition to the chairperson, one which will be the IIUG / IBM Board representative and one other IIUG member. The NON IBM Board member and the chairperson shall be nominated by the president of the IIUG and approved by the current board as outlined in the Charter and By-Laws. (The IBM Board representative may delegate their duties to another IBM employee for the purpose of the election, but the IBM representative must inform the board prior to the beginning of the process and this individual must be approved by the board by a majority vote).

(b) An announcement of the election and a call to candidates will be made in the Insider and on the IIUG web site for a period of at least two weeks. Each potential candidate must complete a questionnaire and return it to the Chairperson of the Elections Commission. Current board members will be exempt from completing the form, but must contact the Elections Commissioner to inform them they wish to run.

(c) All questionnaires and potential candidates must be approved by a majority vote of the elections commission and a majority vote of the IIUG Board. Current Board members are exempt from this vote. All potential candidates must be IIUG members prior to the announcement of the call for candidates in part b above.

(d) Once the candidates are decided, the election will be turned over to the Elections Commission, where an election will be announced on the IIUG Web site, the IIUG Insider and thru at least TWO special e-mail blasts to the entire membership (if the election commission wishes to do an additional blast, they may). All announcements of candidates will announce the candidates in no preferential treatment and all announcements will be made in the following order by LAST name. Incumbents first, NON incumbents second. The election period shall be at least two weeks and no more than three weeks as decided prior to the call for candidates by the IIUG Board.

(e) The election process shall be done in coordination with the Election Commission and the IIUG official Web Person (currently as of the writing of this Pete Perez). Only the election Commissioner and the Web Person will have access to the elections. Once the election process is completed, the Elections Commission shall certify the election and notify the top 11 candidates and confirm they wish to serve for the upcoming year. In addition to this the elected candidate must certify they will server in accordance to the IIUG Board policy as posted in the IIUG Board only area. The elected candidate shall confirm their wish to serve within 10 days of being notified by the elections commissioner. Failure to confirm within the specified period, or failure to certify that the candidate wishes to serve under the current BOARD policy, their names shall be removed as a successful candidate and the next name(s) on the list will be approached in the vote order.

(f) Approval of the IBM Data Management Board Member shall be by a 2/3 majority vote of the elected Members of the Board of Directors.

Additional rules:

All communication prior to the election in search of candidates shall only be made on the IIUG Web site and in the IIUG Insider. The text of such announcements cannot mention any candidates names or favor any candidate in any way.

The elections ballot and any listing of the candidate’s names shall be listed as:

1) Incumbents first (alphabetical order by last name)

2) NON incumbents (alphabetical order by last name)

When the election polls open, ONLY the Elections commissioner shall have the power to announce in any way to the membership that the election is open. ANY AND ALL announcements will list no more than the candidate’s names and will point all links back to the election page on the IIUG Server. This includes anything written in the IIUG Newsletter even prior to the election or during the election.

Spatial Interest Groups aka the SIGs

The IIUG Special Interest Groups are probably the best place in the world to go for great advice from the very best of the Informix gurus. There are both technical groups covering IDS, classic Informix products, application development platforms, 3rd-party apps like SAP and many others. There are SIGs for users fluent in French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. There is also a non-technical SIG for those who want to challenge IBM over marketing, product development or new features. For your interest, the IDS Forum ( /forums/ids/ ) and the non-technical Informix Forum ( /forums/informix-forum/ ) are the most used SIGs. The third most used is the Spanish SIG (/forums/iiug-esp/ ). Need help from the experts? Visit the SIGs at /forums/ or go to http://www.iiug.org and follow the discussion links.

Also remember about the RSS feeds. You can monitor the IIUG site and SIGs using RSS feeds. Go to /rss/.

David Fraser

Calendar of events Back to top

December – 2006
Date Event Location Contact
8-9 Washington Area Informix Users Group – Forum 2006 Washington DC Lester Knutsen
May – 2006
Date Event Location Contact
6-10 IDUG/IIUG 2007 – North America San Jose, CA Cindy Lichtenauer


Useful links Back to top

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

Closing and credits Back to top

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
IBM Corp.
Editors: Gary Ben Israel
Stuart Litel
Jean Georges Perrin

For comments, please send an email to gary@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.