Just announcing that I have finally joined the rolls of "those idiots who
blog" as I used to say (cannot comfortably say it any longer I guess).
Administrating and Developing with Informix
The International Informix User Group (IIUG) conference ended on Wednesday, followed by a well attended Customer Advisory Council meeting on Thursday.
It was a good conference and I'm looking forward to being able to download the conference material from the website. As usual I didn't make it to many sessions except ones I had to moderate. This at least enabled me to catch up on the work Informix has been doing with VMware on performance best practices in a presentation by Sreeni Paidi from IBM and Robert Campbell, a VMware technologist. The fruits of this endeavor will soon be published as a white paper.
Two of the speakers at the conference have started blogs this week. I have been mentioning a plethora of blogs started by IBMers over the past few weeks, and it's good to see more Informix related blogs started by Informix experts in the wider community.
Database and Baseball stuff
The most entertaining presentation at IIUG had to be Mike Magie's Informix in the Everyday World - Moving from 10 to 11. Mike works for consultants SAIC at the USDA and took us through some stories of his Informix DBA experiences, and also contrasting Informix features and architecture with SQL Server. Mike had the audience laughing throughout the talk, once his wife got him a working laptop. Anyhow, getting to the point, he has also started a new blog: Database and Baseball stuff, It begins with a discussion of the new External Tables feature in IDS, showing the phenomenal unload performance it delivers, a later post will discuss loads.
There is also some stuff about baseball, I remember seeing something about pitch macros before I fell asleep.
Informix: Art Kagel's View
Art Kagel, Informix guru currently working for Oninit has announced a blog, in his own inimitable style..
The Informix technical writing team, obviously envious at are amazing riting skils, have decided to get in on the act and start their own blog.
The blog, inappropriately named, Appropriate Content can be found here. It begins with an introduction to the team, where I learned that many of our technical writers are in fact real.
I enjoy working with the writing team, and I'm always impressed how quickly they can convert the obscure mumblings of engineers and incomprehensible technical specifcations into lucid text. I'm looking forward to reading more.
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The IIUG conference is next week and our user-friendly Usability guy Howard Glaser has shared some details about the Usability Sandbox sessions that are taking place. The feedback from these sessions goes directly to Development and really helps us understand your needs and concerns. Many of the features we are working on for Panther release of Informix came out of usability sessions that were conducted over the last two years.
Here are the details, and don't forget the free T-Shirt!
Today the Informix 11.50.UC6 Developer Edition Ubuntu packages went live on the Ubuntu Partner Repository.
These packages are the easiest way to install Informix products on any platform.
As my screen shot shows I upgraded from UC5, and as one comes to expect with Ubuntu packages the upgrade was quick and painless.
To see the Informix packages in the Synaptic package manager, go to Software Sources->3rd Party Software and enable the Ubuntu Hardy Partner repository. More detailed instructions, including how to install these packages on later versions of Ubuntu (by default these are for the Hardy - 8.04 LTS release) are available in my earlier post.
If you are wondering when we are going to support later versions of Ubuntu which don't require libstdc++5 to be installed, the Panther release of IDS expected later in the year will dispense with the libstdc++5 requirement and support the next Ubuntu Long Term Support release 10.04 LTS.
The IBM Development and test cloud is currently in Beta, which means you can sign up and try out its services for free. A pre-configured SLES based Informix appliance image which contains similar components to the VMware based Informix virtual appliances is available for use in the Developer in the cloud .
If you are interrested in finding out more about the Informix image, a good way to start is by signing up for an account, starting an instance, and then viewing the recently uploaded video showing the Informix Virtual Appliance Cloud Demo...
The video demonstrates the basics of how to use OpenAdmin Tool to configure Informix v11.50 instances running in the Cloud including setting up a high availability cluster.
Informix advanced support engineer Yunming Wang has recently published a developerWorks article on getting started with and using the Amazon Web Services Informix machine images: Informix application development and testing on the cloud - Using IBM Informix Dynamic Server and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
In a succinct 7-page tutorial style Yunming covers the steps from signing in for the first time, launching an Informix image, connecting using SSL, starting a VNC server, and getting to know the application development components provided with the Informix images.
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The latest issue of IIUG Insider includes an open letter to the Informix community and clients, from IBM's Information Management VP Robert Thomas. In it he outlines IBM's strategy for Informix, one of delighting the install base, building strategic differentiation, creating a proactive culture and building revenue streams.
You can find the letter here: http://www.iiug.org/Insider/insider_mar10.php#2.1
If you were to install the Cognos Express Business Intelligence and planning application you probably won't notice Informix Dynamic Server being installed as its default embedded content store at the same time. Under the covers Cognos Express uses the Informix Deployment Utility (DU) to silently and rapidly deploy a pre-configured IDS instance.
In IDS 11.50.xC6 this technology is available as part of the product for all platforms. The basic concept behind DU is that you set up your Informix instance on one machine. Configure it, create and populate databases if required, and then copy your Informix directory and dbspaces and bundle it with your application. Your application can then silently deploy the pre-configured instance to any machines it installs on by calling DU (the executable is called ifxdeploy). At deployment time DU will unzip the instance, create the informix user, set file permissions, set any instance specific settings for the machine such as the instance name, listening port etc., and optionally relocate data chunks, so if your application deploys pre-configured dbspaces in a new directory the root space will be updated to reflect the new location of chunks.
To help get started with the Deployment Utility, Informix enablement consultant Sreeni Paida has published a new developerWorks article:
Automate small footprint, embedded Informix Dynamic Server deployments - End-to-end embeddability for IDS deployments on Linux, UNIX, and Windows using the IDS Deployment Utility and Embeddability Toolkit.
This article covers end to end Informix deployment scenarios for UNIX and Windows:
1. Installing Informix on a "template" machine.
2. Reducing the instance to a minimal footprint.
3. Packaging the instance and data.
4. Deploying the instance and data on target machines.
There is also active research going on to make embedded IDS deployment easier, that is taking as many of the manual steps out of this process as possible, to reduce both application developer time, and the amount of application installer code required to deploy IDS as an embedded database server.
If you embed IDS in your application or are thinking of doing so, it is worth taking a look at this technology to see how it can make the installation component of integrating with Informix easier.
IDS 11.50.xC6 recently release in Decemeber has some useful new features and I can think of no-one better than Cosmo, AKA Simon David to tell us about them. Please join Cosmo at the next Informix Chat with the Lab on Mar 23rd to learn more.
Here are the details..
Topic : What's new in IDS 11.50xc6 ?
IBM IDS 11.50 release has been enhanced with new functionality to timely meet several customer needs. These features cover a range of areas, further strengthening IDS position by improving on Availability, Performance & Administration.
Presentation material will be available at www.ibm.com/informix/labchats prior to the event.
Questions, comments or to be removed from this distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for this event, use the following link:
If clicking the above link does not work, please copy the entire link and paste it into your Web browser.