This week I'm hanging around San Francisco, working at the Macworld
Expo. IBM has pedestals for Informix
, Rational Buildforge
and Lotus Notes
(there is an announcement
this week for Mac versions of the Lotus products integrated with Google and other calendars).
Here is a view from the Expo floor..
Venu, PJ and Terri trying not to scare people away from the Informix booth
Recently IBM has added a 32-bit Mac version of the Informix Client SDK (useful for Ruby developers) and made improvements to the IDS installer look and feel on Mac OS. We have a few demo's running this week.. a FileMaker application using an Informix backend, a high availability demo showing Mac based Mach11 and ER systems handling failover scenarios, an IDS virtual appliance guest OS running under VMWare Fusion acting as a client and using OpenAdmin Tool to administer IDS running on a Mac, and a Cocoa application written in Objective C integrated with ODBC which uses the Basic Text Search Blade to do freeform text searches on an Informix database.
The high availability theme will be continued on Friday at 1pm when Carlton Doe presents a session
entitled Building Enterprise-class and Virtually Fail-safe Database Services on the Mac
Certain people have accused me of being a PC and not a Mac. Maybe, but after spending some time tinkering with Xcode and seeing how fast IDS runs on it, the platform is starting to grow on me.[Read More
The rest of IDUG rushed by in a blur, here are some notes..Tuesday
In the morning I delivered my IDS for Windows internals talk. If anyone downloads the slides from the conference website or IIUG please note they claim the 64-bit Windows port of IDS will not support ISM. As development plans have progressed this has since turned out to be a cheap lie, ISM support is now planned. In my defense, I am a cheap liar.
Freed up to attend a few sessions I followed a meandering path of application development, security and Linux, beginning with Sergio Ferreira
's JSTL SQL tags
talk, which starting with the Java web stack explainedJSTL
- the Java Standard Tag Library, EL
- Expression Language, and how to use the various JSTL components such as SQL.
In the afternoon Alexey Sonkin
provided some tips on Optimizing Linux for IDS
- I was expecting this to get very technical and was not disappointed. Topics included performance comparisons for different Linux filesystems, partitioning optimization for drive geometry, picking the best I/O scheduler for database performance, optimizing the kernel memory swapping algorithm, the quadratic dependency between network connections and SOC VPkernel processing time, and FASTPOLL.
Here is a copy of the official conference agenda for Tuesday evening:
1. Drinks reception at Conference Exhibit Hall.2. CA Party at Tech Museum with open bar.3. ????4. Wake up in hotel room.Wednesday
On Wednesday morning I met Anatole Vishon
who demonstrated some of the new features in Server Studio
6.x currently in beta and due for releaseto coincide with IDS 11.10. There is a lot to cover in Server Studio and I'llsave this for a separate blog entry later this week.
In the afternoon I caught Jonathan Leffler
's Encrypted Communications with IDS 10.0
presentation which took us from Kerckhoff's Principle
, the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol
to setting up encrypted network communication in IDS using Encryption CSM
Next was Paul Watson
going through some Public and Free Datablades
- a useful range of blades to extend SQL functionality that are freely available and easy to build and install. For some reason Paul thought I'd make a good sacrificial goat for various object relational questions that came up - maybe it was a punishment for arriving late, either way I'm going in disguise to his next talk.
Later that day coaches were laid on to give conference attendees a taste of BayArea traffic and transport them to a reception at IBM's plush Silicon Valley Lab (SVL)
. As the throng were shepherded to the reception area we were waved and cheered by resident developers - presumably the slow ones who were unable to get away when rounded up.Thursday
On Thursday the only session I managed to see was Gary Ben-Israel
's Hitchhiker's Guide to J2EE
- an illuminating guide to the framework universe
, and some of the serious problems to that need to be overcome when developing within a Java framework. As a result of this talk and some offline chats I've added Wicket
to my "to learn about" list.
Throughout the conference the Exhibit Hall was busy. IDS had 4 pedestals, including an IDSAdmin demo showing new replication features and an interesting gaming development demo which I hope this blog or IDS Experts
might cover in the near future.[Read More
Downtown San Jose was bustling with Mexicans on horses, teenage girls and pasty engineers on Sunday as it hosted Cinco de Mayo
celebrations, the NCVA Junior Girls Volleyball Power League Regionals and IDUG North America
IDUG kicked off with a series of Sunday educational seminars. Of the 5 Informix ones I managed to catch Speed and Performance in IDS
presented by John Miller
and 20 year Informix veteran Scott Lashley
who was grumbling about being offered a senior coffee in Macdonalds - I'm sure it was an innocent mistake. It was good to pick up some performance tips from the experts - must increase my physical log size to take advantage of non-blocking checkpoints - ok the online log has been telling me that for a while but it's good to get a reminder..
Fancy hoof-work on W San Carlos
Today saw the official start of IDUG. For the keynote two retired IBM fellows Pat Selinger
and Don Haderle
were reanimated to discuss the future of database technology. They have a cute comedy routine going with a dash of bawdiness, which makes a change to standard hype-laden conference keynotes.
Monday was the busiest day for me with my interminable JSP/Ajax and Krakatoa/Solano talks and booth duty but did get to attend one Special Interest Group meeting - Informix for Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence
- where hardcore data warehousers shared their thoughts and questions with Kevin Fennimore
, Ron Flannery
and Martin Lurie
. The consensus is these guys would like to see more XPS
warehouse friendly features ported into IDS. Tomorrow I just have to inflict my soul-crushing IDS Internals for Windows presentation (it's soul-crushing in a good way, honest) and can then report on a few other sessions.[Read More
The IOD conference starts in Las Vegas on Sunday and this is the time of year when I glare enviously at anyone who doesn't leave everything to the last minute and isn't working on their conference sessions.
I am relieved that at least that my Hands on Lab: 1230 Getting Started with the IBM Developer Cloud and Informix Dynamic Server is complete (with a lot of help from co-author Yunming). It's been fun working on this lab and getting to use the cloud features.
What is the IBM Developer Cloud? The IBM Smart Business Development and Test Cloud site describes it as "a dynamically provisioned and scaled runtime environment that provides everything needed to develop and test application code". If you have not tried it, it's worth a look. It's in an open beta phase at the moment, which means it's free to create an ID and launch your own images. Another invite-only beta phase is scheduled to begin in December that will include many new features. In the lab we'll launch our own Informix cloud images, manage connectivity with RSA key pairs, set up web services, HDR and MACH11 on our cloud instances. In case I'm not shamelessly promoting it enough, I also plan to hand out free Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) vouchers at the lab, so if you're attending IOD come along to Breakers-C on Wednesday afternoon (2pm-5pm) and try it out. We'll also be demo'ing the Informix Developer Cloud image in the Expo hall at certain times.
If you're planning on being there, hope to see you at the Community reception at 8pm on Sunday.
Here's an IIUG conference summary email that was sent to IIUG members today..
In less than 2 weeks time IBM Informix Architects, Developers, Support engineers and Management teams will mingle in Kansas City with Informix DBA's, Developers, Managers, Analysts, and Press at the 2nd annual IIUG Informix Conference. It's not too late to register and attend. You do not want to miss this event!
No other conference in the world will focus this intensely and comprehensively on the Informix product set. For 3 action-packed days across 5 content-rich tracks, from April 26-30, there will be an absolute focus at The Marriott Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas — which is right down the street from the Informix Development Labs.
Don't delay register now! http://www.iiug.org/conf/2009/iiug/register.php
No matter how you look at it, this conference is an unbeatable deal. So, plan on being at the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference in Overland Park, Kansas April 26-29, 2009.
TUTORIALS (Sunday April 26th)
- Monday: Dr Arvind Krishna, WorldWide Vice President IBM Information Data ServersDr Krishna is the person responsible for all IBM database products including the Informix portfolio.
- Tuesday: Dr. Anant Jhingran, Distinguished Engineer, VP and CTO for IBM's Information Management DivisionCloud Computing, Databases and the Role of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)
- Wednesday: Q&A with Key IBM/Informix ExecutivesStuart Litel, President of the IIUG along with Alyse Passarelli WorldWide Vice President of IBM Information Management Database Sales, Jerry Keesee, Worldwide Director of IBM Informix Development, Al Martin, Worldwide Director of IBM Data Management Support and Bernie Spang, IBM Worldwide Director of Marketing
TECHNICAL SESSIONS (Monday April 27 — Wednesday April 29)Over 85 technical sessions over three full days!For an updated list of sessions, visit: http://www.iiug.org/conf/2009/iiug/sessions.php
CERTIFICATIONAll attendees can take IBM Information Management Certification exams at no cost. Each of these tests is a $150 value!
- Sunday night welcome cocktail reception in the exhibit hall with an xtreme Team Trivia event to follow!
- Monday night reception for all the attendees, exhibitors, speakers and all the local IBM Informix Development and Support Staff from the Lenexa labs — sponsored by Gillani.
- Tuesday night - Casino night at the Marriott hotel, sponsored by the IIUG.
Today's post contains an assortment of events, catching up from having been somewhat lacking in blog time last week..A wet day in Waltham
The New England Informix User group
met last Friday at the IBM Waltham facility. On the agenda were Marty Lurie
and his son Aron
cutting school to present their Google Maps/IDS mash-up
. Carlton Doe
went through some of the many IDS 11.10 feature highlights; and I subjected the attendees to my relentless IDS Internals for Windows
presentations. June Hunt
who organized the meeting was giving out prizes, including two very cute cuddly cheetahs.IDUG NA 2007 - San Jose May 6-10IDUG NA
starts in a few days in San Jose. Expect the usual plethora of seminars, presentations and events. I'll be mumbling my way through the aforementioned IDS Windows and JSP/AJAX talks, along with one on Krakatoa/Solano. The material will differ from the downloadable IDUG versions due to new slides on Windows 64, Windows Vista and other topics being added at the last minute. Free Certification Testing
Note that both the IDUG
conferences include free certification testing
. For the first time the IDS v11 Certified System Administrator
certification test will be available.Hint:
the new exam has a higher percentage of questions about new features than previous IDS certification exams. To prepare for this exam make sure you set aside enough time to thoroughly learn new v11 features.IOD Conference - May 21-25 May 2007 - Düsseldorf
The IOD conference in Düsseldorf is also nearly upon us. Again there is a lot going on, check the Conference website
for more details.KCIUG Tech Day: 9am-4pm June 12 2007
The Kansas City Informix User Group is sponsoring a Tech Day on June 12th, 2007. The theme for the day is:
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)
I'd have called it H.A.I.R (Highly), but that's just me. Details can be found in the latest IIUG Insider
.IOD Conference - Oct 14-19, 2007. Las Vegas, NV
The Information Management überconference Information on Demand 2007
takes place in October. This year's conference will be bigger than ever with the addition of the Filenet
conference. Expect 500 technical sessions.[Read More
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
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:
- IBM AIX® Power PC® 64-bit
- Hewlett-Packard HP-UX PA-RISC 64-bit
- Hewlett-Packard HP-UX Itanium® 64-bit
- Linux® Intel® 32-bit
- Linux Intel AMD 64-bit
- Sun Solaris SPARC 64-bit
- Sun Solaris AMD64/Opteron
- Windows® 2003 32-bit and 64-bit
- Windows XP 32-bit and 64-bit
- Windows Vista (except Home Edition) 32-bit and 64-bit
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
Back in May
I mentioned there may be a tech fair in Menlo Park later this year. I was a few miles out but if you're based in the California Bay Area mark your calenders for September 14th - the Bay Area Informix Tech Fair is going ahead in San Jose
. This is an opportunity to spend a day learning about Informix topics from Advanced Support and Development engineers and meet other Informix users in the area. If you'd like to attend or have questions please RSVP..
FREE Informix Tech Fair
September 14, 2006
- IDS 10.00 Features
- Application Development
- High Availability Data Replication (HDR)
- SQL Optimizer
- Much more..
IBM Informix Advanced Support & Development Speakers:
Ajay Gupta, Guy Bowerman, Joaquim Zuzarte, Santosh Sajip, Suma Vinod,Vijay Lolabattu
Come and see demos integrating several application technologies.
Having a problem or question about Informix? Talk to an engineer and get free advice about your specific issue. Time is limited.
WHEN: September 14, 2006 9:15am - 4:30pm
Waiting at McCarran airport in a contemplative frame of mind for a flight back to Portland afforded some time to reflect on the recently completed IOD 2008 conference..
Sadly I did not get to attend as many talks or keynotes as I would have liked to this week, having had multifarious activities to work on or prepare for every day, but the main themes of the conference for me were...Virtualization and Virtual Worlds
We announced the IDS 11.50 Developer Edition virtual appliance
last week and are seeing a lot of interest in it. Informix virtual appliances were present at various places in the conference Expo hall. I was manning the Intel
booth where we were showing IDS and DB2 SLES 10 SP2 virtual appliances running under the VMWare ESxi hypervisor layer which comes optionally pre-installed on IBM Blade machines.
At the VMWare booth the first 100 people to fill in a survey were given cool looking 4GB USB drives containing the IDS and DB2 appliances. After that they were handing out DVD's.
Meanwhile at the Canonical
booth they were demoing an Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) version of the IDS virtualappliance. Those Canonical guys are fun to work with, and Ubuntu is hugely popular because, simply put, it's easy to use and itperforms well
. Stand by for more newsabout Canonical and Informix in the near future.
Among the conference technical sessions we had an intro to the virtual appliance, and ahands on lab which provided an opportunity to play around and do some programming in the Data Studio environment that comes pre-installed on the appliance. On Wednesday eveningthere was a Birds of a Feather session where some interesting feedback was provided on what people thought of the initial virtual appliance developer edition, and what they would like to see as IBM extends its virtualization strategy for Informix. One thing thatwas great to hear in this session was the favorable response from people who have tried itso far. It works, it's easy to use.
It was interesting to learn how people intend to usethe current version of the VA. Someone from a "very large retail chain" mentioned that many of their vendors supply solutions in the form of self-contained virtual appliances these days, andit will be useful to him to give the IDS appliance to any of these vendors who claim theydon't do Informix and need a starting point for Informix application development.
Another use for the virtual appliance that is gaining traction is as a core part of the Informix academicinitiative. The components required to make IDS an excellent educational platformhave fallen into place in recent times. The first was the release of the free IDS Developer Editionin IDS 11. Now everyone had access to a free IDS edition with all features enabled.Now with a virtual appliance that contains the Informix development stack, pre-configured,in one place, along with getting started tutorials, it makes for a self-contained classroom and laboratory just waiting to have a database administration and programmingcurriculum developed around it. Here's another idea - when the Ubuntu IDS virtual applianceis available, install the Edubuntu
package on it - then you have a state of the art educational aid for a range of age groups that also teaches database programming.
At the bleeding edge of Informix research Lance Feagan is doing some cool things with IDS and Virtual Worlds. Lance had a couple of very interesting presentations and demo's in this area which I'd like to post more about. In the meantime take a look at this recent IBM Database Magazine article Informix Dynamic Server bridges virtual and real worlds
to get the idea.Windows
I had an IDS on Windows Deep Dive presentation scheduled for the final 11:30 to 12:30 sloton the last day and was not especially expecting anyone to show up. Lucky for me 7 determined people turned out to see 56 slides of non-stop Windows - a mixture of IDS on Windows architecture, recent Windows specific features, notes on embedding IDS on Windows plus some performance and troubleshooting tips. That reminds me, I like the new name for Windows 7, Windows 7
I have been known to fritter away as much as $10 when Ivisit Las Vegas. On Thursday evening I happened past a group of Informix slot machine junkies (Erik, Howard and Madison) and decided to throw caution to the wind and engage in a bout of reckless gambling. At $4 in it was not looking good, then I hit the jackpot and won $7. That was enough for me, I cashed out with a healthy profit. That's right, for a good time in Las Vegas don't hang out with me.Parties
There were some fun parties at IOD (I hope there are no photos from the Halloween party). HP and Intel showed their renewed enthusiasm for Informix by sponsoring an IIUG reception. Check out Spokey's Informix Zone blog
where he has kept track of who has posted photos.
Jacques Roy somehow managed to report on every day of the conference in his: Informix and Computing blog
. If you are more of the visually stimulated type,turn to roving photographer and Frenchman Jean-George Perrin who has amassed a large collection of conference images on his Facebook site
Yesterday was the last day to upload draft presentations for IDUG 2007 - North America (May 6-10)
, taking place in San Jose, home of the Museum of Quilts and Textiles
, not to mention the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Western North America
, allegedly. So far I have uploaded 1 out of 3 drafts, and in the spirit of prevarication am now writing about it rather than finishing the job.
Browsing the conference grid
I see there are 4 separate Informix tracks and plenty of new material. It's reasonable to expect we'll be learning a lot more about Cheetah (IDS 11.10). There is an early bird discount available until March 23rd.Düsseldorf
The IBM Information Management Technical Conference 21-25 May 2007
in Düsseldorf, birthplace of Altbier and Kraftwerk, in that order, is currently gathering papers. Early bird discount lasts until February 28.[Read More
Greetings from the IDUG/IIUG conference in Vienna where I'll be sending inaccurate reports from the conference floor (or the Kunsthistorisches Museum if I manage to sneak out). See http://idugeurope.blogspot.com/
for the official conference blog.
Attendees, with their shiny new IIUG Internet phones and laptop bags, began filling the key-note room at 9:30 for a welcome and introduction from Jeremy Dodd of the conference planning committe. This was followed by a key-note entitled "Information as a Service...A New Era in Databases" by Bob Picciano, IBM Information Management VP of database servers. As he reviewed the Information Management products DB2 Viper with XML support was a major theme, and equally prominent was IDS with its cost of ownership message, a review of the Cheetah announcement, a new and surprisingly artistic marketing video with some telling customer quotes.
After the day's technical tracks
the exhibition hall opened, with Gösser on tap, snacks on trays and some interesting exhibits from Informix and DB2 partners. IBM's Informix booth has IDSAdmin for PHP, IDS 10.0 features and replication demo's.
Meeting so many people known only by email has been a real bonus. Instant messaging is all very well, but some things get sorted out a lot quicker face to face.
Random Conference-cam cellphone snap
Jean-Georges Perrin gets to grips with 4GL to EGL migration..
The San Jose Informix tech fair attracted a mixture of customers (from as far away as North Carolina) and IBM engineers, including some old Menlo Park colleagues who have recently come back to Informix development and QA groups from other projects, and some new hires in the IDS development teams who came along for the day to get some training.
The day started with an introduction to IDS 10.0 new features, followed by an HDR overview.
Two demo's accompanied lunchtime pizza, an HDR set-up and operation overview to show it really was as easy as promised in the preceding talk, and IDSAdmin for PHP (formerly known as phpIDSAdmin). IDSAdmin is an administration tool which utilizes some of the features due in the next major release of IDS.
The afternoon sessions were "IDS and the Websphere MQ Datablade", "Application Optimization Techniques", and a detailed look into the IDS Optimizer, including some of the new features.
IIUG kindly supplied some gizmos to give away, and attendees who made it through to the bitter end were treated to pristine condition vintage Informix mugs recently unearthed by archaeologists from a time capsule.
I enjoyed spending a week in the Bay Area revisiting some old haunts. Not much has changed. Suraj still has spicy tea, Shoreline still has night herons, and the 101 still needs repairing.Bay Area Souvenier Photo
Black Crowned Night heron at Shoreline
To anyone who thinks this blog has lost its originality and has just become an outlet for announcements for conferences, user group meetings, chats with the lab, I'd like to say
2010 IIUG Informix Conference - Call For Presentations
Proposal Submission Deadline: November 1, 2009
The Conference Planning Committee is currently soliciting presentation proposals for the 2010 IIUG Informix Conference, to be held April 25-28 in Overland Park, Kansas USA - http://www.iiug.org/conf. The conference provides a forum for the exchange of information among Informix DBAs and developers and is the premier technical Informix event of the year.
This is your opportunity to share your expertise with a global audience of Informix enthusiasts. If you are selected as a speaker, you will receive a complimentary pass that provides access to all break-out sessions, conference-related events and meals.
The Committee is looking for content that will be of interest to all audience levels. Subjects related to all current Informix and Informix-heritage products, or products that operate in those environments such as other IBM products, third party, Open Source and cross-platform products are welcome.
Topics relevant to today's environment and of interest to conference attendees include, but are not limited to:
- Database Essentials
- Application and Database Architecture
- Installation, Configuration and Administration
- Performance Tuning and Monitoring
- Application and Query Optimization
- Stored Procedures, Triggers, Datablades and UDRs
- Development Languages, Tools and Web Programming
- Linux and Open Source
- XML, SOA and Web ServicesVirtualization and Cloud Computing
- Mobile Applications
- Location-Based Services
- Encryption, Auditing and Security Compliance
- Continuous Availability and Disaster Recovery
- Practical Tips and Tricks from a User PerspectiveReal-Life Experiences and Case Studies
To see the presentation guidelines and submit your abstract, visit the Call for Presentations web page - http://www.iiug.org/conf/call_for_presentations
The deadline for submitting your presentation proposal is November 1, 2009. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IIUG Conference Team
Informix partner Bell Micro and IBM are teaming up to put on a community event for Informix ISV's, users and business partners in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, UK on November 12th 2009. This is how the agenda is shaping up:
For more details go to: http://ibm.bellmicro.eu/informix_event/, you can register online here, or call 0113-251-3045.