IIUG Insider (Issue #246) January 2021

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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.

1) Editorial

Life is far from getting normal. But with the COVID-19 vaccine I hope things will get better for Informix, Informix users and everyone.

With the world still in lockdown the IIUG Board is working to provide content to your home and workplace. Technology gives a pretty good solution but I miss meeting you face to face.

Gary Ben-Israel

IIUG Insider Editor

IIUG Board of Directors

gary@iiug.org

2) Highlights

2.1 Virtual IIUG Conference and New IIUG Informix Tech Talks YouTube Channel

It has definitely been an interesting time since September 2019 when we met at our last International Informix Users Group (IIUG) Event. To put it mildly our daily routines are no longer routine. In spite of that, the International Informix Users Group has continued to keep our members apprised of all things Informix.

As we continue to move forward, the IIUG is proud to announce our FIRST virtual Informix technical event. Everything is going virtual and so are we. The 2021 IIUG Virtual Technical Conference will be held late April or early May, we are still working on the logistics. The event will be multi-day with different times to make it convenient for members to attend all or part the conference. The format of the conference will be a combination of 1-hour pre-recorded and live presentations. Prerecorded sessions will be presented with chat and discussion opportunities.

We are opening the Call for Speakers and will be accepting speaker abstracts through the month of February 2021. Visit the IIUG website to download your Speaker Abstract Worksheet.

Our conferences are driven by the user community and we always look forward to what our user speakers bring to the content of the IIUG conference. Do you have experience with Informix or Informix related products? Do you have real case studies related to Informix solutions? Have you discovered any Informix hints or tips? Are you interested in sharing your Informix knowledge and skills with the Informix User community? If the answer is yes to any of these questions the IIUG Conference Committee invites you to submit a proposal for this 2021 virtual event. This new format is ideal for those of you who have thought about sharing your knowledge but are uncomfortable speaking in front of others.

We aren’t stopping with IIUG Technical event, the IIUG is starting a new YouTube Informix Channel. We are looking for content to feature for this new IIUG venue. Maybe you already have a video you have recorded or maybe this is something you have thought of doing but were not sure how to reach your target audience.­­­­­ We can help each other get the word out. We want to help you.

Our first Informix Tech Talks will be February 25 at 2:00 PM EST. See the IIUG Corner below for more details and how to register or click here.

Keep checking our website for update on both of these new IIUG ventures. As always, if you have any question you can contact us at iiug@iiug.org.

Rhonda Hackenburg

IIUG Board and Conference Committee

3) IIUG Survey 2020

3.1 Follow up on GUI and SQL Tools

One thing that popped out in the Survey is the lack of GUI tool for Informix. Of course, we had Informix OAT (OpenAdmin Tool) and now we have Informix HQ, but still, a number of you mentioned lack of good GUI when asked “What does Informix need to better meet your expectations”. Answers varied from GUI tool that could be used for administration to a good SQL tool that speaks Informix dialect very well.

As I am particularly interested in this topic, I’d like to do a personal investigation on this, and try to help to build a better GUI tool for Informix, and/or to compile a list of good third-party software that could be used with Informix (e.g. such as AGS’s Server Studio and Sentinel). So I’m asking for your quick input again.

Please, take 2 minutes of your time, and drop me a short e-mail to ognjen@iiug.org on (some, or all of) these topics:

  • What do you expect of Informix HQ that’s not already there?
  • Do you use any other third-party tool for administration? Which one? Does it fully support your needs?
  • Do you use any SQL tool (other than DBAccess)? Which one? Does it speak Informix dialect well?
  • Is there any third-party SQL tool that doesn’t support Informix dialect, and you would like to use it with Informix? (for me, to create a wish-list)

Thank you, in advance, for your time. Stay healthy and stay tuned for more of the survey insights and thoughts!

Ognjen Orel

IIUG Board

4) IIUG Corner

4.1 IIUG Informix Tech Talks Webcast – February 25, 2021

We will be launching a new channel on YouTube for Informix Users! This will be a place for Informix how-to videos. More information will be coming soon.

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021, 2:00 pm EST

Title: Three ways to capture data changes when they happen!

Description: Informix supports three technologies that we can use to capture changes to our data as they happen:

  • The Change Data Capture API
  • Push Data Triggers (aka Smart Triggers the Java API for Push Data Triggers)
  • Asynchronous Post Commit Triggers

The Webcast is a survey of the three methods.

Bio: Art Kagel is a consultant working in the areas of database design and administration with a concentration on server performance. He has been working with Informix products since the first SQL release in 1983. After over fourteen years filling various roles for Bloomberg Corporation, Mr. Kagel returned to consulting in 2007, mainly supporting organizations using Informix database, but also accepting other projects in database management, database architecture, and data based applications design and development. Mr. Kagel is a recipient of the International Informix Users Group’s (IIUG) Directors’ Award and has been named an IBM Champion for Information Management by IBM Corporation thirteen times through 2021. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the IIUG and on the Rutgers University Big Data Advisory Board.

Art S. Kagel, President, and Principal Consultant

ASK Database Management

www.askdbmgt.com

Click here for more information.

Please register here.

4.2 Informix Administration (800) – Certification

Which statement is correct about IBM Informix v.14 certification?

( ) Certification?? We don’t need no stinkin’ certification!

( ) IBM is no longer interested in offering product certification.

( ) Isn’t a certification test available now? I took one for v.12 a few years ago.

(x!) A test is currently in development and will be available through the IIUG by mid-year.

Explanation:

The last option is correct. An Informix “product badge” (IBM’s new nomenclature) exam is beginning the review stage as you read this. The exam team plans on having it available by the middle of this year. It will be offered through the IIUG and available world-wide, not just at conferences or other significant events. Watch the Insider for more information on when, where and how you can take the test once it’s released.

Carlton Doe

IBM

5) Informix Corner

5.1 IBM Webcast February 24, 2021

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 between 9:30am-10:30am (Central)
Title: “Looking Ahead with IBM Informix in 2021”
Description:

Join IBM Informix Offering Management to hear the 2021 plans for IBM Informix.
The team will also share how it listens to clients and partners by reviewing requests for enhancements submissions.
We look forward to updating you!

Save your seat now!

5.2 Your Ideas Shape the Future

The Informix community’s contribution to feature enhancements, through IBM Aha! , helps shape and prioritize future development. We actively review the submissions and are committed to work through the requests. During review, updates are made to show what is next in priority. Your votes help prioritize requests. Don’t forget to upvote for submissions that matter most to you.

What are Stages for Requests?

The first status that is changed is when an idea goes from “Submitted” to “Under Review”. In this initial review, the architects will determine if more information is needed, if the request is defect, if it is already implemented, or if there is enough information to move it to “Future Consideration” or “Not Under Consideration”. Future consideration features are continuously prioritized internally. Another key status is “Planned for future release”. This status shows we have moved requests to a higher priority and are starting to capture and refine requirements.

Become a Design Partner

If you are interested in features that are in “Planned for Future Release”, help us help you by becoming a Design Partner today! Design Partners work closely with the development team from design, to defining user scenarios and all the way through to pre-release testing to help us meet your expectations and resolve your pain points.

Sign up today by contacting:

Karen Qualley, Karen.Qualley@hcl.com

Shelly Clark, ShellyC@hcl.com

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

IDS 12.10 syspurge enhancement

We are experiencing locking errors during IBM Informix Dynamic Server syspurge causing a failure to complete syspurge specifically with tables using interval fragmentation. We understand that currently IBM cannot guarantee that there will not be concurrency issues however, we are requesting an enhancement to mitigate exclusive locking issues while using online attach and detach functions.

Votes: 1

Created January 20, 2020

Status: Submitted

Allow stored procedure conflict resolution on receive-only targets for Enterprise Replication

Currently stored procedure conflict resolution is not allowed on a receive-only participant, but when there are multiple sources and one target, even though the target is receive-only, there can be situations where more advanced logic is needed to determine how conflicts should be resolved.

This will require calling a stored procedure for doing more fine-grained control on how the conflict should be solved.

Votes: 1

Created January 19, 2020

Status: Submitted

unable to update an existing column with varchar definition.

a column defined as varchar returns an error “no more extents” when tried to update. Work around is tedious as we need to unload millions of records, then reload it again.

Votes: 1

Created January 4, 2020

Status: Planned for future release

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: 106 (+2)

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 (+0)

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 (+0)

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 (+0)

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 can I see in sysmaster if my instance is ‘currently running a checkpoint’

Can I get the version information in the ifxjdbcx.jar file?

ifxbkpcloud.jar stucked

moving to virtual servers, have questions

Unused Indexes

Questions regarding VMs

Gary Ben-Israel

IIUG Board

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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