Using IDA with Informix Dynamic Server
IBM InfoSphere Data Architect (IDA), formerly Rational Data Architect, is a collaborative data design solution to discover, model, relate, and standardize diverse and distributed data assets. IDA is a fundamental tool in any enterprise data environment because it enables you to:
- Increase data quality and enterprise consistency by providing the following capabilities:
- Establish and reuse a logical data model as the semantic hub for enterprise architectures
- Automate data design tasks, such as being able to generate a physical design for a particular data source from a logical design; IDA supports heterogeneous data environments across DB2, Informix, Oracle, Microsoft, Sybase, and mySQL
- Reverse engineer a physical model from an existing database schema and compare and synchronize data models
- Analyze and enforce compliance to enterprise naming and data element definition standards
- Create rules to generate names that comply to a standard or to rules you define
- Import a business glossary or integrate with InfoSphere Business Glossary
- Simplify and accelerate integration design by allowing you to
- Visualize the structure of your existing heterogeneous data sources
- Understand the relationships of these data sources based on characteristics of the data or on column metadata
- Define a relationship between existing data assets by using point-and-click
- Drive greater alignment, control, and efficiency in the software development process with the following capabilities
- Integrate with other Rational Software Development tools including Rational RequisitePro, WebSphere Business Modeler, Rational Software Modeler, Rational Software Architect for WebSphere Software, and Rational ClearCase
- Simplify collaboration among business analysts, architects, developers, and administrators
- Combine tools within the same Eclipse instance to move between data-centric roles or share objects across geographically distributed teams
Product manager Anson Kokkat has a blog entry on why the product was re-branded to InfoSphere and how it is a key component of InfoSphere Foundation Tools. But the basic uses of the product have not changed, and we think Informix DBAs and modelers can get a lot of benefit from using it.
Launch IDA by going to Start > All Programs > IBM Software Delivery Platform > IBM InfoSphere Data Architect 7.5.1 > IBM InfoSphere Data Architect, as Figure 1 illustrates:
Figure 1. Launching IDA
When the product is launching, it will ask you for a default workspace location. Please pick either the default or give it an appropriate directory location and click on OK. This launches the product with the default perspective.
After launching the product, you should first connect to an Informix database instance. In order to do that, make sure that the Data perspective is showing, as Figure 2 shows. A data perspective has the "Data Project Explorer" showing on the top left corner and a "Data Source Explorer" showing on the bottom left corner.
Figure 2. Data perspective
If the Data perspective is not active, go to Window > Open Perspective > Data, or go to Window > Open Perspective > Other, and select Data, as Figure 3 illustrates:
Figure 3. Switching perspectives
Locate the Data Source Explorer in the lower left hand corner of the screen, as Figure 4 shows:
Figure 4. Data Source Explorer view
Once that is done, go to the "Data source Explorer" view and right click on Databases > New. A wizard pops up; Informix from the left side and enter the other details relevant to your server, as shown in Figure 5:
Figure 5. Connecting to Informix
Note: To add the location of the JDBC driver, click on the triangle next to the JDBC Driver drop-down list in the New Connection wizard (highlighted above in red). You can use the Informix JDBC driver or the common IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ that provides connectivity to both IDS (11.0 and later) and DB2. To use the common driver, the Informix server has to be configured with DRDA.
Click on Test Connection to make sure your connection parameters are correct and click on Finish when you are done. This uses the defaults for all the other steps and gets you connected to the database. You can then click on the database and explore into the different database objects, as shown in Figure 6:
Figure 6. Navigating into Informix objects