IIUG Insider (Issue #110) August 2009

Highlights: OVER 60 contestants have entered the Fastest Informix DBA Contest!!

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

I am writing this editorial from Beijing. I came here on a private visit but managed to squeeze some meetings with Anchi Shen from Cobrasonic who is leading the Chinese Informix Local User Group and with Jerry Zhu IBM China Software Development Lab (CSDL). China is a fascinating country. It is impossible to ignore the formidable Chinese culture and history but I would like to say a few word about the future or rather what I have learned about the future of Informix in China. It is beyond debate that the growth possibilities for Informix in China are huge.

Our starting point is not as good as it could be. After the acquisition, Informix market share in China rapidly declined. IBM is making a big effort to reverse this trend both by assigning top US executives like Kevin Brown and by forming a local IT support team led by Yong Yi Tan, and of course with the support of Jerry Zhu.

As the IIUG board member in charge of the Asia Pacific Local User Groups, I am looking for ways for the IIUG to contribute. I will keep you updated in the next issues of the Insider. Stay tuned.

Informix in China has a long and challenging way to go but my hopes are high.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

OVER 60 contestants have entered the Fastest Informix DBA Contest!!

We have over 60 Informix DBA’s participating in our new Fastest Informix DBA Contest. See http://www.advancedatatools.com/Informix/index.html for details.

We will be conducting a Q&A session web cast on Friday, September 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) and would like to invite anyone interested in participating in the contest to attend this web cast. We will answer questions about the contest from participants and show an example of how the benchmark will be conducted.

To register for the web cast visit http://advancedatatools.webex.com and look under upcoming events or click the link on the page at http://www.advancedatatools.com/Informix/index.html.

Fastest Informix DBA Contest II – Background

Advanced DataTools is sponsoring a NEW contest for Informix Users to find and honor the fastest Informix DBAs. This is a new version of our very successful contest at the 2009 IIUG Informix User Conference. The challenge is to take a basic Informix IDS database server configuration and a SQL script that runs a series of inserts and updates and see who can get it to run the fastest!

There will be 12 winners in the following CATEGORIES:

Grand Prize – the Fastest User DBA. To qualify for this prize, the user must be 1) a DBA employed at a company using Informix internally, 2) not a consultant, 3) not an IBM employee. (Grand Prize is either a Free pass to the 2010 IIUG Informix User Conference or an iPod Touch)

Honorary Prizes (Fastest DBA Shirt):

  • Fastest Professional Consultant DBA
  • Fastest IBM Developer (IBM employee)
  • Fastest Senior DBA (over 50)
  • Fastest Mid-Aged DBA (30-50)
  • Fastest Youngest DBA (under 30)
  • Fastest Newest DBA (shortest experience with Informix)
  • Fastest Old-timer (longest experience with Informix)
  • Fastest International DBA (Non USA resident)
  • Fastest Domestic DBA (USA resident)
  • Fastest with the fewest changes

The challenge will be to complete the following:

  • Download the data and the SQL Code.
  • Setup an Informix IDS environment.
  • Identify and add missing indexes.
  • Tune and optimize the Onconfig file.
  • Tune the optimize dbspace/table layout.
  • Tune the optimize SQL script.
  • Run the benchmark script.
  • Repeat this process until you are satisfied with your times.
  • Send the ONCONFIG file, a setup.sh script and the tuned benchmark_run.sql file to us by September 30, 2009 and we will see how it runs on our hardware.

The rules:

  • See the contest details for what changes are allowed and not allowed.
  • The row and data counts at the end of the SQL process must be correct.
  • The final timed run will be at our facility on our hardware, run by one of our staff.
  • Each participant’s configuration will be saved and the results must be reproducible.
  • The judges’ role will be to review the results, arbitrate disagreements and will have final say.
  • The rules may be updated to clarify any questions submitted before the contest ends on September 30, 2009. Updates will be posted on the website http://www.advancedatatools.com/Informix and on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/FastInformixDBA.

Judges: Lester Knutsen, Art Kagel, Carlton Doe, Spokey Wheeler

If you need an Informix system, we would suggest getting the Developers edition of the Informix Virtual Appliance.

Conference corner Back to top

IBM Information On Demand Global Conference 2009

Join us October 25 – 29 in Las Vegas, for the 2009 IBM Information On Demand Global Conference. The IBM team is planning an informative and extensive Informix track to provide you with the latest product updates as well as technical tips and tricks. You’ll also hear from fellow Informix users about the successes they had with their implementations. Session descriptions are available for your reference now (/url/iod09_sessions.html).

Once you have registered for the conference (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/conf/informix.html), you can soon enroll in the sessions that interest you to guarantee your spot. Pre-conference session enrollment is especially critical for the hands-on labs as these sessions are always in high demand. You don’t want to miss these valuable chances to roll-up your sleeves with the products.

While you are at the conference be sure to take advantage of the Meet the Experts sessions and the opportunity to schedule 1:1 appointments with key architects, developers, and executives so you return home with all of the answers you need to succeed with your Informix solution.

Also, remember to take advantage of the special IIUG member conference registration discount, and save $100 off the registration fee. Just follow these steps:

  1. Visit the IBM Information On Demand 2009 global conference website and select ‘Register now’ at: http://www.ibm.com/events/informationondemand
  2. SECURITY CONTROLS FOR 2009 – An IBM userid and Password are required to register. If you have an existing IBM.com account ID, please select ‘Register for the Conference’ and sign on.
    • If you do not have an IBM.com account ID, please follow the link ‘MY IBM ID‘ to obtain one. Complete the form and click ‘SUBMIT’. You will then be allowed to continue as a registered IBM user. Click ‘Continue’ and select ‘Register for the Conference’ and sign on with your new userid and password.
    • Select registration type of ‘Customer’ and click ‘Continue’.
    • Complete the appropriate fields on the enrollment form.
    • Under the ‘Promotion Code Information’ section, enter PROMOTION CODE G09INFUG – YOU MUST ENTER THIS CODE TO RECEIVE YOUR $100 DISCOUNT.
    • Complete the form with attendee, arrival and payment information clicking ‘Continue’ at the bottom of each section.NOTE: Credit card information is required to guarantee your registration regardless of your method of payment and/or discount amount.
    • Click ‘Submit Registration’.

NOTE: Discounts may not be combined with any other promotion or offer.

Education Back to top

Advanced DataTools is offering half priced Informix training classes now through October!

All of the Advanced DataTools Informix training classes are half off ($1000) and the price is valid for both on site training and via the web. This price is only for our July, August, and October classes. All of our training courses are updated to include the most recent Informix releases.

Course Schedule

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.

More information on the class can be found at:


To register or for more information on Advanced DataTools Training call (703) 256-0267 x101

Sign up today!

Advanced DataTools is your number one source for Informix Training. Customized/on site training also available.

Bring IBM training to your office – Save time and money!

Do you need to train a group of people? Are you searching for an affordable training option that provides a private training experience without the need to travel? Look no further than IBM Onsite Training. Enjoy greater flexibility, customized content, control over timing, and stronger results. You’ll be surprised at just how affordable Onsite Training can be.

Get a quote today!


Take it Again! – With IBM Professional Certification

In golf, they call it a “mulligan.” In film, they say “take two.” In IT, they call it “fail-safe security.” And, with IBM Professional Certification, we call it “Take it Again!” Take It Again is a voucher program, offered worldwide, by IBM Professional Certification. With Take It Again you may purchase specially priced vouchers so that in the event you do not pass an exam on your first attempt, you may quickly and easily retake the same exam for no additional costs.

Learn more!


Connect with IBM – Join the conversation!

Thanks to social networking, it’s easier than ever to keep up with what’s going on in the world – and what’s going on with IBM Training! Now, you can engage with experts and fans to explore and discuss IBM technical topics and more! Visit our new Social Networking webpage, find the community that works for you, get connected and join our conversation!

Connect today!


Attend one of our Information Management Certification Days!

Take advantage of Information Management’s amazing offer by attending one of our IM Certification Days ! We invite our Business Partners and clients to get certified at 50% off. Certification exams are only $100USD and are available across the entire Information Management portfolio. Pre-registration is required for this event.

Our next Information Management Certification Days will take place:

  • September 16th 2009 – Denver, Colorado, USA
  • October 13th 2009 – Liverpool, United Kingdom

Get the details and register here!


Second Half Data Management Course Schedule now with even more ILO classes!

Self-paced online training from IBM gives you the opportunity to complete the course at your convenience, with no need to travel, and at your own pace. Choose from thousands of DM courses that best suit your certification needs and take advantage of our convenient learning options, as more and more second half courses have become available online!

Learn more:


New Course! Informix Dynamic Server 11 – Backup and Restore

This classroom course will teach you the various Informix tools that can be used to extract the contents of database objects for safekeeping or for migration, and restoring the objects at a later time. You will learn to use the ontape and ON-Bar utilities to perform backup and restore operations on dbspaces and logical logs in the database server and much more!

Enroll today!


Develop a better Migration plan

Explore the ‘Migrating from Oracle to IBM Informix Dynamic Server on LUW’ Redbook

Understanding the features of Oracle and Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) will enable you to make better decisions as you develop a migration plan.With the help of this IBM Redbooks publication, you will learn the methodology needed to successfully migrate from Oracle10g to IDS. Focusing specifically on areas of data, applications, and administration, this Redbook provides information about the differences in features and functionality in areas such as data types, DML, DDL, and Stored Procedures. With this information, you can plan and excute the migration activities in the most efficient way.

Read more here:


Get a head start with pre-conference education classes at IBM Information on Demand 2009

Arrive early and start on building your skills by attending one of our full day education classes. These classes will be offered on Sunday only, October 25th, 2008 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Take advantage of preferred attendee pricing of US $399.00 and get a full day of education, delivered by professional IBM instructors. There are currently five courses available across the Information Management portfolio. Sign up early as seats will be limited.


Complimentary Information Management Software Professional Certification at IBM Information on Demand 2009

Don’t miss this opportunity to validate your skills and demonstrate your proficiency in the latest IBM software technology and solutions at IOD.

IBM’s software certification exams will be available to registered attendees throughout IBM Information OnDemand 2009. Attendees may take up to three IM (including COGNOS) exams at no charge; a discounted fee of $100 USD for subsequent exams will apply. Learn more:


Developer corner Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

Wednesday, Sept 16
8:30 AM Pacific
10:30 AM Central
11:30 AM Eastern
4:30 PM London,
5:30 PM Paris

Update Anywhere Clusters: IDS 11.5 Hottest Feature!

This month’s Informix Chat with the Lab will on the 11.50 Hottest Feature, Update Anywhere Clusters.

The active-active HDR cluster is one of the most exciting features in Informix IDS 11.5. This session will explore the capabilities of an HDR Active-Active cluster. We’ll first examine how to set up the cluster. Next we’ll look at how to connect and use the databases. Of course when discussing High Availability we’ll have to look at breaking things and see what happens in the take-over scenarios.

Don’t worry, no cheetahs were harmed in the preparation of this presentation.

Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix Lab will introduce the call and Martin Lurie, Technical Specialist will be our technical speaker.

Participant access information:

URL: /url/chat_16sep09.html
Conference number: 8697440
Passcode: 2274602

To register for this event:

  1. Go to the URL listed above and choose Web RSVP under Join Events.
  2. Enter the conference number and passcode.
  3. Provide your information for the event leader and then click submit.

Presentation material will be available at http://www.ibm.com/informix/labchats prior to the event.

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

Audio replay for August 12 Informix chat with lab available now!

In case you missed to attend the session or would like to share with someone, the audio replay for topic Cognos and Informix is available on the IBM ftp site for you to download:


New in developerWorks

Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals Exam 555 certification preparation, Part 2: Security
Get an introduction to the concepts of authentication, authorization, and privileges as they relate to IBM Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 (IDS). This tutorial is the second in a series of nine tutorials designed to help you prepare for the IDS Fundamentals Certification Exam (555).

20 Aug 2009

Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals Exam 555 certification preparation, Part 6: Data concurrency
This tutorial is the sixth in a series of nine tutorials designed to help you become familiar with all the different aspects of IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) and help you get ready for the IDS Fundamentals Certification exam. In this part, which corresponds with Part 6 of the exam, gain an understanding of the data concurrency mechanisms in IDS.

13 Aug 2009

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix:


Don’t miss this exciting new webcast on Data Warehousing and Informix Dynamic Server!

Extracting Value from Data: Building Data Warehouses with IBM Informix Dynamic Server – September 17, 2009 1:00 EST

Featured Speakers:

Lester Knutsen – President – Advanced Data Tools

Michael Krieger – VP, Market Experts Group – Ziff Davis Enterprise

You’re being tasked with doing more with less – are you making the most of your daily operational data to drive smarter business decisions? What are businesses like yours doing to extract the most from the data collected in the course of doing business?

Join this timely eSeminar to hear from Lester Knutsen, President of Advanced Data Tools, as he shares his real world experience of building data warehouses with Informix.

You’ll learn why he chose IDS and how he deploys it to benefit his customers and also hear about real world benefits including:

  • Easy to build and deploy warehouses for business analytics
  • How new compression technology makes IDS even more cost effective
  • Best practices in building warehouses of all sizes
  • Warehouse design do’s and dont’s
  • Bottom line benefits achieved by selecting IDS

Register today!!


To register for the contest and download the rules, data and code:


Informix News Back to top

Trafficmaster and IBM Develop Solution for Smarter Driving Travel information now analysed quicker to help avoid hold ups


PRNewswire LONDON, Aug. 13

IBM and Trafficmaster, an expert in intelligent driving, are analysing driver data in deeper ways to help motorists spend less time in traffic.

Trafficmaster’s SmartNav enhanced route-planning tool incorporates a dynamic probe collection system which is powered by a combination of IBM hardware, software and storage. IBM technology is also at the heart of Trafficmaster’s Geocore solution for the retrieval and processing of huge volumes of driver locations which are collected to provide a very wide range of telematics services for both businesses and consumers.

“Trafficmaster is able to provide drivers with real-time route planning and more accurate estimated arrival times than ever before with the help of the IBM Informix data base technology,” said Stuart Berman, Executive Director, Trafficmaster. “By giving drivers better information about their journeys, we are able to help reduce stress levels that drivers can encounter on the roads, especially around holiday times.”

“Cities everywhere are battling with stressed transportation networks,” said Doug Wilson, Client Manager, IBM UK. “This is an enormous problem with nearly 300 million drivers in Europe, traffic congestion costs the EU around euro 100 billion each year. To help address this issue in the UK, IBM is partnering with Trafficmaster to take a smarter approach to motoring by analyzing data and unlocking trends to intelligently plan journeys. This has a positive impact on the driver, society, and the environment.” Trafficmaster provides a range of intelligent driving services through its telematics technology platform, and in partnership with mobile phone operator 02. Huge amounts of data are collected from vehicles and sensors covering the UK’s motorways and trunk roads to provide services such as fleet management and stolen vehicle tracking, as well as smarter route-planning.

SmartNav, for example, is an intelligent route-finding service that is already popular among its customers — and is fitted as standard in Citroen light commercial vehicles. It uses satellite navigation and live traffic information to find the best routes and to suggest alternatives when traffic is congested. The data provided through the IBM system enables real road speeds to be logged so that accurate time aware routing and estimated arrival times can be provided to SmartNav drivers.

The latest innovation from Trafficmaster to utilise the IBM technology is the On-Demand Business Mileage Reporting system. This gives drivers instant, totally accurate access to their mileage records via their SmartNav navigation system or Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking system. It recalls all journey start and end locations, the time taken to make the journey and the exact distance travelled. Drivers know exactly where their car was at any given time or day and just have to classify the journey as business or private mileage.

On Demand has also now been adopted by BMW as part of their stolen vehicle security package available as an option on all BMW and MINI models.

Berman continues, “We had a very demanding set of requirements and it was important the solution we chose would perform well. Several factors helped us choose IBM, but primarily the IBM team was prepared to go the extra mile and to show us that their database was up to the job. Now we have the ‘engine’ to process our valuable data, there is more potential for innovative offerings particularly in areas such as pay-as-you-drive insurance and road pricing. We are experts in vehicle data collection, and IBM has skills in bringing that data into a structured format, analysing it and delivering it — and the systems integration expertise to build applications for our clients. Together we are able to provide a very powerful offering.”

Notes to Editor

Trafficmaster went live with the IBM Solution in January 2009 and has continued to introduce additional services for its clients. The solution comprises IBM hardware, software and storage. Informix software, IDS 11, TimeSeries DataBlade, System x3950, DS3400 and SUSE Linux 10.1 Integres, an IBM Business Partner, was involved in the sale of the hardware, and software and provided support for services.

Konkan Railways chugs on J2EE apps


Express Computer, Aug 31

Vijay Devnath, IRSEE, Chief Manager (IT), Konkan Railway Corporation Limited talks about the replacement of Konkan Railway’s 10-year-old Informix-4GL based RAP system with J2EE applications

Konkan Railway earlier relied solely upon Railway Application Package (RAP), a system that computerized all the operational processes of a railway system. The data capture was on the action place and subsequently it provided information for better decision-making and increased asset utilization.

Challenges faced

The biggest IT related challenge was to manage a 10-year old 4GL technology intermixed with modern J2EE applications with browser-based interfaces. There were issues related to using this age old application system, which was built on Informix 4-GL, a 25+ year old CUI language for the Informix RDBMS. The typical issues were:

  • No support for newer technologies for clients, e.g. Web-browser, layered security, user isolation, connections pooling, etc.
  • No GUI support (VT-terminals, only CUI)?
  • No concept of load-balancing in RDBMS, application, reduced reliability
  • The language technology (4GL, proprietary of Informix) had been dead for over six years
  • Being a proprietary platform, the cost of support was on the higher side and there was a lack of trained vendor manpower; the future was uncertain
  • The OEM had given ‘End Of Support Life’ notices
  • There was a lack of compatibility with current generation systems (hardware, OS, software tools)
  • A lack of flexibility when compared to current software and user expectations (GUI) existed

Business benefits of J2EE

A J2EE ERP system was implemented in 2008-09. There was a marked improvement in the operations of Konkan Railway thanks to this deployment. The new system has a user-friendly interface on the Client side offering a choice of GUI or browser-based UI. Moreover, it is modular and secure. There is an option of direct PDF/CSV/XML outputs. Moreover, the application can be accessed from any IP Network. The browser-based UI can be used over the Internet, behind Firewalls (with SSL); viewing, saving and e-mailing of reports is possible.

Both live systems, the old 4-GL and new J2EE, are working in-parallel-updating the same databases, saving Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) from having to go for an urgent, costly and chaotic replacement of critical systems.

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
  • Cathy Elliott at https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/InformixVoices
  • 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. 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

September – 2009
Date Event Location Contact
3-4 2009 Informix Road Show Johannesburg, South Africa
7-8 2009 Informix Road Show Beijing, China
10 Chicago Informix User Group Meeting Schaumburg, Illinois Rob Beal – rbeal@us.ibm.com
10-11 2009 Informix Road Show Shanghai, China
14-15 2009 Informix Road Show ChengDu, China
14-15 2009 Informix Road Show Washington DC
15-17 2009 IDS 11.5 Bootcamp Sao Paulo, Brazil
17 2009 Informix Road Show Porto Alegre, Brazil Miguel Carbone – miguel@iiug.org
21-22 2009 Informix Road Show Taipei, Taiwan
22 2009 Informix Road Show Sao Paulo, Brazil Miguel Carbone – miguel@iiug.org
22-23 2009 Informix Road Show Raleigh, North Carolina
22-23 2009 Informix Road Show Stockholm, Sweden
22-24 2009 IDS 11.5 Bootcamp Mexico City, Mexico
23 2009 Informix Road show Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Miguel Carbone – miguel@iiug.org
23-24 2009 Informix Road Show Frankfurt, Germany
24 2009 Informix Road Show Hortolandia, Brazil Miguel Carbone – miguel@iiug.org
28-29 2009 Informix Road Show Hursley, England
28-30 2009 Informix Road Show Chennai, India
October – 2009
Date Event Location Contact
5-6 2009 Informix Road Show Caracas, Venezuela
8-9 2009 Informix Road Show Buenos Aires, Argentina
8-9 2009 Informix Road Show Munich, Germany
19-20 2009 Informix Road Show Santiago, Chile
25-29 Information on Demand Global Conference 2009 Las Vegas, Nevada
28 52nd German IUG Workshop Hamburg, Germany Elisabeth Majeric – verwaltung@iug.de


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.