IIUG Insider (Issue #244) November 2020

by

Highlights: Announcing IIUG Board of Directors 2021

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.

Contents:

1) Editorial

Informix is still the best OLTP engine. IBM and HCL are still committed to the product.

But this is not enough if no one knows about it.

There is no marketing. No more YouTube videos. No more press releases. No more blogs.

So, getting news about Informix is up to us, the Informix users.

The IIUG board is reaching out to you for your help. We need Informix success stories.

Tell us about Informix in your organization. If you have a success story you can share please send it to me gary@iiug.org, my co-editor Rhonda rhonda@iiug.org or to the IIUG president, Cindy cindy@iiug.org

Gary Ben-Israel

IIUG Insider Editor

IIUG Board of Directors

gary@iiug.org

2) Highlights

2.1 Announcing IIUG Board of Directors 2021-2022

We have a new IIUG Board of Directors starting their term January 1st 2021. We had eight candidates running for eight slots. There is no need for an election.

Two existing members chose not to run for the next term and two new nominations were submitted. We would like to welcome Lester Knutsen and Bruce Simms to the IIUG Board. Both have served on the Board in the past. We would also like to thank Eric Vercelletto and David Link for their great contributions to the Board and the IIUG community. We are sure they will continue working for Informix and the Informix User Community.

The new IIUG Board in alphabetical order are:

Gary Ben-Israel

Rhonda Hackenburg

Art Kagel

Lester Knutsen

Cindy Lichtenauer – President

Stuart Litel – IBM rep

Ognjen Orel

Vicente Salvador

Bruce Simms

Gary Ben-Israel

3) IIUG Survey 2020

3.1 IIUG Survey 2020 – Call for Action

Looking back on our IIUG Survey, we’ve come to the part of the survey that considers the role every one of us has in the global Informix community. There were actually several questions in the survey that relate to this. Here is the outline of the most interesting things from the survey with some hints on what you could do and how IIUG will help.

Fact

Asked would you like to contribute to global Informix community by providing advice, home-made Informix tools, how-tos, etc.; a big 89 of you responded “yes”, I will reach out to you via e-mail

Your action

Drop us an e-mail at iiug@iiug.org and let us know what’s on your mind.
If you have already done so and the message bounced, please resend it.

Our action

We’d provide or propose a platform for you to express yourself and promote you

Fact

49 of you said you are already contributing to global Informix community using your own platform.

Your action

Drop us an e-mail at iiug@iiug.org and let us know or just remind us about your content

Our action

We’d happy to promote your work 🙂

Fact

A big 38.2% of our respondents were not aware of IBM Community forums (short link: https://www.iiug.org/community).

Your action

Go to a forum, register, read, and participate!
Spread the word about it.

Our action

Continue to boost and promote the Community forums as the place to go for Informix-related Q&A

Fact

22.1% of our respondents said they are not using IIUG.org website

Another fact

IIUG.org contains valuable content for members and non-members:
– searchable tools and software repository index
– downloadable presentations
– a history of Informix-related news

Your action

Register for IIUG membership if you’re not a member
Spread the word about the IIUG.org contents

Our action

Continue to improve our site
Make conference material searchable

Fact

Asked “Do you receive the Insider, the IIUG’s monthly letter”, 14,3% of our respondents said no.

Your action

Make your colleagues aware of the Insider and have them register to IIUG to receive it, use the opt-in menu option one your membership page to receive the IIUG Insider

Our action

Shape the Insider to better suit your expectations

We also asked several questions on how the IIUG could improve its work and what could we do for you and Informix. More on that in a future survey analysis articles. Stay tuned.

Ognjen Orel

4) Informix Corner

4.1 New blogs by Vicente Salvador

Informix 1410xc4w1 Rocks! New great top feature available

Informix and SElinux Part.1

Informix and SElinux Part.2

4.2 Containers, Informix, and Modernization; Did you know?

Containerized Deployments reduce operational overhead.

A container is a runnable instance of an image and is a way to package an app with all its parts, libraries, and dependencies and ship out as a single package. You are able to connect persistent storage to your container to keep data safe as containerized services utilize self-healing techniques (auto detection and restoration).

Anything that can be done currently with an on-premise Informix server can be done with an Informix container:

The usage of Informix in a containerized environment is fully supported. If a user is running an IBM Informix edition (ex., Enterprise, Workgroup, etc.) in a containerized and are current on S&S, they can open support tickets through IBM for any issues pertaining to the Informix product. As

Certified Informix containers are now available as extensions for IBM Cloud Pak for Data:

Cloud Packs are IBM’s enterprise-ready containerized software solution built on Red Hat OpenShift and can run anywhere: On-premises, on private and public clouds, and in pre-integrated systems. The Informix on Cloud Pak for Data container lets you modernize your Informix environment at your own pace and will give you further opportunities to extract more value from your data. Operator support (coming soon) will allow automatic configuration of HDR and scale-out.

Interested in more information about Informix and Modernization?

“IBM Informix v14.10 containers and Modernization” webcast (includes demo!): Replay here

“IBM Cloud Pak for Data in two minutes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yhpDfNs32g

“Informix on Cloud Pak for Data” documentation: https://www.ibm.com/support/producthub/icpdata/docs/content/SSQNUZ_current/svc-welcome/ifx.html

4.3 Successful Upgrade/Migration to Private Cloud Case Study

Who: Approximately 30-year Informix customer who has been running without issues and kept up with upgrades until version 11.50.

Why: In late 2018, they ran into problems with tables having a large number of extents. They had outgrown their footprint size and were very low on useable storage. It was time to show their applications and database some love and care for an environment that has been unattended for years.

How: They reached out to IBM and HCL services. There were numerous discussions on how to get this environment upgraded. They were also in the midst of hardware refresh combined with a shift towards private virtual cloud adoption for most of their environments.

They were running on HP Itanium and the new target was going to be on RedHat Linux on Intel hardware under a virtualized environment. After HCL Services analysis and recommendations, they provisioned the new hardware and storage taking into account future growth needs. We spent some time laying out the new infrastructure keeping best practices in mind and allowing for future growth. We set up their infrastructure with IBM Informix 12.10.FC12W1 and configured automatic chunk expansion and allocated storage from a storage pool so that the instances were self-managing from a storage perspective. The customer does not have a DBA on site. We had to keep this in mind and automate as much as possible.

The first step was to migrate their production databases over to the new infrastructure. The database sizes were not large, and we were able to accomplish the task using dbexport and dbimport. We turned over this new infrastructure to the application team and asked them to perform validation of their databases on their new infrastructure. Since the applications run in the same environment as the database server, we undertook the task of moving their applications from HP-Itanium to RedHat Linux which include recompiling all their code, most of which was written in 4GL. We accomplished the database migration using dbexport and dbimport after gaining approval for the cutover.

A high-risk component in their set up was the use of Wingz! This was concerning initially but it turned out that all of the components were working without any issues.

Results: The Product Sponsor was thrilled with the solution and services provided, so much so they shared they are no longer suffering from insomnia and have a better work-life balance, now that the infrastructure is stabilized.

Additional Value: We provided an HDR set up of their environment so that they have a DR solution which they never had before.

Now we look forward to upgrading this customer to 14.10!

5) Informix Webinars

5.1 Replay for the IBM Informix – Containers and Modernization Webinar is now available

Below is the link to the replay for the Containers and Modernization Webinar that took place on November 10th.

This webinar discussed Containerization of software provides several benefits in ease of deployment, security, automation, portability and other areas. This webinar will provide an introduction to IBM Informix containers including the newly released certified container running on top of the IBM Cloud Pak for Data platform. Running Informix with the Cloud Pak for Data provides easy provisioning and tight integration with other services running on the same platform. Combining the many decades proven strengths and resiliency of Informix database with the Red Hat.

REPLAY LINK

6) RFE Corner

IBM has an RFE – Request For Enhancements website.

https://ibm-data-and-ai.ideas.aha.io/?project=INFX

Please visit this site to vote for your favorite enhancements and place new requests.It is friendly and has a nice look and feel.

Recent

Add onconfig parameter to not allow slow alters

Votes: 2

Created November 27, 2020

Status: Needs review

ER async triggers shall support ‘userid’ and ‘session id’ of the user who made the change

Votes: 2

Created November 10, 2020

Status: Needs review

AKS Support – connect AKS cluster(.NET web api) to onprem Informix database

Votes: 1

Created November 2, 2020

Status: Needs review

Popular (Over 50 votes)

Backup from RSS or HDR Secondaries using ontape, onunload, onbar, dbexport

In HDR environments, being able to backup or export databases from and HDR, HDR read-only, or an RSS secondary server is critical. Programs like ontape, onunload, dbexport, and onbar generate locks on tables during backups and data-exports. This creates problems while applications and users using Informix try to use the system during backups in 24 x 7 x 365 production environments. Being able to backup or export data on secondary systems is critical for compliance and backup integrity.

Votes: 104

Created: December 24, 2018

Status: Future consideration

Obtain the query plan of a running query

Many times a DBA is called to check upon a slow process. Most of the times those processes are running a slow query.

Sometimes it’s hard to know if the query is using the best query plan or not. A DBA can reproduce the query, but it it was prepared without values or if the statistics were changed after it started there is no guarantee that the query plan seen by the DBA is the same as the running query.

We have “onstat -g pqs” which sometimes can give us a clue, but it’s mostly cryptic and undocumented. If a user has X-Windows he can try xtree, but it’s a bit strange for todays standards.

We also have SQLTRACE, but if it was not set when the query was launched it will not capture the info (and besides, due to the circular nature of the buffer it may not be there at the time we need it).

A simple pseudo-table in sysmaster could probably implement this with ease.

It could also be extended to support the “last” query plan making it easy to get the query plan in any tool

Votes: 87

Created: December 24, 2018

Status: Future consideration

Informix should be able to change owner on tables and any other objects

If user=informix creates all database and all tables, then programmer creates table but user=informix cannot change it. Only drop it.

Votes: 75

Created: December 24, 2018

Status: Future consideration

Backup Individual database, not entire instance

Need a mechanism, similar to ontape, to backup a live database (as opposed to entire instance), without locking it.

Votes: 72

Created: December 24, 2018

Status: Future consideration

Gary Ben-Israel

7) IBM Informix Forum Corner

Join and visit the IBM Informix community forum at http://www.iiug.org/community

Recent posts

How to know what edition is installed ?

Wait on buffer log

ALLOW_NEWLINE

Space free , sysmaster and onstat_d output are different !!!!!

IDS 14.10 – RSS with Windows Server

New folder in the IIUG Software repository for functions/stored procs

Gary Ben-Israel

8) Informix Resources

IIUG website
www.iiug.org

IBM Informix community
http://www.iiug.org/community

8.1 Informix Blogs and Wikis

8.2 Technical articles

https://www.oninitgroup.com/technical-articles/

https://www.oninitgroup.com/faq-items/cloud-backups-with-informix-14-10/

8.3 Social Media

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/25049

Twitter : https://twitter.com/iiug

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/IIUG.Informix

8.4 Forums, Groups, Videos, and Magazines

Closing and Credits

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 Information 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 or rhonda@iiug.org

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