Oracle to IBM Informix porting guide

A discussion of database and application porting issues

This article describes the differences between Oracle and Informix functionality and syntax. In addition to DDL, DML and overall SQL syntax, you'll explore the differences between Oracle and Informix with regards to the use of large objects, user-defined types, user-defined routines, and table partitioning.

Chris Golledge (golledge@us.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Author photoChris Golledge is an Advisory Software Engineer with the IBM Informix Competitive Technologies and Enablement organization. Since joining Informix in 1996, he has previously worked in advanced support and a variety of development teams, including several client open APIs, development tools, and the IBM Migration Toolkit.



Sam Marino (smarino@us.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Sam Marino photoSam Marino is an Advisory Software Engineer with IBM Data Services' Business Partner Technical Enablement organization. He consults business partners porting database applications from competitor products to DB2 and Informix. Sam is an IBM Certified Solutions Expert in both DB2 and Informix.



July 2012 (First published 03 August 2006)

The authors discuss what needs to be changed to make an application running on an Oracle database run on an Informix database, and gives alternatives.

In this article

  • Migration scope definition
  • DDL comparisons
  • DML comparisons
  • Embedded SQL
  • Application architecture issues
  • Using bladelets
  • Planning guide
  • Syntax comparison
  • Database concepts
  • Sample code
  • Counting system object scripts
  • Data type mapping

Introduction

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This porting guide details the differences between Oracle's 11g release and Informix (version 11.70). In addition, it can be a useful reference for all migrations between the two database servers regardless of version. In addition to DDL, DML and overall SQL syntax, this document explores the differences between Oracle and Informix with regards to object technology through the use of large objects, user-defined types, and user-defined routines. It also looks at the differences between Oracle's table partitioning and Informix table fragmentation. Part of the explanation is a discussion on what needs to be changed to make an application running on an Oracle database run on an Informix database. If there is more than one way to port some piece of functionality, alternatives and recommendations are also discussed.

This document is intended to be a living document. Missing items, better ways of implementing Oracle functionality in Informix other than what is documented here, examples to better illustrate a point, and other suggestions should be sent to Chris Golledge (golledge@us.ibm.com) so they may be included with future revisions.

Purpose

This document should be used as a guide to assist in porting applications that run on an Oracle database server to run on an Informix database server. Regardless of whether a porting effort will be completely manual or if tools will be utilized, this document can provide value. Obviously, if the port is performed manually, this guide will provide the most value. If the port will utilize tools, then analysis can be performed using this guide to determine how much of the application the tools will convert, and how much must be converted manually. In any case, this guide is intended to be used to both visualize the scope of a porting effort, and to aid in the porting effort by addressing the technical issues.

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