IIUG Insider (Issue #132) June 2011

Highlights: The 10th anniversary of the Informix acquisition into the IBM family

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

July 1st is the 10th anniversary of the Informix acquisition into the IBM family. During those years IBM invested heavily in the product. Informix was always a leader in the relational database arena and the gap between Informix and its competitors (all of them) has grown since the acquisition. The Informix support is better than ever. I doubt Informix would still be around as an independent company.

But technical superiority is not enough if no one knows about it. The Informix user community does not feel part of the IBM family. We are not delighted. We are grateful for the great investment made by IBM, but without marketing and selling Informix, its technical advantage may not be enough.

Here are some ideas the IIUG board has for marketing and selling Informix. If you have some more let me know. If you disagree I would be happy to be corrected.

  • Produce real TPC-C benchmarks to show commitment to the product
  • Give Informix press coverage
  • Sponsor exhibitor booths at developer and hardware conferences
  • Educate the sales force to sell Informix to new customers when it is the best solution
  • Bring back vendors that supported Informix in the past
  • Give all Data Management products (including Informix) equal coverage at the IOD
  • Reach out to universities and colleges

I guess the answer to the question of whether the Informix cup is half full or half empty is: It depends if you are drinking or pouring.

Gary Ben-Israel
IIUG Insider Editor

Highlights Back to top

The 10th anniversary of the Informix acquisition into the IBM family

June 15th marked the 100th anniversary of IBM being in business; a feat achieved by few companies. With a legacy of innovation, IBM looks forward to the next 100 years and continuing to help make the world a better place. On July 1st, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Informix acquisition into the IBM family. I still remember where I was when I received the news of the acquisition. I was on my way to an off-site Worldwide Support meeting when I received the call informing me of the preliminary agreement to sell the Informix assets to IBM. I was relieved that we would be acquired by a company clearly known as one of the leaders in relational database development. I am proud to say that in the last 10 years, IBM has invested heavily in the Informix portfolio. We’ve maintained the Informix philosophy of building lasting relationships with our partners and customers. What this means at an engineering level is that we have focused on some very basic tenants that serve our customers well:

  1. Quality – We always prioritize quality over functionality. We prioritize customer issues in a current release over future development.
  2. Performance – Each and every release is faster than the previous.
  3. Ship on Time – Our user community expects a predictable release schedule. We meet our quality and performance objectives and ship on schedule.
  4. Ease of use – We are proud to provide the lowest TCO database in the business. We strive to make each and every new feature easy to use from the beginning, right out of the box.
  5. Customer Service – Our World Wide support team provides the best customer service in the world.

Things have certainly changed over the years but these basic tenants have not. Inside IBM we have access to some of the brightest minds in technology to help solve some of your toughest problems. Early this year, we introduced our new Ultimate Warehouse Edition which includes the Informix Warehouse Accelerator. This technology came from research at the Almaden Research center and was implemented for Informix in conjunction with research from our Boeblingen and Munich labs in Germany. We adopted the agile development process and as a result, have seen a significant improvement in quality and our time to market. During our 1st decade at IBM, we have had over 10 major product announcements introducing well over 500 new features. A large majority of these features have shipped in the last 4 years, including major innovations such as Shared Disk, Multiple Secondary Servers, Flexible Grid, Transaction Survival, Informix Warehouse Accelerator, and Genero.

We have seen our footprint grow significantly over the years. Just in the last year, our partners have delivered over 50 new solutions into the market. As part of IBM’s smarter planet initiative, we are excited to see Informix technology help energy providers and consumers better manage our natural resources. We look forward to extending our footprint in areas like Energy and Utilities, Retail, Banking, Healthcare, and Government agencies.

I am grateful to be a part of one of the most talented engineering organizations in the world. I am also proud to be an IBM’er. Of course, we would be nothing without our partners and customers – our Informix community. I thank each of you for your commitment to the Informix technology. I look forward to working with you and the Informix team over the next 10 years to deliver solutions that solve your most pressing business challenges and give you a competitive edge.

Jerry Keesee
IBM World Wide Director, Informix Software

10 Years After: Perspective from the Informix Sales Team

When I’m asked about how it feels to realize that it has been ten years since IBM acquired the Informix, I’m first struck by the thought of “has it really been 10 years!” Then the realization that even yet today we’re investing in the product as if it were a startup business. So I have to say that it feels like a new business… with a legacy.

We all remember the statements about “existing applications and new applications” and what some people perceived as the end of Informix. Of course it has not turned out that way – customers around the world are building new applications on Informix and IBM continues to invest in the product as well as the people needed to grow the business.

These past years have shown that Informix technology is still superior to other products in the market and continues to bring customer the reliability and innovation. This year we’ve seen a first-ever launching of columnar, in-memory data warehouse product offered by IBM on the Linux, Unix, Windows platforms – the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition. This product delivers incredible game changing speed for queries without change to existing SQL statements and for the first time truly delivers on the promise of in-line applications analytics combined with operational transaction processing. Other innovations like Flexible Grid give Informix superior operational capability and administrative efficiency for mixed hardware cluster environments. These investments are made with the combined goal response to customer needs and year to year business sales growth.

Although after ten years the Informix product continues to bring new customers and bring new capabilities to our existing customers I am very impressed by the number of former Informix employees, like me, who are still at IBM. We are just as committed to the product and customers as we ever were before the acquisition. I think this is the most distinctive realization – that after ten years there are so many of us here working every day to support our customers and build the business. It is a testament to IBM’s commitment to the product, the people, and the future that so many of us are here working together with the goal for Informix of technical leadership and customer commitment. This is the true measure of the past ten years.

Steve Shoaf
IBM World Wide Informix Sales Leader

10 Years After: Perspective from the Informix Marketing Team

Kicking off the next decade of IBM Informix

We began talking about “the next decade of IBM Informix” with the release of Informix 11.7 last year. The alert historians among us noted that we were jumping the gun just a bit. But as we celebrate the actual 10 year anniversary of Informix at IBM on July 1, it is important to reiterate that Informix 11.7 – and the portfolio additions we have made this year – demonstrates an ongoing IBM commitment to Informix software and its loyal community.

Recent additions such as the new Ultimate Warehouse Edition, which accelerates analytic queries 10-100x, and Informix Genero, for accelerating delivery of mobile and cloud based Informix applications, add to exciting new features and editions delivered last year such as Informix Flexible Grid and the no-charge Innovator-C Edition. These new capabilities enable our clients and partners to expand their use of Informix and have helped us attract new users. In fact, in the last 18 months we have added nearly 50 new Informix partners who have or will be delivering more than 50 new solutions powered by IBM Informix.

And speaking of “power”… Another exciting area is the awakening among electricity suppliers and consumers to the proven value of Informix for managing time series data. The number of smart meters is growing dramatically to increase the efficiency of our global use of electricity. Energy suppliers are making the distribution grid more intelligent to better match supply with demand. Industrial consumers are using smart meters within their plants to optimize efficiency in order to reduce energy demand – in one case, a 10% year-to-year reduction. As a result, an amazing amount of new data must be captured and analyzed with great speed and efficiency.

Informix TimeSeries is exciting and “new again” because of its clear role in helping build a Smarter Planet and demonstration of the value of using workload optimized systems – both strategic priorities for IBM. It is specifically optimized for managing and analyzing time-stamped data and delivers dramatically better performance at lower cost than a general purpose relational database system. Its value for better time series data management in smart meter or sensor solutions across industries such as utilities, travel, distribution, health care, and security, represents a great opportunity for introducing the outstanding reliability, manageability and performance of IBM Informix to a whole new generation of clients and partners.

And that’s my team’s goal for properly kicking off the next decade of IBM Informix.

Bernie Spang
Director Strategy and Marketing
IBM Database Software and Systems

Conference corner Back to top

IIUG Members save $100 on Information On Demand Global Conference 2011

Turn Insight into action at the Information on Demand 2011 global conference October 23-27, 2011 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Nevada. Experience proven technologies and meaningful business insights to improve performance while reducing costs. Choose from three technical forums that give you in-depth education including hands-on labs and usability sand boxes, and the thought-provoking forum for Business Leadership.

Registration is now open for IOD 2011 and being a privileged member of the IIUG, you can get a discount of $100 by using the Discount Code G11IIUG, which has been exclusively created for the IIUG members. In addition, take advantage of the Early Bird Registration discount of $300. That’s a total savings of $400if you register before August 31, 2011. Don’t miss out – Register today!


Education Back to top

FASTEST Informix DBA Training from Lester Knutsen and Art Kagel

Advanced DataTools

July 11-14, 2011 – Advanced Informix Performance Tuning Course (attend online or in person)

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.

Do you want to learn how to be the FASTEST Informix DBA? This is the course our Fastest Informix DBA contest was developed from, and it will increase your database performance tuning skills.

This 4-day course focuses on techniques for optimizing an Informix Database. Labs will demonstrate more than 100% performance improvement. Each student will have a 4-core Linux server with Informix 11 and a large dataset for benchmark exercises and labs. Attend the class in person or online via our Web Training Center. Both Art Kagel and Lester Knutsen will be teaching the Advanced Classes together.

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

New in DeveloperWorks

IBM Informix Flexible Grid: Extending Data Availability
In this IBM Redbooks publication, we focus on, and provide an overview of, the high availability and Enterprise Replication features of IBM Informix 11.70. Informix provides solutions for making data highly available in the MACH11 cluster. The components of the MACH11 cluster include High Availability Data Replication (HDR), Shared Disk Secondary (SDS), and Remote Secondary Standby (RSS) servers. Enterprise Replication (ER) provides a means of selectively replicating data between systems in near real time. The Informix Flexible Grid eliminates the administrative complexity of ER. Flexible Grid provides the ability to automatically create database objects, such as tables, indexes, and stored procedures, on all nodes within the grid as a single operation. These enhanced Enterprise Replication features provide solutions for those customers requiring reliable and quick dissemination of data across a global organization.

27 June 2011

Enhanced availability and workload management with Informix flexible grid
IBM Informix 11.70 supports a new feature called flexible grid, comprising a group of replication servers in a distributed environment that simplify administration. With a flexible grid, you can monitor and manage servers that are geographically dispersed just as easily as you would administer a single server. In this article, you will learn how to convert your existing Enterprise Replication (ER) domain to a grid domain. In addition, this article shows you how to configure and monitor the grid with IBM OpenAdmin Tools for Informix, a free web-based tool that allows you to administer Informix servers through a web browser.

23 June 2011

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix: /url/devworks.html

Informix news Back to top

ITD Research: IT trends in Brazilian insurance

IT Decisions – Angelica Mari – June 21, 2011
Many still have a plethora of legacy systems including mainframes and Informix-based databases and are now pushing an agenda of back-end improvement. CIOs in Brazilian insurance companies also have to deal with increasing pressure to deliver…


Fuzzy Logix Debuts FIN Lytix

TMC Net – Jyothi Shanbhag – June 21, 2011
Recently, the company also announced the availability of in-database analytics working with IBM (News – Alert) (News – Alert) Informix database software to serve the large base of customers who are seeking to use easily accessible analytics to gain…


Support corner Back to top

Restoring the old way… with the IFX_USE_ONCFG Environment Variable

Most Informix features and product changes are designed to improve the product and help our customers. However, some features and changes may need to be disabled in order for the product to continue working as expected. When version 11.10 was released, there were many changes to how archives worked internally. One of those changes was in how the engine determined which dbspaces, chunks, and logs needed to be restored. In this version, the root reserved pages are read to build a list of dbspaces, chunks, and log files needing to be restored. The old behavior (pre-11) was to build this list from a file which contained the same information: $INFORMIXDIR/etc/oncfg_servername.servernum.

With version 11.x and some storage managers, if you split up the physical restore from the logical restore, you may see an error message like this in the bar_act.log:

(-43342) Cannot read reserved pages from rootdbs object.

This is a result of the changes made in how the onbar process reads from the rootdbs reserved pages instead of the oncfg file. Specifically, the logical restore was done in such a way that the permissions from the level-0 archive of the rootdbs were not correct when the logical restore requested access to the storage manager object.

To change the engine behavior to use the pre-11 method – you can set the following undocumented environment variable within the environment of the process running the restore:

export IFX_USE_ONCFG=1

Setting the above environment variable will skip the process of reading the reserved pages from the archive to build the list of spaces and log files — causing onbar to skip the retrieval of the rootdbs during a separate logical restore. Note: If you are importing this restore from another system, be sure to copy the correct oncfg file from the old system, and place in the $INFORMIXDIR/etc directory.

Happy Restoring!

Ron Privett
Advanced Technical Support Engineer

Informix corner Back to top

Informix on Campus in Brazil

We had an entirely customer and partner led academic event with IBM providing the encouragement, the logistical support and the course materials.


We are looking for more customers and partners to work with their local/regional educational institutions to organize more such events.

Informix Roadshows

Whether you’re new to Informix, or are one of our many loyal clients or business partners, we invite you to spend half a day with us to discover the next decade of Informix at IBM. Learn what’s new (we think you’ll be impressed); and find out why IBM Informix was voted number one in customer satisfaction for two consecutive years.

Austin, Texas: July 12 & 13 — 9 AM – 5 PM
IBM 11301 Burnet Road, Bldg. 101 Austin, Tx 78758-3493 Walnut Room, 02-2J008
Registration (closes July 7):

Seattle, Washington: July 26 & 27 — 9 AM – 5 PM
IBM 1200 5th Ave Seattle, WA 98101 Room 9-9020

Minneapolis, Minnesota: August 2 & 3 — 9 AM – 5 PM
IBM 650 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402 Lake Superior Room A 04-429

These are found on the Roadshow web site as well: /url/roadshow.html

Informix Bootcamps

Informix Warehouse Bootcamp

Details and registration:

Jul 7-8, 2011 Mexico Mexico City
Jul 11-12, 2011 Colombia Bogota
Sept 27-28, 2011 Germany Berlin

Informix Performance Tuning Bootcamp

Details and registration:

Oct 18-20, 2011 Brazil Sao Paulo

Informix 11.7 Bootcamp

Details and registration:

Jul 4-6, 2011 Mexico Mexico City
Jul 13-15, 2011 Colombia Cali
Sept 20-22, 2011 Germany Ehningen
Nov 1-3, 2011 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur (Please contact swgbp@my.ibm.com to register)

IBM Informix Social Media Promotion

Let’s get engaged with Informix Social Media presence

Social Media has become one of the most powerful channels of communication in the recent times. There are various mediums such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. which are buzzing with issues and conversations that help the audience to engage directly with the organizations.

Stay on top of all the latest News related to IBM Informix. Hear about the latest announcements from IBM and IIUG, contests, interesting blogs, best practices, resources, as well as engage with us on topics that interests you.

With this as the context, we are delighted in inform you about IBM Informix’s Social Media presence.

‘Like’ Informix on Facebook:

IBM Informix Facebook Page: IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)

Follow Informix on Twitter:

Twitter Handle: @IBM_Informix

Join Informix on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Group : Informix – IIUG supported user group

Informix resources Back to top

Informix blogs and things

  • The IIUG forums at /forums/technical.php **** these are very good****
  • Informix On Campus http://informixoncampus.blogspot.com/2011/06/faculty-from-regional-universities-at.html *** New ***
  • Louis T.Cherian http://bit.ly/keXCMD *** New ***
  • Art Kagel’s blog http://informix-myview.blogspot.com/
  • 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/
  • Kate Dawson at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson
  • Fernando Nunes at http://informix-technology.blogspot.com/
  • Eric Vercelletto at http://www.levillageinformix.blogspot.com/ (in French)
  • 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

July – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
4-6 Informix 11.7 Bootcamp Mexico City, Mexico
7-8 Informix Warehouse Bootcamp Mexico City, Mexico
11-12 Informix Warehouse Bootcamp Botota, Colombia
12-13 Informix 11.7 Technical Roadshow Austin, Texas
13-15 Informix 11.7 Bootcamp Cali, Colombia
26-27 Informix 11.7 Technical Roadshow Seattle, Washington
August – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
2-3 Informix 11.7 Technical Roadshow Minneapolis, Minnesota
September – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
20-22 Informix 11.7 Bootcamp Ehningen, Germany
27-28 Informix Warehouse Bootcamp Berlin, Germany
October – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
18-20 Informix Performance Tuning Bootcamp Sao Paulo, Brazil
November – 2011
Date Event Location Contact
1-3 Informix 11.7 Bootcamp Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia swgbp@my.ibm.com


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.