IIUG Insider (Issue #100) October 2008


  • What was I doing in May 2002 when Issue #1 was published?
  • President’s Note
  • Data Management Professional of the Year Award
  • Several IIUG Members Crowned Data Champions for their impressive contributions to the Informix community

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

Welcome to Issue 100 of the IIUG Insider.

Issue 1 was published in May 2002. The editors were Fred Hubbard and David Smith. Since then we have had JGP, me, David Frazer and me again.

My feeling is that the Insider is constantly improving. I hope you share my feeling. Our future plans are to add search capabilities on all the issues, enable you to vote on articles and add a version fit for smart phones. If there are any other improvements you would like to see in the future, drop me an email.

And last but not least, Informix earning Top Customer Satisfaction Score on VendorRate in Q3 is all over the news. Thanks to all of you who rated Informix. If you didn’t, go ahead and do it now.


Following is a small analysis of the VendorRate’s Q3 report, done by Art:

For IDS, out of 127 ratings 15 scores were 100 and 47 were 95 or better — overall 93.

For Oracle Database/Middleware, there were 97 ratings with 2 at 100 and only 7 ratings of 95 or better — overall 75.

For Oracle Software, there were 24 ratings with 1 of 95 or better (98) overall 81 — 17 of these ratings listed Oracle’s database software either alone or with other Oracle software.

So the total number of ratings of Oracle RDBMS was 112 — about comparable to the number of IDS ratings.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor
IIUG Board of Directors

For the 100th issue I am glad to add an editorial by all the past editors. Enjoy.

Congratulations Informix community and IIUG! Your e-zine has come to its 100th edition, and it has come a long way. From a short text e-mail message that nurtured IIUG members around the world, to the full-fledged HTML monthly it now is, full of news and information to help you best utilize IBM’s information management portfolio of Informix products and supportive software. I’m proud to have been part of the original effort and wish all of you and the IIUG Insider all the best.

Fred Hubbard, past IIUG President

I served on the Board for a little less than two years after being elected in 2001. I was retiring from the Arizona Game and Fish Department after 30 years with them. I was their Enterprise Systems Administrator and Informix Database Systems Administrator. I had always given a lot of credit to Informix for providing a reliable product that needed very little oversight and made me look good. Since I had a Journalism background, helping out with the Insider was a natural fit for me, and it helped free Fred up some for his role as President of the Board. I took pride in trying to make the Insider as dependable and reliable as Informix had been in my experience. I am glad that it continues to be a valuable source of useful information for IBM/Informix professionals.

I was on the Board when IBM bought Informix and helped dispel the fears that everyone would be forced to migrate to DB2. It appears that IBM was true to their word. I still receive and enjoy perusing the Insider, however I no longer work with Informix software now that I am retired.

It was truly a great and enjoyable experience. We initiated the Insider as a twice-monthly newsletter during my tenure as an editor. It replaced a twice-monthly Alert and a quarterly E-Newsletter, hoping to combine the best of both products.

Congratulations on reaching issue 100!

Dave Smith

I hated databases. Long ago (well, not as long ago as Stuart or Gary), but quite some time ago, I was a student. I graduated in IT. IT was real cool. I really enjoyed complex (for me at that time) data structure like linked list, double linked list, graphs and doing their implementation in C and C++. This was cool… Later in my curriculum, I took databases. Our professor tried to explain us how cool databases were, through relational algebra, normal forms…

Guess what… My whole class loved doing C and C++ a lot more than just trying to understand what SQL was even aiming at doing.

After that we went through practice using probably-the-most-famous-database of that time (and, no it was not MySQL, I DO SHAVE, I am not that young).

Guess what… If you did not love 3NF, you could not really enjoy the rest of it…

And who cared. I was a kid, I decided I hated databases and let’s not think more about it. I would go on cod’in C or C++ or even doing more fun things like 3D graphics (at least, at that time, you could sleep between the rendering of two pictures). Yeah, life was so much more fun without databases.

Guess what… I graduated. I even found a job. I had to work with databases.

Okay… This was not very serious database business, we used Dbase and Access, but you still need to understand (a little) about SQL. It was boring… but the Internet was starting to be a very serious game…

Guess what… I was hired by Four J’s.

I then discovered Informix, through 4GL, through version 7, through Set Net 32 (which I still hate) and found Informix a pleasant engine to work with. From an application developer standpoint, I found it relaxing. Finally something where I could store the data and concentrate on the business logic of my applications.

Guess what… I discovered the Informix community.

You! Yes, you, as you are reading this 100th issue of the Insider. You as part of the community. I could not stand it, I had to be part of it. I ran for the board and you elected me there. That was back in 2002.

Guess what… I kept my basic life as an application developer.

Then I met a lot of people in our great community. Advocated Informix among our community. Discovered new friends.

Guess what… I became famous!

Yes! Look at the picture of David Stern who came to greet me on an official IIUG event! Look it’s really him and me with my Board shirt!

Guess what… You should care about your online reputation!

Okay this was just a joke. I met David Stern at an NBA game and I was pretty honored to shake his hand while Stuart was taking a picture with his cell phone.

I now work for GreenIvory, and we are doing fun things. We are mashing up the Internet, we are building social networks, we are caring about your online image & reputation, we are crawling the web… Gee… We are really into those Web 2.0 stuff (I will talk more and more about Web 2.0 stuff here, here and probably here … We are doing a lot of really cool things, a bit like those C++ data structures back in 91…

But now, we are using Informix everywhere, every time. For us, Informix is the database for Web 2.0.

Jean Georges Perrin
CEO, GreenIvory – http://www.greenivory.com

“Hello.” Trev said as I poked my head in his door. He was slumped over his keyboard, eyes about 10 inches from the computer screen. He frowned. “You back then.” And he unceremoniously pointed to a dog chewed chair tucked untidily under old manuals, papers and a dead pizza box.

“Look at this,” Trev was never one for a two way conversation….his voice alone was sufficient to entertain him. He was pointing to numbers and stuff on his screen. Perhaps I should have known what he was showing me but, I confess, I did not. A year away from Informix meant the very little I know, I know not… now… if you get know what I mean.

He did not wait for an answer. “It’s very fast.” I raised one quizzical eyebrow. “The database dummy… you know Informix. I’m writing an online game… big stuff… It’s going to make me a fortune.”. He stopped, looked at me as if I had just arrived.

“Hello?” Was this Ground hog day I wondered.

“Gary asked me to write an editorial for the Insider.” I said.

“The what?” he grunted. I ignored him. “Anything you want to say?”

Trev sat back and looked at me like I was the cold fag end of the pizza he ate yesterday. “Yep,” he paused, “they are doing a lot better this last year.” “Who?” I asked.

“The IIUG Board you goof.” he shot back.

“Look at the Insider,” he was warming to his task, “way better quality since Gary got back in charge. Didn’t understand a word you wrote, when you had it!”, he paused, “and then look at the conference last year… best ever I hear.” “They’ve got new programs, new people, new energy. Good thing you left, I’d say.”

This conversation was clearly not going my way.

“But…” I protested but he would not have a bar of it.

“You tell them, from me, ‘Don’t stop now’.” he was like a train on full steam. “You tell them to keep pushing that big blue IBM outfit to give them money to get those conference and events and training out over here, up into China and Malaysia and India. This is where it is happening boy. The world has moved on and the IIUG has gotta move too.”

He stopped and looked at me. “You going to the conference next year?” he asked. I shook my head sheepishly. “Sadly, no.” I replied.

“Good” and he looked up and smiled. “Might go myself this year, see Stuie and the ganders, good to talk to real people with brains….. close the door as you leave will you”.

But I had already left.

So, my friends, I wish the IIUG my very best wishes for 2009 and my sincere condolences, should Trev bother to turn up. 🙂

Finally, on behalf of thirty seven million sheep, Haera Ra.

David Frazer

Highlights Back to top

What was I doing in May 2002 when Issue #1 was published?

May 17, 2002 was a very hot day. The temperature in Jerusalem was over 100 degrees. (Fahrenheit, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius). Spam was not the major part of our received email and we had time to read unexpected emails from unknown sources. So when the first Insider landed in my Inbox I took my time and read it.

Informix was then as it is today the core of our data management system. We were on IDS 7.31. It was an outstanding version, with high performance and low maintenance. Today we are on IDS 11.5 and I can say the same. Our 4GL did not change, we were then as we are today on 4GL 6.

I always liked reading the Insider. It brought relevant content to my desktop sparing me the need to search. An unknown guy named Fred did the hard work for me. Today I am doing the hard work bringing the content to your desktops. I hope you enjoy it.

Gary Ben-Israel

In May 2002 when the first IIUG Insider was published I was doing pretty much what I am doing now, managing Informix instances for a telecommunications provider that handles 2 million calls per day for over 14 million end users a month. What has changed is our database architecture and how we have grown to take advantage of the features built in to Informix to grow our platform. We have gone from a single monolithic instance running on high powered hardware to a more distributed architecture, taking advantage of Informix’ ability to run well on lower cost servers running Linux. This has not only reduced hardware costs but has limited our exposure to hardware and operating system failures. When something fails, only a small percentage of our operation is down and not the entire platform. We have also made extensive use of HDR to provide warm standby servers, ER to help manage our distributed data architecture and TSM to make backup and restore a manageable process. What has not changed is the stability and scalability of our Informix solution. Like most telecom we are expected to be up 24x7x365 and Informix has helped us achieve this goal.

Andrew Ford

Unfortunately, in 2002 I was working for a group at Bloomberg that had nothing to do with Informix or any other RDBMS I was busy writing reports.

The only thing I had to do with IDS at all was mentoring the seven DBAs they hired to replace me as DBA in 2000 and helping them to cross train some of the ten DB2 DBAs BB had hired when IBM tried to talk them into converting to DB2 on IDS. I didn’t move into the Trading Systems Group to do IDS related development again until late in 2003. I did speak at the WAIUG Conference in Virginia that year which was the first time I met many within the Informix community face-to-face.

Art Kagel

In May 2002, I was preparing to leave a job that had been eliminated by IBM, after they bought Informix. I had worked at the Informix/Lenexa office for 12 years and was very sad about having to leave a place I loved.

Cindy Lichtenauer

In May 2002, I was in the middle of a huge project to update all The Home Depot stores (about 1400+ at the time) from version 5.03 to 7.31. Informix was on version 9.2 but was still too unstable for us to gamble using it on all the stores. It was a good move, as 9.2 was not any faster for us than 7.31. I was serving a second term as President of the South East Informix Users Group (SEIUG), having replaced Walt Hultgren (who needed a break).

Kate Tomchik

May of 2002 was a busy month. I was on vacation from my real job for much of the time while I worked as a volunteer for an early summer fundraising event that involved the registration of 4000 women, a 5-mile race course, and lots of computers. I also enjoyed a few days off to do some Alaska scuba diving. Although I was the only Informix DBA on the payroll, I had no worries about being away from my job for an extended period of time – because Informix just works.

Tammy Frankforter

May 2002 was a busy month. Informix was then as it is today, very stable and gave the DBA time to focus beyond daily tasks. We were on IDS 7.31. I was involved in several different Informix projects. We were upgrading EMC Symmetrix storage under Informix. I was testing Informix reorgs: moving SAP tables from 1 dbspace (BTAB) into 3 dbspaces. In addition to this, I made time to work on two internal presentations. One about utilizing two EMC features in our Informix environment: BCVs for test system database copies, and SRDF to keep our disaster site database in sync with production. The other presentation was about Informix OnBar, we had recently upgraded from OnArchive.

Norma Jean Sebastian

It was a dark and stormy night. While rain gently fell, lightning flashed almost non-stop immediately followed by loud claps of thunder that reverberated through the canyons formed by the downtown office buildings, shaking people to their core. Huddled around a small table in the upstairs area of a restaurant, a group of five people talked quietly yet purposely. They reflected on the current state of affairs and decided they needed to try and change the world. As they walked out into the storm later that evening, they had no idea what that conversation would lead to.

No, this isn’t one of Snoopy’s many attempts to write a novel, nor is it the treatment for a movie or TV show dealing with contemporary world events. Rather it reflects where and how the IIUG you now belong to was born. At the Tampa Worldwide Informix Conference (WWIC), Lester Knutsen, Walt Hultgren, Cathy Kipp, Malcolm Weallans and yours truly had dinner in a raging thunder storm and hatched the idea of creating the organization that came to be known as the IIUG.

As I sit here today looking back at what the organization has become, I am just amazed at how it has grown and thrived. It has become everything we, the original founders hoped it would. While I am not nearly as involved in the organization as I once was, there are a number of things I am particularly proud to have been involved with.

First is the role of advocacy. We worked hard to become your voice to Informix; to help them know what was important to you from a technical as well as a business perspective. It took a while but eventually the company came around and the organization, represented by the IIUG Board, became very involved in product direction, strategy and support discussions. Perhaps the most visible success during my direct involvement was the porting of the database engines and 4GL to Linux. While it appears as a no-brainer today, in the early to mid 1990s Linux was just starting to appear on the enterprise computing horizon and no one really knew whether or not it would ever become an important component of that world. A number of us in the IIUG pushed Informix very hard for almost two years. Eventually Informix became the very first major database company to release products on Linux. I was looking through some old IIUG material a couple of weeks ago and found some of the announcement and marketing material for this launch with the famous snapshot of Neil Armstrong’s first moon footprint as the campaign centerpiece.

I know that under IBM, the IIUG continues to be a critical voice to the development community in terms of shaping product futures. Unfortunately, the lumbering bureaucracy that is IBM business management is not nearly as nimble, far sighted, or responsive to customer needs so the organization has not been as successful there as they would probably like but the Board continues to fight on your behalf to make things better.

Second is education. It started with a simple but radical idea for Informix. We told the Informix conference committee we wanted our own track of sessions at the WWIC because we felt the technical content at the conferences was a little shallow. We called to the organization to submit proposals for sessions and were very pleasantly surprised at the depth and breadth of the ideas submitted. At the first conference we were stunned at the turnout. Every single session was literally filled to overflowing. One of the most exciting sessions, which still continues to this day, is the Ask the Experts panel of key development and support personnel to answer “how it works” questions. The IIUG continued to sponsor educational tracks throughout the rest of the WWICs, then after the IBM acquisition, at the IBM Data Management conferences. As the IIUG continued to grow, so did the need for, and the desire to provide, deep technical education. Last year, the IIUG sponsored their first completely independent user conference. It was a complete success. Next year’s conference has already been announced and I’m sure will be bigger and better than last year’s.

The last thing I’d like to mention is support for local user groups. Back in the dark ages when I was an end-user of the products, I started a local user group, which, I’m happy to note, is still alive and functioning. Back then it was very difficult to do. There was no one to turn to for ideas on how to create and organize a group, where and how to get external speakers, what worked and didn’t work for activities. One of the first subgroups we created when starting the IIUG was a council for all the local user group officers to participate in. Called the Informix User Group Leadership Council (IUGLC commonly referred to as the “ugly-c”), it became the main avenue for local groups to share ideas and get speakers as well as provide the IIUG Board with additional insight into what the end-user community needed it to do on their behalf. This support continues today overseen by a IIUG Board member tasked to be the Local User Group (LUG) liaison (aka the “LUG nut”).

I am very proud to have been part of the “founding five” that created the IIUG. It was fun and exciting times. I got to know a lot of very good, dedicated people who really cared about the Informix community and wanted to make it better. I am in awe of what that organization has accomplished on your behalf and with the assistance of many of its members. It is as viable today as ever. It is needed as much, if not more so today than ever before. Those on the IIUG Board are as committed to your success and needs as we were. But they can’t do it alone. I would strongly encourage you to get involved with IIUG activities whether at a local level on your LUG’s organizing committee or any of the IIUG committees such as the conference planning committee. You’ll get to meet some great people and have a lot of fun.

Congratulations on this, the 100th edition of the IIUG Insider. Another great resource for the Informix community to get information about what’s happening through the Informix world. Here’s to another 100 editions.

Carlton Doe

In 2002, I was a database administrator (official title Informix Database Evangelist) at the biggest player in teleconferencing system manufacturing, Voyant Technologies Inc.. Each teleconferencing system/bridge had two small Informix databases to keep track of users (occasionally over 400,000 per system), various configuration information and the usage data. We had many customers that never glanced at their servers and Informix just ran and ran. It was not unusual to find a small 7.31 instance that had been happily chugging away and generating money without being bounced for 800-900 days. Informix was so clean and neat other manufacturers had difficulty competing with us. The company, later bought by Polycom, was packed full of wonderful, super-smart engineers that loved Informix. It was a wonderful place to work. Oh yeah, I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2002, too. Directorship on the IIUG board is a cool, challenging and eye-opening experience in itself. Thank all of you members who gave me that opportunity to serve.

Sam Gentsch

I worked for a small money manager. We were trying to move an 8 yr old 4GL application to Java. We had just migrated from Informix SE (on Solaris) to IDS 9.21 with the Time Series DataBlade (on Linux).

Sean R. Durity

On May 2002 when the first Insider was published, I did nothing. How could I? I was born on July 2007 as a one-eyed, fat-headed, Informix bigot. Hence I could not sing my favorite IDS 7 song with Fred and Dave.

But no worries I will have a great deal to say about what I was doing when issue 100 was published in the 200 issue.

Hei kona ra.


President’s Note

The Insider at 100 Issues Old! Wow I remember when this monthly publication was born, If I am not mistaken, as senility is setting in, this was the brain child of Fred Hubbard. Fred was a real slave driver, since we used to do the Insider TWICE a month. I simply cannot believe we did it twice a month with all the work that I have seen other editors go through.

Well, this monthly publication has been copied by other User Groups. In fact one user group actually calls it the same name. I remember one former Editor, Mr. JGP, yelling certain words at a board meeting. He was editor at the time that the IIUG was copied.

Well to the list of Editors over the time of the 100 issues and all the contributors, THANK YOU for your dedication. David Smith, it was great working with you on the Insider in the early days. After you followed the famous JGP. We actually had our first editor do the Insider in Frenglish. Now what is Frenglish… Just talk to JGP and you will understand (maybe). After JGP, we actually think he paid off Gary with a bottle of French Wine to get Gary to take it over from him, but we cannot be sure of the deal, so we went from Frenglish to HebrewEnglish. After Gary we went on to SheepEnglish, with David Fraser and his co-editor Trev. Now here is a secret for you all: Trev did all the work for David, because David was always too busy counting sheep.

Well David departed the board, so we were real lucky to have Gary take back the Insider. Now there is no truth that Gary has secret help from Moses, but we have heard that Trev might have been on holiday a few months back in Israel to help Gary with an issue or two.

So my hat is off to David Smith, Jean-Georges Perrin, Gary Ben-Israel and David Fraser and most of all Fred Hubbard for creating one of the best software User Group Newsletters around.

Now on to another subject near and dear to my heart, this past week at the IBM Information On Demand (IOD) Conference I was lucky enough to be a recipient of the first set of Data Champion Awards. Twenty three individuals in all received this award, so congratulations to my good friends in DB2 Land who received the award, To the five other Informix individuals, I cannot be happier for you. First of all Kim Non Liew, whom very few people on this side of the ocean have had the high privilege of meeting and knowing, thank you very much for holding up the Informix flag in the Far East. Your dedication to Informix and the IIUG community is, well simply amazing over there. Next up Eric Herber… Eric I am simply amazed at the great online work you have done on behalf of the Informix community with your wonderful Informix-based web site / blog. The information on there is invaluable! Please keep up the great work!

Lester Knutsen and Walt Hultgren… what can I say about the two of you. Just thank you for always being there to help me. As two of the founders of the IIUG, 15 years later you continue to be my inspiration. For those who don’t know this, Lester was one of the people who actually came up with the idea of the IIUG conference. We all know how successful this was this past year, and the hardest working person on the conference team has to be Walt. Thank you guys for being the heart and soul of the IIUG for over 15 years.

Now as the old saying goes, save the best for last: Cindy Lichtenauer. I consider Cindy one of my closest friends in the world and trust me. all of the readers of this column, this publication and the IIUG community where as President I get all this credit, let me simply tell you all this and I mean this from the bottom of my heart: Cindy this organization would be nowhere today without you. You refuse to take credit in public and believe me I have tried, but please everyone believe me that Cindy is the person who keeps me going and is the secret behind the success of the IIUG. Cindy, you are truly one of a kind and the hardest working person for the IIUG cause I have ever seen or been around since I have been President. In my opinion, you deserve this award more than anyone else! Thank you for everything as I cannot put into words what you have meant to me and the entire IIUG community, except to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Congratulations to the five of you, and I cannot be happier and more honored than to receive this award alongside the five of you.

Stuart Litel
IIUG President

Data Management Professional of the Year Award

The Data Management Professional of the Year Award was given this year to Stuart Litel.

This award was given to the IBM Information Management customers responsible for the most innovative application of IBM Data Management technology and who has demonstrated impactful public evangelism of IBM Data Management technologies.

On behalf of the IIUG Board of Directors and the IIUG community I would like to congratulate Stuart for this well deserved honor.

Several IIUG Members Crowned Data Champions for their impressive contributions to the Informix community

IBM recognized 23 inaugural Data Champions at the Information on Demand Conference on Oct. 27 in Las Vegas, and the first full membership group will be announced in February. The Data Champion program recognizes and rewards the most significant community contributions from data management professionals. Of the inaugural 23 Data Champions, 6 are members of IIUG, including: Eric Herber, Kim Non Liew, Stuart Litel, Walt Hultgren, Cindy Lichtenauer, and Lester Knutsen.

IIUG members are encouraged to nominate fellow Informix colleagues to become a Data Champion. IBM will conduct an in-depth review of each nomination that is received from the community to identify the most significant community contributors. Nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2009 and can be submitted at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/champion.

Conference corner Back to top

IIUG Informix Conference Registration Opens

Registration for the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference is now OPEN. This year’s event promises to be every bit as good as last year’s sellout, with lots of new technical content on the schedule, access to many Informix experts, and opportunities to mingle with your peers from around the globe.

The Conference is being held April 26 – 29, 2009 at the newly renovated Overland Park Marriott. Conference registration includes access to all technical sessions, meals, and networking events. The Early Bird rate is a low $549. Additionally, IIUG members receive a $50 discount when registering online. The hotel rate is $149 per night, with free in-room Internet access.

Regular pricing takes effect after January 15, 2009, so don’t miss out on the Early Bird savings. For more details and to sign up now, go to /conf/2009/iiug/.

See you in Kansas.

Tammy Frankforter
Conference Planning Committee
2009 IIUG Informix Conference

IBM Information On Demand 2008, Las Vegas – Recap

The IOD conference in Las Vegas was, as it always is, a fabulous event.

Tons of sessions, over 7000 attendees, great key notes, unmatched presence of IBM Data Management executives at all levels and endless entertainment including performances by Martin Short, The Village People and Earth Wind & Fire, Fireworks, parties, food and beverages.

It is undoubtedly impossible to match such an event.

So why do I prefer the IIUG Informix conference?

Maybe it is because I have a narrow point of view, but from an Informix point of view it has much more to offer.

More sessions, a grid set to enable you to attend sessions according to your line of interest, emphasis on building technical skills, more Informix users, better opportunities to meet the Informix developers, support people, and your fellow users, lower price, and last but not least a unique family atmosphere.

If you can attend both conferences do not hesitate. If you must choose one, it is up to you.

Use your best judgment.

Gary Ben-Israel

Informix Customer Advisory Committee

The Informix Customer Advisory Committee aka CAC held a one-day meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday October 25th. I love writing about the CAC. As we are under NDA I cannot tell you anything. But we heard about the plans for future releases and were asked for our comments and advice. Participating in the CAC gives you a unique to learn about and influence the future of Informix.

I hope to see more of you at our next meeting.

Gary Ben-Israel

Education Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

IBM solidDB – Complementing Informix to Provide up to 10X Data Acceleration
Thursday, November 6th 8AM Pacific, 10 AM Central, 11 AM Eastern, 4 PM London, 5 PM Paris

In 2008, IBM introduced in-memory database technology known as solidDB. This presentation will cover the key capabilities of IBM solidDB – micro-second response time, high transaction throughput, and instant failover – and how those capabilities address the real-time requirements for data access in key Informix markets including telecommunciations, financial services, healthcare, retail, and communications. The presentation will also provide details about how solidDB in-memory cache complements IDS to accelerate response times and increase transaction throughput, achieving extreme speed for data residing in IDS. Use cases will be explored. There will also be good opportunities for technical Q&A. Our speakers will be Jerry Keesee, Informix Lab Director and Ari Valtanen, Director of solidDB Technology (CTO). Ari comes to IBM from the acquisition of Solid Information Technology, where he was Co-Founder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. As a member of the founding team at Solid, Valtanen spent 7 years as an Architect in core product development in Helsinki, Finland.

RSVP for this call at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=9914805 or you can also RSPP by calling 800-289-0579 and referencing confirmation code 9914805.

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

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Developer corner Back to top

New Features of the IDS Information Center

If you haven’t visited the IDS Information Center recently, you might not know about some useful new features that can help you find the information you need.

The following IDS Information Centers are available:

  • IDS v11.50 at http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/idshelp/v115/index.jsp
  • IDS v11.10 at http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/idshelp/v111/index.jsp
  • IDS v10 at http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/idshelp/v10/index.jsp

Read this article to find out how to:

  • Subscribe to updates in the information center with RSS feeds
  • Search the information center from anywhere on the Web with a Web browser plugin
  • Send feedback quickly and easily
  • Find Informix community resources
  • Find and share examples in the Informix Dynamic Server Exchange
  • Print a subset of topics from the information center
  • Find out about future enhancements to the information center

Subscribe to updates in the information center with RSS feeds

Now you can know as soon as updates are made to the IDS v11.50 Information Center. From the welcome page, follow the link to information on how to subscribe to the RSS feeds for the Information Center at /url/ids_11.5_info.html. This feature is coming soon for the IDS v10 and IDS v11.10 information centers as well.

Search the Information Center from anywhere on the Web with a Web browser plugin

You can now search the Information Center from wherever you are on the Web, without first having to go to the information center. Install the OpenSearch plugin for your Web browser for each version of the information center:

  • IDS v11.50 at /url/ids_11.5_info.html
  • DS v11.10 at /url/ids_11.1_info.html
  • IDS v10 at /url/ids_10_info.html

The installation is quick and easy. You’ll be able to enter search strings in the search form of your Web browser, select the version of the information center that you want to search, and the information center search results appear in your browser.

Here’s an example showing a search for “cdr” using the OpenSearch plugin:

From any Web page, enter a search string and select the information center version.

The Information Center opens, displaying the search results.

Send feedback quickly and easily

Each topic in the Information Center has a feedback link at the bottom that sends feedback directly to the Informix writing team. The feedback form is short and easy to fill out, and is pre-populated with the title of the topic on which you are providing feedback. You don’t need to specify what part of the information you are commenting on – just type your comments and click Submit. The Informix writing team monitors feedback daily.

Find Informix community resources

It just got easier to keep track all of the blogs, wikis, forums, and other resources that come from the large Informix community. The IDS v11.50 Information Center has a new set of topics about the Informix community, at /url/informix_community.html. Take a look and stay connected with other Informix users!

Find and share examples in the Informix Dynamic Server Exchange

One of the new community resources is the Informix Dynamic Server Exchange, at /url/ids_exchange.html. This site enables members of the developerWorks community to exchange code examples. The Web site makes it easy to quickly share examples or find ones that others have posted. Search the site for code snippets, examples of syntax, tutorials, and other ideas, or share your own. Contribute to the Informix community’s collective knowledge and expertise! Use the site as a companion to the IIUG Software Repository at /software/index.html, which contains community-submitted utilities.

Print a subset of topics from the information center

Did you know that you can print related groups of topics from the information center? In the navigation pane, hover over the topic title and click the arrow icon. Select the option to print that topic or print that topic and its subtopics. You can also search subsets of topics this way.

Find out about future enhancements to the Information Center

We’re working on additional enhancements to the Information Center. Subscribe to the RSS feed to hear about them as they happen!

Do you have questions about these Information Center enhancements? Email Hai-Nhu Tran at hntran@us.ibm.com. You can also always send queries or comments to the Informix writing team at docinf@us.ibm.com.

New in DeveloperWorks

Using Web Feature Service (WFS) with IBM Informix Dynamic Server
This article describes the Web Feature Service provided with IBM Informix Dynamic Server and shows you how to setup and use the built-in blade and its server-side UDRs, wfsregister(), wfsunregister(), and wfsexplode().
2 Oct 2008

Understand the Informix Dynamic Server B-tree scanner
Gain a better understanding of how the B-tree scanner works and learn techniques for leveraging this feature to achieve optimum transaction processing performance.

Access heterogeneous data using Informix Enterprise Gateway Manager with ODBC or DRDA
In this article, learn how you can query data across heterogeneous data sources using IBM Informix Enterprise Gateway with ODBC and DRDA. After a brief introduction to the architecture and configuration of the gateway, learn how to establish a connection between Informix Dynamic Server client applications and other databases such as IBM DB2, IBM solidDB, Oracle, and SQL Server. This article explains some of the utilities that act as an interface between the gateway daemon and the client application, and also highlights various advantages of the Informix Enterprise Gateway.
23 Oct 2008

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix:


Informix DBA: Row Type Indexes

Functional indexes are the key to better performance
By Prasad Mujumdar,

Using an index on Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) row-type columns speeds queries significantly, but isn’t possible with normal indexing mechanisms. I’ll show you some techniques that enable indexing for this powerful data type.

Issue 4, October 2008

Informix News Back to top

Informix Earns Top Customer Satisfaction Score on VendorRate in Q3

IT Pros Rank VMware, CDW, Apple Among Top Vendors for Second Straight Quarter; Lowest Rated Vendors Were Accenture, Microsoft, EMC, Comcast, ATT Wireless

LOS GATOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VendorRate (http://www.vendorrate.com), the only Web-based business information service that offers quick, confidential performance ratings and comparisons of technology vendors, announced today that Informix was the top rated vendor for customer satisfaction in the third quarter of 2008.

Informix, IBM’s relational database management system, outscored all other vendors during the quarter with a cumulative performance score of 91 based on ratings from more than 120 organizations.

“The Informix score is even more impressive because it was among the most frequently rated companies during the past three months,” said VendorRate CEO Rick Schaefer. “Ratings came from highly satisfied customers from a wide cross section of companies, both in the U.S. and internationally.”

VMware (86), CDW (86) and Apple computers (84) repeated among the top-rated vendors for the second consecutive quarter. Two newcomers to the leader board were software providers Quest and Oracle’s software group, both with 80.

Accenture Consulting (58) and Microsoft Operating Systems (59) posted the lowest overall scores. Comcast Business (60) and data storage vendor EMC, ATT Wireless and IBM Global Services, all with 63, round out the bottom performers in the quarter.

The full Q3 report also contains breakdowns of ratings submitted by small, medium and enterprise companies, the highest and lowest scores in each of ten performance criteria, and top category scores by software, hardware and service providers.

The report summarizes customer satisfaction ratings entered by technology professionals at the VendorRate website, trade shows, professional conferences, and virtual events. VendorRate also collects rating information by cooperating with user groups, trade associations, event management, and IT and telecom departments from organizations of all sizes. VendorRate is vendor neutral and accepts neither vendor sponsorship nor advertising.

The report is now available free on the VendorRate site at http://www.vendorrate.com/news/2008-10-15-VRReport.pdf

About VendorRate

VendorRate is a Los Gatos, Calif.-based business intelligence company providing quantifiable, reliable ratings and reports on technology vendors in the IT and telecom industries. Established in 2007, the company works with technology purchasers to improve their overall decision making process. For more information, visit http://www.vendorrate.com.

Hilton Hotels Corporation Places #2 in Information Week 500

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sep 30, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Hilton Hotels Corporation, a leading global hospitality company, today announced that the company ranked #2 on the 2008 InformationWeek 500, revealed earlier this month at a gala awards ceremony as part of the exclusive InformationWeek 500 Conference at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, CA.

Year after year, Hilton’s commitment to enhanced technologies and its proprietary OnQ package enable the Hilton Family of Hotels to maintain its leadership status as the most innovative hospitality company in the industry, continuing as the only multi-branded hotel corporation with a single technology solution.

More on DAvE

DAvE (Distributed Availability Engine) is a solution developed to allow on-line shoppers to browse and web buyers to buy both with more efficiencies to enhance their overall web experience within the Hilton.com websites. In essence, this engine offloads web shopping traffic to a lower cost, paralleled reservation system thus allowing buyers to reach distribution channels with more speed and accuracy. DAvE effectively lowers costs, opens more opportunities to consumers to purchase, and reduces traffic jams on the web sites. The system itself is a group of Intel servers running a slim version of our reservation application on Red Hat Linus. DAvE communicates across an upgraded gigabit network with replicated Informix databases responding to availability request transactions from Global distribution Systems (e.g. airline systems) allowing Hilton to extend the capacity of its distribution environments in ways that had never been feasible before.


Exact to Add Informix Support to Database Replay, SQL Monitoring Solutions

LAS VEGAS, Oct 27, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Latest addition to iReplayTM testing solution allows IBM’s Informix database users to re-create full-scale production workloads.

Exact Solutions today announced plans to add support for IBM’s Informix Data Server to two key software products: iReplay, the database workload capture & replay solution; and iWatch, the company’s well-known SQL monitoring solution. The company will be demonstrating both products at IBM’s Information on Demand 2008 Conference this week in Las Vegas.


IBM has extended its solidDB database acceleration cache software to work with non-IBM databases

SolidDB was launched in June of this year and, at the time, worked with Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) and IBM DB2 databases. On Monday, IBM announced support for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase as well.

According to IBM, applications running with the cache can generate workload speeds of more than 120,000 transactions per second. The aim is to provide the ability to “support growing numbers of users and data volumes”, the company said in a statement.

The main advantage of the cache is that accessing performance-critical data from one of the supported disk-based databases is much faster, as it can be accessed from RAM rather than having to go to the disk, IBM said.

IIUG Survey 2008 Back to top

The 2008 IIUG IBM Informix vNext Feature Survey is Now Online

Last year the IIUG sponsored the 2007 IBM Informix vNext Feature Survey to poll the Informix community to determine which IDS features were missing or needed to be enhanced. The survey was a tremendous success allowing over 650 participants to weigh in on what was important to them and get their requests in the hands of Informix Management and Informix R&D.

The free form text responses we have received so far for the 2008 survey are detailed and verbose, showing that our members do see this survey as important enough to take the time to put thought into their answers.

Four survey takers have said their Informix environments support over 1 million end users. Isn’t that cool?

Take a few minutes to complete the survey at: /2008_survey

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 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

November – 2008
Date Event Location Contact
13 Southeast Informix User Group Meeting IBM Facility, Atlanta Walt Hultgren
13 UK Informix User Group Meeting Bicester,Oxfordshire 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.