IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005/2008 used to be available as part of the IBM Data Server Client package, which contains all the main IBM data server drivers and a fair amount of DB2 client programs. It was a big package to install for a developer who just wanted to do .NET programming in Visual Studio. Now you can download the stand alone VSAI package here.
When you get to the download screen you can choose to download the 33 Mb VSAI executable, or the release notes. I'll warn you now the release notes are disappointing and not worth the bother. The VSAI software though is great. Try the VSAI tag on this blog for a few pointers to articles.
The IBM Information Management and Visual Studio .NET is also a good starting point for .NET programming resources.[Read More]
Administrating and Developing with Informix
If you're wondering what's in the next release of Cheetah, wonder no more, IDS 11.50 has arrived - at least the Open Beta has. Yesterday in fact, but I was too busy eating the Open Beta launch ice-cream to write about it. OK the Mac OS version has been out for a few weeks but let's not worry about that.
I'm not allowed to talk specifically about the new features in Cheetah 2 yet, but to find out, sign up for the open beta and download IDS 11.5 “Cheetah 2" Open beta. Give it a try and remember to read the release notes.
Do let IBM know what you think about this release. Any problem you find helps to increase the quality of the GA version.[Read More]
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Rumour has it that a new era is dawning over at DB2 Magazine. Due out in the next week or so, the next issue will be sporting a new name. Welcome the new, improved, and brand neutral IBM Database Magazine! Expect the same mix of well-written articles about IBM Data Server topcs.
This means of course I'll have to find another hobby horse to make snide and snarky comments about. Don't worry, it won't take long.[Read More]
A new Informix related blog has surfaced on blogspot: informix online - written by Alex, AKA Andron.
The latest post (at the time of writing) is a nice introduction to BTSCANNER, including a description of leaf scans, range scans and ALICE (Adaptive Linear Index Cleaning).
If your Russian is a bit rusty you might want to read theGoogle translated version.[Read More]
The latest issue of the innacurately named DB2 Magazine has a very helpful article on the IDS 11 certification test. As anyone who has taken it knows, the IDS 11 exam is challenging - it is heavily focussed on IDS 11 features, and passing it requires preparation.
The new article, written by Eric Herber, entitled Becoming a Certified Informix Professional deconstructs the exam format and the weighting of questions. Looking at the exam in this way allows you to focus your study time and prepare intelligently.
On a positive note, perhaps a certification should be tough. What use is an easy certification to a potential employer or client? Anyone with IBM Test 918 to their name deserves to be called an IDS Expert.
As well as providing a collection of study references, Eric also mentions how to take the test for free (attend the IIUG conference). I'll add one other way to take it for free.. attend the Beaverton Tech Fair next week.[Read More]
The Informix tech fair in Beaverton, Oregon is just under 2 weeks away. This free tech fair has been expanded to two days, and has new highlights such as free IDS Certification testing and demos of some of the newest IDS features. Expect to see some in depth technical presentations, maybe a few giveaways, and much more.
Here is the flyer, at least my HTML rendition of it:
Free Informix Tech Fair - February 20 & 21 2008
Talks include the following topics:
3 Informix IDS Architects, IBM Informix Engineers
IIUG President Stuart Litel and IIUG director Cindy Lichtenauer
Several DemosApplication Development, Administration, and Replication (MACH 11)
FREE IDS Certification TestingTest Review session followed by a free certification testing for 10 or 11. ** $150.00 value, limited availability, RSVP quickly.
Free ConsultingHaving a problem or question about Informix? Talk to an engineer and get free advice about your specific issue.
WHEN: February 20 & 21, 2008, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
WHERE: IBM Beaverton
15400 SW Koll Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006
RSVP: miller3 _at_ us.ibm.com
When it comes to free Informix tech fairs in the Portland area, it doesn't get much better than this.[Read More]
In earlier versions of IDS on Windows, (10 and below), the installer would always create a demo instance during a new installation or when installing to a new folder. The user has the option to initialize the new instance or not via a checkbox.
In IDS 11.10, which was the first Windows IDS installer based on Installshield, this behaviour changed somewhat. A new instance was only created if the user selected the "Initialize instance" checkbox. If that checkbox was not checked, no instance would be created, so the Instance Manager utility (instmgr.exe) would need to be executed after installation to create an instance.
Some customers missed the old functionality, so to fix this in the short term an undocumented command line argument -reginstance was added to the 11.10 installer.
So if you want the old behaviour, where you are prompted for instance configuration information and an instance is created by default even if the "Initialize instance" checkbox is not selected, run
You may have seen announcements for the 2008 IIUG Informix Conference in Lenexa on April 27-30 this year. Ones like this for example..
But is it worth going to? why Lenexa? what can we expect this year?
I put these and some other tough (well slightly tough) questions to IIUG President Stuart Litel who kindly agreed to an exclusive interview with the Informix Application Development Blog..
A. It will be a very technical event with a concentration on purely Informix. All the sessions revolve around the entire Informix product line.
Q: Why did the IDUG and IIUG conferences go their separate ways?
A: A few reasons.
1) The IIUG Board believed that the users wanted a more affordable and Informix only event. We had experience at doing two day events before and we attracted many more people.
2) We wanted to do an event that was a break even event financially, not where costs were very high and the price had to be high and also not to make a big profit, but only to put a little seed money away to cover costs to do an event each year.
Q: Why would people want to take time out of their work schedule to attend the IIUG Conference?
A: I have personally been to each and every Informix conference since they started about 15 years ago. I personally believe it is not only what you learn but the people and relationships you make, such as meeting you the first time a few years ago and fellow Informix users around the world. If I have technical problems or questions I have the contacts throughout the world to talk to and help with my word situation.
You will be learning and meeting some of the best instructors, but at conferences you are meeting the best technical trainers from IBM, developers like yourself, Jonathan Leffler, John Miller, Madison Pruet, Kevin Brown, Scott Lashley as well as fellow users who you can share work experiences. I have often said give me two days at a conference with power users and developers vs ten weeks of Informix only classes and you will learn not only more but create the right contacts to assist you in your every day business life. And don't forget you can meet Carlton Doe and get a copy of his IDS 11 book autographed!
Q: Attending a conference is a big waste of money, discuss..
A: I definitely dont agree with that statement. See all my comments below. I mean for about $1500, three days, over sixty sessions on JUST INFORMIX and its related products, how can you beat that. I have heard well its not only the money but also the time away from the office. Please tell me what better deal there is in the IT / IBM / Informix world. The IIUG created this event to be just that an event that people will learn about and talk about later. I have heard people comment about coming to Kansas City, whats there to do. Trust me I just about the same thing, but it does not matter where we hold the event, we are there for the event and to learn and meet fellow users and this proved to be the perfect location.
As for the Conferences being a waste, hey I have been to every Informix Conference there ever was under Informix Corp. Every IBM event that had Informix content (the old Technical Conferences and now IOD) and IDUG / IIUG event and most of what I have learned and almost all the Informix contacts I have in the world were all made due to coming to these conferences. It is like anything else, it is what you make of it, and here you have the opportunity to make what ever you want with fellow users from around the world.
Q: What presentations are you planning to attend?
A: Me personally, to tell you the truth I have not looked at the sessions yet. But there is over 60 Informix technical sessions, the most number of Informix sessions than any IBM conference or other event anywhere in the world! and for the price, how can you beat this! The bad news I doubt I will get to any sessions, because I will be too busy with the event. Although I try not to miss sessions from what I call the "Gang of Five", the Five IBM Distinguished Engineers - they are always the best (of course Guy I will get to your sessions).
Q: Why Lenexa, I mean come on, why Lenexa?
A: If you take a right hand turn out of the hotel it is College Blvd. Drive five miles or so down the road and that is where most of the Informix developers and support team for IBM are actually located. Many of these people will be presenters at the conference in addition the Monday night party we intend to invite the entire Informix development and support staff to the party. One big family is what I am calling it!
Also Kansas City is centrally located in the middle of the United States so we are not at either coast. I remember the biggest Informix conference ever was held in Chicago with over 5,000 attendees and I believe one of the reasons was due to the location. What do they say in real estate... LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. well Overland Park / Lenexa / Kansas City provided just this.
Q: Do you have any entertainment lined up for us?
A: Wait you said people were there for the technical sessions... OK I will give you an exclusive PEAK but will not spill all the details.
Sunday night will be a reception in the Exhibit Hall starting around 6PM
Monday night will be an event which I will call "Party with the Informix Family" with all the attendees, developers and support staff from the area invited and Tuesday night is an off site event which I will not give you any of the details. But here is something I will say to you... They put me in charge of the parties, so if you have met me before you will know the food and beverages will be good (and I love to eat and I hate drink coupons hint hint :) )
Over the years I tell lots of Informix stories and I will always remember a few years back at an Informix conference run by IBM I walked down a hallway and there was Jonathan Leffler sitting on the floor eating lunch with some users drawing all kinds of technical information. Give Informix users some good Informix content and pizza on a box and a corner to sit in on the floor and they are happy... We re there for the technical information, but the entertainment will be fun too!
Q: How are the registration numbers looking so far?
A: We are way ahead of schedule. As of the writing of this to you, we only have space for about 110 - 120 more people. The hotel can only hold about 340 people in the main conference room, so that is our limit. Also on the Hotel room block, we have blown over it twice! I had to call the hotel and get more rooms under the hotel room block. We are way ahead of projection. In fact we have more Informix people already registered than attended last years combined IDUG / IIUG event and we still have over 11weeks to go!
Also on the side of Sponsors / booths... We have more booths already signed up an paid for then the IBM IOD and IDUG 2007 events combined!
Q: Why Lenexa again?
A: Cause we want to be where the developers are! It gave us access to the core of the Informix team (of course besides you guys up in Portland, Oregon!)
We have three of the most important people in the IBM Informix world coming to speak. Arvind Krishna is the Vice President of Database Servers for IBM Information and he will be the keynote. If you have never heard Arvind speak, he is truly very informative and very entertaining. Also speaking will be Jerry Keesee and Bernie Spang together. Jerry is the Director of World Wide development for IBM Informix and this past year at IOD, Jerry's session was one of the few for any product that was standing room only. In fact they closed off the room due to fire regulations. Bernie Spang is the Director of WorldWide Marketing for IBM Information Management Databases. These two are great together, which is why I asked them to do it together. It will be fun to see who gets more time on stage!
And speaking of these three individuals, there will be some world class special announcements happening that I cant talk about a this time, but they will be press worthy announcements happening (opps that is all I can say). But there is some other special stuff happening that I have not even told the conference committee yet that I have planned up my sleeve.
Speaking of the Conference committee, these people are doing one heck of an amazing job. Lead by IIUG Board Member Cindy Lichtenauer, One of the IIUG Founders and first President Walt Hultgren and long time IIUG Board Member James Edmiston, they are joined by long time Informix users: Kernoal Stephens, Tammy Frankforter, David Link, Bruce Simms and Tom Beebe.
Also one last note. I got an email from someone in Croatia the other day who is coming. He figured out that he can fly to the USA, stay for the entire conference and pay for the conference registration for less than it costs just for the registration only to an IBM conference in Europe and this event is where the true Informix knowledge will be, so he is coming to the event and urging other users in Croatia to also come.
Personally I have estimated that the total cost of the event for someone in the USA including Airfare, hotel and conference registration is only about $1500 from most anywhere in the lower 48 states! Remember a week at an IBM class is I think about $2500 just for the tuition and IOD registration is about $1595 for the EARLY BIRD. Here you get much much more for about the less cost!!
Thanks Stuart! From what I've heard the list of sessions is being finalized about now. Here is where you can check the list of Confirmed Technical Sessions. Hope to see you there in April.
One theme of the Mac OS port of IDS media coverage I didn't pay much attention to before is the use of IDS in higher education.
Some articles such as this one from eWeek made it the main theme of the announcement:IBM Adds Mac Support to IDS for Higher Education.
The article mentions higher education companies such as Jenzabar:
I hadn't given much thought to the educational aspects of the decision, but a free download of the Developer Edition for MAC OS does make Informix significantly more accessible to universities and colleges, and to VARs that supply software to the education industry. It will be interesting to see whether this can lead to increased uptake of IDS within academia generally.[Read More]
Set your alarm clocks for the next Chat with the lab on Jan 30, 2008...
Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix Lab, discusses the latest information about the Informix product family, and provides a roadmap for future initiatives and releases. Included in this discussion will be a new announcement for an additionally supported platform.
You may RSVP for this call at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=6702647
Comments, questions or to be removed from this distribution: lspina _at_ us.ibm.com
I wonder what the new platform announcement is going to be. Personally I hope it's ReactOS.[Read More]
Many years ago there was an active Northern California branch of the International Informix Users Group. Somewhere along the way participation dwindled and it fizzled out. Following some successful Informix tech fair and tech day events in the California Bay Area there has been renewed interest in this group, resulting in its recent reactivation.
The IBM contact for the group, Suma Vinod has sent me the following announcement:
Our website is http://www.iiug.org/iugnc/. Announcements about events and tech talks will be published on this site as they become available.
A good reason to attend these events if you're within reach of the Bay area is the large pool of Informix support engineers and developers based in the IBM Silicon Valley Lab available for talks. Thanks Suma and IIUG for setting this up, and welcome back IUGNC! I wish you every success.[Read More]
The IDS 11 web page carries a very significant announcement today (well, yesterday) to coincide with this week's MacWorld Expo...The Big Cats Unite! Announcing IDS "Cheetah 2" for the Mac OS X Leopard platform - the first available Cheetah 2 beta release is now available to download for Mac OS.
Here is some of the press coverage:IBM's IDS to Support Mac Platform - Internet News.
IBM Informix Dynamic Server to Deliver Support for Mac OS X - CNN Money
There has been some speculation on the newsgroups as to what IBM's motivation for this is. Bernie Spang is quoted in the announcement as saying:
Expect to see more announcements in the coming weeks concerning Cheetah 2 features, and open beta availability for other platforms. In the mean time, if you have Mac OS X 10.5, give the first Cheetah 2 Beta a test and enjoy IDS on a Mac. Oh, and let us know what breaks. Well it is a beta, what do you expect :-)
Update: 1/17/08 - I'm adding a comment made by Brad Patterson to the main post as it is worth knowing before you download:
The files are x86_64 (64-bit) only and will not run on "older" Intel Macs.
myMac:bin informix$ file oninit
oninit: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
I'll have to wait until I upgrade my laptop to Core 2 Duo to run this -- hopefully by then we'll be on a GA release!
Thanks Brad for testing this and sharing your discovery.[Read More]
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Remember the guy who was writing the six-part mega-demo themed around using IDS on Windows, featuring Visual Studio, Apache, PHP, OpenAdmin Tool? Well Akmal B. Chaudhri has now completed his opus, adding chapters on Eclipse, Squirrel SQL, and Ruby on Rails.
Here is the complete list:
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Do you ever wonder what all the different IDS editions mean? Developer, Express, Workgroup, Enterprise? and how about those licensing models, VU, Authorized User, Concurrent Session? I don't have a clue, but Carlton Doe cuts a swathe through this complexity in his recently published developerWorks article Compare the Informix Dynamic Server Version 11 editions - Learn the differences in features, functions, and pricing models.
If you haven't figured out which edition and license model you need, Carlton's article, written with his usual passion for Informix, might be what you need.
Server Studio JE
Another developerWorks article that appeared this year (I should check that site more often), is Using Server Studio JE with Informix Dynamic Server by Dhanshri Kudgavkar and Prasanna Mathada, two engineers from the Interoperability Team in India. It's a getting started guide to the Java based Informix development and administration environment from AGS, which takes you through connecting, managing databases, routines, and other database objects. It goes through the major features and covers a few administration tasks, with screenshots.
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LiveTime, a popular service management, helpdesk and support application has just added support for IDS 11.10 according to this recent press release:
"Significant improvements in response times of IDS 11 coupled with the performance optimizations in LiveTime 5 has produced an order of magnitude improvement in overall application performance", said Jason Andrews, Solutions Architect at LiveTime Software. "We were also very impressed with the overall footprint of IDS 11, making it an ideal candidate for installation on a virtual appliance."
LiveTime has a policy of vendor neutrality, offering support all the major browsers, operating systems and databases.One of the major customers of the LiveTime and IDS combination according to this press release is the Flemish Government.[Read More]
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The inaccurately named DB2 Magazine finished the year with a list of theMost read 2007 articles: DB2 and Informix in its blog.
IDS articles by Lester Knutsen get a couple of places in the top 10, in ninth place: SQL Shortcuts - Use these tricks to generate IDS SQL scripts, and second place: Embedding SQL in Unix Scripts.
Maybe if it had a different name more Informix users would read it, who knows..
IIUG Developer's Desktop - Issue 2
The second edition of the IIUG Developer's Desktop is out, this month including articles on:
Happy New Year / Guten Rutsch
This is probably the last post of the year as next week I plan to be getting cold and covered in snow in Government Camp, so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and successful 2008.[Read More]
A new DeveloperWorks article by Carla Wilcox and Nitin Jaitly from the IDS Query Optimizer team appeared earlier in December while I was over-preoccupied with trips to Lenexa and Atlanta, and preparing for a webcast that for some reason made my mind go blank every time I thought about it.
The article: Create and use functional indexes in Informix Dynamic Server - Improve the performance of your SELECT queries takes the mystery out of using and creating functional indexes, and is well worth a read by anyone who uses SQL functions in queries and wants to improve query performance.
As well as explaining the benefits, the article explains the limitations and costs involved, and includes some examples.. calculating the the areas of circles given the radii, and averaging RGB values of an image.[Read More]
The IIUG has a new publication out called the IIUG Developer's Desktop Newsletter. Published monthly, the newsletter is aimed at helping application developers who work with IDS do more with the product. Edited by Mark Jamison, the first edition has a Java theme, with the following technical articles:
There are plans for an "Ask the Developers" section where your questions are answered by Development. Questions, articles and comments can be sent to: devnews _at_ iiug.org.
Overall, great first newsletter Mark (and all contributors).[Read More]
I've seen a lot of demo's in my time, and some of them look very flashy but miss a few of the set-up details and leave me wondering how to get started.
How many slides does a demo need to cover everything you need to know about installing IDS on Windows, CSDK, Open Admin Tool, IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005, creating applications and web services, without missing a single detail?
How about 579?
Yes, Akmal B. Chaudhri has done just that. In a six-part series he has put together the most relentless and painstakingly detailed set of IDS on Windows slides ever assembled. The 579 slides in fact only represent the first 4 parts, which have recently been posted to the IBM developerWorks On Demand Demo's site.
The first 4 parts are available to download as 15 to 17 MB PDF files:
What I like about this is that it doesn't leave anything to the imagination, if you follow this you won't have any questions. At all. It's all there. All of it.
I'm looking forward to parts 5 & 6. Here is what to expect (Update 1/15/08 these demos have now been added):
A new article appeared on developerWorks last week called Data Web Services: Build Web services the new way to access IBM database servers - Service-enabling your access to DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server.
The Data Web Services feature is integrated into Data Studio and provides a way of making database operations available as Web services. You can take SQL statements and stored procedure calls and generate Web services without writing any code.
Written by Vijay Bommireddipalli, the article starts with an introduction to Data Web Services, goes through the development process:
Here are some other links to DWS resources:
I took a quick look at the video and it turns out to be an edifying way to see DWS in action and how straightforward it is to use it to create web services.[Read More]
Coming up on Monday, December 17th 2007 is a Chat with the Labs about the IDS High-Performance Loader (HPL) - the tool for fast loading, unloading and filtering of data. Here is the invite:
RSVP at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=7437448
Times are: 8 AM PST, 10 AM CST, 11 AM EST, 4 PM GMT, 5 PM CET.
Comments, questions to: lspina _at_ us.ibm.com.
Webcast - Monitor and analyze recent SQL statements
Next Thursday, December 13th, Suma Vinod, a Resolution Team engineer from IDS Advanced Support will talk about how to configure and use SQL history and other features to monitor and analyze recent SQL statements.
Times are: 8 AM PST, 10 AM CST, 11 AM EST, 4 PM GMT, 5 PM CET. Check http://www.iiug.org/news/announcements/partner_training.php for more details.[Read More]
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Mark your calenders for an Informix Application Development Webcast taking place on December 11: Fast Track for IDS Application Development. It starts at 7pm GMT, 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern.
In this Webcast, speakers Grant Hutchison, IBM Senior Product Manager, Data Server Tools and Clients, and Guy Bowerman, IBM Informix Dynamic Server Architect, will talk about how todevelop applications the fast and easy way with IBM and deploy them worry-free with IBMInformix Dynamic Server (IDS). The new IBM Data Studio helps developers produce high qualitydata designs and allows them to easily view and modify existing Informix implementations. Newapplication development choices with IDS include Ruby on Rails and updated .NET, Java, andPHP drivers.
The plan is, I'll start with a brief introduction about application development friendly server-side features in IDS 11.10, and then hand over to Grant who will talk about client side features, including a live demo of using Data Studio with IDS.[Read More]
If you are considering migrating to IDS 11.10 from an earlier release, do you find it easy to gather the information you need, for example:
A recent Informix Technote attempts to consolidate some of this information: Knowledge Collection: IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) version 11.10 Migration.
The article includes a presentation on Conversion/Reversion by Nelson Corcoran which provides a very useful summary of pre and post conversion steps and reversion caveats. It also goes into some of the internal details of how conversion works during an upgrade.
Note: this document is part of a wider set of documents on migration that starts here: http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21259394.
What else should IBM provide to make migration to a later release of IDS more straightforward?
I'm going to try re-enabling comments on this blog for a while and see how the spam goes so if you have any suggestions please do leave a comment.
Disabling the Installation's Database Server Prerequisites Check
The IDS 11.10.xC2 Documentation Notes mention a new feature that allows you to disable the standard OS version and shared library checks made by the IDS installer. I am already finding this feature useful since I have a machine with an older version of Solaris (2.8) and -disable-checks saves me from having to hack the installer just to install IDS.
Here is an extract from the documentation:
A -disable-checks option has been added to the Dynamic Server installation command. This option lets the install application run without verifying that your computer has the prerequisites for a working instance. The database server prerequisites are listed in Platform.prq on an operating system basis. Use the -disable-checks option to bypass the shared-library prerequisites check.
To use a java command to start the Dynamic Server installation, disable the shared-libraries check by using the -W systemcheck.active=false option in your command.
Refer to the Machine Notes for comprehensive operating system information.
One word of warning - the prerequisite checks are there for a reason; the check is for the minimum OS and library versions that IDS underwent comprehensive testing for on that platform. Installing on an older OS is at your own risk, but can be useful in known situations to make the upgrade process smoother.[Read More]
Resources and publications relating to Data Studio are on the increase. Here is a quick round up of places to read about, download, post questions and follow tutorials pertaining to IBM Data Studio - the new Eclipse based data management and development environment..
There are two forums where you can post Data Studio questions and look for announcements, take your pick..
IBM Data Studio: Get started with Data Web Services
pureQuery: IBM's new paradigm for writing Java database applications.
Increase productivity in Java database development with new IBM pureQuery tools, Part 1: Overview of pureQuery tools
Common Development Tool
email for now. (Update: I since relented and switched comments back on.)[Read More]
As an addendum to the last post, the following Chat with the Labs will make a good starting point for anyone interested in learning more about IBM Data Studio:
DB2 and Informix Chat with the Lab - Thursday, November 29, 2007 8 AM PST, 10 AM Central, 11 AM Eastern, 4 PM London, 5 PM Paris
IBM Data Studio and pureQuery
IBM Data Studio is a comprehensive data management solution that empowers you to effectively design, develop, deploy and manage your data, databases and database applications throughout the entire application development life cycle using a consistent and integrated user interface. pureQuery is Data Studio tooling runtime that improves application performance, manageability, and problem determination across the life cycle. Our speaker is Dr. Stephen Brodsky, Information Management Architect and Senior Technical Staff Member. This Chat is for both Informix and DB2 customers.
You may RSVP for this call at: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=7342813
Questions to lspina _at_ us.ibm.com[Read More]
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Congratulations to NetworkIP for winning a 2007 IBM Information On Demand Innovation Award for its Integrated Connection Solution (ICS) platform.
The 2007 Information on Demand Innovation Award Winners, presented at the IOD Conference in Las Vegas, were announced in October. A press release today provides additional detail on the NetworkIP solution:
Source: NetworkIP Wins IBM Information On Demand Innovation Award (prweb.com)[Read More]
I finally made some time to play with the IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 V9.5 today. Simply dragging and dropping a data source onto a form resulted in a working BREAD (Browse, Read, Edit, Add, Delete) Windows application with no coding:
I used the recent developerWorks article by Vasantha Jayakumar as my guide. Below are some notes made while following it. They will make more sense if you read them after looking through the article.
If you want to use the Visual Studio Add-ins with IDS make sure you:
Finding the Server Explorer
Once I'd installed Data Server Client (including the Visual Studio Add-Ins) and launched Visual Studio 2005, my first challenge was to find the Visual Studio Server Explorer tool which was hidden under the View->Other Windows menu. Now with a glimmering of experience I use the "Ctrl-Alt-s" key combination to bring it up.
Adding a Connection
First I made sure my IDS data server was listening on a DRDA port. DRDA is the underlying communication protocol used by Data Server Client. IDS supports both the Informix-specific SQLI protocol and the IBM DRDA protocol in 11.10.
Setting up IDS 11.10 to communicate via DRDA is a simple 2 step process. Here's what I did for IDS on Windows:
If you have an older version of setnet32 you can add DRDA SQLHOSTS entries manually by editing HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Informix\SQLHOSTS and adding a key with a name matching the DBSERVERALIASES value, following the same format as pre-existing entries except with DRSOCTCP as the PROTOCOL.
When defining a new Data Connection in Server Explorer, use machine:port for the server name. Below is the Add Connection screen I used for a machine called swamp.
Once the connection was working it was easy to follow the steps in Vasantha's article. Tweaking the look and feel of a simple database application is a matter of editing the properties of the DataGridView in the Visual Studio editor. When editing a C# Windows application in Visual Studio there are two tabs, one showing a design view of the application, and one showing the C# supporting methods:
I'll confess to not being a C# programmer but the ease of creating a simple GUI C# application using these add-ins was encouraging. Now I'll start thinking of a practical application to tempt me to learn a little more.[Read More]
IDS Security engineers Manoj Mohan & Lynette D. Adayilamuriyil have written a new developerWorks article Column-level encryption in IDS - Protect your sensitive data by using the column-level encryption (CLE) feature of IBM Informix® Dynamic Server (IDS) 10 and later. It's an accessible introductory article which includes using Column Level Encryption from Dbaccess, via a simple ESQL/C program, examples of using password hints, and how to calculate storage requirements for encrypted data.
Keeping to the topic of security Fernando Nunes recently wrote a detailed article on how to setup an IDS instance to use an Active Directory or OpenLdap server as its authentication infra-structure on his Informix-Technology blog. It includes screen-shots of setting up a Windows Server 2003 as an Active Directory Server. Well worth checking out: Informix user authentication: PAM for the rescue (part 1)[Read More]
After its October vacation Informix Zone has been making up for lost time with a flurry of news items and announcements. It was good to finally meet the site's creator Eric Herber when he stopped in Las Vegas to attend IOD during his travels. His report from the conference is posted here.
The big Informix Zone announcement this week is the IDS Developer Edition Wiki - a place where application developers can learn about Developer edition and share information with others.
What I like about this idea is that it's the first time a dedicated Informix wiki has been created, open for anyone to create an account and contribute. If you've ever wished therewas more information available for Informix users and developers here's an opportunity to do something about it. It's also a useful place for new users who download the free Developer Edition to get started.
If you solve a problem, why not write it up and throw it on the wiki? If you find a good link, add it to the site. Your technical tip or how-to becomes available for the whole community, and if you need it again you know where to look.
If this sounds like something you might like to contribute to send a mail to eric AT informix-zone dot com asking for an account. Once you have an account, look at the existing pages and refer to the DokuWiki syntax to get started.
p.s. Congratulations Eric on becoming a Certified IDS 11.10 Administrator. If you're contemplating taking the test, read the article to see how he prepared.[Read More]
The IDS Developer Edition is now downloadable from the Informix Trials and Demos site. Click on Informix Dynamic Server Enterprise Edition Trials. It's a fully-featured free download of IDS 11.10.xC1D with no time-limit.
So far the following platforms are there:
Note the file sizes are currently listed in KB instead of MB.
Here is a reminder of the Developer Edition specific limits:
Pay particular attention to the session limit if you are developing applications which use a connection pool that tries to set a higher number of sessions.[Read More]
I saw an impressive demo of the IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 at the IOD conference two weeks ago. Around the same time a new article appeared on developerWorks: Work with Informix Dynamic Server V11.10 and IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 V9.5 by Vasantha Jayakumar.
Version 9.5 of the Add-ins adds support for IDS, letting programmers do things like build Windows applications for IDS using drag-and-drop, and create CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) type applications in a few mouse clicks for the first time. The article shows how to do this and more in a few simple steps, with screen shots.
Where is the best place for Informix users to download v9.5 of the Add-ins? The Informix Dynamic Server for .NET website points to the a forum post containing the links: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/dw_thread.jsp?forum=1137&thread=173080&cat=19 which leads you to the IBM Data Server Client among other things. The Visual Studio Add-ins are part of this package.
Update November 7 2007: A new version of IBM Data Server Client 1.1 has been posted here today.
Update November 13 2007: There is a known problem enumerating IDS database objects in the current version. See this forum article VS 2005 :Issue enumerating IDS 11.1 GA using DB2 9.5 GA -enumeration fails for a workaround.[Read More]
Disclaimer: Though I found this install problem to be curious. Actual curiosity levels may vary.
The following email appeared in my inbox the other day..
I'm installing the release code for IDS 11.10 on my Windows XP SP2 machine and it gives me grief in my native XP environment, but no problems within my Windows XP guest machine in VMWare.
followed by this:
I can't get a server instance created...
Since the first error tends to be the most salient, I suspected a likely cause of failing to create the Message service was a problem with user rights - perhaps the user didn't have permission to create or start a service. I asked the user (or should I say product manager) to run "whoami /all" from the Windows XP Service Pack 2 tools for Advanced Users package. This shows the user's advanced user rights, which would show if theuser was missing any required user rights like permission to start a service.
In this case all the required user rights appeared to be present. Another possibility was that maybe there was a partialinstallation left over from a previous attempt that had left some corrupted registry keys behind that were causing problemsfor subsequent installs. I connected to the machine via NetMeeting to look at the registry keys and services, and removed all traces of previous installs. Still the same problem occurred at install time.
Now this was starting to annoy me. Tracing the installation sequence it appeared the failure occured when the Instance Manager (instmgr.exe) utility was launched for the first time, which happens when the installer tries to create a demo instance. Running instmgr directlyresulted in the error: instmgr.exe is not a valid Win32 application. Now we were getting somewhere.
Fortunately Visual Studio was installed on the machine, so I ran "dumpbin /headers instmgr.exe" to see if the binary file had valid Win32 header information:
Microsoft (R) COFF/PE Dumper Version 8.00.50727.762Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
There was the problem. This was a Windows 64-bit version of IDS installing on 32-bit Windows.
The red herring was that it apparantly worked on a VMWARE image. The only explanation for this is that it was a different versionof IDS that was installed there (or a VMWARE image of 64-bit Windows).
The reason the installer appeared to run correctly until it tried to launch the IDS Instance Manager is that the installer is a 32-bit program even in the 64-bit install media, so the problem only showed up when the first 64-bit program was executed. It would have saved some time if the installer had identified the operating system incompatibility before proceeding. I'll be logging a defect for this..[Read More]
Thanks to a habit of arriving fanatically early to airports I can spend a few minutes sifting through the embers of the IOD 2007 Conference, from the perspective of someone who missed half the talks he wanted to attend due to clashes with important engagements such as lunch, refreshment breaks, and food left unattended in conference rooms. Here are some of my highlights:
Demo 'til you Drop
Demo 'til you drop is a brutal gong show styled event where participants demo their pants off until they make a mistake, pause, something fails to work, or they mention their product supports Oracle. Congratulations to Informix's Alexander Koerner who won the show with his notorious "Cluster in my trousers" (aka Cheetah to Go) demo of Informix Dynamic Server 11.10's replication features running on memory sticks.
Informix had several booths in the Expo hall, including demonstrations of Open Admin Tool (OAT), Replication (ER, HDR and Mach11), Label Based Access Control (LBAC), and IDS for the gaming industry. We were also handing out a DVD which included the free IDS 11.10 Developer Edition. Nearby another line of booths was reserved for Informix partners, such as Cobrasonic, AGS, and Kazer.
I'm not very good at gathering freebies at conferences, because I was brought up to feign interest in a product before collecting the loot and this can be time consuming. Fortunately many booths had interesting wares, such as the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 Live DVD being given away at the Novell booth, which includes a very nice desktop interface and Lotus Notes 8.
There were many talks and Developer Den sessions centered around IBM Data Studio - the new Eclipse based development environment formerly known as Developer Workbench - and its various tools and features. It was good to see some demo's and tutorials showing how easy this is to use. Now I need to try some of them back at the office.
.Net application Development
Writing .Net programs for IDS is becoming much easier. Ajay Aggrwal's "Rapid Application Development on .Net for IDS" session lived up to expectations and demonstrated using the new IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 to create working Informix .Net applications in minutes.
Self-Contained Informix Applications
Alexander Koerner let us in on his Cheetah to Go secrets with a detailed session showing how to use Qemu to create a self-contained IDS demo application consisting of a fully functional IDS Mach 11 cluster with demo applications on 512 Mb USB drives.
IDS versus the Competition
Simon David, better known as Cosmo, shared some comparisons configuring and benchmarking IDS vs Oracle, and pointed out some inaccuracies and bias in a recent Forrester report.
Rise of the Robots
Friday morning sessions can be a little under-populated so I had visions of my Developer Den session about interfacing databases with chat bots going something like this:
Guy: Welcome to exciting world of chat bots.Chatbot1: Sensors indicate room is empty.Guy: Silence Chatbot1Chatbot2: Destroy all humans.Guy: No-one asked you.
Fortunately a few people wandered in by accident and the chat bots cooperated, which was good enough for me.
Overall there was a positive feeling at the conference amongst Informix attendees - the increased investment and focus on Informix by IBM is reaping results. It's good to be working on a product in ascendancy, and hear in person comments from DBA's who use IDS and like where it's going.
Not finding a lot of time to blog from this year's IOD conference in Las Vegas yet. This is of course due to high workload and not related to unlimited free drinks in the Expo Center and receptions. Here is a quick personal view of some of the announcements from the conference so far, will hope to post more later.
Informix Application Development Website
The IBM website has a new portal dedicated to application development with Informix: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/informix/ids/ad/. This is a good place to get started for information on using Informix Dynamic Server with .NET, PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, IBM Data Studio, Java, EGL, ESQL/C and 4GL.
IDS Developer Edition - Free
At last... a free edition of IDS 11.10 for non-commercial use with no time limits. The Developer Edition will be downloadable from developerWorks and the IIUG website. Check the Developer Edition website for updates around November 6. The Developer Edition limits concurrent sessions to 20, CPU VPs to 1, memory to 1GB, database size to 8GB. Beyond this all IDS Enterprise Edition features are available including the Mach 11 replication features, built-in blades, Server Studio, J/Foundation etc. People have been requesting a fully-featured free edition of IDS for years, and the debate has continued this year so it's great to see this change in policy. If you're at the conference stop by the IDS booths at the Expo Center for a free Developer Edition DVD. IDS DE will initially be available for:
The release notes can be found here.
IDS on Mac
A free version of IDS 11.10 for the Mac OS is under development and will be available for the Developer Edition. There was going to be a demo of this in the exhibition center today, though I'm not sure the machine arrived. Watch the DE website for announcements.[Read More]
For anyone going to the IOD conference next week, here's a preview of the Developer Den sessions. Now that IDS 11.10 supports the DRDA protocol more common API technology is becoming available that was once only for DB2. The Developer Den format is a 30 minute presentation and/or demo followed by an open discussion. I am mostly interested in learning more about the Data Server Workbench and related technologies. Some of the new talks I'm hoping to get to see are:
There also talks by old favorites like Paul Watson on Advanced SPL, and Martin Lurie on the Google Maps API. I have a session on using chat bots as a database interface, where I'll try and convince you chat bots are the next big thing. A full guide to the Developer Den sessions can be found at the Technical Skill Building - Developer Den website.[Read More]
Good news from the SAP on Informix website. IDS 11.10 is now officially certified for SAP..
Thanks to the SAP support team in Germany for working to make this happen.[Read More]
Back in September when I announced my move to Development to work on installation, Windows and common libraries, I glibly invited the massed ranks of blog readers (both of you) to send feedback:
I am interested in any feedback and suggestions you might have regarding the IDS installation process (on any platform) - does it meet your needs?
Gerardo Santana took me at my word and left some thought provoking comments:
About the installation process, last time I checked I had to unpack a tar file into $INFORMIXDIR before running the installer. I fail to see the reason for that requirement, and it bugs me because it makes me give /usr more space than it needs. I want to start the installation process from anywhere I want (my home for instance).
And why should it use Java anyways? It would be nicer that IBM could offer packages for the package managers of the platforms it supports (RPM is not enough). As if the Informix installation was so complicated anyways (a bunch of files dropped in a single directory). Or am I missing something?
I made a vague commitment to reply to these comments, and since then more than one person has asked me when I'm going to get around to it. Admittedly it has taken rather a long time to reply. In part because I usually tend to write blog posts in a hurry (can you tell?) and this was something that deserved a considered response. After all, Gerardo makes an excellent point - Install should be simple.
Firstly, there is more than copying a bunch of files to a directory, setting file permissions and linking libraries. For a UNIX DBA who knows the operating system and has everything set up, this might be sufficient, but there are various additional requirements that clients, partners, and other IBM teams ask for, including (in no particular order):
For these reasons it becomes more cost-effective and reliable to choose an install framework that has support for many of the above features built-in, can support multiple platforms, and is straightforward to extend and customize. Currently Installshield is the install framework used by IDS on Windows, and Installshield Multi-Platform (ISMP) is used on UNIX.
One price that comes with an Installshield framework is a Java Runtime dependency. A Java Runtime Environment is bundled in the install media so for most users this is transparent. Java makes a good choice to write a multi-platform install framework - it has been around for a while and many of the platform specific issues go away.
That is not to say there are not other choices, both Java and non-Java. We continue to evaluate install frameworks to identify which has the best combination of cost-effectiveness, usability, reliability and platform support. We are looking at both home-grown solutions and 3rd party install frameworks used by other IBM Software Group development teams. We are also actively looking into how we can provide simpler options for embedding IDS and deploying instances to multiple machines.
Regarding wanting to start the install process from anywhere. That sounds like a reasonable request and if the demand is there it aught to be fixable.
Thanks for the comments Gerardo, and please leave more. Thanks also PJ in the install team for providing insight into current ISMP functionality.
DeveloperWorks, currently celebrating its 8th birthday, has a new blog, and the Informix blogosphere has a new node, in the form of Informix replication architect Madison Pruet's Replication Roundtable. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being on a conference call with Madison will know he's not afraid to express himself. Madison opens his blog with an exposition on the MACH11 Cluster.
If you have any interest in the powerful replication features of IDS, this is one to watch.[Read More]
Part 1 of this article looked at a standard case of the popular Could not initialize security subsystem error which can occur when running command line IDS utilities on Windows.
Part 2 looks at a more obscure case of this error. Here's an email I received last week:
I installed a Cygwin environment and a telnet server on our Windows 64-bit machine.I can now access the machine and log-in as informix to a nice UNIX-like bash shell. However I would like to access the informix server from this shell. When I have defined INFORMIXDIR/INFORMIXSERVER etc. However I always end up with ERROR could not initialize security subsystem.Since this is usually a problem accessing the Informix part of the registry, my first thought was that this had something to do with Cygwin being 32-bit and not being able to access the 64-bit registry keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Informix. With hindsight this couldn't be the problem, since it would be the 64-bit IDS utilities which access the registry keys, not Cygwin.
Strangely the problem only occurred when connecting via the telnet server. A Cygwin shell executed via Remote Desktop worked fine.
To investigate further, I used the Sysinternals utility Regmon to monitor which registry keys were accessed when the onstat utility was executed via a telnet session. This showed one problem - the Informix environment variables were being set in a "DOS format" environment shell, which added an extra linefeed character at the end of the INFORMIXSERVER environment value. This showed up as a mysterious block at the end of the Registry access string in Regmon.
Once the environment variables were fixed, onstat would still not run in the telnet session. It failed with:
GLS initialization failed, error -23101
Informix Dynamic Server revenue has not been mentioned in this blog for some time. Since IBM's financial reporting restrictions prevent me from being precise it takes some of the fun out of it and my enthusiasm had waned.
On receiving an email asking about this today (thanks Ravi), I made an exception to my apathy and checked with marketing. With the Q2 '07 results in, I can say: IDS revenue has increased by double digits for the last 6 consecutive quarters. Good to see the growth is consistent.[Read More]
A common user error when running command line IDS utilities on Windows is the "Could not initialize security subsystem" error. Below is an example of the kind of email I receive fairly frequently..
c:\informix> set | find "INF"INFORMIXDIR=C:\informixINFORMIXSERVER=serv1_sec
c:\informix> onstat -ERROR: Could not initialize the security subsystem. Please ensure that this account has the necessary privileges and ensure INFORMIXSERVER value exists in the registry and environment.
How do I fix it ?
The "security subsystem" part of this message is misleading, in that it generally doesn't relate to anything about security from a user perspective. The key part of the message is nearly always "ensure INFORMIXSERVER value exists in the registry and environment".
The way to troubleshoot this error is:
Part 2 of this article is here.[Read More]
A set of instructions for installing OpenAdmin Tool for IDS in a Linux XAMPP environment written by Erika von Bargen was added to the IDS Experts blog over the weekend. Now anyone wishing to install OAT with XAMPP can refer to:Read More]
gbowerman 100000B5T0 9,548 Views
Look out for the upcoming Ziff Davis seminar on Wednesday September 26th, when Kevin Brown and Madison Pruet will talk about 99.999% - How Available is Your Business?
"Attendees will hear from IBM IDS technical leaders Kevin Brown and Madison Pruet who will discuss the importance of reaching 99.999% uptime, and why this level of business continuity can rarely be achieved with a "one-size-fits-all" solution. The availability capabilities of IDS 11 will be prominently featured."
Inside Informix V11
Eric Herber has written an article about IDS 11 in Database Trends magazine, which includes a nice Open Admin Tool screenshot of a MACH11 topology. For the impatient, go to http://es1.tecnavia.com/ee/databasetrends/# and skip to page 18.
September Chat with Labs - RFID and Web Services
This month's Chat with the Labs covers the new Web Feature Service - which can provide a useful service layer for any kind of data, including GeoSpatial. Here's the blurb.
Location Based Services and RFID using Web Feature Services
This feature implements an Open GeoSpatial Consortium(R) Web Feature Service (OGC WFS) in IDSto act as a presentation layer for the Spatial and Geodetic DataBlade modules. The OGC WFS interface allows requests for geographical features across the web using platform-independentcalls. The XML-based GML (Geography Markup Language) is used as the encoding for transportingthe geographic features. Our speakers for this Chat will be Jerry Keesee, Director of the Informix Lab and Alan Caldera, Senior IDS Development Engineer.
RSVP for this Chat at: ttps://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=7267470
Comments, questions: lspina AT us.ibm.com
There are 3 IIUG Cheetah tech days on the US West coast in the next week:
Since the directions to the San Jose IBM facility on the website are allegedly unreliable, here are the directions in full:
Morgan Hill/GilroyTake highway 101 and head North. Take the 880 highway exit, right and head towards Oakland. Go 4.1 miles to 237 and go West onto 237. Go 2.4 miles to the North First Street exit, turn right. We are on the right side - 4400 North First St.
From San Jose Airport:Get onto North/West 87 (Guadalupe Parkway) and take ramp onto highway 101, towards San Francisco. Take the Great America Parkway/Bowers exit and head right. Keep straight onto Great America Parkway for 1.9 miles. Take 237, right, towards Milpitas for 1.0 miles and take the North First Street exit and head North.You.ll now be going over 237. We are on the right side . 4400 North First St.
From San Francisco Airport:Get onto highway 101 and head South towards San Jose. Go 26.7 miles to 237, towards Milpitas. Go 4.7 miles to the North First Streetexit and head North. You.ll now be going over 237. We are on the right side - 4400 North First St.
From Oakland Airport/ East BayExit airport onto highway 880 South, go 26.3 miles to 237 West. Go 2.4 miles to the North First Street exit, turn right. We are on the right side, 4400 North First St.
I asked Hrvoje Zokovic how the Cheetah Technical Workshop in Croatia went and here is his write-up..
Alfatec Group and IBM Croatia organized an IDS Cheetah Technical Workshop in Zagreb, September 5th-7th for IBM business partners and customers. The presenter was Scott Pickett and during three days of his addictive presentations attendees were informed about Cheetah new features. Besides the presentations, attendees got to grips with Cheetah during the labs – MACH11 with hdr, rss, clr and sds was configured by attendees in a matter of minutes. The new features enjoyed a rapturous reception, with attendees saying they are ready to start using Cheetah. Scott also announced more exciting features in future IDS releases.
Obligatory view out of the window.. I'm sure I've been lost in that part of Zagreb before
Scott sets his class an impossible exercise
For more pictures of the event check out Alfatec's photo album[Read More]
Did you know there are five developerWorks forums providing help for Informix Dynamic Server and Informix application development? I didn't until I counted today, and I may have miscounted as it's still early. The number has been growing over recent months as new development software such as the Common Client becomes available. Here is the current list:
IBM IDS Informix Dynamic Server Forum
This forum is a place to exchange ideas, ask questions and share solutions with your peers in the IBM Informix community about the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) and tools. Active participation in the forum will allow all of the participants to get the maximum return. All information is for community discussion and should not be considered IBM support.
IDS Developer and User Forum
This forum provides a place for Informix Dynamic Server developers and users to share their questions, thoughts, and ideas with others.
Unleash the new Java, .NET, PHP and Ruby client and Developer solutions for IDS 11
IDS 11.10.xC1, Cheetah, supports an industry standard protocol (DRDA). New database providers that can connect to IDS (Cheetah), DB2 (Viper), or other IBM RDBMs are available. The focus of this forum is using these datasource providers with IDS.
The providers are as follows:Java: IBM® Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ, Version 3.50.NET: IBM® Data Server Provider for .NET for Informix Dynamic Server, version 9.5PHP: PDO_IBM, Version 1.21Ruby: Version IBM_DB-0.8.
PHP Forum: Developing PHP applications with IBM Information Management products (DB2, IDS)
This forum is ideal for posting your questions about building better web applications with PHP and IBM Information Management products including: DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, and more. Suggested topic areas include: getting connected to IBM data servers from PHP using native extensions (ibm_db2) and PDO (PHP Data Objects). Other hot topics include using the PHP frameworks such as the Zend Framework and understanding the use of Zend Core for IBM and the new PHP Eclipse tools (PDE). Share your insights on how you use of XML capabilities (XML, XSLT, SQL/XML, XQuery) of IBM data servers from your PHP scripts.
Developer Solutions for IBM DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)
This forum is ideal to engage in discussions related to the use of DB2 Developer Workbench 9.1 to simplify DB2 application development tasks. This forum has also been extended to provide assistance for IBM Data Server Developer Workbench 9.5 beta participants. IBM Data Server Developer Workbench 9.5 can be used with Informix Dynamic Server (IDS), DB2 for Linux, UNIX, Windows, DB2 for z/OS, and DB2 for i5/OS to save you time and energy to rapidly create database applications. Please indicate if you are using IBM Data Server Developer Workbench 9.5 beta or DB2 Developer Workbench 9.1 as you post your questions.
If you want to learn more about Developer Workbench don't miss Mark Jamison's IDS Experts blog series: New Common Development tool for IDS and DB2. He's begun an excellent tutorial/introduction which includes download and set-up instructions.[Read More]
The IIUG Calender of Events is rather full lately. Currently running is the IDS Cheetah Technical Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia. Next up is..
IDS Version 11.1 Executive and Technical Briefing - Bangalore
Date: September 11 2007
Ashish Jane writes about the upcoming Cheetah technical briefing in Bangalore with Kevin Foster..
On the 11th of September, at the IBM India Executive Briefing Centre,Bangalore, there is a comprehensive briefing on the release of IDS11.1 (codenamed "Cheetah"), the product roadmap and live presentationsof new product functionality. The keynote speaker is Mr. Kevin Foster who currently leads Informix ISV Development and Support.
Kevin is a heritage Informixer who was a Senior DevelopmentManager prior to the acquisition. He has a deep technical backgroundand is very well placed to discuss the product, it's features and it'sfuture.
Thanks & RegardsAshish
Cheetah Tech Days
9/12 Chicago, 9/19 San Jose, 9/20 Seattle, 9/26 Waltham, 9/26 Costa Mesa, 9/27 Salt Lake City, 10/30 Bethedsa, Maryland (DC User group).
These tech days have been taking place at various cities throughout Summer, and follow the same basic formula. Here is the announcement for the Seattle event, which like the last announcement I blatantly copied from comp.databases.informix:
We have scheduled a meeting for September 20th at the IBM Facility in Seattle Washingon.
Please join us!! Come and meet your local IBM Developers, Support Team andManagement to find out what is new and exciting at IBM! The most exciting thing happening thisyear is the latest release of Informix Dynamic Server, or CHEETAH! There will be a lot to discuss about Cheetah at this meeting.
** TOPICS ** "A Breath of Fresh Air"
What will Cheetah offer you?? A.I.R.
A - Agile (Scalability, Extensibility, Web Location Based Services)
I - Invisible (Embed-ability, small footprint, Admin Free)
R - Resilient (Global Availability, High Availability, Security)
8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast and Registration
9:00 . 9:15 Welcome and Introductions (Darrel Riley - President SIUG)
9:15 - 10:15 Overview of IDS "Cheetah"
IBM will announce some exciting news about the next release of the Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) - code-named "Cheetah." We will highlight the new features, and cover results of therecent beta test run, along with a roadmap showing the direction of future IDS releases.
10:30 - 11:30 Agile - Performance enhancements in Cheetah, application development
If you thought IDS was fast now, just wait until you get your hands on the latest updates that deliver peak performance to your applications. Learn what has been added in IDS Cheetah(and what you've been missing if you are still on IDS 7.31). Find out the implementation details so you can take advantage of these for your solutions.
11:30 - 12:00 Agile - IDS an Agile Choice for Application Development
Do you Web 2.0? Find out more about how you can take advantage of a Services Oriented Architecture to easily deliver location based information to your applications. IDS extensibility and the new Web Feature Services in Cheetah make this possible. The new Basic Text Search that is included in IDS Cheetah will also be covered.
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 1:45 Invisible - Enter the "Administration-Free Zone"
If you like the 'hands-free' reliability of IDS, you're gonna love the new tools that make administration even easier. The new OpenAdmin Tool for IDS provides a GUI based view of allof your data server activities - starting with a map of server locations that can drill down to the detail of an individual SQL statement. Other new features allow automatic scheduling to keep your weekends free.
2:00 . 3:00 Resilient - Availability Solutions in IDS "Cheetah"
IDS has long provided multiple robust solutions to support high availability of your data.IDS "Cheetah" builds on those strengths with new options to design the right availability solution to meet your needs. Learn how customers achieve 99.999% availability (less than 5 minutes downtime per year), and how these new choices can improve performance and provideworkload management for easy scalability.
3:00 - 3:30 Resilient and Secure - Protecting your Information Assets
Learn how the new security features in IDS, including Label Based Access Control (LBAC),can help you protect the information assets in your IDS databases. New levels of control will make it easier to isolate protected information to meet regulatory compliance requirements and gain competitive advantage.
3:30 - 5:00 View the Demos and Meet the Experts
You've seen the presentations, now take time to talk to the experts who created these newfeatures, and see demos that illustrate how you can use the new functionality in your applications.
TIME AND PLACE
- Date: Thursday, September 20, 2007- Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM- Networking and refreshments: ** Doors open at 8:30 AM for continental breakfast ** ** Lunch will also be provided ** (There is NO charge to attend this meeting)- Place: IBM Facility: Room 9026. Seattle, WA
- RSVP info: register via email, contact Cindy Lichtenauer:cindy _AT_ iiug.org
A new LBAC tutorial was published on developerWorks last week... IDS Label-Based Access Control, a practical guide, Part 1: Understand the basics of LBAC in IDS. The IDS 11.10 Label Based Access Control (LBAC) feature has much in common with the corresponding DB2 feature, so two advanced support engineers Manjula Panthagani and Joe Baric converted a DB2 tutorial to Informix.
See also the 2-part overview of LBAC on IDS Experts, written by one of the developers of the feature, Jihong Ma.[Read More]
Friday was my last day in Tech Support and today I take up a new position in Development as IDS architect for install, common libraries and Windows. Having spent most of my career in tech support, there is plenty about the old job I'll miss. I'll subjectively state that Informix tech support is a great environment to work in. Unlike many tech support organizations Informix support engineers have equal status with their development counterparts, and have opportunities to work with source code, fix bugs and develop product features. The customer perspective that support engineers gain is valued by development and tech support sign-off is required during the review process for new features.
In the new role I am interested in any feedback and suggestions you might have regarding the IDS installation process (on any platform) - does it meet your needs? And if you use or plan to use IDS on Windows, anything you would like to see different or Windows features you would like to see better integration with? Let me know.[Read More]
Today IDS support for Debian and Ubuntu was announced by IDS QA manager Madhuri Ahuja.
Here is Madhuri's email in full, which contains some useful comments about pre-requisites:
Hello Informix Users, IDS team would like to share with you that Debian and Ubuntu are now supported with CheetahIDS 11.10XC1. Please refer following details to ensure you have right versions of compiler, Kernel and glibcinstalled on your machines: For IDS X86 (Linux 32) on Debian GNU/Linux 4.0:Compiler : 4.1.2glibc : 2.3.6Kernel :2.6.18-4-686Comments: Install the following: - libaio1 (required for KAIO) - pdksh (required by ISM) For IDS X86_64 (Linux 64) on Debian GNU/Linux 4.0:Compiler : 4.0.3glibc : 2.3.6Kernel : 2.6.15Comments: Install the following: - libaio1 (required for KAIO) - pdksh, Libc6-i386, libncurses 32bit (required by ISM) Note: - libncurses 32bit(required for ISM)needs to be copied from a x86 (32-bit) installation. - Copy /lib/libncurses.so.5 from x86 (32bit) installation to x86_64(64bit)32bit compat libs: /lib32/libncurses.so.5 For IDS X86 (Linux 32) on Ubuntu 126.96.36.199 LTS:Compiler : 4.0.3glibc : 2.3.6Kernel : 2.6.15Comments: Install the following: - libaio1 (required for KAIO) - pdksh (required by ISM) - bc utility (required by installserver) For IDS X86_64 (Linux 64) on Ubuntu 188.8.131.52 LTS:Compiler : 4.0.3glibc : 2.3.6Kernel : 2.6.15Comments: Install the following: - libaio1 (required for KAIO) - pdksh, Libc6-i386, libncurses 32bit (required by ISM) - bc utility (required by installserver)Note: - libncurses 32bit(required for ISM)needs to be copied from a x86 (32-bit) installation. - Copy /lib/libncurses.so.5 from x86 (32bit) installation to x86_64(64bit)32bit compat libs: /lib32/libncurses.so.5 Please let's know if you need more information to explore IDS on Ubuntu and Debian Linux versions. Regards,Madhuri
It's good to see this news, there are many Debian and Ubuntu users on c.d.i. I like to use a Debian filesystem with CoLinux on my laptop, and this makes Informix support smoother. I haven't used Ubuntu so much, but have some familiarity with the Edubuntu distribution. I'll be more tempted to replace Windows with Edubuntu on old PC's now. I did this on an old pc I donated to a kindergarten not long ago and by all accounts it's the most popular pc in the class.
IDS Resource Agent for Linux-HA Clustering
On the subject of Linux, Informix Zone had an article yesterday about the new IDS Resource Agent for Linux-HA Clustering developed by Lars Daniel Forseth for his diploma thesis. The article includes the 170 page thesis itself as well as the installation guide.[Read More]
A common gotcha for Informix users who are more familiar with IDS on UNIX than Windows is to try to start IDS by running the oninit command directly from a Windows command shell. If you try this oninit will appear to hang around in foreground because it is not designed to be executed directly. Instead the oninit.exe process is designed to be launched by the IDS Windows service when it is started. The historical reason for this is that processes on Windows do not support the UNIX style "fork and exit" architecture.
The supported way to start IDS on Windows is to start the IDS Windows service, which has the same name as your INFORMIXSERVER value. See an earlier blog post for various ways to do this: Ways to start IDS on Windows.
A batch file to emulate UNIX oninit
Here is a batch file that will start IDS and exit, acting just like the UNIX oninit. If you put this somewhere in your path before %INFORMIXDIR%/bin you can call it oninit.bat and you're done. If you can't guarantee it will be before oninit.exe in your path, you might have to settle for calling it something else, like onstart.bat..
@echo offrem Windows batch file to mimic UNIX oninit usage
Note: Just like oninit on UNIX, this script assumes your environment variables PATH and INFORMIXSERVER are set correctly. However, since all this is doing is starting the IDS service, the rest of the Informix environment variables will be read from the Registry.
Now suppose you want an oninit.bat file that you can put in %INFORMIXDIR%\bin and always work, regardless of the path? This is a little more complicated because an executable file of the same name as a batch in the same directory is executed by the operating system first. I do have this working, but it isn't pretty, and is certainly not supported. It involves renaming oninit.exe, and doing binary edits on onscpah.exe, oninit.exe, ontape.exe, onbar_d.exe, onmode.exe.
Suppose further that you wanted the executable oninit.exe to behave just like it does on UNIX - to start IDS and exit, and read its environment variables from your command shell environment rather than the Registry just like UNIX? This can be done, and is something we're thinking about implementing in a future version. From an engineering perspective it isn't too much work. If you use IDS on Windows or in a multi-platform environment and think this is a worthwhile feature please let me know.[Read More]