IIUG Insider (Issue #99) September 2008

Highlights: Want to attend the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference for free? 100th issue of the IIUG Insider – Call for stories

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

Along with the 2007 survey results we will soon be asking you to participate in the 2008 IIUG survey. Please take a few minutes and fill it out. It helps us make IDS a better product, gives us the chance to be heard as a collective group, and who knows, you may get your favorite feature into the next release. Adding features to IDS is important to maintain its current technological advantage.

I would, however, like to say a few words in favor of the old features – those that are the reason we chose Informix to begin with and the reason we stayed with it. The great performance, the small footprint, but above all the robustness and stability – knowing that as long as you do not unplug the power it will keep on going. This was a quality that could not be replaced by stronger hardware.

Don’t read between the lines. I am not insinuating that IDS 11.5 is not as stable or fast as 11.1 and 10 were. I am just asking Jerry and his team not neglect these old feature when going after new ones.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor
IIUG Board of Directors

Highlights Back to top

Consider sharing some of your experiences and knowledge

Are you a lurker on the Informix news groups? Have you ever had a question answered there? Have you benefited from attending an Informix conference?

Consider returning the favor. We all have ideas and solutions that are worthy of sharing. I decided to do this at a conference a couple of years ago. The topic was a simple one – replication. It had been talked about by many of the usual great and well known speakers; however I took a different approach. My discussion was not based on the intricate workings, but was of a more practical nature. I discussed the differences, the pros and cons, and which solution was best for us in a given circumstance.

What may seem like trivial information to you could help jumpstart others with new or existing projects. So think about speaking at the conference. It is not a painful process, and you certainly can’t ask for a better audience. I know – there was not a single thrown tomato during my presentation. I found the experience very rewarding in that I was returning some of what I have received over the years from the Informix community.

Now you don’t get paid for speaking but you do get a FREE conference pass, and I may even be willing to buy you a beverage of your choice at the conference, provided Stuart doesn’t catch me…

Please consider sharing some of your experiences and knowledge. Abstracts are due Oct. 6th, 2008 and can be submitted at /conf/.

David Link

Conference Planning Committee
2009 IIUG Informix Conference

100th issue of the IIUG Insider – Call For Stories

The next issue of the IIUG Insider will be #100.

I would like you to send me stories describing what you were doing in May 2002 when Issue #1 was published.

Story Submission Deadline: October 20, 2008.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor
IIUG Board of Directors

Conference corner Back to top

2009 IIUG Informix Conference Call for Papers deadline extended

There’s still time to get your presentation proposal to the Conference Committee in time for the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to Monday, October 6, 2008. Share your expertise with a global audience of Informix enthusiasts and get a free all-conference pass.

Details here:


FOURTEEN Informix-dedicated labs @ IOD

IBM Information On Demand 2008 — The Premier Information Management Global Conference

Hands-on Lab – Data Management: Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)


Track details are subject to change.

2569 Hands on With IDS 11.5 MACH 11 Cluster Technology
This lab will give participants the opportunity to use the latest features of the high-availability and disaster recovery technology provided by MACH 11 in IBM Informix® Dynamic Server 11.5.

2570 Developing Applications With CSDK Including IDS Cheetah Features
CSDK / I-Connect is set of connectivity APIs for IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) servers. All the applications (such as Visual Studio, SQL Linked Server, Microsoft® Access, Microsoft Excel, MSDTC) require one or more of these APIs to talk to IDS and communicate the result back to applications. This session will demonstrate how to use CSDK in such application scenarios. This session also involves a hands-on demonstration of various Cheetah features and improvements made across various components of CSDK. This session will mostly focus on Microsoft-based applications, besides native API ESQL/C. This session will cover installation, configuration and application development using various APIs for CSDK (ODBC, OLEDB, ADO.NET and others).

2571 IDS Appliances
Come to this lab to work with SUSE and Ubuntu appliances running IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS). Configure and start an IDS MACH 11 cluster, monitor and administer your IDS instances using the latest OpenAdmin Tool (OAT), and explore the application development capabilities built into your appliance.

2572 Using IBM solidDB as In-memory Cache for DB2/IDS
IBM solidDB is a relational in-memory database that delivers extreme speed, performing up to ten times faster than conventional databases. It uses the familiar SQL language to allow applications to achieve throughput of tens of thousands of transactions per second with response times measured in microseconds, also providing applications 99.999% data availability. This lab will cover how to use solidDB Cache for IBM DB2® or IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) to accelerate access to data stored in DB2 or IDS. It will also address how to install and configure solidDB, define the data set to be cached, and set up the synchronization between solidDB and DB2 or IDS. Additionally, it will present use cases where solidDB Cache is a good fit.

2573 Extending Your Business Logic With OpenAdmin Tool for IDS
This lab will take you through a tour of the internals of the OpenAdmin Tool for IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) and show you how to build a development environment using open source components such as Eclipse. In addition, you will learn how to extend the function of OpenAdmin Tool for IDS.

2574 Discovering pureQuery With Informix
IBM provides a new Eclipse plug-in component, pureQuery, which allows for tighter integration and improves productivity in both application design and implementation phases. pureQuery is a new way of developing applications by providing common query and update methods through a single SQL interface. The query language is integrated with JavaTM, allowing for object-oriented programming in SQL. The lab will teach how to use pureQuery in IBM Informix® database applications in IBM Data Studio with Cheetah 2 and IBM Data Server Driver for Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and SQLJ.

2575 Using IBM Data Studio With IDS
IBM Data Studio provides customers with a powerful, common application development tool for all IBM data servers. This course will focus on hands-on lab work using Data Studio with IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) through both IBM Java Common Client (JCC) and Informix JDBC Driver. The hands-on labs include: Lab 1. Connecting to IDS databases and connection management Lab 2. Creating a development project Lab 3. Creating an SQL script Lab 4. Creating an SQL stored procedure Lab 5. Creating a Web service Lab 6. Deploying the Web service Lab 7. Testing the Web service Lab 8. Troubleshooting – diagnostic data collection and analysis.

2576 Explore IDS Enterprise Replication
In this lab, participants will get hands-on experience in setting up IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) enterprise replication. You will monitor and administer replication nodes, as well as resolve out-of-sync data using the resynchronization mechanism.

2577 MACH 11 on the Windows Environment
This lab will present how to set up MACH 11 scenarios on the Windows® platform. Various configurations will be explored.

2578 IDS 11 Quick View Lab
This lab will cover some of the fundamentals of getting started with IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) 11 and 11.5. We will cover a number of topics, with an emphasis on hands-on experiences. Topics and exercises include terms and concepts related to IDS, installation of IDS on Windows®, configuration of clients and servers, using the IDS stores_demo database, monitoring IDS (command line and GUIs), chunks and spaces, physical and logical logs and their use, buffer pools and checkpoints, and backup and restore.

2579 IDS 11 Performance Tuning: The Nooks and Crannies
This lab will cover some of the new and often overlooked performance features of IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) 11 and 11.5, with an emphasis on hands-on experience. Topics and exercises include optimizer directives, visual explain, non-blocking checkpoints, I/O reduction, direct I/O, variable page sizes, fragmentation, index-only scans, and confidence and resolution with update statistics.

2580 Securing Your Communication and Authentication With IDS
As the importance of security grows to meet requirements for regulatory compliance and other directives, the traditional methods of authentication between a client application and database server are becoming obsolete. This lab will cover the alternative, more secure, methods of authentication that IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) provides and how to interface with authentication components such as PAM. It also covers new IDS features such as single sign-on (SSO) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

2581 Using IDS Built-in DataBlade bts 1.10 for XML and Unstructured Documents
This course is designed to walk the user through the IBM Informix® Basic Text Search (bts1.10) Built-in DataBlade. Topics covered will include index creation, a wide range of queries for XML (structured) and plain (unstructured) data, and the use of stop words.

2582 Using Visual Studio and IDS to Develop .NET Applications
This lab covers using Microsoft® Visual Studio and IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) to develop .NET applications.

Education Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

Informix Data – Ready, Set, Mash!
Tuesday, October 14th – 8 AM Pacific, 10 AM Central, 11 AM Eastern, 4 PM London, 5 PM Paris

Using the IBM Mashup Center, you can easily deliver web 2.0 solutions using your Informix data as a source. The Infosphere Mashup Hub includes virtual tools for creating, storing, transforming, and remixing data feeds to be utilized in mashup and situational applications. This session will provide an overview of the capability in chart format and then point you to websites where you can view demos. Our speakers for this call will be Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix Lab and Chris Gruber, Product Manager, Infosphere Mashup Hub.

You may RSVP for this call at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=4884976 or by calling 800-289-0579 and referencing Confirmation Code 4884976.

Questions, comments or to be removed from this distribution: lspina@us.ibm.com

Improve the performance of your database server!

Enroll in the Advanced Informix Dynamic Server Training Class from Advanced DataTools

Advanced DataTools is excited to announce the following Advanced Informix Dynamic Server training class to be held at the Annandale, Virginia Office (Washington DC Area). This 4-day class has been updated to include new features in IDS 11 and focuses on optimizing an Informix Database with more than 100% performance improvement. Each student will have a 4 core Linux server with IDS 11 and a large dataset to practice with and benchmark. This Informix course was developed and is taught by Advanced DataTools founder, Lester Knutsen, who is an Informix Certified Professional and a Certified Technical Trainer. Lester is an experienced consultant with a reputation for providing excellent training based on his extensive and up-to-date working knowledge of Informix. And, as always, Advanced DataTools can develop custom courses and will teach onsite if requested.

October 6-9, 2008 — Advanced Informix IDS Performance Tuning and Optimization

For more information, visit http://www.advancedatatools.com/Training/OutlineInformixIDSPerfTuningOpt.html

Hot skills, cool Chumby – Get both with IBM Training

IBM Training helps you keep your skills red hot with intensive hands-on lab classes taught by award-winning instructors. Now, attending a class gives you more than in-demand skills. You’ll also receive a Chumby: a cool, new, and versatile wireless Internet device that lets you stay connected to your favorite parts of the Web. Enjoy music, news, e-mail, videos, photo sharing and more. Simply enroll in and attend an eligible class by December 12, 2008 to participate in this exciting program.

Sign up today!


Test yourself with an online Information Management Certification Practice Test

Be well prepared for the complimentary certification exams at Information On Demand 2008 with free Information Management Certification practice tests. Usually offered through Prometric for $10 USD, you can enjoy them for free for two weeks leading up to the conference. Couple the free practice test and the free IBM professional designation certification exams available at the conference to take your knowledge and career to the next level!

Prepare to pass today!


Get to know our IBM Information Management Instructors!

Get behind the scenes and meet our IBM instructors. Share their experiences, training successes and their hobbies. Learn how their technical expertise and student-oriented approach can help you build all your data management skills.

Read their stories:


Pre-order your copy of Administering Informix Dynamic Server: Building the Foundation

his long awaited book by Carlton Doe is nearing completion, and you can pre-order your copy with an amazing discount at Amazon.com. Save 37% off the retail price of $59.99 and free shipping, you’ll pay only $37.77 for this detailed book that focuses on the essential skills to administer and maintain the Informix Dynamic Server. This book is a must have for both current and new IDS users.

Order today!


Register for IOD 2008 pre-conference technical training classes

Get a full day of comprehensive training delivered by professional IBM instructors at the IBM Information On Demand Conference. Available only on Sunday, October 26th, there are nine classes for you to choose from to further your knowledge. Take advantage of preferred attendee pricing of USD $399 and experience award-winning IBM Professional Training.

Courses available:

  • BM Cognos 8 BI: Essentials for Managing BI Projects (version 8.3) Accelerated
  • DB2 Migration, How To Move Forward and Never Fall Back
  • DB2 V9/V9.5 for Linux, UNIX and Windows Problem Determination
  • DB2 Operational Performance, Success Without Stress
  • Leveraging DB2 Optimizer
  • DB2 for z/OS DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 732)
  • DB2 9 for Linux & Windows DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 731)
  • Insuring Data Privacy in Your Test Environment using Optim
  • IDS Troubleshooting

For more information, visit the website below.

Register today!


Gain admission to IBM Information On Demand 2008 with IBM HealthCheck

Receive an IBM Information on Demand 2008 pass when you sign up for an IBM HealthCheck. Rely on the expertise of IBM professionals to optimize and accelerate the performance of your database. Sign up now and increase your skills with IBM and industry experts at the conference in October in Las Vegas!

Engage IBM Software Services to ensure that your IBM Informix Dynamic Server is running optimally to maximize your business productivity with the IDS HealthCheck Service. Rely on the industry’s leading experts in IDS to provide you with the best advice on maintaining IDS V10/XPS V8.5 in your current environment. Our consultants will also work closely with your staff to assist in conducting a comprehensive review of your database health using proven IBM database best practices and make detailed recommendations for improvement.

Find out more!


IBM Certification Voucher Test Re-Take Promotion

Ensure your success with IBM’s new Take It Again program®

Learn about this opportunity to retake certification tests for no additional cost:



Developer corner Back to top

New in DeveloperWorks

Using single sign-on authentication with Informix Dynamic Server

IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) 11.50 supports Single Sign-On (SSO). SSO simplifies user authentication by sharing authentication data and requires that the user enters the password just once to access all applications and network resources. In this article, learn about the Kerberos environment and follow step-by-step instructions for SSO configuration for an IDS server in Linux and UNIX.

4 Sep 2008

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix:


Administering Informix Dynamic Server

In Administering Informix Dynamic Server, Building the Foundation, author Carlton Doe describes and explains the functionality of the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) data server and the procedures required to administer and maintain database systems. It takes a “what do I need to know and do to make this work?” point of view, covering all of the major functional areas of the database server.

This expertly-written resource presents an organized method of designing, installing, initializing, creating instance objects, monitoring, protecting against failure as well as day-to-day activities. As a foundational book, it focuses the skills you need to have to be successful when using this data server-what it is, how it is different from other servers, how it works, and how to use it as efficiently as possible.

Both current IDS customers who need to upgrade from earlier versions of the data server, as well as those who have never used IDS before, will find this volume useful. And those who have been using lower functionality data servers such as open source servers and now need to move to a real, enterprise-class data server will find it particularly valuable.

Simply put, if you’re dealing with IDS and have better things to do than read the 1,600-plus pages of documentation included with the server…then this is exactly the book you need.

With Administering Informix Dynamic Server, Building the Foundation, you will:

  • Learn about new functionality in the latest release – IDS 11.5
  • Develop the skills necessary to administer the Informix data server
  • Gain an understanding of monitoring instance operations


IIUG Back to top

2007 IIUG Feature Request Survey and Cheetah 2

Remember that survey you filled out last fall? What ever happened to all those requests? Cheetah 2 is what happened!

Last years survey results were ranked and the results as well as the comments made for additional features were compiled and forwarded to IBM. Many of these requests made it into the Informix 11.5 release. Many special requests you gave on the survey will be the subject of the 2008 survey for new feature requests. The survey is expected to come out in October, 2008. Everyone should fill out the survey because IBM listens to your requests.

Here are some of the items that were ranked along with comments made by IIUG members from last year’s survey with an explanation of these new 11.5 enhancements.

Ranked #1: Automate statistics and distributions (update statistics) maintenance

“Everything you can think of related to zero maintenance (no DBA involved)… Would like a GUI for the purpose as well.”

“With automated statistics and distributions – make it configurable so that DBA can choose which tables get done, the level of stats generated and frequency for generation.”

Informix 11.5 introduces AUS – Auto Update Statistics, including full integration to OATs for that GUI interface desired. AUS gives the ability to automate the maintenance of optimizer statistics. It accomplishes this by identifying tables based on a defined set of policies determining which require new or updated optimizer statistics, and then runs update statistics on the required tables in a priority order within a defined window of time.

AUS automates the monitoring and refreshing of statistics and distributions. It provides a configurable mode to assure that a current minimum level of statistics is maintained on the system. If a minimally required set of statistics or distributions are missing, they will be added to the system. All work is performed in the sysadmin database with ph_task and ph_threshold the primary repositories.

Ranked #5 Add ability to perform dynamic SQL in Stored Procedure Language (SPL) procedures and functions

“Any additional improvements to SPL, since it hasn’t been touched in many, many years.”

Until now only static SQL statements were possible, but now statements can be dynamically constructed and executed. This is all done with the new Dynamic SQL statement: EXECUTE IMMEDIATE.

Syntax: EXECUTE IMMEDIATE { SQL_quoted_string | Str_variable };

SQL_quoted_string: A string containing a single SQL statement

tr_variable: A character variable containing the SQL statement

The biggest request was for the Active-Active HDR capabilities rivaling that which is available from Other database providers. Those requests were requests were delivered with new capabilities that blow away the competition!


“More XML (ability to “digest” XML as is)”

“XML shredding is necessary and perhaps a XML native type like DB2”

“Full support for XML data type”

New Transform functions based on XSLT have been added in 11.50. eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations XSL. The XML is a device-independent representation of data that XSLT can transform in a variety of ways; 1) XML to XML (transform to conform to different schema/standard); 2) XML to HTML; and 3) XML to PDF. You can use XSLT to customize a display; to transform from one XML schema into another; to enable loose integration through transformation and to make same data publishable to multiple targets with unique requirements. More enhancements to XML are expected in the next release as well.


“I’d like to suggest that IBM improve Load Balance in IDS, because it’s the ‘plus’ that Oracle has and IDS doesn’t. In Brasil, we would like to start with IDS 11… the ‘Kill Oracle’ operation… Help us!!!”

“[Informix] does not have the Active / Active Clustering…. Due to lagging of this feature we are planning to move to Oracle RAC.”

“Full write-write SDS nodes.”

“Highly important for us: Support for real active-to-active IDS clustering, so one Informix instance can run on two or more servers at the same time.”

” more than 1 writable SDS node (which is not the same as more than 1 writable HDR)”

“IDS must be *BETTER* and DO MORE than Oracle RAC! “

This was by fair the most highly commented on issue for the vnext of Informix, and Cheetah 2 has exceeded all expectations. Hopefully, everyone heard Madison Pruet in the “Chat with the Labs” on September 8, as this technology is amazing. The enhancements to Mach 11 allow the active-active environments you have been asking for, with a connection manager that allows the performance to be far superior to that of “other” products. IBM has provided 2 day work shops in various areas on this technology, and I recommend everyone take their managers and decision makers to hear about and test out this new technology.

Kate Tomchik

Re-Inaugural Meeting of the South America Informix Users Group – October 21, 2008

Join the South America Informix Users Group for a full-day session that will be packed with information and education. This meeting is complementary for IBM Clients and Business Partners in South America. You will be joined by peers who have also been using the Informix database products for many years! You’ll learn about the exciting new features in Informix Dynamic Server version 11 and the long future road-map of releases and feature enhancements to come.

Location: IBM Brasil HQ (Google Map)
Rua Tutoia, 1157
Paraiso, São Paulo-SP
Date: Tuesday, 21 de Octobre, starting at 9:00 AM
Registration /conf/2009/saopaulo/


  • Morning Session (presentations in English)
  • The Morning session is intended for both IT Management and Technical audiences. The presentations and speakers will come from the Worldwide Development Labs and IBM Headquarters to talk about some board topics that are interesting to executives, business users and agents, Developers, DBAs and other IT professionals.
  • Registration and Welcome
  • The IIUG, and the re-formation of a Local Users Group for South America in São Paulo
  • Continuing Support of Informix, and the Advanced Support Organization in Brasil for America Latino

Looking at IDS today, presented by Carlton Doe:

The IDS Road-map of enhancements to come over the next couple of releases

  • IDS version 7
  • Updates to IDS over the past several years
  • The great features now available in IDS v11

Afternoon session (Presented in Portuguese)

The Afternoon Session is intended for a technical audience who has had experience using IDS for some time. Materials are in English and Brasilian Portuguese.

Application Development Support, presented by Vlaunir da Silva:

Workshop on Advanced Application Development Support in IDS:

  • Optimizing communications with the db and how to handle communication buffer pools
  • Client connectivity
  • Advanced SQL analysis
  • Integrating with MS Visual Studio and IBM Data Studio

PLEASE register early – seating is limited!! Register on-line at the IIUG web site:


Informix resources Back to top

Informix Blogs and things

  • The IIUG forums at /forums/technical.php **** these are very good****
  • IDS Experts at http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/idsteam
  • Guy Bowerman at http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/gbowerman
  • Madison Pruitt at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/roundrep
  • Jacques Roy at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/jacquesroy
  • Informix blogs at http://www.ibmdatabasemag.com/blog/main/archives/informix/index.html
  • Kate Dawson at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson
  • Fernando Nunes at http://informix-technology.blogspot.com/
  • Virtual Worlds, MMOGs, Serious data – Informix Technology for Persistent Worlds at http://informix4virtual.wordpress.com/
  • IBM DATABASE MAGAZINE at http://www.ibmdatabasemag.com
  • The Informix Zone at http://www.informix-zone.com
  • The Informix mag at http://www.informixmag.com/
  • IIUG Developers Desktop /devnews/Vol_1_Iss_4/Home.html
  • There is now an Informix group on LinkedIn. The group is called “Informix Supporter”, so anyone loving Informix can join, from current IBM employees, former Informix employees to users can join. It will also be a good occasion to get in touch with others or long-time-no-seen friends. If you fancy showing the Informix logo on your profile, join. To join, simply go to http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/25049/5E4B2048E558

Calendar of events Back to top

October – 2008
Date Event Location Contact
1 Chicago Informix User Group – Proof of Technology IBM Facility, Chicago Rob Beal
16-18 China Informix User Conference Shenzhen, China Jerry Zhu
21 South America Informix Users Group Inaugural Meeting Sao Paulo, Brazil Michael Hiskey
26-31 IBM Information on Demand 2008 Las Vegas, Nevada
November – 2008
Date Event Location Contact
13 Southeast Informix User Group Meeting IBM Facility, Atlanta Walt Hultgren
13 UK Informix User Group Meeting David Linthwaite

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:


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. The 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
Art Kagel
Tammy Frankforter

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.

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