IIUG Insider (Issue #127) January 2011

Highlights: Elections for the IIUG Board of Directors 2011

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

Happy new year to all the IIUG Insider readers. I have high hopes for 2011. The Informix product has made a huge step forward and we should help spread the word. If you are not familiar with the Panther release, the IIUG Informix conference is the place to find out all about it. If you are, our conference is still an event you should not miss.

I will keep the Insider short this time. I am working around the clock changing structure of our Informix database. I hope you still find the content valuable. Next month should be calmer and I will do my best to get more content and news.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

Elections for the IIUG Board of Directors 2011

Nominations for the board will open February 28 and close on March 14. We will announce the elections on March 28 and hold them April 11 to April 25. The election results will be declared May 9. The 2011 board will start its term May 19.

Serving on the IIUG board is a lot of work. But if you believe in the value of what IIUG does, as I do, it is important to stand for the elections.

Please vote for the board. It is your way to influence the direction of the IIUG. We need your support.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Conference corner Back to top

2011 IIUG Informix Conference Speaker Confirmations

This is a very exciting time for the IIUG Committee. We are currently receiving speaker confirmations for the 2011 IIUG Informix Conference including new speakers and favorite speakers who will be presenting at this year’s Conference. New topics as well as topics that stand the test of time will be presented including application development through data warehousing.

Here is just a sampling of what will be offered at this year’s Conference:

Advanced Text Searching Topics in Informix – Mark Ashworth (IBM)

This is a deep dive into how to setup and perform full-text searching on unstructured/plain text and XML based document repositories. Learn about search predicates and options, some techniques to handle inconsistent diacritical marks, enhanced index searching based on text found in XML tags and attributes, and ways to improve reliability and performance. How to get the most out of the storage management options such as fragmentation, smart blob storage and the use of temporary storage in transactions will be presented. New BTS features in 11.7 will be introduced.

Information Application Performance Tuning – Khem Chander (Wal-Mart Stores Inc)

This presentation is to share how to monitor a large installation of Informix databases and identify potential performance opportunities before they impact the customer. Khem will also discuss various performance opportunities he was a part of including figuring out when they happened and the workaround or solution he came up with to resolve the performance opportunity and keep the systems continuing to run with same High Performance as they were before the opportunity. Khem will share the use of glance tool part of HP Measureware, looking at SQL explain in detail to understand if the plan is good/bad and if it is not good, how to provide Directives to Optimizer to address the issue or come up with changes to the Query/Add indexes to address the Performance Opportunity. Most of Khem’s experience is with Informix 10.0, but concept and techniques are very much applicable to Informix 11.50.

Informix Panther / Flexible Grid and Cloud Computing – Venketesh Gopal (IBM)

This presentation will talk about Cloud computing technology – where databases fit in the Cloud space and the advancements in Panther that apply to particular types of clouds. (Focuses largely on Flexible Grid and Private cloud configurations).

Performance Tuning Best Practices with Informix 11.70 – Mark Jamison (IBM)

Will cover general performance tuning , and new features to improve performance in 11.70. Will also cover the best practices for Informix in general as well as any best practices changes for 11.70

Everything They Never Told You About Your ONCONFIG File – Art Kagel (Advanced Data Tools Corp)

A survey of every ONCONFIG parameter, documented or undocumented. What does it do? What’s the actual range of values. What are the recommended settings? How does it affect performance?

Tips to Design an Effective Warehouse – Lester Knutsen (Advanced Data Tools Corp)

Informix is a great data warehouse server and is used by many customers as a warehouse database. This session will focus on tips best practices for warehouse development and the exciting new warehouse features added in the Informix 11.70.

New Features in I4GL 7.50.xC5 – Jonathan Leffler (IBM)

Building on previous similar presentations, but revised to cover the new features in I4GL 7.50.xC5.

Star and Snowflake Join Query Optimization in Informix – Keshava Murthy (IBM)

The star schema consists of a fact table referencing any number of dimension tables. The star schema is considered an important special case of the snowflake schema. Analytical queries on this dimensional model are star join queries. This technology preview will explain and demonstrate the multi-index scan, skip scan and push down as join techniques in Informix to improve the performance of star join queries. This talk will also explain tuning, fine-grain control over this new optimization technique, and explain [text and visual] interpretation.

How to set up an Enterprise Replication flexible GRID with MACH 11 and Connection Manager – Petr Pomykacek (d-PROG, ltd)

Over the EVP program we tested the ER-GRID for many nodes (104) in one ER domain with the combination of MACH11 and CM.

The result from this test will be implemented with our customer.

ifxclone: Clone your way to a cluster – Hyun-Ju Vega (IBM)

Introduced in IDS 11.70, ifxclone, a new Informix server utility, promises to become very popular among the cluster and ER set. Its ease of use, encryption, and compression support have already won ifxclone many fans. With a single command, ifxclone can clone your existing Informix server (stand-alone or primary) to create a new stand-alone, an RS Secondary or a new ER node to add to an existing ER replication domain. The clone of the source server is done while the source is on-line and completely operational. Unlike the traditional backup and restore process, there’s no need to backup to a device, manually transfer the data to the target machine, then to start a restore process — just issue the ifxclone command on the target machine, and it all happens automatically. Even better, the internal ifxclone backup/restore of the source is done in parallel, with multiple spaces being cloned at the same time. Come to the presentation, get the details, and start cloning!

Automating DBA Tasks with OpenAdmin Tool – Erika Von Bargen (IBM)

You may be familiar with OpenAdmin Tool for administering your Informix database server, but are you aware of all of the places where you can use OAT to automate the tasks of a DBA? This session will explore all of the places where OAT can help you automate everyday DBA tasks so that you can achieve hands-free administration. We’ll discuss among other things storage provisioning, storage optimization policies, quality of data, automated update statistics, fragment by interval and automatic fragmentation.

Getting your data back via onlog – Paul Watson (Oninit)

Everyone thinks they know onlog but do they really. This session will start by explaining what is officially available and proceed to show how you can extract the actual data from the log files giving the DBA/developed the ability to undertake post event analysis of problems and data forensics.


Have you considered expanding you knowledge by attending on or more of our Sunday tutorials? The following is a list of confirmed tutorials that will be available at this year’s Conference.

Fastest Informix DBA Tutorial and Lab – Lester Knutsen (Advanced Data Tools Corp)

A hands-on database benchmarking lab performing the Fastest Informix DBA contest from 2010. This contest was an OLTP benchmark using the BenchmarkSQL Java program to generate 100 sessions doing inserts, updates, and deletes against a database. BenchmarkSQL is an easy to use JDBC benchmark that closely resembles the TPC-C standard for OLTP. The Java code was converted to run with Informix by AGS, the folks that created ServerStudio.

The challenge will be to get the most transactions per minute during a 10-minute benchmark run.

This will be a step by step review of the performance tuning options and configurations that the winners used and how you can use these tricks in real life. Each participant should bring a laptop with the Informix virtual appliance so we can go through the contest together.

All about fragmentation [aka partitioning] – Keshava Murthy

This tutorial will take the user from newbie to expert on what is fragmentation, when to use it, how it works, how other systems in Informix [query processing, fragment elimination, memory management, parallelism(pdq), statistics collection and maintenance, attached/detached indices, compression] work with fragmented table and indices.

Migration to Informix Version 11.70 – Best Practices – Rajesk Niak (IBM)

Any database migration requires careful planning, use of different skill sets and tools, must satisfy business requirements, and account for any unexpected issues during the migration process. Informix provides two migration methods – the use of which depends on your plans. For each method, certain practices must be followed to avoid potential problems. This tutorial will walk you through the two Informix migration processes including what you need to know to plan your migration, the resources that you can use to assist, what actions to take when the migration fails, and the steps involved in ensuring a successful migration. Working with each of the Informix data movement utilities, including External Tables, will allow you to understand which utility is best suited for your environment. Also, the use of the new Conversion Guard feature will help you understand how simple it now is to revert to your previous Informix version following a migration failure.

Develop Your Application Using SPL – Pradeep Natarajan (IBM)

The Informix Stored Procedure Language provides a powerful platform to access and manipulate your database. In this tutorial session Informix users can learn how to develop applications using the Informix Stored Procedure Language in two different environments using different tools. The tutorial session will be divided into two parts:

  1. Developing SPL routines using IBM Optim Development Studio
  2. Developing .NET application with embedded SPL routines using Microsoft Visual Studio

The session will also showcase one of the new features of Informix 11.70 – SPL debugging. Informix users can learn about how to setup the two different environments from scratch to develop, debug and tune their SPL applications. The session will also introduce the users to the various constructs that the Informix Stored Procedure Language has to offer.

Don’t forget to keep checking the website, www.iiug.org/conf. The site will provide additional information on conference sessions and tutorials as it become available.

See you May 15 – 18, 2011 in Overland Park, KS!

Rhonda Hackenburg
IIUG Conference Planning Committee

Education Back to top



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IBM has been selected as one of the 2010 Top 20 IT Training Companies
Get the right skills with IM Training Services

We are very pleased to announce that IBM has been selected as one of the 2010 Top 20 IT Training Companies by the Training Industry Organization.

This prestigious award calls out the best of the best from across the IT Training community based on the following criteria:

  • Leadership and innovation in IT training
  • Breadth of IT training and delivery methods offered
  • Company size and growth potential
  • Strength of clients
  • Geographic reach

This is the third time we have been nominated and also selected for this award. Ken Taylor, the Chief Operating Officer of the organization, stated that “Our Top 20 IT Training Companies list represents not only some of the largest training companies in the space, but also companies showing some of the most innovative approaches to helping their students absorb and retain the skills they need to be successful in the IT arena.”

For more information, please contact E. Maria Boonie, Director, Lab Services & Training (emaria@us.ibm.com).

Expanding our porfolio with an updated Informix course

The IBM Information Management portfolio continues to be enhanced with up-to-date courses to help you advance your skills. The following Informix courses have recently been updated:

  • Informix 11.70 New Features – /url/new_features.html

Validate your Informix 11.70 skills today with our new certification exam

Validate your skills today and certify with our latest Informix exam! This certification exam certifies that the successful candidate has important knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to configure, install, monitor, and troubleshoot Informix Dynamic Server v11.70.

Informix 11.70 System Administrator – http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/ovr919.shtml

Advanced DataTools

Learn How to become the FASTEST Informix DBA from Lester Knutsen and Art Kagel!

March 14-17, 2011 – Advanced Informix Performance Tuning Course

Learn How to become the FASTEST Informix DBA from Lester Knutsen and Art Kagel!

March 14-17, 2011 – Advanced Informix Performance Tuning Course

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. (Cost $2,000 USD)

Class times are 9am to 5pm; dress is casual. See http://www.advancedatatools.com/OurCompany/DirectionsMapsHotels.pdf for directions and hotels near Advanced DataTools’ Office.

For information and to register visit http://www.advancedatatools.com/Training/InformixTraining.html or call (703) 256-0267 Ext.101

Developer corner Back to top

Informix Chat with the Lab

Topic: Enhanced Application Development with Informix 11.7
Date: Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Time: GMT-06:00
8:30 AM Pacific
10:30 AM Central
11:30 AM Eastern
4:30 PM London
5:30 PM Frankfurt, Paris
10:00 PM India

Speakers: Jerry Keesee (IBM), Jacques Roy (IBM)

Exciting opportunity to learn and adopt latest Informix 11.7 release!!

This webcast will cover very useful enhancements in Application development area, which will help increase developer efficiency further!

Join IBM Informix Architect and Development Manager, Jacques Roy to learn about very useful enhancements in Application development area covering open source compatibility and new SQL syntax in Informix 11.7 release.

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

Register at https://events.webdialogs.com/register.php?id=29880bba3f&l=en-US.

Informix news Back to top

Bank of China in the UK Works With IBM to Become a Smarter, Greener Bank

Jan 25, 2011

Bank of China had been implementing its business strategy, improving the efficiency of internal operations and service to its customers. It recently turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner Centric iSolutions to help the London branch and subsidiary automate the processing of the interbank, or SWIFT messages, that the branch receives on a daily basis.

The Bank of China in London needed to manually print and distribute roughly 3,000 interbank messages daily to the appropriate internal departments, which was, apart from being an avoidable operational risk, very costly in terms of manpower and paper consumption, requiring approximately 50 pounds of paper per day. In addition, employees had access to these transactions to monitor them for accuracy and normal business processing activity through limited search capabilities.

Bank of China employees in London now have access to messages through an online search capability, allowing them to monitor transactions as they are sent and received by the bank. The electronic routing and monitoring capability — along with a powerful search engine — allows the bank to ensure transactions are processed in the proper settlement time period. Banks can face stiff penalties or high overnight interest rate charges if messages are not responded to in the same day.

“The improved access to information has been key in helping us meet compliance regulations and reduce costs. The availability of information across all our departments has led to further benefits such as reducing our paper consumption by 95% and allowed us to make more timely and accurate decisions,” said Stephen Hinds, COO of Bank of China’s London branch and subsidiary. “IBM and Centric iSolutions have been instrumental in helping us stay ahead to more efficiently manage an increasing number of interbank transactions and monitor business process activity across multiple departments.”

Now all Bank of China employees in London in the loan, trading services, banking, clearing and IT departments have role-based authenticated access to their appropriate daily interbank transactions through a browser-based application. This has allowed the bank to eliminate the need to print out hard copies, which would add up to 12,000 GBP a year on paper alone.

“In today’s highly competitive and regulated financial services market, institutions have to reduce risk and boost efficiencies to become competitive,” said Shanker Ramamurthy, General Manager of IBM’s Banking and Financial Markets business. “Smarter banking is about transforming processes to improve agility and get more visibility into data to make better business decisions. We’re pleased to be helping Bank of China in the UK achieve this transformational initiative.”

The Bank of China IBM solution is powered by IBM Informix software. For more information about IBM Informix software, visit: http://www.ibm.com/informix. For more information on IBM Smarter Banking, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/banking_technology/ideas/.

The SWIFT message management solution implemented by the Bank of China in London is the Centric iSolutions CLiP iMessageHUB. For more information on Centric iSolutions, visit www.centricisolutions.com.

Kathleen Tyler

IBM Media Relations


Support corner Back to top

Linux OOM Killer

Linux is an operating system that becomes very popular over the last several years. The growing popularity of Linux influenced business to port their databases on this platform. With Linux steady growth I would like to take this opportunity to address a common problem that you can encounter with Informix database server on Linux x86-32bit platform, mainly RHEL below 5. This problem is widely known as out-of-memory (OOM) killer.

The Linux operating system incorporated an interesting feature to dealing with memory exhaustion, and it comes in the way of the OOM killer. The OOM killer terminates selected process in order to free up enough memory to keep the system operational. Once memory gets tights on Linux system, Informix database process (oninit) can get killed as a result of OOM killer and eventually Informix server crash.

You can easily verify the consequence of OOM killer from Informix and Linux message logs.

Informix message log:

08:51:59 Fatal error in ADM VP at mt.c:13418
08:51:59 Unexpected virtual processor termination, pid = 29493, exit = 0x9
08:52:04 PANIC: Attempting to bring system down

Linux message log (/var/log/messages):

Jan 17 08:51:59 darwin kernel: Out of memory: Killed process 29493 (oninit).

Following are some most common solutions to get around OOM killer situation:

  • Upgrade to a 64-bit version of LINUX.
  • Tune operating system swap space.
  • Run the hugemem kernel.
  • Configure a lower zone memory area by setting /proc/sys/vm/lower_zone_protection to a value.
  • Configure or tune (huge pages) and (huge page size) for Linux.

Please check the following link to get more information on Linux OOM Killer feature:


Sanjit Chakraborty

Informix resources Back to top

Informix blogs and things

  • The IIUG forums at /forums/technical.php **** these are very good****
  • Art Kagel’s blog http://informix-myview.blogspot.com/ **** New *****
  • Andrew Ford’s blog http://www.informix-dba.blogspot.com/
  • Blogs, Videos, News and more at http://planetids.com
  • IDS Experts at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/idsteam
  • Mark Jamison at http://www.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
  • Informix Newsletter in Germany http://www.informix-zone.com/informix-german-newsletter
  • Informix Newsletter in France http://www.informix-zone.com/informix-french-newsletter
  • 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

February – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
3-4 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Salt Lake City, Utah
14-15 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Dallas, Texas
21-22 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Toronto, Canada
24-25 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Boston, Massachusetts
March – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
2-3 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Chicago, Illinois
4-5 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Tokyo, Japan
7-8 Informix 11.7 Roadshow New York City, New York
7-8 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Taipei, Taiwan
10-11 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Washington, D.C.
21-22 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Atlanta, Georgia Southeast Informix User Group
22-23/td> Informix 11.7 Roadshow London, England
24-25 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Orlando, Florida
28-29 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Tampa, Florida
30 IBM Tech Day Stockholm, Sweden
31-1 Informix 11.7 Roadshow Stockholm, Sweden
May – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
10-12 2011 IDS 11.7 Bootcamp Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Fong Lee Yong
15-18 2011 IIUG Informix Conference Overland Park, Kansas Cindy Lichtenauer

Useful links Back to top


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

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.