IIUG Insider (Issue #245) December 2020

Highlights: Letter from IBM GM: Daniel Hernandez

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.


Happy New Year to all Informix users.

2020 was not an easy year. I hope 2021 will be better. To all of you, Informix and your companies.

We are thinking about a virtual conference. It is hard to believe we will be able to have regular conference. We all hope that 2022 will be a regular year.

Best wishes,

Gary Ben-Israel

IIUG Insider Editor

IIUG Board of Directors



Letter from IBM GM: Daniel Hernandez

Informix Fanatics –

I hope this message finds you all healthy and safe.

IBM Data and AI has been executing on our strategy to win the client journey in Hybrid Cloud and AI. We are achieving this by:

  1. Helping clients making ALL data accessible and ready for AI. …supporting all data types and workloads, available across the end to end hybrid/multi-cloud environment, and for different form factors and consumption models.

  2. Providing a unified experience with IBM Cloud Pak for Data. …driving consistency and integration across the complete portfolio to reduce TCO, accelerate time to value, and simplify the skills required.

  3. Focusing on client centricity by listening to client feedback and ensuring client satisfaction as measured by NPS survey measures.

Informix is key to the Data and AI strategy.

With this blog I’d like to reiterate 4 points in terms of Informix positioning (#1 and #2 below), the vitality and innovation we’re bringing to market (#3), and our partnership with HCL (#4).

1) Core database marketIBM Informix database supports online transaction processing (OLTP), embedded partner solutions, and data warehouse / analytical workloads. IBM Informix has built a loyal base of clients/partners and a solid reputation for its ease of use and high reliability.

A few highlights to point out –

  • Clients specifically choose Informix for unique features like Time-series or differentiated support for highly distributed operations

  • Thousands of clients have use Informix for mission critical applications for decades. “It just works”

  • Informix’s reliability was made for pandemics. Despite a pandemic year, total 2020 WW revenue is higher than in 2019

Informix clients and partners know great technology and we love them for it. Our every objective is to ensure a top notch client experience with a return on investment unmatched in the industry.

2) New Edge and IoT marketsInformix has the ability to run unattended inside an astonishingly small footprint. This positions Informix uniquely for embedded and IoT, edge gateway solutions within many industries.

  • Gartner identified Edge Computing as a Top 10 strategic trend in 2017. IBM Informix is well suited to exploit the growth as the only enterprise class database in the space

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Data will leverage the unique capabilities of Informix for extending its reach to edge analytics and bringing AI closer to the point of origin

  • IBM Informix won the Supplier Appreciation award from a leading networking company for the Excellence in Quality two years in a row (an exceptional embedded solution)

3) IBM Informix Cloud Pak for Data cartridge v14.10This quarter Informix is now offered through a certified container on IBM Cloud Pak for Data running on Red Hat OpenShift.

  • Informix clients will benefit by modernizing their online transaction processing (OLTP) and replication workloads with a wide array of IBM and partner services including Data Virtualization, Watson Studio, Watson Discovery among many others

  • Informix cartridge will be aggressively enhanced in 2021 and beyond to bring an even tighter integration and unified experience to the loyal Informix client base

4) HCL partnership – In April 2017, IBM announced a 15-year IPP for the Informix product family with HCL. HCL performs the development and support of Informix while IBM continues to market, sell, and handle all Informix transactions.

Thank you for your commitment to Informix!

Informix Fan,

Daniel Hernandez

GM, IBM Data and AI


IIUG Survey 2020

IIUG Survey 2020 – We are listening!

Continuing our series of survey-related articles, we’d like to address some of IIUG related questions. You may have noticed that several questions were related to IIUG and what we as an organization, do for you and for Informix.

First of all, the important message we want to communicate is: we are listening. We have already taken steps to improve what we do, based on your input, as you may have read in the last month’s Insider. We also decided to hold (a shorter) survey periodically, in order to keep track on how we are doing.

Here are some of the 2020 survey results regarding several aspects of our work.

Events. 49.84% of you attended some kind of Informix event in the last 5 years. Those of you who did not, stated the lack of budget and the distance as main reasons for not attending.

We also asked what type of events you are most likely to attend (see the picture; this was a multiple answer question, that’s why percentages don’t add up). Not surprisingly, most people would love to have local events, but there is also interest for bigger, world events as well. Most interested in the big events are business partners and IBM / HCL people.

One other interesting thing to notice is that younger people (i.e., in our case: those with shorter Informix experience) are more inclined to local events, and veterans (those with 20+ years of Informix experience) are more open to travel and longer events.

IIUG’s reaction: We will continue to work with local user groups, business partners and IBM/HCL to bring more local events to the calendar. In the light of current pandemic, we will also hold online events as well.

What do you recognize IIUG for? We asked you to choose one or more answers to see what IIUG means to you. We see IIUG is most recognized for bringing news from the world of Informix, but also there is room to grow regarding recognition of our software and tools repository and organization of events.

Getting news from the world of Informix


Providing a network of Informix experts


A place to go for software and tools


Organization of Informix events


Looking at the breakdown of these answers by a respondent category we found some other interesting information: even though less than 50% of all respondents recognized IIUG for organizing Informix events, 81% of IBM/HCL did.

IIUG’s reaction: We will work better to promote the software and tools repository, work on new events as well and participate in further growing the network of experts. We will also work on the promotion of what we do, in order to raise awareness of that.

Insider content. We also asked about the content of the Insider, wishing to improve the value it brings to you. This was a free-text response, so we had to categorize them. There were some answers regarding the promotion of open source and improving the editorial, publishing the Informix roadmap, bringing business news from the world of Informix and similar. Large number of answers fall into categories tech news and tips and use cases (more than 52%), meaning most of our readers would like to read more technical stuff.

IIUG’s reaction: Our first focus is to bring more technical content to the Insider and to further enrich it. We aim to have at least one technical article per Insider. We are in contact with both IBM and HCL, trying to force more technical articles to be written by them as well, which we would promote. We also count on all of you, who already have something published, to bring it to our attention, so we can promote it and direct all our readers to your work – whether it is a tech article, a piece of working code, software review, etc.

In conclusion. As you can see, IIUG continues to work on keeping the Informix community alive. We are using the survey results to make the world a more Informix-friendly place – communicating with IBM and HCL on what’s expected from them and learning what can we do better. We use this opportunity to call all of you to action again – ask, discuss, answer, participate, write, publish, communicate, share – your actions will not go unnoticed. Get in touch via IBM Community forums or e-mail (iiug@iiug.org) or feel free to reach out to an IIUG Board member and we will help promote it.

Stay healthy and stay tuned for more of the survey insights and thoughts!

Ognjen Orel

IIUG Board of Directors

How to

Generating random numbers across the hole instance

  IF seed = 1 THEN
  LET d = (seed * 1103515245) + 12345;
  LET seed = d - 4294967296 * TRUNC(d / 4294967296);

  RETURN MOD(TRUNC(seed / 65536), 32768);

Vicente Salvador

RFE Corner

IBM has an RFE – Request For Enhancements website.


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

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

IBM Informix Forum Corner

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

Recent posts

Setting a user to Read only access

Spot the difference


Gary Ben-Israel

Informix Resources

IIUG website

IBM Informix community

Informix Blogs and Wikis

Technical articles



Social Media

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

Twitter : https://twitter.com/iiug

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

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

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.

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