IIUG Insider (Issue #172) October 2014

Highlights: GBASE and IBM to collaborate on locally innovated database in China

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 have just returned from the IBM Insight 2014 conference. I’m still a little jetlagged.

The IBM Insight conference, previously known as Information On Demand, is a huge event. If you are looking for Informix technical sessions it is NOT your best choice. Informix sessions exist but not much compared to the IIUG conference. However if you are generally interested in industry trends and in big data and analytics, this conference is unmatched.

Except the Informix sessions, the word Informix was not mentioned even once. But we got to meet with the Informix users who attend and of course our friends from IBM Informix.

We are now looking forward to the IIUG conference in San Diego and will keep you updated.

Gary Ben-Israel

Highlights Back to top

GBASE and IBM to collaborate on locally innovated database in China

BMI (NYSE: IBM) and General Data Technology Co.,Ltd, known as GBASE announces an agreement today, to create a locally innovated database product for the China marketplace. In support of the China government’s national technology agenda, GBASE will develop and sell this local innovation based on IBM Informix technology.

The agreement extends the reach of IBM’s Informix database technology into this market by providing a localized solution to better address the rapidly evolving needs of Chinese businesses. The agreement permits GBASE to build and license their own version of IBM Informix database, which will be offered to clients in the Chinese market as a standalone product solution.

The China market for database technology is estimated to be in excess of $700m according to IDC. The partnership between IBM and GBASE can fuel the growth of this market by creating a best in class database solution tailored to the unique requirements of the China marketplace.

“This agreement confirms IBM’s innovation and commitment to growth in emerging markets in general and China specifically”, states Sean Poulley, Vice President, IBM Databases and Database Management. “Our intent is to help partners and clients gain competitive edge and transform their business with innovative database technologies in China, with China, for China.”

Informix is one of the world’s most widely used databases, supporting clients who range from the largest multinational corporations to many regional and local small businesses. It is widely deployed in the retail, banking, manufacturing and government segments, all of which are important growth areas in China today.

Informix is well known for its innovative design, which enables a single platform that powers both OLTP and OLAP workloads for real-time analytics, scales easily for cloud environments and provides continuous availability. It’s renowned for extremely high levels of performance and availability, distinctive capabilities in data replication and scalability, and minimal administrative overhead. With this partnership agreement these advantages will be made more readily available to the fast-growing Chinese market.

Conference corner Back to top

IIUG 2015

Call for Speakers Closes Soon!

IIUG 2015 call for presentations will soon be closing. Don’t miss your opportunity to speak at the top Informix event. IIUG 2015 will be held Sunday April 26 – Thursday April 30, 2015 at The Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California, USA.

As a reminder to those of you who are still interested and have not yet submitted, please submit your abstracts soon. Presentation proposals should be brief, highlighting the Informix technical solutions, real world experiences or trade tips you will include in your presentation. Multiple presentations are encouraged. The CPC will be meeting shortly to review all the submissions received. Speaker guidelines can be found at www.iiug.org/conf/call_for_presentations/. Don’t miss your opportunity to speak at this top Informix event.

If you are having problems selecting a topic to present at IIUG 2015, just contact the CPC and we can work with you to select a topic that is relevant to the Informix community. The CPC is ready to help you. You just need to ask: conference@iiug.org.

Use www.iiug2015.org/speakers to register your proposal. For your convenience, speaker logins have been retained for those who submitted a 2014 IIUG conference proposal.

Registration opening soon!

IIUG 2015 registration will open this month. Keep checking your email. You can use the following information to prepare you your budgets for 2015:

Early Bird (Through January 15, 2015) $900
Standard (Through February 28, 2015) $1150
Late (Through April 19, 2015) $1250

REMEMBER: IIUG members can take an additional $100 of their registration price. Visit www.iiug2015.org for more information.

IBM Insight 2014 – Recap

Thank you for making IBM Insight 2014, the largest Big Data conference in the world, an enormous success! More than 13,000 attendees gained new insights into Business Analytics, Information Management and Enterprise Content Management, explored the latest innovations in cloud, mobile, security, social and Watson, and expanded their network exponentially.

The conference may be over but the education goes on. We hope you’ll take advantage of these resources, including session presentations and video replays on InsightGO, to continue your learning.

You can get to InsightGO from the IBM Insight page. You need to be registered. The link for registering is: https://ibm.biz/insightGOreg.

We’ll see you next year!

Support corner Back to top

Editor’s Note: This month we introduce a new contributor for the Support Corner. David Jay has been part of the Informix Support team since the late 1990s and brings years of support knowledge to the Support Team. He can be reached at djay@us.ibm.com.

The Open Admin Tool provides a browser based interface for managing a number of administrative tasks. Here is a useful tip provided by Yunming for managing the Administrative password.

The Admin password for the IBM OpenAdmin Tool (OAT) for Informix is set during OAT installation. After that point, it is not possible to change the admin password through the OAT browser window. If you desire to change the admin password in OAT, it has to be done through the Apache HTTP server.

By default, passwords and users who are allowed to access the Admin pages of OAT are stored in the $OATINSTALL/Apache_X.X.X/conf/.htpasswd file, where X.X.X is the version number of the Apache HTTP server.

To change the password for the Admin pages of the OAT, you run the Apache htpasswd utility to manage the user names and passwords for Apache HTTP authentication. Linux root or Windows administrator can update the password for an existing user or add a new user to OAT.

On Windows, in the directory: %INFORMIXDIR%\Apache_X.X.X\bin\

Run: htpasswd %INFORMIXDIR%\OAT\Apache_X.X.X\conf\.htpasswd <userid>


On Linux, in the directory: $INFORMIXDIR/OAT/Apache_X.X.X/bin/

Run: htpasswd $INFORMIXDIR/OAT/Apache_X.X.X/conf/.htpasswd <userid>

The htpasswd utility will return the message “Updating password for user <userid>”while changing the password and “Adding password for user <userid>” for adding a new user. You can also confirm results by viewing the user names and their encrypted passwords in the OAT .htpasswd file.

– David Jay

Developer corner Back to top

New in DeveloperWorks

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

For more information go to DeveloperWorks – Informix.

RFE Corner Back to top

Just in case you are not aware, some time ago IBM created a public website to collect the requests for new features directly from users. The RFE (Requests For Enhancements) website is included in developerWorks. You can access it here.

Once you logged in with your usual IBM ID, choose “Information Management” in the Brand dropdown box and “Informix Servers” or “Client Products” in the Products dropdown box.

The interesting thing is that any request, including your request, if you place one, are submitted for to be voted on. This means the RFEs that receive more votes have a greater chance to be considered by the architecture and development teams for further consideration. In other words, this IS the opportunity to provide enhancement ideas even if you are not the biggest IBM customer on the planet earth.

Some RFEs will be of great interest, others will not seem useful to you. This is why your opinion is important. Do not hesitate to vote and place comments!

The idea of the RFE corner is to provide a digest on new Informix RFEs and make those RFEs more visible and accessible for the community, so that you can vote for them in a faster and easier way. By participating actively in this website, IBM will have solid and useful elements from the customer base to introduce new functionality to Informix product.

Also in the area of IBM website, a new functionality has been released: MyNotifications. You will want to register this webpage in order to receive the notifications of your choice (new product defects, new patch release, new versions etc…, on the frequency of your choice (daily, weekly). I have registered and will definitely keep registered, due to the value of the information delivered.

Check at this place.

New RFEs for October 2014

This month has been fairly ‘productive’ in terms of RFEs, showing clear interest by the users community. Please make sure to double check whether what you submit should not go to the Service Request queue. I have seen some RFEs that look more like a PMR than a RFE.

Improve performance of L1/L2 backups. It is a reality: when you use level 1 and 2 backups, the engine reads ALL the pages to check whether each page has to be copied or not. This can result in a very long process. Request to apply a way to build a list of pages to be copied.

Allow dropping of distributions on specific columns; today it is only possible to drop all distributions on a table. In Update Statistics, There is no way to drop distributions for one column. Request to have the ability to drop distribution for one (or list of?) column.

Informix auditing (onaudit) should be able to record feprogram with the “start session” event : The frontend program information available in the session information, it would be a great addition to the available audit information, to check whether a user connects thru his application or another tool.

Allow SPL UDR drop/recreate without taking an outage : it is nowadays necessary to have an outage when modifying stored procedures or UDF. This is not convenient in 24/7 production environments. Request to have the possibility to deploy them online.

online alter fragment : alter fragment must be executed offline. Request to make it possible to run alter fragment online.

Increase 32767 limit for “-528 Maximum output rowsize max-size exceeded.” : Informix limits output row size to 32767. Others DBMS don’t have this limit. Request to increase this limit.

Informix Query Engine generates bad query/explain plan : at certain opportunities, when 2 columns of a same table are related, a wrong query plan is chosen, resulting in very slow query performance. Request to fix that issue. My comment: has this issue gone thru a PMR? What was the result of the PRM? If true and statistics are ok, this looks more like a bug…

the OS_MEM_FREE Column from Sysmaster : SysMachineInfo is Misleading on AIX :The value delivered by this column is not an accurate representation of the real available free memory. Suggestion for delivering other value.

Allow DBA to re-initialize OS process cache created by the resolver routines : the gethostbyaddr function returns cached information, which is pretty much inconvenient when user makes changes in his DNS, resulting into an obligation to rebounce the Informix Engine. Request a possibility to enforce the MSC Vp’s to read the new values without rebouncing the server.

Require NODEFDAC as a server side general setup : environment variables can be set in the informix.rc, in Unix platforms. There is no absolute and secure way to set those variables if the client is not a Unix platform. Considering that some environment variables determine how security is handled, a way must be provided to resolve this security breach. Request to allow the DBA/DBSA to provide a default secure environment, just like any other database in the market.

Option to disable Repeatable Read Isolation Mode : this isolation mode can have a big negative impact on production environment if used unappropriately. Request to have the possibility to deny its use at instance or database level.

Updating tk_start_time, tk_stop_time, tk_frequency, tk_monday, …, tk_sunday should not change tk_next_execution. This is about the Informix scheduler. Users usually want a task to start at a defined point in time. Request to implement the following: when tk_start_time is set, a task should start at tk_start_time and not at tk_next_execution. Also tk_next_execution should not be changed automatically when one of the other entries is updated.

Refresh for SSL Listeners (reload certificates) : Today, until current version (12.10 xC4) isn’t possible to update/replace/implement a SSL certificate without restart the engine. Request for 2 features:

  1. Allow stop/start SOCSSL listeners using command “onmode -P” and with this reload the certificate at SSL keydb
  2. Allow change the parameter SSL_KEYSTORE_LABEL onfly with command “onmdoe -wf / wm”

SQLHOSTS groups connect to non-primary : Today if you have RSS as first option in the SQLHOSTS group (set with c=0 option), the client does not connect to this server, just skips it and if you have only non-primaries/standards servers at the group , you get an error -27009. Request to include in SQLHOSTS options specific for groups to allow connection for non-primary server

You can access each RFE by clicking on the above links. At the bottom of each RFE page you will find a hyperlink to vote for it. You will see the Request stats, including number of votes for this request, on the right side of the request page. The more votes, the greater the chance an enhancement will be addressed by the Development Team, taking into consideration the general interest.

Take some time to examine the full list and vote for the enhancements you would like to see implemented.

Eric Vercelletto

Informix corner Back to top

IoT Webcast

How to improve business outcomes and speed time to market with IBM Informix for the Internet of Things

Listen to the replay of this webinar to learn how businesses can address the challenge of Internet of Things data with an intelligent optimized data. Learn how the IBM Informix database embeds into small devices, scales for multiple devices, and supports analytics, time series, spatial and data – all with no administrative overhead.

TWEET THIS: Register for the #IoTWebcast to learn how to address the challenge of #IoT data with #Informix intelligent #database http://ibm.co/1EoNcYc

Nonspecific corner Back to top

When – if ever – will the bandwidth of the Internet surpass that of FedEx?

If you want to transfer a few gigabytes of data, it’s generally faster to FedEx a hard drive than send the files over the Internet. This isn’t a new idea – it’s often dubbed “SneakerNet” – and it’s even how Google transfers large amount of data internally.

But will it always be faster?

Cisco estimates that total Internet traffic currently averages 167 terabits per second. FedEx has a fleet of 654 aircraft with a lift capacity of 26.5 million pounds daily. A solid state laptop drive weighs about 78 grams and hold up to a terabyte.

That means FedEx is capable of transferring 150 exabytes of date per day or 14 petabytes per second – almost a hundred times the current throughput of the Internet.

If you don’t care about cost, this IO – kilogram shoebox can hold a lot of Internet.

We can improve the data density even further by using micro SD cards.

Those thumbnail – sized flakes have storage density of up to 160 terabytes per kilogram, which means a FedEx fleet loaded with micro SD cards could transfer about 177 petabytes per second, or 2 zettabytes per day – a thousand times the Internet’s current traffic level. (The infrastructure will be interesting – Google would need to build huge warehouses to hold a massive card-processing operation.)

Cisco estimates Internet traffic is growing about 29 percent annually. At that rate, we’ll hit FedEx point in 2040. Of course, the amount of data we can fit on a drive will have gone up by then, too. The only way to actually reach the FedEx point is if transfer rate grow much faster than storage rates. In an intuitive sense, this seems unlikely, since storage and transfer are fundamentally linked – all data is coming from somewhere and going somewhere – but there’s no way to predict usage patterns for sure.

While FedEx is big enough to keep up with the next few decades of actual usage, there’s no technological reason we can’t build a connection that beats them on bandwidth. There are experimental fiber clusters that can handle over a petabit per second. A cluster of 200 of those would beat FedEx.

If you recruited the entire US freight industry to move SD cards for you, the throughput would be on the order of 500 exabits – half a zettabit – per second. To match that transfer rate digitally, you’d need to take half a million of those petabit cables.

So the bottom line is that for raw bandwidth of FedEx, the Internet will probably never beat SneakerNet. However the virtually infinite bandwidth of a FedEx – based Internet would come at a cost of 80,000,000 – millisecond ping times.

– From the book What if? by Randall Munroe

Calendar of events Back to top

December – 2014
Date Event Location Contact
11 Washington Area Informix User Group Meeting IBM Office, Washington DC James Edmiston
April – 2015
Date Event Location Contact
26-30 2015 IIUG Informix Conference San Diego, CA Cindy Lichtenauer


Informix resources Back to top

IBM Informix home page

http://www.informix.com or directly at: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/informix/

Informix blogs and wikis

Blogs and Wikis that have been updated during the last month

More Blogs and Wikis

Forums, groups, videos, and magazines

  • The IIUG forums
  • Informix Marketing channel on YouTube
  • IBM Data Magazine
  • Credentials, the IBM Certification Newsletter
  • The Informix Zone
  • 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.

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
Rhonda Hackenburg

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.