IIUG Insider (Issue #101) November 2008


  • IIUG propels Informix to No. 1 customer satisfaction rating!
  • Advanced DataTools receives international recognition from IBM

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 101 of the IIUG Insider. The IOD conference, the IIUG board meeting and the special 100th Issue are behind us and things are returning to normal. Ahead of us are next month’s special New Year addition, the IIUG board elections and the IIUG Informix conference. While I am relaxing a little this month on the IIUG side, at work things are hectic. Only Informix is stable and reliable as always. We are upgrading from IDS 11.5 FC1 to IDS 11.5 FC3, but this will only require an extra hour some time next week. I hope you will enjoy this small and cozy issue, and I promise a fancier issue next month. It would help if you send me some content—anything you would like to share.

A few words on the IIUG Informix Conference 2009

My best advice is: Make a habit of reading our conference corner. Find out the latest and greatest news about our conference, send us your comments, be part of this wonderful event. The 2008 IIUG Informix Conference was unforgettable. I have attended many conferences. The quantity and quality of sessions was unmatched by larger and more expensive conferences. But it offered much more then technical education. The atmosphere, networking, and warm feeling were way beyond any other conference including the old Informix ones. I am sure that this year’s conference will be even better. I can’t wait. What about you?

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

IIUG propels Informix to No. 1 customer satisfaction rating!

Congratulations to IIUG for rating Informix the No. 1 IT vendor in the VendorRate Report for the third quarter. Raters gave Informix “Exceptional” scores in each of VendorRate’s 10 categories. Thank you to everyone whose hard work helped put Informix on top.

Informix Score on VendorRate: 91, Exceptional

VendorRate helps identify top performing companies who do well by their customers, and points out vendors whose customer satisfaction scores are less than super. This is a breakthrough rating service every technology company can use before making costly purchasing decisions.

Rate an IT vendor and enter to win a new iPod Touch

IIUG members who rate tech vendors will be entered to win an Apple iPod Touch, and each rating earns you a $5 Starbucks Coffee Card. Rating is confidential and takes less than 3 minutes. (iPod drawing ends Dec 31, 2009)

Which vendor should I rate?

You can rate any company that’s provided your organization with technology products or services, from corporate telecom to software to servers:

Rate Informix: /url/vendorrate_informix.html

Rate another vendor: /url/vendorrate_vendor.html

IIUG Member Discounts on VendorRate Customer Satisfaction Reports

VendorRate vendor comparison and comment reports will only be available free of charge for a few more weeks. VendorRate Reports will be available on a subscription-only basis beginning in January. IIUG members will receive substantial discounts for VendorRate annual subscriptions, normally $149.

Let’s show our continued support for the Informix brand! Please rate your experience with Informix and any other tech vendors on VendorRate.com today.

Read the full Q3 report:


Advanced DataTools receives international recognition from IBM

IBM Data Management recognized two Advanced DataTools team members as part of the inaugural Data Champion Awards!


Conference corner Back to top

Save a Bundle by Registering Now for the IIUG Informix Conference

Are you looking for a way to make good use of the funds remaining in your 2008 budget? As the year draws to a close, now’s the perfect time to register for the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference. Stretch your training dollars ever further by taking advantage of the Early Bird pricing now in effect, and be sure to use your IIUG membership for additional savings.

The April 2009 conference will undoubtedly be bigger and better than last year’s event. We’ve lined up many brand new sessions, and have also added a whole new track. You’ll be able to choose from sessions that cover basic concepts, to those that focus on advanced topics, to those to that feature cutting edge technology. So whether you’re a seasoned DBA or Developer or are brand new to Informix, the upcoming conference will surely fit the bill.

With 88 sessions scheduled over 3 days, plus pre-conference tutorials and evening events, you’ll definitely find this conference to be worth every penny. For more details and to register, go to:


See you there.

Tammy Frankforter
2009 IIUG Informix Conference Planning Committee
IIUG Board of Directors

Education Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

IDS 11.50 Upgrade

Thursday, December 11th
8:30 am Pacific
10:30 am Central
11:30 am Eastern
4:30 pm London
5:30 pm Paris (note new start time – 30 minutes later)

As upgrades are a necessary ongoing process, choosing the time to upgrade is critical to business continuity and technology availability. This Chat is designed to provide answers:

  • Why upgrade?
  • How to upgrade?
  • Best practices for a smooth and easy upgrade.
  • What resources and references are available to guide you through the process?

Start your upgrading plans to IDS 11.50 today. Our speakers for this session will be Jerry Keesee, Informix Lab Director and Deen Murad, IDS Advanced Technical Support.

You may RSVP online at:


Or RSVP by phone at 800-289-0579.

Questions, comments? Email lspina@us.ibm.com.

Advanced DataTools announces Informix training schedule for 2009

Advanced DataTools is excited to announce the following Advanced Informix Dynamic Server training classes to be held at the Annandale, Virginia Office. (Washington DC Area) These classes have been updated to include new features in IDS 11 and 11.5.

Informix IDS Courses at Advanced DataTools Training Center for 2009

  • February 9-12, 2009 – Informix IDS for Database Administrators. This course is for database administrators, programmers, and technical support personnel who will be setting up, managing, and tuning IBM Informix IDS 11, 10, 9 or 7 databases.
  • May 18-21, 2009 – Advanced Informix IDS Performance Tuning and Optimization. This course is for database administrators and application developers who will be responsible for managing, optimizing, and tuning an IDS database server. The focus is on skills, procedures, and scripts to improve the performance of your database server. The course will provide a toolkit of scripts and utilities to start monitoring and optimizing your IDS database server.
  • July 27-30, 2009 – Informix IDS for Database Administrators. This course is for database administrators, programmers, and technical support personnel who will be setting up, managing, and tuning IBM Informix IDS 11, 10, 9 or 7 databases.
  • October 5-8, 2009 – Advanced Informix IDS Performance Tuning and Optimization. This course is for database administrators and application developers who will be responsible for managing, optimizing, and tuning an IDS database server. The focus is on skills, procedures, and scripts to improve the performance of your database server. The course will provide a toolkit of scripts and utilities to start monitoring and optimizing your IDS database server.

These Informix courses were developed and are 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.

For more information, visit the Advanced DataTools website:


Advanced DataTools is your best source for Informix training!

Browse the new IBM Training Fall 2008 eCatalog

Get all the information on available IBM Training courses with the brand new Fall 2008 catalog. Go green this fall, and download the electronic version of the catalog (eCatalog). With this web-based interactive catalog you will be sure to find the right courses to advance your skills and career. You can also find conferences in different curriculum areas as well as money-saving offers.

Download now!


Hot skills and a cool chumby device – Yours with IBM Training

Training with IBM keeps your skills red hot with intensive hands-on lab classes taught by product experts. Now, attend a public class in-person or online and get a cool Chumby device (currently valued at $179.95 USD) at no charge. This versatile, wireless tool provides Internet access to music, news, email, videos, photo sharing and more. To be eligible for this fun promotion, simply enroll in an eligible U.S. class by December 9 and attend by December 12.

Get the details!


Build your skills! Browse the Information Management Skills blogs

Want to stay informed about training, certification, books and other educational resources? Check out the Information Management Skills blogs by Susan Visser and Kate Dawson, and get the latest skills information! Combined, Susan and Kate have the knowledge and insight you need to help you build your Information Management skills.

Check out their blogs today!


Test yourself with an online Information Management Certification Practice Test

Test your readiness on any Information Management professional certification exam from IBM. Prepare to pass on exam day with an online Practice Test and quickly identify areas in need of focused study. Offered through Prometric for a nominal fee of $10 USD, take a Practice Test and get ready to take your career to the next level with an IBM professional certification designation.

Prepare to pass today!


Connecting at The Skills Hub – Information on Demand 2008

This year at IOD, Information Management launched a new concept to help you learn about the latest in training, certification, services, support, and resources: The Skills Hub. This interconnected hub of IBM experts, learning resources, and enthusiastic customers proved to be an excellent place to find the next step on the path to skill building and successful IT projects. Many customers were able to “meet” the Hub Dude and provide valuable input that will shape Information Management Services in the future. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Skills Hub! If you weren’t able to attend, visit us online!

Learn more:



Become an IBM certified professional

There are many benefits to attaining IBM Information Management Professional Certification. Not only is it a way for you as a skilled IT professional to demonstrate your expertise to the world, you can also increase your salary. Your certification validates your proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions. Explore certification resources online, such as roadmaps, practice tests, tutorials and many more.

Learn more!


Developer corner Back to top

New in DeveloperWorks

Data Modeling with Rational Data Architect and Informix Dynamic Server

This tutorial shows you how to use IBM Rational Data Architect (RDA) as a modeling tool for Informix Dynamic Server (IDS). Learn about the various features of RDA including how models can be used to represent business entities, database entities, and domain entities. Follow along with scenarios and examples that reveal the benefits that RDA provides.

For more information go to DeveloperWorks — Informix:


Informix News Back to top

ScienceSoft Inc. Establishes A Dedicated Business Unit For Automated Application Migration

Published: November 28, 2008

The exclusive automated migration approach offered by ScienceSoft allows the risk-free migration of outdated applications built on platforms such as PowerBuilder, Progress 4GL, Informix 4GL, etc. to newer ones such as Microsoft .NET or Sun Java. Automated migration preserves the value of previous IT investments, reduces the time and effort required for achieving a desired result, eliminates dependency on rare skills, and retains the original interdependency and interconnectivity. The automated migration approach guarantees the customer an environment which is reliable, modern and responsive to changes.


Gillani Hopes to Expand Presence on Power Systems

November 18, 2008 – IT Jungle
by Alex Woodie

Gillani recently announced the pending availability of its iDistribute suite of enterprise applications on IBM’s Power Systems server. With its suite of financials and supply chain management software running across the Power Systems’ three operating systems–i, AIX, and Linux–Gillani says it’s poised to give the big ERP vendors a run for their money.

Gillani (pronounced with a soft “g”) was founded 25 years ago as an accounting software provider, Softa Associates. The company later changed its name to FourGen Software to reflect its new fourth-generation language (4GL) development tools for the Informix database, called FourGen CASE Tools, which the company still sells.

Along the way, the company used FourGen to develop a suite of supply chain management and financial management applications, which today are sold under the iDistribute name. The suite provides supply chain planning, execution, and collaboration capabilities integrated with a financials package (GL, AP, AR, and fixed assets), all delivered from a Web interface, and codelessly customizable using FourGen.

In late October, the Dallas, Texas-based company announced that iDistribute version 8.3 would be available on the Power Systems servers starting November 3. Gillani has been benchmarking the performance of iDistribute on Power Systems boxes, specifically the new Power 560 Express, a midrange server that can be outfitted with up to 16 Power6 processors.

Most of Gillani’s 13,000 installations to-date have been on IBM’s Intel-based xSeries and System x servers, running Linux or variants of Unix, says Syed Bilal, chief operating officer for Gillani. The company also has a strong history on Solaris and HP-UX, but today the IBM business partner is looking to align itself with Big Blue and its industry-leading Power Systems platform.

While Gillani is touting iDistribute’s capability to run on the IBM i operating system, that is a bit of a stretch, Bilal admitted. The heart of the ERP suite requires Linux or AIX operating systems running on DB2, Informix, or Oracle; in fact it does not run on i OS or DB2 for i. The company does offer a Java-based e-commerce package as part of iDistribute that will run on WebSphere running on the i. But the guts of iDistribute require a ‘Nix-based operating system.

Despite that fact, Gillani is pressing ahead with plans to target the huge Power Systems, System i, iSeries, and AS/400 installed base with its product. In fact, considering IBM’s ambivalence toward what is and what isn’t an AS/400 any more, it may not make much difference whether iDistribute runs natively on i OS, or if it runs in a Linux or AIX partition. It will run in some fashion or another on the i-based Power Systems box, and that’s what’s important.

“The reason we’re targeting the System i is because a lot of our customers already have System i,” Bilal says. “It’s a very robust, stable hardware, and they don’t want to get off of it, don’t want to go to a client-server environment.” So instead of forcing customers to move off the System i for a client-server platform, Gillani’s customers can stay with the System i, and run iDistribute in a Linux or AIX partition there.

Gillani currently does have customers running iDistribute on a System i, including a major Middle Eastern frozen chicken distributor; a large Mexican company is also looking to move iDistribute to a System i platform, Bilal says.

Gillani targets the System i industry strongholds of wholesale, distribution, and retail, which account for 78 percent of its installed base, Bilal says. The company also has customers in the telecommunications industry (AT&T and Verizon), defense (Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics), and real estate management. Compared to an equivalent SAP or Oracle ERP installation, iDistribute can save customers 15 to 35 percent off the cost of licenses, Bilal says.

For more information on Gillani’s iDistribute, visit www.gillani.com.

IIUG Survey 2008 Back to top

2008 Survey Says…

The IIUG Board of Directors (BOD) annual feature request survey closed on November 7. Thank you to the 499 people who logged in and cast their ballots. This survey did not get quite the response that last year’s did, but we on the BOD have a theory that with all the new features you have gotten in the past months with the release of 11.5, you are too over whelmed with all the new stuff to worry about more right now. Many features that the Informix Community has been requesting for years were recently added to version 11.5, so IBM has listened. This is great news! Is everyone out there justifying to their management the need for hot-hot HDR or any of the other combinations now available? So much is now at our fingertips, and Informix Database enthusiasts are in demand for explaining all that is now capable on Informix databases.

We know everyone is curious about the responses, so here are the results. Notice that each feature has been given a rating. The features have been ordered by most requested/useful to least for each category. The higher the rating, the more desired each feature is to the Informix survey taking community.

Category: Database / SQL Features

Answer Options Rating Average Response Count
Add ability to perform an online table reorg 2.94898 407
Add Index Advisor command line utility to identify missing indexes and unused indexes 2.944444 407
Add ability to automatically capture detailed information on all deadlocks 2.555276 407
Add kernel parameter suggestions to the Configuration Advisor 2.537468 407
Add ability for dbaccess LOAD statement to commit every N rows to avoid long transactions 2.451128 407
Add ability to perform in-place alter for tables with VARCHAR columns 2.399491 407
Add ability to change a disabled index to enabled without requiring an index rebuild 2.371859 407
Implement UPSERT, a combined insert/update for row inserts 2.350924 407
Add ability to define different error logs for each database 2.025126 407
Implement Major release of 4GL 1.878173 407
Add ability to create multiple named buffer pools for the same page size and assign a dbspace to a specific buffer pool 1.83871 407
Add ability to change the user of an existing connection (i.e.connect as jsmith and change user to jdoe) 1.381313 407

Category: Backup/Restore/Migration Features

Answer Options Rating Average Response Count
Improve Table Level Restore interface 2.554974 404
Add ability to use High Performance Loader with dbexport and dbimport 2.545918 404
Add Point in Time restore capabilities for ontape 2.526854 404
Add ability to perform a dirty dbexport or a dbexport last committed 2.450128 404
Add ability for restartable backups to compliment restartable restores 2.254692 404
Enhance dbimport to optionally drop or rename a database if it exists 1.954315 404
Enhance dbimport to optionally ignore N errors during an import 1.938619 404

Category: External Enhancement Features

Answer Options Rating Average Response Count
Add dbaccess utility to the CSDK bundle so application boxes can have access to Informix without needing an additional DB license. 2.489529 399
Add ability to grant roles to Unix Groups 2.109974 399
Enhance .NET support 1.913158 399
Implement Java 5 and 6 support for UDR/UDT 1.893899 399
Add linked services to allow direct querying of SQL Server DBs 1.88674 399
Package binaries using Native Linux Packaging to work better withexternal tools 1.865229 399
Enhance ACE by providing support for more than 80 char lines, adding arrays and support for > 100 variables and functions 1.371014 399
Add built in Informix Gateway products with synonym capability to DB2 1.254144 399

Category: XPS features

Answer Options Rating Average Response Count
Add ParallelLoad support 2.533512 399
Add External Tables support 2.214485 399
Add Read Only dbspace support 2.173333 399
Add DBSLICE support 1.893382 399

So that is the result per each of the four categories. If you do an analysis of the features overall, you find that the ability to perform an online table reorg is the number 1 ranking feature request. Here is the final top 10:

Answer Options Rating Average Ranking
Add ability toperform an online table reorg 2.94898 1
Add IndexAdvisor command line utility to identify missing indexes and unused indexes 2.944444 2
Add ability toautomatically capture detailed information on all deadlocks 2.555276 3
Improve TableLevel Restore interface 2.554974 4
Add ability touse High Performance Loader with dbexport and dbimport 2.545918 5
Add ParallelLoad support 2.533512 6
Add kernelparameter suggestions to the Configuration Advisor 2.537468 7
Add Point inTime restore capabilities for ontape 2.526854 8
Add dbaccessutility to the CSDK bundle so application boxes can have access to Informixwithout needing an additional DB license. 2.489529 9
Add ability fordbaccess LOAD statement to commit every N rows to avoid long transactions 2.451128 10

So who actually took the survey this year? The first section of the survey was to get the demographics of our voting community. We once again had a higher voting percentage from people who identified themselves from EMEA than we did from North America – just verifying how critical it is to recognize our user group as truly International, not just a USA user group. Here is our voter locale breakdown:

North America 34.1%
Europe, MiddleEast and Africa (EMEA) 38.0%
Indian sub-continent, Asia, Pacific 17.5%
Mexico/Central America/South America 10.4%

Job functions of our surveyors varied, but the top two were as expected with Database Administrator in the number 1 spot at 48.6% and number two being a Software Engineer at 21.5%.

Software Engineer 21.5%
DatabaseAdministrator 48.6%
IT Strategist or IT Architect 13.7%
Executive/Manager with Direct IS reports 7.0%
Executive/Manager without IS Reports 0.8%
Sales and Marketing 1.6%
Student 0.4%
Other 6.4%

The company size of our surveyors is quite varied, but most popular size was the 100-999 person company.

1 – 8 8.6%
9 – 99 17.7%
100 – 999 25.7%
1000 – 4999 18.9%
5000 or more 19.5%
I work for IBM 9.6%

A new item was included in this data on the survey-takers. We at the BOD were curious, how many users are actually supported by the Informix systems at the various companies? The answers were quite surprising. According to our users, over 3.8% (19 survey takers) support systems that had over 1 MILLION users on them! So as Informix advocates we know that an Informix Database can support a million users, but we now have had 19 surveyors confirm their systems are already doing just that. This is great information to relate up to your CIO. No wonder Informix ranked number one recently in the Vendor Rate.

How many end users do your Informix instances support?
Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
less than 100 19.5% 97
100 – 999 34.9% 174
1000 – 9,999 21.9% 109
10,000 – 99,999 7.0% 35
100,000 to 999,999 2.8% 14
1,000,000 or more 3.8% 19
I do not know 10.0% 50

The survey included a number of open comment questions, and 473 responses were given to those questions. This gives lots of good information for the IIUG BOD to digest for the next article coming soon to an Insider for you. If you have any suggestions for the 2009 survey, please email these to kate@iiug.org.

Andrew Ford and Kate Tomchik

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

April – 2009
Date Event Location Contact
26-30 2009 IIUG Informix Conference Overland Park, Kansas Cindy Lichtenauer
June – 2009
Date Event Location Contact
2-5 IBM Information on Demand EMEA Conference 2009 Berlin, Germany

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.