Administrating and Developing with Informix
Thanks for the introduction Guy.
A lot of you know me, but for those that don't, I've worked for 20 years in the RDBMS industry,
either as an application developer or a DBA. I've worked on every major RDBMS that runs on
WIndows or some flavor of Unix (Linux and OSX included) at various points in my career,
finally coming to work for Informix in 1995, then moving on to DBA work before coming back to
Informix, now IBM, in 1999. Been working for "the man" ever since. My main areas of focus have
been performance tuning, GLS, and Security. I've had the opportunity and pleasure of working
with some of Informix's great VARS and partners while supporting some of Informix's best and
most demanding customers.
Now with performance tuning, GLS, and Security you would naturally think "Database Engine Nerd,"
and you wouldn't be wrong. Be that as it may, I haven't forgotten my roots as an ESQL/C programmer,
and while I have to grab a manual to write java, I am definitely an advocate for the Developer.
After all the way I look at things is if you don't advocate for the developer, who is going to write
applications for this RDBMS called informix which you think is great.
So the next question you may be asking is "What's with the title of the post Mark?"
Glad you asked. I'm an Apple nerd. I prefer a Mac to a PC, an iPhone to any other phone, and
Love the iPad. Certain members of IIUG have referred to me as "Steve Jobs Jr." . I was also one
of the first to test Informix on the Mac, and continue to test and play with Informix versions as they
come out on the Mac. I'm a Mac advocate as well as an Application Developer advocate.
I plan to discuss things going forward in the App Dev side of the fence, and the Mac side of the fence.
And I looks forward to hear from people as well. Informix application development tools and process
cannot move forward and get better without input. While a blog may not get that much input, then
again it may too.
I look forward to adding content in the future. And hope to hear from readers soon and often.
Critics might argue that this blog has over the years become a little sparse on actual weighty topics related to application development, and somewhat abundant when it comes to reprinting random announcements and links to other posts. It could be further argued, by the most exacting of readers, that my average post takes about 25 seconds to type, and I don't even bother checking it for typos..
Therefore I am very pleased to welcome Mark Jamison, an enterprise support engineer, trenchant Informix developer advocate, and posessor of many other talents.. as a technical author for this blog. You'll be seeing posts from Mark over the coming months.
Informix User Group stalwart Norma Jean has started her own blog where she writes about Informix, the development tool GeneXus and IIUG related matters: check out Thoughts about Informix, GeneXus, & life in general. The photo makes me want to visit Wisconsin..
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During a visit to London last November I met Clive Eisen at Hildebrand Consulting to learn about the solution they provided for the Digital Environment Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS) - a project to monitor home electricity consumption to a fine level of granularity, enabling people to make significant savings in energy costs. It was also an eye-opener to learn about some of the appliances that use the most electricity in a typical.
Hildebrand needed to create a solution capable of handling 50,000 new database entries per second with time-series data. Hildebrand selected the Informix TimeSeries DataBlade and Real-Time Loader as a technology to could handle this level of throughput with complex data.
You can learn more about the DEHEMS project and Hildebrand's Informix-based solution in this recently published following case study: Hildebrand solves a key problem in smart metering research With IBM Informix technologies for time-series data management.
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The next Informix Chat with the Lab is just over two weeks away. This time Mark Ashworth covers an increasingly in demand Informix feature: the Spatial and Geodetic IDS extensions. Here are the details..
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.