IIUG Insider (Issue #17)
27 December 2002
Highlights: Jean Georges Speaks, Hal Profiled, New Download, www.ibm.com/informix
Welcome to the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) Insider! Designed
for IIUG members and Informix user group leaders, this contains timely
and relevant information for the IBM Informix community.
- Jean Georges Perrin, IIUG ENews Editor at Large, Writes
Year End Note
- Profiling Hal Maner, IIUG Board Member
- Webcast: "IBM Informix Product Roadmap - Securing Your
- Informix and the 2003 IBM Training Catalog
- Informix Today's Year End Issue Has Published
- We Passed, IBM Paid, By Neil Truby, IIUG Board Member
and UK Resident
- Sunset for www.informix.com... Now www.ibm.com/informix
- IBM Informix OnLine Extended Edition v.5.20 Download
- Useful Links
- Closing and Credits
Jean Georges Perrin, IIUG ENews Editor at Large,
Writes Year End Note
When the IIUG Nominations Committee contacted me in late August, telling
me I had been elected to the 2003 IIUG Board, I felt proud.
When my IIUG ENews team suggested that I do this Insider's editorial,
I felt honored.
Being a Director of the IIUG is not an easy task. It is hard to get
in a group that did good things and to match their expectations. Worse
thing: being European, I needed to get in a group where "A4"
means a car and who measures things in "inches". To be honest,
none of them tried to convert me to Californian Cabernet Sauvignon,
so our common culture is preserved.
That's exactly it: our culture. We share the same culture: the Informix
We need to preserve the elements that have built and created this culture.
This culture is present worldwide and is appreciated differently under
all latitudes and longitudes.
Preserving this culture is the goal of all IIUG directors with the
help of all, through your membership, through your local user groups,
through your participation in IIUG special interest discussion forums
Don't be fooled: from Strasbourg (France) to Phoenix (Arizona, US)
via Bondi Beach, (Sydney, Australia), Singapore, Dubai (United Arab
Emirates) or Casablanca (Morocco), Informix culture is different and
felt differently. IBM, now vouching this culture, is advocated differently
based on their culture. IBM is not a monolithic block with one voice.
They are live, they are active, they are different. It is a difficult
task for a bunch of volunteers to get the same results everywhere, but
we are working to get the best out of it.
Let's open our minds and extend the international Informix culture!
Finally, I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, for those
of you that will celebrate. Thus in France, we wait usually for January
1st, I wish you a happy and prosperous year with Informix and the IIUG
Profiling Hal Maner, IIUG Board Member
ENews continues profiling IIUG's Board. In this issue, Hal Maner responds
to our questionnaire. Find out more about this and other aspects of
Hal's life and interests by reading his entire profile:
Q: How do you use Informix in your "real" job (DBA, Consultant,
A: I have been curious and fortunate enough to use Informix technology
at all capacities - DBA, developer, sysadmin, and consultant. I run
an IBM Informix partner company that offers software development, database
administration, and system administration services so I need to be well
versed in all aspects. In addition to DBA and sysadmin work, most of
my Informix technology use lately has revolved around writing Java application
and DataBlade code against IDS 9.30, writing 4GL, C, and New Era code
against all versions of IDS, and again writing
Java code against Cloudscape.
Q: How long have you been using Informix products?
A: I started using Informix technology in 1993 with ESQL/C, 4GL 4.0,
Online 5.0! I was working for a large manufacturing company at the time.
I was offered a choice between a promotion to a manager position in
a non-Informix team, and a lateral move to an Informix team as a programmer/analyst.
I chose the latter, not knowing much about Informix at that time - but
it turned out to be the right decision for me!
Q: What is your role on the IIUG Board?
A: This is my second year on the Board. During my first year I developed
a process for collecting and publishing metrics about our membership,
i.e. how many members we have from each country, each state in the USA,
growth rate, etc. I still manage this process and run the monthly metrics.
I also developed a process for IIUG to prepare and launch surveys; we
started using this process with the last anniversary survey and continued
with the Web DataBlade survey.
I also have been known to play the "international advocate"
role within the IIUG Board - making an effort to ensure Informix technology
and IIUG are well represented outside the United States and in turn
the members from all countries are well represented in our advocacy.
Q: Why did you volunteer to be on the board?
A: I wanted to voice "experiences from the field", mine and
other users' and wanted to make sure that IBM heard them. I have a special
passion for Informix products and I wanted to be actively involved in
their future and make a positive contribution.
Q: What do you want to accomplish this year on the Board?
A: This year, in addition to the above roles, "Blue Arrowhead"
advocacy and starting a LUG in the Balkans (Turkey/Greece/Bulgaria/Romania)
are my priorities.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. I came to the United
States for graduate studies and stayed after receiving my master's degree.
New York City has always been an "adopted home city" for me
in the US, but my home, for the past 17 years has been in North Carolina.
I currently live and work in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Q: Best Informix story?
A: I have been involved with several past and current Informix applications
which have been running with 100% uptime: bulletproof systems. Some
of these were under the same roof with systems running the Oracle database.
On more than one occasion, I witnessed an Oracle database/application
crash and burn to never be alive again, and I am talking about large
applications worth several hundred thousand dollars here... This opened
the eyes of management and users when they compared these with our Informix
applications, which did not even blink but kept
running day and night...
Q: Worst Informix nightmare.
A: To see Informix stock nosedive for good once the IBM acquisition
Q: Can you tell us about your family and hobbies outside of the IIUG?
A: I am married and I have a seven year old daughter, Morgan Deniz.
I played basketball through College in Turkey and basketball is still
very important to me. So are rowing (and anything that has to do with
the sea) and Eastern philosophies/martial arts.
See Hal and other members of the IIUG Board of directors as captured
attending the recent WAIUG Forum 2002 at http://www.iiug.org/iiug/09nov02_board3.html.
Webcast: "IBM Informix Product Roadmap -
Securing Your Future"
IIUG ENews received the following notification from IBM.
Don Top, IBM VP, Informix Customer Advocacy Executive (formerly, VP,
Informix Product Development) has been traveling around the world presenting
this message, enthusiastically received at IBM Informix InfoBahn Roadshows,
IIUG meetings, conferences and events. Take the time to listen to Don
present "IBM Informix Product Roadmap - Securing Your Future"
and encourage your Informix customers and business partners to do the
In under an hour, Don will review:
- IBM's long-term commitment to supporting and enhancing the Informix
- How the acquisition of Informix is accelerating the IBM Data Management
- The reasons for choosing DB2 as the code base for fulfilling the
Informix Arrowhead vision.
- How the Informix Arrowhead vision of converging best technology
into a single product lives on.
- IBM's and Informix's heritage of protecting legacy application investment
while innovating next generation products.
This webcast will be available through March 31, 2003. Instructions:
Link to www.ibm.com/informix.
Select Events => Webcasts.
Don also outlines the Informix product line strategy in a recent interview
with Jerry Hamilton, IIUG President. Here, he underscores IBM's continued
commitment to producing new Informix product releases for as long as
customers require them. Please take a few minutes to read this interview,
posted on the IBM Informix Product Family site: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/pubs/loyalty.html.
You can also get there via the IIUG homepage: www.iiug.org.
Informix and the 2003 IBM Training Catalog
Folks, as a result of an inquiry by the IIUG regarding the scant covering
of Informix education in the "2003 IBM Technical Training Services
Catalog", IBM has provided the following formal response.
Thanks so much for bringing to our attention the forum discussions
about the 2003 IBM Technical Training Services Catalog.
Key to our strategy is integrating Informix training and certification
offerings into IBM's Data Management portfolio to ensure we meet the
ongoing needs of the Informix community. To increase awareness, we've
used a variety of web and hard copy communication vehicles and continue
to more fully integrate Informix offerings into the IBM Technical Training
Services Catalog. Expect to see more Informix training information in
the catalog in the spring update.
As IBM advances the Informix technologies, Informix training is key
to these plans. We continue to add new training offerings, such as the
recent CyberSeries, a web-delivered lecture for IDS maintenance customers.
Additionally, the portfolio of training offerings includes product release
updates, new e-learning for job roles, as well as updates to Informix
certification. Specifically, there will be new Informix offerings to
support the release of IDS 9.4 in March. Earlier in the year, the integration
of Informix into the IBM Data Management Conference was completed with
the availability of the parallel Informix conference, including sessions
and tutorials and free Informix certification testing.
To ensure customers can more readily find current information on Informix
training and certification, we have increased the visibility of Informix
offerings on the web at
As well, Informix is listed on the IBM Software home page at: http://www.ibm.com/software/.
Training and certification info can also be found at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education.html.
Please feel free to publish this information in your forums and newsletter.
As well, we'd like to regularly contribute Informix Training and Certification
information in 2003. I look forward to working with you on this.
IBM Data Management Skills Opportunity and Awareness
IIUG will continue to remain vigilant and respond to issues affecting
our membership, such as this one. Your individual input is always welcome
Informix Today's Year End Issue Has Published
The latest edition starts with a nice intro by Don Top, IBM's Informix
Customer Advocate Executive:
"Welcome to the final Informix Today of 2002. We should name it
"Informix This Year" as this newsletter is reviewing the highlights
of the year that is drawing very quickly to a close. Inside you'll be
hearing from several members of the Informix Loyalty team reporting
on the recent InfoBahn road shows, the conferences held and some of
the customer successes of the past year.
Personally, I've really enjoyed meeting more Informix users this year
than any year in my long tenure at Informix. The very calling of an
advocate requires that one meet and listen to one's constituents. As
your advocate to the Data Management executive team, I've enjoyed hearing
from many of you and representing your interests in our planning meetings.
I've also appreciated your feedback as we've communicated our product
roadmaps. Enjoy the rest of our newsletter but even more importantly,
enjoy friends and family during this holiday season. Happy holidays
and a blessed New Year!"
Content highlights are:
- Review of 2002 Informix Conferences
- InfoBahn's 2002
- Informix-4GL Future at IBM
Please find this issue at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/informixtoday/archives/
or via the IIUG homepage (www.iiug.org).
If you have not yet registered to receive Informix Today by e-mail,
we encourage you to do so at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/informixtoday/.
We Passed, IBM Paid, By Neil Truby, IIUG Board
Member and UK Resident
My company specializes in providing general support for database systems,
and also in technical solutions, particularly in the integration of
database systems and storage area networks to provide fast and accurate
backup and recovery.
We used to enjoy the very personal feel of the Informix company and
its support of partners such as ourselves and, following the acquisition,
were somewhat daunted by the far more rigorous PartnerWorld programmes
offered by IBM. However, recognizing that the IBM acquisition offers
great opportunities (as well as challenges) to the adaptable, we were
encouraged by Neil Mulkern, IBM Partner Development Manager, to take
advantage of the PartnerWorld "You Pass, We Pay" scheme to
As three of the six full-time members of my team are already IDS accredited,
we decided to focus on DB2 UDB certification. The basics of this scheme
are that, in return for the purchase of a "ValuePack" for
PartnerWorld for Software members, training and testing fees for qualifying
certifications will be reimbursed by IBM (up to a limit).
Accordingly, I took the opportunity to do a DB2 introduction course
at the IBM Data Management Conference in Anaheim and passed test 512
(DB2 UDB family fundamentals), whilst my colleague Andy did self-study
back in the UK and passed the same test. Then last week we both attended
the (excellent) 4-day IBM DB2 UDB for UNIX/NT course in Fanborough,
UK. This week, we both took exam 513 (DB2 UDB System Administration).
The pass mark is an easy-peasy-sounding 55% but in reality the exam
is hugely difficult, but both of us passed and are DB2 UDB Certified
Systems Experts. (In Andy's case the incentive to pass was that we told
him if he failed and we didn't get the course costs reimbursed, we'd
have to lay him off!)
I think the "You Pass, We Pay" scheme is an excellent incentive
to enhance skills and accreditation. As a small company we have been
able to train and accredit two people, where without the scheme we would
not have been able to afford to do so. Of course this benefits us, but
IBM's bet is that it will benefit them in the long run, by having better-trained
partners out in the
field. As with any scheme there are hoops to jump through: the ValuePack
costs US $2,000 (although by waiting until the latter part of the year
we got it for a more affordable US $1,000!). And, having completed the
training on 6th December, we had but a short time to the 31st to complete
We've received US $3,500's worth of training and testing for an outlay
of US $1,000. That is a generous programme by anyone's standards.
Finally, I would stress that the scheme would have applied to IDS certifications
also, had we chosen to follow that route.
This is a reminder that IBM will stop re-directing www.informix.com
automatically to the newer product family home page on January 1st,
Please bookmark www.ibm.com/informix.
IBM Informix OnLine Extended Edition v.5.20 for
Linux - Download Available
IBM has kindly offered a free download of the new IBM Informix Online
Extended Edition v.5.20 for Linux via IIUG. Thanks Anita Chung, Enrique
Macaraeg and Sai Cunchala!
IIUG members may now get it from within the Member Area. Please use
the personalized link provided at the end of this issue.
As mentioned in a prior issue of the IIUG Insider, OnLine Extended
Edition is a new name for two popular Informix products: Informix OnLine
and Informix STAR. With this release, IBM adds distributed computing
to the proven database server at no extra cost.
Version 5.20 includes the following features:
- Rapid Application Development (RAD) Tools That Support Pipe Connectivity.
Instead of utilizing a TCP/IP loopback connection with Informix Star
or Informix Net, RAD tools - such as IBM Informix 4GL and IBM Informix
SQL, version 7.31 or later - use pipes to communicate with OnLine
Extended Edition 5.20 servers running on the same machine. Using OnLine
Extended Edition 5.20 with the 7.31 tools saves the cost of purchasing
Informix Net or Informix Star separately. Customers who are still
using the version 4.x tools can upgrade to OnLine Extended Edition
5.20 and take advantage of the many language enhancements in the version
- Support for Greater than 2 GB Chunk Offsets. Increase your ROI with
this performance-enhancing feature, which utilizes the entire capacity
of the disk drive. It eliminates the need to partition the drive into
smaller logical devices and employ logical volume managers. Maximize
use of the latest computer hardware - and save money you would otherwise
needlessly spend on third party storage management solutions.
For more information, visit IBM's official product announcement http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/online5/extended/announcement.html
and replay the IBM/IIUG webcast on the subject (http://www.iiug.org/resources/webcasts/webcast_replay_12dec02.html).
The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an organization designed
to enhance communications between IBM and its worldwide user community.
IIUG now exceeds 16,000 members 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