IIUG Insider (Issue #28)
30 May 2003
Highlights: Symposium Recap, Address Scraping No More, Largest DBs and More...
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.
- IBM Software Symposium 2003, a View from the Floor
- IIUG Adds New Web Site Contact Facility
- Winter Corp's Top Ten Program Survey
- IBM's InfoBahn Road Show Update
- IBM's Information Management Forum, a Worldwide Road Show
- IBM Webcast: Business Integration and the Role of Data Management
- Useful Links
- Closing and Credits
IBM Software Symposium 2003, a View from the Floor
IIUG Board members, Jean Georges Perrin and Neil Truby, attended last week's IBM Software Symposium 2003 in Munich, Germany. They manned IIUG's pedestal at the Symposium's "Solutions Showcase", which IBM offered in exchange for IIUG's promotion of the event. Following is Neil and Jean Georges' report from the Floor.
The stated aim of the Symposium was to "offer first-hand insight into IBM's software strategy and solutions... featuring IBM's DB2 Information Management (including Informix products), Lotus, Tivoli, WebSphere, and Rational Software". The Symposium contained a general keynote speech that was to have been given by former US diplomat Henry Kissinger (but he was replaced late on by Ricardo Semler), and keynotes for each of the four IBM Software Group brands including, of course, Information Management, given by Janet Perna. There were about five Informix-specific presentations amongst a total of 420 across the five IBM software group "pillars". The aim of IIUG taking the pedestal was to increase our exposure to Informix and other Information Management products users.
Our pedestal was with the other various Informix stands, on the outer edges of the DB2 Information Management Software (as it has now been re-branded) galaxy. As a freebie, we would of course expect our pedestal to be away from the prime locations. The Solutions Showcase was taken up almost entirely by IBM exhibits, with a few user groups, and perhaps 10 vendors/partners present also.
From an IIUG perspective, we found the Solutions Showcase very slow. Although there was ample opportunity to meet up with other IBMers, such as Paul Taylor, Don Top, Madison Pruet, John Miller III, and Dan Wood, the number of visitors to our stand was very low. Neil was told by one of the IBMers that only 3 Informix customers were represented at the Symposium. The other Informix stands, and indeed the other Information Management stands, also reported disappointing levels of interest.
We attended a few of the Informix-specific sessions but, because of the tiny number of Informix customers present, these tended quickly to settle into informal seated discussions between IBMers, customers and IIUGers.
The Symposium is, by European standards, extremely expensive, and as such would tend only to attract large companies: not always Informix's natural market. Neil spoke to an attendee he knew from an old assignment, who works for a major US bank in England. The gentleman had attended only because a late two-for-the-price-of one offer had been extended. He commented that the physical distance from between the Solutions Showcase and the Symposium proper (about 300m (or 300 yards)), and the lack of signage meant that he had not visited the Showcase at all :-(
By comparison with other events at which I had represented the IIUG, such as the IBM Information Management Conference in Anaheim, the opening hours of the Solutions Showcase were very long: typically 11:00 to 18:00, at times up to 21:00. Perhaps shorter periods, say 10:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 might have been more effective, especially as it conflicted with a lot of sessions so visitors had to choose between visiting the Solutions Showcase and attending conferences.
The technical sessions were really interesting, however we expected more Informix sessions and probably more introduction sessions to other brands, like "What does/is Tivoli?". Speakers were only IBMers.
The organisation of the Symposium was superb. From the moment that I was registered by the impossibly pretty, but cool, hostess, through the high-quality (and free) food and coffees, to the attractively-presented and well-equipped pedestal have been excellent.
The IBM West Region (France, Belgium and Luxembourg) organised a nice party on Monday night, where we all met in a typical Bavarian restaurant, with traditional food and music. You can imagine French people discovering Bavarian food with loud Bavarian music for a backdrop. For those familiar with French cinema, we kind of thought we were in "La Grande Vadrouille" (The Big Stroll).
Ms. Janet Perna came by the Solutions Showcase on its last day. By unfortunate (or fortunate?!) timing Neil had his one serious visitor of the session when she came, so I didn't get to speak to her much, nor to get her photo at the booth.
So, the Symposium was a good opportunity to network with IBM people, less so a vehicle to spread the word about the IIUG.
Neil and Jean Georges met really interesting people and wished to particularly thank Paul Cock and Jeannie Dumas for their help. We agreed that next year's Symposium will have a lot more Informix content and the IIUG EMEA team will work with IBM in that direction. Of course we will keep you informed!
IIUG Adds New Web Site Contact Facility
By David Smith, IIUG Board and ENews Editor
It may be one small step to combat e-mail SPAM, but the IIUG is proud nonetheless that it took action recently to remove "exposed" e-mail addresses on the IIUG web site which had been listed there for contacting IIUG Board members and Local User Group (LUG) leaders. These were replaced with a form-based contact facility that makes it more difficult for address collection programs used by spammers to harvest e-mail addresses from the IIUG site. This programming technique is sometimes referred to as scraping a site.
The form-based contact facility also makes it even easier to send a message to Board members and LUG leaders because it works from within the customer's Internet browser. An added bonus for mobile Board members is an internal facility to contact all Board members as a group using a similar form-based facility.
TIP: Since the e-mail contact form runs in a pop-up window, it may be necessary to temporarily turn off any pop-up blocking setting you may have on your browser in order to access and use the contact form.
If you would like to see the new facility in action, you can visit the Board member biography page at: http://www.iiug.org/iiug/board.html. From this location you can send a message to any Board member by clicking on the letter icon and link below each of the Board member's names.
Winter Corp's Top Ten Program Survey
Winter Corporation has announced a survey running from 1 May to 21 July to identify the largest commercial database implementations, the Top Ten Program Survey.
You may take the survey at http://www.wintercorp.com/VLDB/2003_TopTen_Survey/TopTen_Survey.asp. It is a two page electronic questionnaire, and is expected to take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
The Survey classifies databases by primary usage as transaction processing, or decision support systems.
The surveys are sorted by platform as all environments, only Unix, or only Windows NT/2000.
Within these parameters, the database metrics are:
- Most data (includes user data, summaries, aggregates and indexes, and excludes freespace and redundancy)
- Most rows, records or objects o Highest peak workload activity:
- For OLTP systems, the highest number of transactions per second
- For DSS systems, the highest number of concurrent, in-flight queries
So, no matter what platform: Linux, UNIX, or Windows; or workload: transaction or decision support, please consider submitting your Informix system(s) for this survey. Let's be sure that Informix is well-represented in the results.
Please see the Winter Corporation Web site at http://www.wintercorp.com/ for details. For 2001 survey results, please visit http://www.wintercorp.com/VLDB/2001_VLDB_Survey/Winneindex.php.
IBM's InfoBahn Road Show Update
Michael Hiskey, of IBM DB2 Information Management, Marketing, provided IIUG's ENews the following update on the ongoing and worldwide InfoBahn road show. Thanks, Michael!
We hope that you have had the opportunity to attend an InfoBahn Road Show in your area. About one quarter of the planned shows worldwide have now been completed. For IBM, InfoBahn has been a positive experience, highlighting the needs and concerns of an important customer base.
The InfoBahn Road Show is intended to provide IT professionals, line of business managers, technologists and executives from companies using and developing on Informix with the strategy and direction of IBM Software. Specifically, how IBM is delivering on our promise to enhance the Informix technology, providing continued value for our customers and business partners.
InfoBahn also discusses the future: Development paths of IBM database products will intersect to combine the best of Informix, DB2 Universal Database, and new functionality. No one will be forced to migrate, and IBM will continue to provide a logical upgrade path along the natural patterns of what customers need, performance, reliability and scalability, to achieve enhanced return on their investment.
IBM rates the success of these events not only on how many people attend, but also on recommitment to the Informix products, new interest in further development on Informix, and understanding from attendees on the vision that IBM is communicating around Informix.
At a typical InfoBahn, attendees would hear a presentation from an IBM executive like Don Top, Jerry Keesee, or Marcel Van Hulle. There is a continued, consistent message from IBM on the continued development of the Informix products, benefits of new IDS version 9.40, for which InfoBahn has been the primary showcase. In many cities, participants will also hear from their local Informix users group leader or an IIUG representative. Rounding this out is information on other IBM offerings that may be of interest, such as WebSphere, Tivoli, DB2 Information Integrator, DB2 Content Manager, etc.
Attendees of the InfoBahn have given very positive feedback. Over 200 customers came to the Mexico City InfoBahn, 220 in Korea, and over 100 in Taiwan. InfoBahn Road Shows in North America started in Dallas (March: 50 attendees), and have been all over the continent. We hope to visit a few more cities later this year there. In EMEA, we expect over 1000 attendees across over 15 countries and 20 cities.
The IIUG calendar of events includes the InfoBahn road show at http://www.iiug.org/calendar.
IBM's Information Management Forum, a Worldwide Road Show
Besides InfoBahn, the IBM Data Management (now DB2 Information Management Software) team is holding the Information Management Forum road show.
The Forum is targeted at new customers in growing small and medium businesses and is co-sponsored by IBM, local IBM business partners and application vendors. The events are intended to cover the full portfolio of IBM Information Management Software offerings in the context of leading third-party solutions targeted at Line of Business, c-level and senior IT management contacts.
You may see various audience generation devices - mail or e-mail and newspaper advertising - in some cities. Although this event is intended for organizations that are not yet taking advantage of IBM solutions, Informix customers and business partners may wish to attend to find out more about the other parts of the IBM Information Management portfolio and partner solutions.
To find out more information, including worldwide cities/countries, dates, etc. please visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/infomanagement/.
IBM Webcast: Business Integration and the Role of Data Management
Focused on technological excellence, IBM's Insight Exchange technology webcasts are a no-charge series of events open to technical professionals from all current and prospective IBM Business Partners. The series is designed to help its audience achieve greater competitive advantage by providing insight into directions for IT investment with access to luminaries of the industry.
Using primarily webcasts, complemented by interactive chats and live event-presentations, IBM high-level executives and leading technologists present their views on the highest priority and hottest technologies.
The next event, titled "Business Integration and the Role of Data Management", is scheduled for 4 June and features IBM's Dr. Nelson Mattos, Distinguished Engineer and Director of Information Integration. Dr. Mattos is responsible for establishing IBM's leadership in the emerging information integration market. Previously, he was a member of IBM Research and was responsible for IBM's presence on many database-related standards bodies.
For more information on this and other upcoming webcasts, please visit
In response to your input, we have created a new page on the IIUG web site
containing all the links we used to include. Please find it at:
Closing and Credits
The International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is an organization
designed to enhance communications between IBM and its worldwide
user community. IIUG's membership database now exceeds 17,000
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