IIUG Insider (Issue #118) April 2010

Highlights: Q & A with IBM Executives

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

This Insider will be shorter than usual. I had a long and exhausting week at the IIUG conference and the Customer Advisory Council in Kansas. And a long flight back home is still ahead of me. The conference was great. You can read about it in the highlight and conference corners. I have made new friends and met many old ones. It was a lot of fun, work and education but all I really want just now is to be back home. Not that I will have much time to rest, but still home beats any hotel anywhere in the world.

There are lots of exiting things happening around Informix. I would like to point out one that I am especially in favor of. There are efforts to enable Informix with many open source products. You can learn more by going to /opensource. And there is the Panther release coming soon. I cannot speak about the Panther features but they are exiting. You can learn all about them by joining the Beta program. If you are interested, contact Madhuri Ahuja ahujam@us.ibm.com and ask to join the Panther EVP. It involves work but is worth it.

A warm welcome to the 2010 IIUG board. Kernoal Stephens left the board and Bruce Simms joined. Thanks to all the voters.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

Q & A with IBM Executives

On Wednesday, April 28 we had a general session of Questions and Answers with Alyse Passarelli, Vice President, Worldwide Data Server Sales, Inhi Cho Suh, Vice President, Information Management Product Strategy, IBM Software Group and Rob Thomas, Vice President, Business Development, Information Management Software Division. I would like to share with you the questions asked and the answers given. Most questions were submitted to me throughout the conference. I have the questions. The answers are my recollection and interpretation of what was said.

Q: In the US we hear an encouraging message from IBM, but in countries outside the US the message is completely different. Is IBM in other countries obligated to US IBM Information Management or is every country running its own show?
A: It is hard to say what the answer was. It contained internal IBM acronyms, which I did not understand, and did not address the question directly. I think it meant to say that the US data management is making a great effort to enlighten sales and marketing in the different geographies. What I and any attendee I spoke to understood: We have very little influence outside the US. Don’t expect any change in the near future.
Q: What is IBM doing to make the sales force Informix enabled?
A: To make a very long answer short; An effort is being made to enable the sales force. But there is still a long way to go.
Q: What is IBM doing to actually get sales people to promote, talk about and hopefully sell Informix to potential customers?
A: I think the answer was that IBM relies on its sales force to do the right thing, whatever that is. I may be wrong but it looks as if the sales people will not go out of their way to break an old habit of selling DB2.
Q: How will Informix and DB2 be differentiated in the Sales pitch from a technical perspective?
A: Between DB2 and what? Just kidding. A difference was described but it was hard for me to understand it. I hope our potential customers are more intelligent than I am.
Q: Why is IBM offering DB2 pure Scale instead of Informix as competition to Oracle RAC, when most of Oracle customers run on Linux which is currently not supported by DB2 pure Scale?
A: We have no idea? Do we?
Q: Open source products are usually used with open source free databases like MySQL. How does IBM plan to convince them to use Informix?
A: No one uses MySQL in a real production environment (90% of the open source community has just been ignored. GB) There is no need to convince them. Everyone knows that Informix is the best dataset out there. (I agree with the second part of the sentence. GB)
Q: What is the current status of the academic initiative and what are the future plans?
A: Rob told an interesting story about universities in Taiwan teaching from obsolete books just because they were donated. It was a great story. I am still trying to figure out what can I learn from it about the Informix academic initiative. Fortunately Amit Dandekar grabbed a microphone and gave us a down to earth answer. There is Informix in a box tool kit. Several universities were approached and there is more to come. IBM cannot cover all the universities in the world. Our help is needed. Please contact your local university. If you need help or guidance please contact Amit or anyone on the IIUG board.
Q: What is the next big thing you plan to communicate around Informix and how can the community help?
A: There are many plans regarding pricing, benchmarks and more. So stay tuned. Our help is an important part of the plan. The plan as presented by Rob and Arvind in their key note is ambitious. I am very optimistic. We have just started but there are already encouraging results. So spread the word in blogs, social networks and chats with friend and colleagues.
Q: We were asked to spread the Informix vision and are willing to do so. Is IBM planning to improve the communication with the IIUG by supplying content for our web site and newsletter in a timely manner?
A: Call us. We won’t call you. In other words, if you want content come and get it. I will.

Gary Ben-Israel

Conference corner Back to top

IIUG Informix Conference 2010 – Recap

The IIUG Informix Conference 2010 was a fabulous event. 5 tracks with 85 sessions, 5 Birds of a Feather sessions, 8 half day tutorials and 3 keynotes.

In addition to the sessions, there were many offerings–certification tests, hands-on labs, usability sand boxes, demos, contests and raffles at the exhibition hall. We had a lot of fun too in our 3 great parties.

Not seen in the numbers above was the unique opportunity to meet with other Informix users and with IBM executives and developers.

Above all we experienced once more the warm feeling of a family reunion. The Informix users are often referred to as Informix fans. We are indeed Informix fans, but in my opinion we are before everything else the Informix family. Reaching the international community is one of the conference goals. I was especially pleased with the growth of non-US attendance. This year we had attendees from 22 countries around the globe. For me, this is a sign that even adding the airfare the conference still offers good value for its price.

I would like to thank Cindy, Walt, James, Tammy, Kernoal, Bruce, David, June and Rhonda our Conference Planning committee. The success of this conference was due to their hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and skill.

I hope to see all of you and many more next year.

Gary Ben-Israel

Make Plans Now to Attend IOD EMEA

Take advantage of the unparalleled free certification testing, pre-assessment exam and even more education opportunities available at the Information On Demand EMEA Conference 19-21 May in Rome, Italy. Get certifications in Rome that will keep you at the top of your game and provide return on your current IT investments. Network with the most talented IBM experts and developers and get first-hand hints & tips by participating in the popular Usability and Hands-on Labs. Register today at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/uk/data/conf/.

You can follow us on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/IOD2010

Education Back to top


New! Informix courses

With Classroom, Instructor-Led Online and Self-Paced Training learning options, you can train whenever and however you want! Choose from four new Informix courses and find the right Training option for you:

  • IBM Informix Stored Procedures and Triggers
  • Implementing Web Services using Informix 4GL
  • Developing Applications Using Informix 4GL
  • Developing Applications Using IBM Informix ESQL/C

Learn more!


Developer corner Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

Wednesday May 19
8:30 AM Pacific
10:30 AM Central
11:30 AM Eastern
4:30 PM London
5:30 PM Paris

Best Practices of Spatial & Geodetic solutions

Presenter: Mark Ashworth (IBM)

The Spatial and Geodetic extension to IDS, enable the user to store and query objects based on their position. This talk will cover the data types used to model the placement or form of real-world features which include Point, line, circle, polygon, the self-tuning Spatial Indexing for high performance and compliance to the Simple Features Specification and Web based interfaces. We will also present geodetic solutions to help you when facing the problems using traditional flat map projection based systems.

Mukta Singh, Sr Manager of the Informix engineering will introduce the call and Mark Ashworth, IBM Informix Extensibility Architect will be our technical speaker.

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

Questions, comments: ahujam@us.ibm.com

To register for this event, use the following link:


For webinar-specific questions, contact the moderator.

New in DeveloperWorks

Using Optim with Informix Dynamic Server, Part 2: Scenarios for using Optim with IDS
Part 1 of this tutorial series showed how to configure IBM Informix Dynamic Server with Optim. In this tutorial, walk through some scenarios to see how using Optim Data Privacy Solution with Informix can help you solve real-world problems.

29 Apr 2010

Using Optim with Informix Dynamic Server, Part 1: Configure Informix Dynamic Server to work together with Optim Solutions
IBM Informix Dynamic Server, with its copious feature set, meets or exceeds expectations for a high-performing, scalable, reliable, maintainable database server for enterprise applications. However, if you need to segregate older data and maintain it in such a way that it is easily accessible for reporting or strategic decision making, you may want to consider implementing it with IBM Optim Solutions. Optim lets you archive historical data from various database systems supporting an application and restore data from these archives in the production environment if needed, masking production data and making it available for reliability and application quality testing. In this tutorial, learn how to configure Informix Dynamic Server with Optim Solutions. In Part 2 of this series, you’ll walk through some scenarios showing you how using Optim Data Privacy Solution with Informix can help you solve real-world problems.

22 Apr 2010

IBM Informix
IBM Informix software delivers superior database performance for transaction intensive environments. developerWorks is the technical resource center for IBM Informix software, including technical articles, documentation, downloads, and support information. 22 Apr 2010

Information Management and SOA
Learn how you can use SOA and Web services technology with IBM Information Management products.

22 Apr 2010

DBA Central
developerWorks DBA Central page is the technical resource center for the IBM Information Management database administrator and includes technical articles, tutorials, downloads, tools, code samples, and more.

22 Apr 2010

Information Management and XML technology
Support for XML in IBM Information Management products fosters the dynamic representation of data in a format that can be easily shared across databases and across platforms. developerWorks is the technical resource center for using XML technology with DB2, Informix, U2, and all the IBM Information Management products. 15 Apr 2010

15 Apr 2010

Informix application development and testing on the cloud
IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) is database server software targeted at high-volume online transaction processing (OLTP). IDS is ideal for managing large deployments and embedded solutions. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for using IDS in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for your database application development.

08 Apr 2010

Compare the Informix Dynamic Server, Version 11 editions
Get an introduction to the various editions of IBM Informix Dynamic Server, and compare features, benefits, and licensing considerations in a side-by-side table. Regardless of which edition you choose, IDS brings you legendary ease-of-use, reliability, stability, and access to extensibility features.

01 Apr 2010

Data warehousing
IBM’s warehousing solutions provide you with all of the capabilities necessary to glean maximum return from your information.

01 Apr 2010

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix:


IIUG corner Back to top

Does anyone still use 4GL?

Every time I want to upgrade hardware used for Informix applications, the 4GL code needs to be recompiled. What a pain. So the question becomes, why should I do it again the next time? The reason is because 4GE (4GL executables) run so well, it just doesn’t make sense to rewrite all the code to a slower performing language that would work on every platform. 4GL has been around for over 20 years, and it still provides a very quick way to develop applications. Plus, the C code generated by the compiles performs exceptionally well. The trade off is the slower times needed to upgrade platforms versus the performance of the final application, and for me the application performance is always the priority. I had to wonder though, does anyone else still use 4GL? That was the motivation for a series of questions on the 2009 survey.

The first question was to finally settle the debate. What percent of Informix users (who are willing to take a survey) are using 4GL. The answer: 53.6%. So, MORE THAT HALF of our Informix Users are still using 4GL. That number was a surprise to me. I guess I’m not the only one? Over the last few years a number of members of the IIUG have petitioned to get the Informix developers to add improvements to 4GL. IBM responded with a new release and a new road map for 4GL. So IBM listened, even before realizing they were supporting more than half of the Informix community. It was also suggested that these users just maintain existing 4GL. What percent are still developing? Here are the rest of the answers from the survey.

When was the last time new 4GL code was written at your company:
Never 24.40%
Only modify old 4GL code 25.40%
1 year ago 5.40%
6 months ago 6.10%
All of the time 38.60%
Are new Software Engineers learning 4GL at your company?
Yes 28.70%
No 71.30%
Are new Software Engineers learning 4GL at your company?
Yes 28.70%
No 71.30%
How important is it to produce 4GL to create web access and not terminal based forms?
Very important 37.80%
Somewhat important 25.10%
Not important 37.10%
How important is a GUI development environment for developing and debugging 4GL applications?
Very important 39.90%
Somewhat important 28.10%
Not important 32.00%
Is your company developing new 4GL applications to integrate with other applications or programming languages?
Yes 31.90%
No 68.10%
For new 4GL applications, is the business logic separated from the forms or does business logic reside in the forms?
Do not use 4GL for new applications 49.50%
Business logic is included in the forms 22.50%
Business logic is not included in the forms 28.00%

It looks like I am not alone. 4GL is still popular and thankfully should be around for quite a while longer. Who knows, maybe IBM can develop it to work with DB2?

Kate Tomchik

IBM Corner Back to top

Protect your software investments – ensure you renew your S&S

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Complimenting and protecting your software purchases, Software Subscription and Support ensures that you receive the latest product upgrades and 24/7 standard global technical Support with every new license.

Learn more and remember to renew today!


Six months to go until IDS 10.0 End of Support

Informix Dynamic Server 10.0 will enter End of Support status on September 30, 2010. Upgrade to IDS 11 today to avoid gaps in Support and take advantage of valuable Informix features such as on-demand scaling, continuous availability, ease of administration, and a low total cost of ownership.

Upgrade to IDS 11!


Protect ‘Chat’ and technical support

Chat is already pervasive in our society in many forms. There are many ways that chat can add value to the IBM Client Support experience, including:

  • As a preferred communication channel for clients of different ages and generations
  • As a means for communicating via a secondary language with greater ease
  • As an alternative means of communication, that at times can be more efficient than voice or e-mail
  • To relay long command strings or URL addresses to clients

Chat also demonstrates increasing collaborative flexibility with clients and begins to complement IBM’s client self-assistance initiatives.

Technical Support Chat and Information Management

Technical Support Chat is available for DB2 LUW products from IBM Service Request (SR). After updating an existing problem record, click the chat button displayed on the right side of the Service Request confirmation page. Technical Support Chat is available in the United States from 9:00am CST to 5:00pm CST and is serviced from our Support hub in Lenexa, Kansas.

For more information about the program, please visit:


Informix resources Back to top

Informix Blogs and things

  • The IIUG forums at /forums/technical.php **** these are very good****
  • Bruce Weed’s blog http://bruceweed.wordpress.com/ **** New ****
  • 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 Pruet 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 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

May – 2010
Date Event Location Contact
10-11 Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 Bootcamp Melbourne, Australia
12-13 Informix Warehousing Clinic Melbourne, Australia
17-19 Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 Bootcamp Lima, Peru
17-18 Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 Bootcamp Sydney, Australia
19-20 Informix Warehousing Clinic Sydney, Australia
19-21 IBM Information on Demand EMEA Conference 2010 Rome, Italy Nancy van Broekhoven
24 Informix – Fast Forward your Data Zagreb, Croatia Hrvoje Zokovic
31-June 2 Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 Bootcamp Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
June – 2010
Date Event Location Contact
8-10 Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 Bootcamp Sofia, Bulgaria


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.