IIUG Insider (Issue #103) January 2009

Highlights: IIUG Board elections

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

The coming year brings both hope and concern. Everyone is affected by the recession. In my region this is the least of our problems. The Informix community is more concerned than others. Will IBM continue the momentum of growing and improving Informix? Will we be the first to suffer if things go badly? Informix went a long way in the past three years. But there is a long way to go, and when struggling uphill slipping back is easy.

Do not try to read between the lines. There is nothing there. I do not know how IBM is doing financially except for what I read in the press. I have heard no rumors of any cuts. The upcoming beta program for IDS 11.50.xC4 positions it as much more than just a fix pack. However stay tuned. You can rely on the IIUG Insider to keep telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The recent election in the US proved that things that not long ago seemed impossible happen. So when Informix becomes the number one database in the world remember I said so in January 2009. The coming IIUG elections are not as dramatic, but please vote for the IIUG board. Your support is important.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

IIUG Board elections

The IIUG Board elections are now upon us. Here is an overview of the timeline.

28th Jan – 2009 Nominations Closes
11th Feb – 2009 Election Announced
28th Feb – 2009 Start of Election
13th Mar – 2009 End of Election
29th Mar – 2009 Election Result Officially Declared

Notes to the above.

  1. We have more nominations than Board positions, hence the election is taking place.
  2. The election will run over a 2 week period.
  3. Following the election, the successful nominees will be required to confirm their availability. This will be by way of written correspondence with the Election Commissioner.
  4. The election result will be officially declared by the Election Commissioner on the 29th March 2009 and announced via the Insider, IIUG web site or email blast to members.
  5. The new IIUG Board will take up their responsibilities from the close of the IIUG Informix Conference in Kansas. There is no specific requirement that new Board members attend the Kansas conference.

Introducing the Early Program for Informix IDS 11.50.xC4

The IBM Information Management team announces the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) 11.50.xC4 Early Program and invites your participation.

Overview of the program

IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11.50.xC4 continues the IDS legacy of high performance, reliability, scalability, low cost of administration with enhancements in the areas of:

  • Storage optimization
  • Application development
  • Embedability
  • Ease of administration

Objectives of the program

The objectives of the early program are:

  • Validate the ability of IDS 11.50.xC4 to support the enhanced features.
  • Validate the ease of use and accuracy of the documentation.
  • Provide direct customer input to development, marketing, and sales.
  • Validate readiness of General Availability (GA).
  • Achieve visibility in the market.
  • Identify early adopter reference accounts willing to speak to the press and analysts.
  • Transfer skills to support staff.

Benefits of participating in the program

By participating, you will get early exposure to new capabilities and assist the IBM Information Management team in defining the roadmap. By having access to IBM resources through lab advocates, you will ensure successful deployment of newIDS features. By having early access to the upcoming release, you will be able to prototype solutions in your environment for faster deployment.

Summary of the enhancements to IDS

IDS 11.50.xC4 includes the following functionality:

  • Compression
  • Easy administration, setup & monitoring of Enterprise Replication with the Informix OpenAdmin Tool
  • Improved embedability
  • Support for the Amazon EC2 computing environment
  • Support for VMWare Virtualization Infrastructure and Desktop solutions


Ideal participants in this program are users from a variety of industries, including Retail, Financial Services, Telecommunications (Industrial), Government, Health, and Research.

What is expected from participants

Participants in the program must:

  • Sign all legal agreements prior to participating in the program.
  • Dedicate technical resources to evaluate the product.
  • Commit to provide a quote for use in IBM press and marketing materials, and be a reference account after evaluating the product.
  • Report bugs and performance results through the formal reporting process.
  • Participate in weekly status calls.
  • Participate in the exit review with IBM Product Management and complete a survey.

Program schedule

These are planned dates and are subject to change.

  • Nominations accepted until January 2009
  • Customer Selection — February 2009
  • Validation Start — February 16 2009
  • Validation End — April 17 2009

How do I participate?

For next steps, contact Madhuri Ahuja (e-mail: ahujam@us.ibm.com), Customer Validation Manager.

Conference corner Back to top

2009 IIUG Informix Conference, The Power Conference for Informix Professionals

IIUG Informix Conference Update

The year 2009 is full of change and new beginnings, and the IIUG Informix Conference is no exception. The Overland Park Marriott guest rooms and conference facility have been completely remodeled, while the CPC has been doing some redesigning too. We’ve finalized the blueprints for the conference schedule and have turned them over to a group of innovators and specialists who are now busily constructing the 88 units that will be the focus of this year’s conference.

We’ve reinforced the conference foundation with truck loads of entirely new content, presented by your favorite speakers from last year as well as a crew of new folks. These presenters are the conduit for increasing your Informix knowledge, and with over 50 new sessions planned you’ll have ample learning opportunities at this year’s event.

Highlights will include an in-the-trenches perspective on upgrades by Andrew Ford, and concrete techniques for writing super-efficient SQL from Art Kagel. Mike Walker will share the results of his dig through the release notes on a quest for hidden gems, and of course there will be lots of new material on IDS 11.5, presented by user speakers and IBMers alike. We’ve also added even more opportunity for growth with our Encore track, which will feature sessions that cover basic concepts and recently added functionality.

The doors will open for a preview April 26th, with at least 12 pre-conference tutorials slated. Both half- and full-day tutorials will be offered, so join us a day early and maximize your learning potential. The main event begins April 27th. The conference finish work is still pending, but for a more complete look at the specifications go to /conf/2009/iiug.

Sign up now for the 2009 IIUG Conference. Take advantage of this opportunity to augment your toolbox and improve your skill set, so that once back home you’ll be able to do some remodeling of your own.

Tammy Frankforter
IIUG Conference Planning Committee

IBM Information On Demand 2-5 June 2009, Berlin, Germany

To our valued Business Partners,

We will be holding our second IBM Information On Demand (IOD) Conference for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) next June at the Estrel Berlin. With a target audience of 2,300 attendees representing leading organisations from across the region, this is the premier Information Management event in the 2009 business calendar, and we encourage you to mark yours now.

This is a very key event for all our Business Partners — especially if you work with our Data Management, Enterprise Content Management, InfoSphere and Cognos products. This year we will be adding a specific Business Partner programme on the afternoon of Tuesday, 2 June, together with a Business Partner appreciation event that evening.

Right now, we would like to offer the opportunity for you and your customers to speak at the Conference. In addition, our Call for Exhibitors and Sponsors is now available, so please register your interest now to secure a premier sponsorship package.

Join us as a speaker

Our Call for Speakers is now open. If you or one of your customers has a compelling Information Management case study or innovative Information Management solution or approach, please submit your papers now at: http://www.ibm.com/software/europe/data/conf.

All submissions must be made by 6 February 2009.

Become a sponsor or exhibitor!

The Conference also provides you, our Business Partners, with a range of unique sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities that are designed to maximise your organisation’s presence at the event, and to showcase your solutions and services to this premier Information Management community.

For more information, please take a look at the Call for Exhibitors and Sponsors: http://www.ibm.com/software/uk/data/conf/how_to/. Or alternatively, please contact Melanie Bessem at mtb.bessem@nl.ibm.com.

For all other details about IOD EMEA Conference 2009, please take a look at our website: http://www.ibm.com/software/europe/data/conf

Attendee registration opens 12 January 2009. Please mark your diaries now.

Please also make sure that your customers don’t miss out. Inform them about the event and suggest they visit the URL for more details.

We very much look forward to welcoming you in Berlin!

Tony Rummans
Vice President, Information Management Software
Southwest Europe IBM

Ivo Koerner
Vice President, Information Management Software
Northeast Europe IBM

Pawel Panecki
Software Sales Executive, Information Management Software

* We waive the Conference fee for all accepted Customer speakers.

Education Back to top

Map out your 2009 Training plan with Information Management Training Paths

Kick off 2009 with a bang by gaining new skills! Information Management Training Paths provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the training portfolio in 2009. Attain the skills you need to productively work in your environment while minimizing your training time. Training paths are available for DB2, Informix, U2, Data Warehouse, Information Platform & Solutions, Enterprise Content Management and more.

Become an IBM certified professional in 2009

There are many benefits to attaining an IBM Information Management Professional Certification in 2009. An IBM Professional Certification future proofs your career in today’s changing economy. It is a way for you, as a skilled IT professional, to demonstrate your expertise to the industry. Your certification validates your proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions. There are many resources to help you achieve your certification, such as roadmaps, practice tests and more.

Learn more!


Developer corner Back to top

New in DeveloperWorks

IDS and ClusterIT — How to set up Informix in a Microsoft Cluster Environment

Use the ClusterIT utility to easily set up an Informix server in a Microsoft Cluster Environment. Walk through the procedure with explanations and the meaning of all required parameters and set up your IDS in MSCS within 10 minutes.

8 Jan 2009

IBM Data Studio Data Web Services, Part 2: Deploy Data Web Services to a WebSphere Application Server Community Edition Web server

Deploy a Data Web service created by IBM Data Studio’s Data Web Services to a WebSphere Application Server Community Edition Web server.

1 Jan 2009

For more information go to DeveloperWorks — Informix:


Informix News Back to top

IBM Power Servers Helps Bank of Chengdu Build Up Core Banking System

In addition to its high performance and high availability, the Power 595 server can scale on demand, so it can support Bank of Chengdu’s long-term value-added business. The new core banking system will run IBM Informix database for Bank of Chengdu’s online transactions, further increasing the bank’s core competency, and setting a solid foundation for it to achieve its goal of “becoming a national player based in Chengdu”.


Published: January 7, 2009

IIUG Events Back to top

Informix Tech Day: A pan-European event in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, January 17, 2009. GreenIvory was one of the partners of the InformixTechDay, a one day technical event around Informix, held on January 16th 2009 in Strasbourg.

The event was sponsored by GreenIvory, IIUG (International Informix Users Group), Universiti de Strasbourg (University of Strasbourg), VMark and, of course, IBM.

The conference included three tracks, 11 sessions, a keynote and an “open question” session. The keynote was primarily driven by Cindy Fung, Informix World Wide Product Manager for IBM. Cindy explained what Informix is and where it is going. Introduction to the keynote was done by Jean Georges Perrin, member of the IIUG’s Board of Directors and GreenIvory’s CEO and Catherine Mongenet, the director of the mathematics & computer science department of the University.

Indeed, this event was a first in many ways.

For IIUG, never an Informix-only conference has taken place outside the United States. A few countries have user groups and organize regular meetings. However, this InformixTechDay combined people from the USA, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and, naturally, France.

For the newly founded University, with over 45,000 students, “this joint event is a first” confirms Mongenet and illustrates the evolution of the relation between the public and private sectors.

For GreenIvory, for whom sharing knowledge and actively participating in local initiatives are parts of its DNA, this event was a first: “we have set up quite a few events” admits Isabelle Modry, the coordinator for the event, “but none with people coming from all over the world, this contributes to making Strasbourg the capital of Europe”.

Perrin concluded yesterday night by: “I am very proud. We managed to organize a very dynamic day, combining people from IBM, students and professionals. Feedback throughout the day was awesome”.


  • The university is willing to become part of the Academic Initiative.
  • They are thinking about sending one “deserving student” to the IIUG Conference, I told them, I’ll make sure the conference fee will be covered.
  • We might start very shortly a shared co-development between the university, a local economic development association and GreenIvory…

New England Informix Users Group

Save the Date – Wednesday Feb 4, 2009 meeting of the New England Informix Users Group.

As of this writing the list of presenters and topics are still being worked on, but the meeting will take place at the IBM facility in Lexington, MA. Seating will be limited so watch this publication and the IIUG web site at /events/events.php for more details which will be available just after the first of the year.

Expected topics include: What’s new in IDS 11.5, Informix RoadMap from IBM, and some technical topics we are still working on.

IIUG board activities Back to top

IBM Informix On Campus Academic Initiative

“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”

I’m not a big Whitney Houston fan, but I can’t disagree with these lyrics.

A good number of IIUG members have been shouting from the hilltops for IBM to take Informix to the Universities so our young people can gain experience using the database engine we all know and love. IBM realizes the importance of introducing the future work force to their database engines as can be seen by their successful DB2 on Campus program, but where is the love for Informix?

A few months ago Norma Jean and I asked ourselves this same question and started working with Cathy Elliott, Informix Software Marketing Manager for IBM, to help bring some parity to the Academic Initiative for all IBM database engines (well, ok…we’re really concerned about Informix). Recently, Judy Burkhart, Manager, IBM Data Management Information Development, has joined the cause and is leading the Informix Academic Initiative team at IBM.

Judy and her team have set some lofty goals for the Informix Academic Initiative in 2009 including hosting a significant number of on-campus activities, a Getting Started with Informix wiki, creating a library of 1 hour lectures for professors, recruiting campus evangelist within IBM, converting existing university course exercises to be Informix compatible, identifying the best and most creative ways to get copies of the Informix engine and course materials into the hands of students and much much more.

In addition to the work Judy’s team will be doing to spread the word of Informix in academia, the IIUG and IBM will be sponsoring a 1 day pass to the IIUG conference in April for professors in the Kansas City area so they may spend a day with IBM and the IIUG, see the demos and vendors in the Expo hall, attend a few sessions and be reminded that Informix is still here to kick butt and chew bubble gum and it’s all out of bubble gum.

Do you have some ideas for the Informix Academic Initiative? Do you have a contact at a university that needs to be part of this initiative? Do you want to help create content? Do you just like to take surveys? Are you breathing right now?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then please take a few seconds to fill in the 2009 IIUG Academic Initiative survey to help us in our quest to show those Computer Science students what a real database engine looks like.


“Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.”

Andrew Ford
Norma Jean Sebastian
Members IIUG Informix Academic Initiative Task Force
Supreme Members IIUG Board of Directors

2008 survey Says…

Explain if and why an Informix benchmark would be beneficial to you.

This is my final article about the 2008 Survey taken by the IIUG Community. I saved my favorite topic for last. I, along with many others, have frequently mentioned to IBM how nice it would be to have a benchmark published. At one point last year, I was asked to explain why I thought this was important. It occurred to me that this was a question best answered by the IIUG community and thus the question was added to the survey. So what did everyone say?

First, realize that this was a comment field and of course no one was forced to enter information into it. That being said, there were 114 comments entered and then analyzed for this article. There were 11% of the survey takers who said that a benchmark would not be beneficial to them. Why did they say that? One person said: “I already know you’re the best. I don’t need a benchmark at this time”.

Most of the comments, though, reflected reasons why IBM should provide the community with a benchmark. I grouped these comments into a few generalized points, giving me the top 8 reasons why IBM should provide Informix benchmarks against other databases. I have also included the percentage of responses that fall into each category.

Number 8 ( 3%)
To increase market awareness which will, in turn, increase the demand for Informix skills.

“Job security – new people don’t appear to want to even look at informix because it is unheard of, un-benchmarked so can’t even point to performance gains and possibly perceived still as having an uncertain future. If the market can be expanded then my investment in training pays off. If it’s kept hidden in the closet like some sort of embarrassment then who will want it (apart from those already in the know)?”

Yes, the US job market is getting many of us depressed, and those layoffs from every major database vendor during January just made the depression worse. Happily, the best report I heard in January was about IBM beating Wall Street’s expectations. This helps me believe that IBM/Informix is successful and that the job demands for Informix skills will be increasing if IBM just gets the word out (hint, maybe with a benchmark?).

Number 7 ( 5%)
SAP and other vendors need to see Informix listed in the benchmarks.

“Benchmarks would help to prove that informix is capable of competing with vendors such as Oracle and Sql Server – although the real issue is application support.”

“In SAP [benchmarks are] essential”

“To penetrate into newer markets.”

Number 6 ( 6%)
To help customers determine the best parameter settings to use for extending performance.

“It [enables] me to extrapolate good tuning parameters/practices from the benchmark results.”

I hadn’t thought about this reason until I reviewed the survey results, but a number of technical people look at the overall results of a performance test for details on what parameters were used to achieve those performance results.

Number 5 ( 13%)
To avoid unnecessary migrations to better known databases.

“Since we are currently using [Informix] for the past 10 years, benchmark is always essential to understand where we stand today, as well as the performance of the db engine, in terms of other db engines available in market.”

“So when it comes to assessing migration of Informix products to SQL server, we can see that it might be a waste of time and in fact Informix is a better product.”

“It will provide another lever to show how much we save on not having to upgrade [database] when there is pressure to conform to Oracle in addition to all the other TCO benefits. This is a REALLY big issue.”

Number 4 ( 15%)
To show that Informix is alive and IBM is backing it; to improve confidence of it to the IT community; to dispel the myth that it is an “old” database.

“Get many requests from customers wanting benchmark data. They feel this would show that IBM is serious about IDS and is willing to put up the resources to do benchmarks. [Benchmarks] will give a comparison to the competition.”

“The data would be useful when trying to get management to stick with Informix. In case you haven’t noticed IT confidence in Informix has taken a tremendous hit. Benchmarks could give IDS the boost it needs to get people confident in it again.”

Many people feel that any benchmark, regardless of the results, will tell the IT community that IBM is supporting and updating Informix. That alone will make it considered by vendors for use as a database platform. People often hear of the Informix database and think it is old and no longer updated. We IIUG members know this is not the case (cough, Mach11), but the rest of the world needs that information.

Number 3 ( 19%)
For Marketing/Sales/Upper Management/Customers/Non-technical purchasing people to justify a purchase of Informix.

“In most cases the individual in charge of purchasing a product is not all that technically competent. They rely on benchmark data and third party product support to justify their decision. If the benchmark data is not available for an RDBMS for their platform they will almost always never consider the product. Therefore if Informix does not put out this information they will lose market share.”

“Benchmark is something upper management understands and is a useful arrow in our quiver when choosing Informix as the RDBMS on new projects.”

It is hard to continue claiming that Informix is the best database of choice for a particular application, when our management doesn’t see it out there in the benchmarks. Why should it be our company’s database of choice when IBM treats it as a red-headed step child to DB2? Many comments were that IBM is ashamed to show that Informix beats the pants off of DB2. Some suggestions to avoid this situation included targeted benchmarks just at Oracle RAC.

Number 2 ( 22%)
To justify the technical team’s evaluation that Informix is the best performing product.

“To put to rest the bull one has to put up with when comparing databases engines. Oracle comes to mind although everyone here who used Oracle is very happy with IDS once they got used to it.”

“And most important: if you position Informix as a high performance OLTP server you have to be credible and give some result. Without good (not necessarily the best) benchmark results, it [is difficult] to avoid [other database] claims about high OLTP performance.”

“It would be beneficial because of claims that Oracle has better performance (writers don’t block readers). It is difficult to explain that optimistic blocking is better.”

Come on IBM, help us techies look good!

Number 1 ( 4%)
To shut up Gumby.

“It would shut Gumby up. Well, probably not.”

Why is this my Number 1 reason? Because I wrote the article, that’s why! Gumby is actually a friend of mine, with whom I do on occasionally agree (stop snickering). Face it, Gumby is not the only one who wants a benchmark – just the one with the most volume on the topic. Maybe, just this once, we need to swallow our pride and admit that Gumby has a point! For those of you who haven’t heard of Gumby, he is a very vocal member of the informix-list/computer.database.informix (cdi) communication group.

So, those are the results. The table shows the number of people who voiced each of the mentioned items. Hopefully, these results will help IBM justify the benchmarking costs to their upper management, so we can then further the support of Informix with our upper management. Some final closing comments from the survey:

“Is a benchmark useful to any other database product or company that you are aware of? then Yes it would be for Informix as well. It’s a basic standard and an idea of how well the DB will perform. IBM just needs to make sure that while presenting the Crazy Fast speed of IDS that it doesn’t make DB2 customers wonder why they are not using IDS instead. Other than that, why wouldn’t you beat Oracle over the head with performance, and the REAL savings — [the number of] personnel required to operate the product.”

“Oh God. Please … just do it. It would make my life so much easier.”

Please email me any suggestions or comments you have on the survey to kate@iiug.org.

Just to justify technical teams performance assessments. 21
For Marketing/Sales/Upper Management/Customers/Non-technical purchasing people to justify the purchase. 18
To show Informix is alive and IBM is backing it, improve confidence with IT community, show it is not an “old” database. 14
To avoid migrations to other DBs 13
Help determine parameter settings 6
SAP/new vendors need to see it. 5
To shut up Gumby 4
To increase market awareness and in turn the demand for Informix skills 3

Kate Tomchik

Informix resources Back to top

Informix blogs and things

  • The IIUG forums at /forums/technical.php **** these are very good****
  • Blogs, Videos, News and more at http://planetids.com
  • 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

February – 2009
Date Event Location Contact
4 New England Informix User Group Meeting IBM Facility, Lexington, MA Stuart Litel
5 Colorado Informix User Group Meeting IBM Tech Center Denver Colorado Christine Shaw
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
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.