IIUG Insider (Issue #39)
31 October 2003
Highlights: Annual General Meeting, Leadership, Conference Highlights & 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.
- IIUG's Annual General Meeting
- User Group Leaders Meet in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas Conference... What It Meant to Me
- DB2 Magazine Article on IDS/DataBlades User Telegnomic
- Renewing IDS v7? You Might Save with IDS WE v9 Instead
- Summary of Current IBM Informix Promotions
- IBM's On Demand Computing... What Is It?
- Latest Informix Additions to DB2 Developer Domain
- Useful Links
- Closing and Credits
IIUG's Annual General Meeting
IIUG held its Annual General meeting at the IBM Data Management Technical Conference in Las Vegas, last Tuesday, 28 October. This hour-long meeting is a tradition for IIUG and its purpose is to detail to IIUG's membership the highlights from the past year, confer the IIUG Directors Award and to introduce next year's president.
The meeting was hosted by out-going IIUG president Jerry Hamilton. Jerry started the meeting by recognizing each board member for their hard work and their many contributions in 2003. He then shared membership growth metrics that showed IIUG grew by 26% so far in 2003. Not quite as much growth as the previous year of 64%, but growth nonetheless. Other metrics for 2003 that were presented included the incredible amount of software product downloads that have taken place from iiug.org which measure in the thousands, total active members eclipsing 19,000, the over 10,000 members who receive the "Insider" publication and the 8+ million hits on iiug.org.
Jerry suggested that IIUG expand the number and types of products and services it currently offers, to focus on a few critical projects instead of trying to manage hundreds and asked for more volunteers.
The IIUG Directors Award was introduced by Stuart Litel. It is presented to individuals who have worked on behalf of IIUG beyond the call of duty. Past recipients have included Lester Knutsen, Walt Hultgren, Jonathan Leffler, Art Kagel and Carlton Doe.
Fred Hubbard announced the first of two recipients in an emotional mini-speech that resulted in a surprising audience applause when it became clear that Christine Shannon was being recognized. Christine was the first Informix User Group Program Manager.
Ron Flannery announced the second recipient of the Directors Award. It was Mark Scranton. Ron expressed the IIUG Board's gratitude for Mark's tireless educational efforts and endless support of IIUG and its local user groups.
Congratulations to Christine and Mark.
Stuart Litel was introduced as next year's IIUG president. His plans for next year include building on an already solid working relationship with IBM to obtain the best of Informix built into DB2 and offered to work with anyone on any issue faced by IIUG's membership regarding IBM's commitment to Informix.
User Group Leaders Meet in Las Vegas
The annual Informix User Group Leadership Council (IUGLC) meeting took place on Saturday, 25 October, in advance of the IBM Data Management Technical Conference in Las Vegas, NV.
This meeting is hosted by the IIUG Board of Directors and was open to participants of the Informix user community who are active in the leadership of an Informix Local User Group (LUG) or members of the IIUG Advisory Council.
The meeting carried on the great tradition of bringing together user group leaders from around the world to discuss news and highlights on the latest IIUG LUG support initiatives, review Informix user group successes and opportunities, share best practices and network with fellow LUG leaders.
We were also happy to have several IBM representatives present to discuss their support for Informix LUG initiatives, and news regarding the Informix products and programs.
As part of the meeting, we reviewed some of the successes that we have been a part of over the last 12 months or so. A couple of those highlights included the fact that there were nearly 60 individual LUG related events worldwide. We also listed and promoted the IBM Informix roadshow called the "InfoBahn" that occurred about 85 times, which on a handful of occasions doubled as a LUG meeting and even helped to be the start of a new LUG.
Many thanks to the 35 dedicated and committed souls who gave up their Saturday in Las Vegas to attend and contribute to the meeting, and for their dedication to their respective user groups and related activities.
Our thanks also to the IBM representatives who braved the candid and yet constructive information exchange.
Las Vegas Conference... What It Meant to Me
Several individuals wrote to the IIUG Insider willing to share their insight on the just-finished IBM Data Management Technical Conference. Their contributions follow:
Steve Berg, of New York, USA, said:
- Even after 5 conferences, I still haven't learned everything
- I still don't understand DB2, but if I wait a while it will
look "more like" IDS - IDS features being ported to DB2.
- Informix is alive and well at IBM - There are more developers
workings on IDS now than ever before.
- Informix DBAs are so command line centric IBM is adding
"onstat like" commands to DB2.
- IDS 9.2 is category 4 - "Time to move"
- I need a wireless connection
- All the smokers in NY have moved to Las Vegas.
Jean Georges Perrin, of France, said:
The most interesting thing I learned at this conference was actually at 6:45 AM ... Due to overall time constraints, we had an early meeting, called "DB2 for Informix Opinion Leaders". During this presentation, IBM explained to the audience the roadmap for convergence of IDS and DB2, you may have heard of this under the codename "Arrowhead". It is looking promising and indeed interesting and they insisted on the fact that, thus DB2 will be a very exciting database for Informix users, IDS will continue to be there with 9.5 and even later on.
Another very interesting item is IBM commitment to the future of I4GL thru the introduction of WebSphere Enterprise Generation Language (EGL). IBM's I4GL and WebSphere teams are committed to produce a very interesting fourth generation language, which will certainly please all I4GL users, due to its simplicity, its familiar constructs and statements and a whole new world of opportunity through great new features... I sincerely hope I will have more public information to share with you soon...
Jack Dotson, of Kansas, USA, said:
- We had the opportunity to get together as an Informix team and share and compare ideas about the future of Informix.
- We got to see how Informix fits in with the DB2 Data Management world and were able to suggest how Informix may play a role in complementing IBM's strategies.
- We had the opportunity to show IBM our presence.
- If you live in a town where they are coming up with all sorts of anti-smoking laws, Las Vegas will give you your second hand smoke quota for the year. Smoke everywhere, inside and outside!
And Walt Hultgren, of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, said:
The quality of the break-out sessions this year continued a trend of improvement over the last few years. The content was varied and high-quality on the whole. The time allotted for each session was an hour and 15 minutes, which gave more time for in-depth coverage of topics. A number of sessions were repeated, giving people a better chance of seeing everything they wanted.
While the Informix content of the conference was significant, another trend that seemed to be reflected was the diminishing percentage of attendees who were clearly in the Informix camp. Whether this impression is in fact true is hard to gauge. I don't know what the actual numbers were. Plus, while the Informix sessions often had significant attendance, they were held in the smaller of the session rooms.
An additional aspect that makes it difficult to calculate Informix vs. DB2 numbers is the continued merging of the two worlds, both in the technical and demographic sense. There was information presented on an increasing number of both client and server-side offerings from IBM that can access both IDS and DB2 databases. There were also announcements of more IDS capabilities planned for incorporation in DB2.
A final note is that there was more of a "getting on with business" attitude in evidence among Informix users. We are still presenting our case forcefully for the things we want to see in IBM products and services, but the atmosphere was less strident and accusatory than in the past. The key will be to maintain a dialog with IBM. I am happy to report that it's my observation that IIUG is prepared to do just that.
DB2 Magazine Article on IDS/DataBlades User Telegnomic
Long-term IIUG member and Informix book author, Joe Lumbley, was published in the Quarter 4, 2003, issue of DB2 Magazine. His article is titled "Smart Wells and Smarter Databases" and can be read on the web here.
Joe opens his article by saying: "Telegnomic uses Informix Dynamic Server and DataBlades to pump intelligence from its customers' reservoirs of process control system information." And goes on to explain how Telegnomic achieves technical excellence and business success with Informix technology.
Renewing IDS v7? You Might Save with IDS WE v9 Instead
If you are on the verge of renewing your IDS Enterprise Edition v7, you might consider buying IDS Workgroup Edition v9 instead and save money.
Since IBM announced its 16 September 2003 price reduction for IDS Workgroup Edition v9, not only is the renewal of IDS EE v7 more expensive than buying IDS WE v9 new, but the renewal costs for IDS WE v9 are a fraction of those for IDS v7 EE.
Find out more by contacting your IBM representative or friendly IBM reseller.
The price reduction announcement mentioned above can be found at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/ids/workgroup/newprice.html.
Summary of Current IBM Informix Promotions
The following three promotions are currently available to worldwide customers of IBM Informix products. The first one is particularly time-sensitive as it is only good through the end of 2003:
- IBM Informix Dynamic Server Upgrade Rebate Promotion (expires December 31, 2003)
For a limited time only, receive a rebate of up to $16,797 if you acquire an eligible new IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) trade up software license and an eligible new IDS software license. The amount of the rebate will vary based upon the eligible licenses acquired and the quarter in which they are acquired.
The eligible software licenses must be acquired at the same time (on the same invoice) for a single customer location. A customer location is defined as a single building with a single mailing address.
For more information, please click here.
- Informix and Websphere Bundles
The IBM Informix and WebSphere Bundles advance e-business on demand in global Informix environments. The powerful combination of IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) V9.4 and WebSphere V5 foundation and tools products
provides: Performance, reliability, availability, and a cost-effective trade-up from IDS V7 to IDS V9.4 and WebSphere together.
Consider the interoperability of the latest Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) and WebSphere software -- enhanced and tested by IBM specifically to complement each other -- for dynamic e-businesses.
For more information, please visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/informix/websphere/
- Data Management Gold Program Product Offerings
IBM Data Management (DM) Gold Program Offerings are intended for Informix customers who want the flexibility to install either Informix or DB2 products in whatever combination is required to meet their business needs over time. These offerings allow the customer to purchase licenses to cover their entire business need, even if the exact mix of Informix and IBM database licenses is either not known at this time or will change over time.
For more information, please visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/programs/goldoffer/
IBM's On Demand Computing... What Is It?
DB2 Magazine's Quarter 4, 2003, issue includes a special editorial section for CEOs, CTOs, technology-focused executives and managers, and anyone interested in IBM's on-demand concept. These brief articles showcase real companies reaping benefits from the information-on-demand approach, defined by IBM as "an infrastructure for getting the right information to the right person at the exact moment it's needed."
The section is available for download at http://www.db2mag.com/ondemand.
Latest Informix Additions to DB2 Developer Domain
The following three titles constitute the most recent additions to IBM's Informix Developer Zone:
"Building Client Applications with the IBM Informix .NET Provider"
Learn how the Informix .NET provider can be used to retrieve, insert, update and delete data from an IBM Informix database. http://www7b.boulder.ibm.com/dmdd/zones/informix/library/techarticle/0309nair/0309nair.html
"Database Monitoring with BusyBee"
BusyBee is a free tool you can use to monitor your IDS servers. This article explains the architecture and tells you how to use it to solve many of your monitoring problems. More here.
"SQL Statement Cache for Informix Dynamic Server"
This document describes the functionality of the SQL Statement Cache (SSC) in the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS). Depending on the type of application, the SQL Statement cache feature can help improve the performance of your queries. http://www7b.boulder.ibm.com/dmdd/library/techarticle/0310iyer/0310iyer.html
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 its worldwide user community and IBM. IIUG's membership database now exceeds 18,000 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 through growth.