IIUG Insider (Issue #59)
Highlights: IIUG Conference in, Denver CO, May 22 - 26, 2005
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.
- Cover story: IIUG Conference
- Presidents Note on the Conference and more...
- IIUG Insider Logo contest
- www.iiug.org - The new look!
- Announcing IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) Express
- IBM InfoBahns
- Infobahns in New Zealand and Australia
- Informix Chat with the Lab: IDS Replication
- Generating XML from IDS 9.x
- Calendar of events
- Developer corner
- Useful Links
- Closing and Credits
Our main event this month was definitely the conference in Denver. For those tired hearing about it I promise this is our cover story for the last time. You are off the hook until next year. The result made all the hard work worth while. For me, and I hope for anyone who attended, it was much more then an outstanding educational experience. This conference was a social event, recapturing the family, regaining faith in the future of Informix. I hope we will continue and am looking forward to meet you all next year.
IIUG Insider Editor
IIUG Board of Directors
Cover story: IIUG Conference
From the welcoming banner at the Denver airport (above) and through the keynote speech by Janet Perna and the whole conference IBM management stated its commitment to IDS as IBM's database of choice for OLTP embedded applications. IDS and DB2 UDB will continue as two separate products. The Educational seminars and the technical session where highly attended and the Informix / IIUG party and the IIUG Annual General meeting had over 100 attendees.
For the first time the IIUG selected the best overall presentation and the best user presentation. It was a tough choice but the best over all presentation was: on Exploring the Sysmaster by Lester Knutsen from Advanced Data Tools and the best user presentation was: Using PERL and DBI/DBD With Informix Databases, Darryl Priest, Piper Consulting. The best user presentation award is a free pass to next year's conference in Tampa including airfare and hotel to deliver his winning presentation. For those who missed it you have one more reason to attend our 2006 conference.
The IIUG Board of Directors would like to send its greetings and gratitude to both of them. I have been to many conferences and this was by far the best. The quality of sessions, the atmosphere and the synergy with IDUG where outstanding. But don't take my word for it. Read through the following letters or ask anyone who attended:
I just wanted to send you an email to say how much that I enjoyed the conference. The sessions were amazing. The thing that I liked about the sessions was that it was purely technical, and not marketing related. I learned more in the last week than I have in any other time in my Informix career. The conference was truly worthwhile from a learning perspective, and I had no problem justifying the cost of the conference to my bosses. There are only a couple of gripes about the conference, and none too great. First of all, at the table where they were selling books and merchandise, there was no Informix stuff. If there were any Informix books, I didn't see them.
Second, I felt like if the new Informix features were mentioned more in the opening session by Janet, then we would have had more respect from the DB2 users. You and I, and all the other Informix users at the conference know that the product is not going away, but I'm not sure that everyone at the conference knew that. I know we already talked about marketing issues, but I think that if we as the user community were doing more to reach out and get new users that we would really be helping our cause. As I said earlier, I really enjoyed the conference and met a lot of great people, and I appreciate all of the hard work that you and all of the members on the board did to make it go smoothly. I will definitely be pushing my management to let me attend next year as well.
I wanted to take the time to say "Thank You" to the entire team that put on the IIUG portion of the conference. I've told my boss that I learned so much new information as a DBA that I have more action and idea items to implement once I get back into the office tomorrow! I hope IIUG will continue to be involved at future IDUG events as I will see benefits to the growing Informix user community. With anticipated growth with new Web Sphere sales mixed with the OLTP running on Linux as IBM is now marketing IDS, I envision that at Next year's conference there may be a new set of basic Linux IDS DBA classes that could be taught by the more experienced DBAs. I hope more of us our using 9.4 and/or 10.0 by that time and we can share again real world experiences with these newer releases of the product (like configurable page sizes).
Thank you again to you and all of the board members and IBM staff that made this IIUG conference wonderful!
City of Aurora
IT Dept - Sr. Database Administrator
Um, I mean comments on the IDUG-IIUG Conference...
Well, I want to be one of the first to submit so I can get a shirt to wear at work as I continue to evangelize IDS at work. This was a great conference, it was really good to hear Mark Scranton on his soapbox. After my presentation, Carlton Doe and I were interviewed by a reporter from ComputerWorld. Carlton also took him to meet with other users. The reporter said he felt that what he just heard of Informix was a cover story. (He wandered into my session by chance - his goal was to write about DB2.) Informix is IBM's best kept secret, and hopefully a cover story will help get the word out.
I thank you and the Board for all your hard work in making this conference so outstanding.
Kevyn Schneider, CCP, CBIP Master
Business Intelligence Architect
I think the organization and execution were top notch. I didn't experience any glitches. It was great for me to meet some of the Informix "legends" that I hadn't met face to face before. Not all of the topics/sessions were top notch, but many were. I had hoped for more Informix attendees. I was honored to be included in the closed door discussion of Informix's future.
I had not heard about IBM's "new" stance on Informix: trying to get new ISVs. Great to see they switched from "don't build new applications on Informix." Was pleasantly surprised by Janet's frequent references to Informix. The technology is moving forward very nicely.
Presidents Note on the Conference and more...
The IDUG / IIUG Conference marks a historic event for the IIUG. In the past, the IIUG has been a grass roots, E-based community that excels in every way shape and form as a true user group. With the addition of a conference, this year in North America, the IIUG has now, with the help of IDUG, branched out to offering truly technical conferences -- all for the benefit of the Informix users.
This event was truly successful, and many people are due thanks for this event. First of all David Beulke, Sandy Smith, Bernie O'Connor and the entire Board of Directors of IDUG. Janet Perna, Paul Rivot, Jon Prial, Bruce Weed, Carolyn Woods, Bob Shoeberg, Tami Cannizzaro, Mike Swift, Mohan Natraj, Alan Grady, Jerry Keesee and Tom Christian of IBM. The entire IDUG Conference Planning Committee of IDUG and Jocelyn Kins and the IDUG Headquarters Staff and of course all the Informix speakers and exhibitors.
It is also my pleasure to announce the recipients of this year's IIUG Board of Directors Awards for excellence and dedication to the Informix community. Past winners include: Walt Hultgren, Lester Knutsen, Jonathan Lefler, Art Kagel, Carlton Doe, Mark Scranton and Christine Shannon. This year's winners are: Fred Hubbard, former IIUG President and Jerry Keesee, Director of Informix Development for IBM. Congratulations to Fred and Jerry! You are now members of a very exclusive club!
The IIUG Board of Directors is also announcing that we will be continuing our partnership with IDUG in 2006. We are pleased to inform our members that the official IIUG Conference will be with IDUG in Tampa, Florida, May 7 - 11, 2006. We are already seeking presentations for next year's conference. For more information, continue to watch http://www.iiug.org/conf. The Call for Presentations will be open until Sept 2005.
At this time, we are also working with IDUG for a possible European conference in late 2006 which will be announced at a later time. If we do participate, the event will be in the Fall of 2006 in Athens, Greece.
In other news, the IIUG is proud to show off our new front page. IIUG Board member Kate Tomchik introduced the new face of IIUG at the IIUG Annual General Meeting. The new front page on http://www.iiug.org features:
- An IIUG Calendar
- Scrolling News Section
- The ability to mark only truly new articles as NEW for each and every user
- And a Much cleaner look
- And finally as Kate would say: Its Pretty!
Comments and/or suggestions on the new face of IIUG, please send them to Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally I would like to express my gratitude to a few individuals who made this event in Denver such a success. They are the four individuals from the IIUG who made this whole event: Former IIUG Board members Lester Knutsen and Walt Hultgren, and current IIUG Board Members Gary Ben-Israel and Cindy Lichtenauer. This entire event from the IIUG side was overseen by Cindy, and without her leadership, tireless effort and guidance, this event would have never happened.
For those that attended the event, I truly believe they think this was the best Informix technical event they have ever attended. So mark your calendar, tell the boss you are going, and I'll see you in Tampa, Florida May 7 - 11, 2006 for the IDUG / IIUG Conference.
IIUG Insider Logo contest
Send us a logo for the IIUG Insider and win an IIUG polo shirt!
The IIUG is announcing a contest for a new logo for the Insider. The winning entry will receive credit for their entry in the Insider and an IIUG Polo Shirt. Submit your entry in JPG format to email@example.com.
Note: You must be an IIUG member to enter the contest. All entries become the property of the IIUG.
www.iiug.org - The new look!
Check out our User Group web page. It has a whole new look. In an effort to act on LOTS of constructive feedback I've gotten on how to improve the site, it was unveiled at the yearly IIUG standard meeting at the IDUG conference on May 25. It not only looks good, it also has many new features. Check it out, and you will find the following:
- An events calendar that allows you to click on a day and see what events are scheduled. This includes International events as well as local user group meetings. The calendar pulls from the existing IIUG Events calendar. Hold the
mouse arrow on a date and a title box will appear with the name and location of the events for that day.
- An IIUG Insider scroll down button on the left side of the page to allow you to easily access the latest insider as well as earlier editions.
- The IIUG Mission statement has been moved to the "About" button, so we don't lose valuable real estate on our main page.
- "Scenic" backgrounds display throughout the year. If you don't like the background, just select the button to toggle it off at the bottom right of the screen.
- Limited number of announcements on the front page. All older announcements will be accessible from the "View Previous Announcements" item at the bottom left.
- "New" will really mean NEW! The red "new" text will appear for all announcement items the first time a user visits the site from a particular computer. If the user clicks on any of the announcement links, the "new" text will not appear the next time that the user visits the home page. The user could also click the "Mark all announcements as read" radio button, then all the "new" tags will be gone the next visit to the home page. Of course as new announcements are added, the "new" text will appear for those items.
- The dates of each item will be greyed out after an article, so it can be seen how long it has been on the site.
If you have any suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IIUG Board of Directors
Announcing IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) Express
On April 26 IBM announced Informix(®) Dynamic Server (IDS) Express -- the latest addition to the IBM Express Middleware portfolio of products and services and the IBM Informix product family. Designed with midmarket businesses in mind, IDS Express combines a self-managing database engine that provides the power, function, and reliability needed for on demand business with simplicity in packaging, installation and deployment at a minimal investment cost.
Developed in conjunction with IBM Business Partners, IDS Express integrates easily and transparently with your solutions, while delivering unprecedented value and functionality when compared to competitive offerings.
Ideal for implementing solutions that require a robust database with little or no administration, IDS Express supports a broad range of integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.
For complete details on IDS Express, visit the Informix Web site.
What is an InfoBahn?
An Infobahn is a one-day information forum where Informix customers and Business Partners can learn first-hand about IBM's newest technology releases. This forum offers a complete agenda of sessions--led by IBM executives and regional managers--designed for both decision makers and technology professionals. Event dates and agendas vary by location. For more information, contact your local IBM office or your authorized IBM Business Partner.
IBM has a new major release to showcase--IBM(®) Informix(®) Dynamic Server Version 10.0. And there's even more on the way. Come to the 2005 Informix Infobahn event near you. To discover the full list of events and dates please go to:
We will publish the updated list in the IIUG Insider calendar of events and on the IIUG web site:
Infobahns in New Zealand and Australia
Short, sharp and "bloody good value" is the best description of Mark Scranton's Infobahns in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately the weather didn't help by forcing a cancellation of the Wellington event. Impenetrable fog, in the "windy city", is a bit odd and not at all in keeping with it being the political and bureaucratic center of the country.
In contrast, Mark's sessions were fantastic. While short, they covered all the high points of the new IDS ver 10 features. And the presentation was anything but boring. Mark is a great presenter and super advocate for Informix. Technically orientated, the sessions covered the new IDS features by comparing "that is how we used to do it" to "this is how you can do it now" and all this with worked examples, proofs and code.
A very clear message from the meetings is that IBM is putting its money into Informix, into IDS and into the market. Not only is Mark touring the world with the IDS message but so are others from his group. One great takeout is that there is a plan to have Mark back to Australia and New Zealand to take, over a course of a week, some in-depth, deep dive sessions, into IDS. This level of commitment from IBM indicates to me that they a serious about IDS becoming the embedded database of choice for organisations who want very, very, very reliable data management systems.
IIUG Board of Directors
Informix Chat with the Lab: IDS Replication
Data Replication has become an increasingly important factor in data management, both for high availability reasons as well as a means of data integration. Madison Pruethas worked with the IBM Informix Server for several years, focusing on replication solutions used by IDS. This talk will discuss the two main techniques for data replication used by IDS (HDR and ER), emphasizing setup issues, configuration issues , and operational considerations. Additional time will be spent discussing the 10.x features. Our speakers are:
- Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix lab
- Madison Pruet, Senior Consulting Engineer, Information Integration R&D
Business Partners, Customers and IBMers RSVP for this conference call via the Web:
Save the date: Our next Chat will be Wednesday, July 13, 2005 on Upgrading to v10.
XML is becoming more and more important to the enterprise. Frequently users need to create XML documents from the contents of a relational database. This can be done in many ways, but the extensibility features of IBM® Informix Dynamic Server® version 9.x (IDS 9.x) give you the opportunity to create your own functions to generate XML output from your database.
The full article explains a simple approach to generating XML that can answer many needs and provide a building block for more elaborate solutions. It can be found at:
In response to your input, we have created a page on the IIUG web site containing all the links we used to include. Please find it at: http://www.iiug.org/quicklinks.html
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 25,000 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.