IIUG Insider (Issue #174) December 2014

Highlights: DBMS Legacies are Very Sticky

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

For me 2014 was a sad year. I hope 2015 will be better. However, this editorial is not about me. It is about Informix. For Informix 2014 was a very good year.

Informix 12.1 was released and is currently at 12.1 xC4.

IBM positioned Informix as its flagship database for Internet of Things, China is developing a local version of Informix for the Chinese market, Informix was the first commercially available database to run HP’s new micro server architecture-ProLiant Moonshot and much more.

2015 is promising.

Let me wish Informix and the IIUG community a wonderful year.

I hope to see many of you at the IIUG conference in San Diego.

Gary Ben-Israel

Highlights Back to top

DBMS Legacies are Very Sticky

This is the title of an article by Donald Feinberg, VP Distinguished Analyst, 20 years at Gartner, 45 years IT industry.

It was posted on Gartner blog network.

This is the part about Informix:

What about Informix, acquired by IBM in 2001? Over a decade later, it remains an integral part of an IBM information management portfolio that includes three primary DBMSs — DB2, IMS and Informix, and newer entrants such as Cloudant. IBM has continued to release new enhanced versions of Informix since the acquisition; for example it has recently added JSON support with MongoDB JSON Drivers. Due to the implementation of embedded indexes, Informix is a good choice for audio and video indexing. Finally, the number of IBM Informix customers has continued to increase and its user base is very loyal, with one the largest and most active User Groups.

IBM positions Informix for three primary use cases:

  • High-speed processing in verticals like retail (point of sale systems) and manufacturing
  • Time-series DBMS — one of its primary features, and a “timely” one
  • The Internet of Things, where its high-speed ingest capabilities and small footprint are well-suited

I highly recommend you read the whole article here.

Conference corner Back to top

IIUG 2015 Early Bird Registration Ends January 15, 2015

You have until midnight (EST) Thursday, January 15, 2015 to register for IIUG 2015. Save $250 with early bird registration and increase your savings by an additional $100 with an IIUG Membership discount. If you are not currently an IIUG member and want to take advantage of the full early bird price, please join. It is quick and easy and there is no fee. Becoming an IIUG member will not only increase your registration savings it will also allow you access to the Members Only section of the IIUG Website. The Member Only section permits you to download some of the latest IBM Informix products available, as well as access to IIUG-only utilities written by DBAs for DBAs.

Once again this year’s registration includes a full day of tutorials on Thursday April 30th. These tutorials are included at NO CHARGE for all paid attendees. So don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to expand your training dollars.

Need some help with the boss on why you should attend the largest gathering of Informix users in the world? We have created a special Justification document to help you with this. All attendees will have an opportunity to road test the latest 12.10 and big data capabilities and features in one of our many Hands-On Labs with actual IBM development and support engineers.

The speaker submissions for IIUG 2015 have been overwhelming. The submissions cover a multitude of topics pertinent to Informix users, developers and administrators, including the many popular Informix features, as well as tried and true “must have” topics like those involving maximizing your system performance while minimizing system downtime. New topics like NoSQL and other development topics will be offered. Our speakers are some of the best the Informix community has to offer, and the list includes several new speakers. The IIUG planning committee has completed the review of all submitted presentations to select the very best sessions, hands-on labs and tutorials. The sessions we’ve chosen include interesting and relevant topics that can be used to reinforce your professional skills and keep current in today’s changing market. Remember, IIUG 2015 is not “Just For DBAs”: Bring your application developers too!

Selected speakers will be notified on or about January 10, and once the speakers have confirmed their selection we will post the sessions to the conference website. Please continue to review the website for regular updates. We will continue to update the session page concerning sessions, hands-on labs and tutorials as these details become available.

IIUG 2015 in San Diego will be our eighth and best conference yet.

See you in San Diego! Apr 26 — 30, 2015

The IIUG 2015 Planning Committee conference@iiug.org

Support corner Back to top

IoT on my Mind

This month, the topic on the mind of IBM people continues to be the Internet of Things (IoT). For those in support, it might seem to be just another topic related to Informix. A closer look reveals that in regard to IoT, IBM Informix is a frontrunner for embeddability — and it has a unique seamless ability to integrate SQL, NoSQL/JSON, timeseries and spatial data. All of this can be done with a rich set of APIs that make it easy to get to marketable IoT product, for those willing to try.

A lot of software and hardware has come and gone over the years. If you are old enough, you may remember 8-track tapes, or beta-max video disks. These are now novelty items that had been replaced by things newer, more efficient, and more effective. The age of IoT has started, and this past year has provided some samples. A typical DBA might ask “Why should IoT be thought of as any more than ‘yet another thing’?”

If we start with something efficient, effective, and seamless, that provides technology which can accommodate the proliferation of connected devices known as the “Internet of Things”, it can transform the way we live and do business. For those of us who know: harnessing data begins with Informix. IBM has quietly been recognizing that seamless integration and embeddability. The not-so-quiet secret is that IOT is built on Bluemix, and others may come to know that Informix software provides the backend for IoT. DBA’s should expect more and learn more about IBM’s IOT on BlueMix. It is a technology footprint that will only get stronger, rather than fading. For more information, check out the IBM main page and the “recipes“‘. For some hands on demonstrations, go here.

– David Jay

Developer corner Back to top

Chat with the Lab – Informix in the Internet of Things Foundation Service

Event Date: Jan 22, 2015

Event Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Central Time)

Hosted By: Anita McKeithen (IBM)

Presented By: Lalitha Krishnamoorthy – Program Director, WW Informix Engineering (IBM), Hyun-Ju Vega — Sr. Software Engineer (IBM) (IBM)

In 2014, IBM debuted many cloud based services, and Informix was part of the offerings. While you may be familiar with the Informix Time Series service in Bluemix, you may not be aware of the role Informix plays in the IBM Internet of Things Foundation (IoTF). IBM Internet of Things Foundation (IoTF) is a fully managed, cloud-hosted service that makes it simple to derive value from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. As well as allowing you to connect to and control devices, IoTF collects and manages IoT data using the Informix Historian database with Time Series. In this session, we will explore the IoTF service, and the role of the Informix Historian, in particular. We’ll also discuss the key Informix features and configuration used in the service, as well as the flow of data into and out of 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 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.

Register here.

New RFEs for December 2014

Informix Software

Free Automatically allocated lock memory
Since Lock resource (memory) would be automatically allocated when Informix engine defect that it’s not enough. But these memory will be existing forever once allocate, unless restart Informix engine. Could these automatically allocated memory could be released by executing any command like ‘onmode -F’ ?

Multi-threaded SMX
Currently there’s just one pair of SMX send/receive threads per a RSS couple. On WANs with high latency (which is fairly common with WANs) this can limit the throughput severely. Multiplexing replication traffic over a configurable amount of SMX send/receive thread pairs could greatly improve the overall throughput.

IWA Trickle Feed Trigger Improvements
The Informix Warehouse Accelerator trickle feed function currently uses triggers to populate the data marts. This is a problem because you must remove the triggers to work on the data mart configuration and we are having difficutly getting exclusive table locks to put the triggers back on during busy load times. Please move the load process to use something like HDR that pulls directly from the logs.

Online log could also print session detail of additional memory segment…
In high usage OLTP systems, it is a hard work to identify which session(s) is(are) demanding too much memory from the Informix engine. A good thing for us to help to identify abnormal programs execution/behaviour would be to print session details (like in AF line generation) together with the additional memory segment allocation…

Informix Client Products

Better diagnostic for locale errors
We experience -21005 errors typically during loading data to the database. The error (undocumented) means that at least one character is not supported by database locale. Unfortunately it is not sufficient to correct input data fast: there is no field name nor position of incorrect character in the field. In case of wide tables (about 300 fields) searching for the cause is near to impossible.

IWA Loading Information
I would like to be able to see the name of the datamart being loading through the Informix Warehouse Accelerator when I run the “ondwa tasks” command on the IWA server.

Do not forget to vote for one or several of those RFE’s if they fit your requirements. The more votes, the more chances that the Dev Team will seriously consider the request.

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

French Informix User Group meeting

The new Informix User group in France is integrated, according to IBM’s suggestion, in the GUIDE-Share federation of IBM User Groups. It will hold its first presentation to the user base Webcast on January 15th 2015, 14:00.

The following text is in French, because it addresses French speakers.

Meeting de présentation du User Group GUIDE Share France – Informix

La réunion de lancement du nouveau groupe-utilisateurs GUIDE Share France – Informix se tiendra le 15 Janvier 2015 à 14 :00 heure de Paris.

Afin de réduire au minimum les contraintes de temps et éviter frais et temps de déplacement, nous avons opté pour la tenue d’une video-conférence au lieu d’une réunion présentielle.

Ce Webcast opéré grâce aux infrastructures de communication d’IBM France devrait durer environ deux heures.

L’agenda sera le suivant :

  • 14h00 Présentation de GUIDE SHARE France
  • 14h30 Q&R
  • 15h00 Présentation des candidats é la présidence du nouveau user group
  • 16h00 Présentation de la procédure du « e-vote »
  • 16h30 Fin de la conférence

Cliquez ici pour voir la Lettre d’information ainsi que formulaire d’inscription.

Vous pouvez également suivre les informations de notre groupe sur LinkedIn é cette adresse.

Informix User Group in Sweden is being phased out

Informix User Group in Sweden is being phased out — new forms of user interaction are proposed.

The decision
The Board has considered the question of future forms of user interaction. Association members have voted in two annual meetings of the Board’s recommendations, inter alia, means the closure of the Swedish association.

Members of the Association are instead invited to:

  • Connect to the international user association, IIUG which is easily done on www.IIUG.org.
  • Take part and participate in the exchange of information via the IIUG’s various websites, and via LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Continue and develop customer relationship with IBM in Sweden.

Informix User Group in Sweden was formed in 1992. The aim was to promote information and exchange of experience between different user groups, in cooperation with the Informix Swedish representation, now IBM, and with user groups in other countries and the parent organization IIUG.

In recent years, an annual meeting conducted in conjunction with a recurring IBM event, where lecturers from IBM Swedish AB and IBM/Informix internationally have participated. Around 20 members out of the total of approximately 50 members usually participated in these meetings.

Commissioned to investigate the future of work
The activities among the members and the board has decreased gradually. Different forms of cooperation have therefore been investigated by the Board. Contact has been made with all Directors in IIUG as well as user organizations in a number of other countries, however, with a limited input.

The liquidation
The previous Board has formed working group, according to the investigation file and a checklist, which was adopted at the annual meeting. It may be mentioned that the remaining union funds go to charity, according to the statutes. The association is expected to be completely phased out during the first half of 2015. The Swedish website will sunset January 1th 2016.

After 22 years…
The Board would like to thank IBM in Sweden for a good cooperation. We would also like to thank the all the lecturers at IBM in Sweden and internationally, and from the International Informix User Group – IIUG, which has contributed to the overall knowledge base about Informix.

For the Board/Working Group,

Mats Domvall

Our best wishes to all the Swedish Informix users. The IIUG has always been and will continue to be your home.

IIUG Board of Directors.

Informix news Back to top

IT-Director.com, Nov 14, 2011 – Informix revived

Since IBM acquired Informix there has always been the question of how Informix was positioned versus DB2…

PRWeb, Dec 30, 2014 – SOAPBox Release 1.5 Now Supports IBM Informix

The Social Foundry is proud to announce connectivity to IBM Informix via the SOAPbox release 1.5…

Calendar of events Back to top

April – 2015
Date Event Location Contact
26-30 IIUG 2015 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.