Appropriate Content: Informix Documentation Team
The 59 new oninit return codes introduced in Informix® 11.70 describe exactly why the server didn't start. We also document what your next move should be.
For example, oninit return code 175 says: The database server failed to initialize the root dbspace. What you should do if you get this return code is to check the root dbspace related parameters in server configuration file (onconfig) to make sure that the path for the root dbspace is valid.
The oninit return codes are documented in the Administrator's Reference.
This is Hai-Nhu Tran and I'm the manager of the Informix Information Development team. I was lucky enough to go to San Diego for the IIUG conference last weekend! Well, technically, I almost made it to the conference -- I was there on Saturday for the IIUG Customer Advisory & Business Partner Council meeting and for part of Sunday. As this was my first time (almost) going to the IIUG conference, it was a great opportunity to meet many customers and business partners for the first time, get re-acquainted with ones that I'd met before, and to just hear directly from our users.
I had a chance to talk with a number of folks about best practices content, and I'd like to extend the conversation here and ask for your opinion too! Help shape the priorities for best practices content by providing your input through a short survey.
Thanks for the feedback!
We are very excited about our new blog, as it gives us a way to let you know what's on our minds, share info that might find useful, and give you a chance to post your own comments and thoughts on the Informix documentation. Let us know where you'd like to see us go next with the product information, or just visit regularly and learn more about the things that keep the information developers awake at night!
We work hard on delivering what we think you, our customers, need in product information (which includes but is not limited to the product documentation that you see in our information centers and PDFs). We know that there's no shortage of things we can be working on, whether it's new documentation about the latest features, improvements to existing documentation, or new info resources like our onstat or onconfig Quick Reference Cards. So anytime we can get some direction and feedback from you, it makes a big difference in how we decide on what we do, and how we do it.
Here's the Informix Documentation Team:
I've been writing Informix documentation since 1996 (aka "the good old days"). I work on DataBlade module, Enterprise Replication, and embeddability documentation. I used to be the team lead of the Informix doc team and work on release notes, but (thank goodness) I'm only the technical lead now. Being the technical lead means, among other things, that I'm supposed to know the IDS doc set inside and out. I can honestly say I know the outside really well. I'm also the moderator for the 11.50 information center, so if you leave a comment, you might hear from me! My hobbies include driving my kids around and making up words I'm not allowed to use in Informix doc.
Hai-Nhu Tran (pronounced like the movie High Noon, but without the N at the end)
I'm the newly minted manager of the Informix Information Development team. I started at IBM in 2000, joined the Informix ID team as the Team Lead in 2007, and earlier this year I had the good fortune of becoming the manager of this dedicated group. I studied English literature in college and never would have guessed that I'd end up in software documentation! I'm currently working on instilling a life-long love of books in my 3 year old daughter, and so far I've been 100% successful. When I'm not reading Dr. Suess, I'm working through my own book list (which happens to occasionally include children's books, oddly enough), sampling the seemingly endless supply of restaurants and farmers' markets in San Francisco, and dreaming of being able to sleep in again at some point in my life.
Bill Belisle (pronounced: bell-eye-L)
People have been mis-pronouncing my name at IBM since June of 2006. I concentrate on writing about Informix high-availability (sometimes known as MACH-11) features. I’m also responsible for the Informix Administrator’s Guide, the Backup and Restore Guide, virtual appliance, and cloud documentation. I have a degree in journalism from Boston University and have written several college-level textbooks on Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Office and Excel. My hobbies include (in no particular order): astronomy, machining and metalworking, woodworking, CNC, photography, reading, seismology, and high-vacuum thin-film deposition.
I’ve also been writing Informix documentation since 1996, initially specializing in online help. Currently, I’m concentrating on updates to the Migration and Performance Guides and on new feature documentation (such as compression). In the past, I’ve worked on the Common Criteria certification guide, the Administrator guides, and MTK documentation.
Karin Moore (pronounced car-in)
I've been on the Informix documentation team since 1996, and am currently the infrastructure lead. What that means is that I create, update, and deliver the information centers, documentation CDs, and techdocs. I also manage source file control, automated builds of the documentation sets, and translation. It's a nice variety of work that lets me dabble in all the Informix products. My hobbies include birdwatching, hiking, gardening, and caring for injured animals at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.
Johanna Turaj (pronounced tour-eye)
I joined the documentation team in February of this year. Though I’ve been doing Information Development since 19<mumble>, I’m the new kid on the Informix block. In my role as Team Lead for IDS, 4GL, and some other acronyms, I get to learn about all the products and develop plans to help the team deliver helpful information you need when you need it. I enjoy travel, knitting, and keeping my cats off the keyboard.
I'm the technical editor for the Informix writing team. I work with the writers to produce the best possible documentation for our customers. I'm not an expert in the technology we write about (that's my team's job), but I'm familiar with the technology and terminology, and I review the documentation to ensure that it tells customers what they need to know as accurately, concisely, and clearly as possible in a consistent manner. Rest assured, I won't be editing this blog (phew!) so the writers will get to express themselves in their own "voice". Oh, and my name is pronounced as it's spelled (http://www.medjugorje.org/croatianlanguage.htm).
Information development is my "second" career. I launched my career in book publishing production and project management--a good foundation for handling a lot of the behind-the-scenes work in creating technical documentation. During the Sturm-und-Drang of the dot-com era, I gained experience documenting database migration and a few end-user applications. Along the way, I earned a B.A. degree at Oberlin College and a Technical Writing Certificate at San Francisco State University. I speak German as a second language, and have a beginner/intermediate knowledge of Spanish.
Hi! My path to technical writing was the "road less travelled". I graduated with a degree in Economics and went to work for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC. Through various twists and turns there I moved into courseware development and teaching computer applications, which eventually lead me to IBM about 10 years ago where I have worked on Informix and DB2. With the Informix team I work on a wide range of documentation from the Administrator's Reference and SQL Reference to the Common Client information. Most recently I have been working on improving our warehousing documentation.
Tom Houston (pronounced the opposite of the similarly-spelled street in Manhattan)
I was employee #237 when Informix was still called "RDS Software" in Menlo Park, California, and I have been monitoring the Informix Technical Publications external email alias since it was called "firstname.lastname@example.org" (but it is now spelled "email@example.com"). I mostly work on the IBM Informix Guide to SQL: Syntax, which keeps me busy documenting new SQL features and correcting the errata that I create while documenting new SQL features (or while correcting older errata). Among my hobbies are photography, dreaming, and trying to outwit spelling-checker software.
I've been with IBM Informix since 2008. I write the UI text and help for OAT. I once wrote longer sentences.
I'm not officially a member of the Informix Documentation Team. I've been responsible for usability and user interface design on Informix products since 2006 and am heavily involved in the UI design of OAT. I am a professionally trained Human Factors Engineer/Psychologist and have been working in the human computer interaction and design field for more than 25 years.
I'm currently a remote co-op or supplemental employee on the Informix ID team working in Socorro, NM. I have been with the Informix team since 2008 and have worked both full- and part-time. A majority of my tasks deal with DITA markup such as migrating books from SGML to DITA. Recently, I have begun to work with development teams in India to produce documentation for the 4GL and CSDK components of IDS. I am responsible for all documentation with in 4GL and CSDK. I'm currently pursuing a degree in Technical Communication from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
IngeHalilovic 060000MPB8 Tags:  performance olap backup embed high-availability iwa upgrade cluster restore sensor time-series replication grid usability informix warehouse compression oat administration 2,061 Visits
The 12.10 documentation is in a new information center: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/informix/v121/index.jsp
Check out the amazing list of new features for IBM Informix version 12.10.xC1!
Here's a summary, but be sure to look at all new feature descriptions:
Installation and migration
About a year ago, we decided to try something different for certain kinds of information: quick reference cards. They are designed to be printed out on a single piece of paper, both sides. We currently have two quick reference cards, both of which represent 11.50.xC6 information: one for onstat commands and one for the onconfig.std. When we originally published them, they were 8.5"x11" size, but since then there were a few additions to onstat and onconfig.std, so now they are both legal sized.
onstat quick reference card
onconfig.std quick reference card
We are hoping to create other quick reference cards this year, but we need your help! Let us know what you'd like to see. Here are some possibilities:
IngeHalilovic 060000MPB8 Tags:  time_series features informix fixpack database 11.70.xc5 iwa 1,938 Visits
IBM Informix 11.70.xC5 is available today! Here's a summary of the new features:
Global language support
Time series data
Informix Warehouse Accelerator
Read the full new feature descriptions with links to complete information here.
But wait! there's more! We've done some improvements to the documentation, including:
The Informix onconfig.std portal is a handy way of finding functionally related configuration parameters. The configuration parameters are listed together, in the same order as in the onconfig.std file, with links to the individual topics for each configuration parameter. You might want to bookmark this portal:
The onconfig.std portal topic is in the Administrator's Reference, in the Configuration Parameters chapter.
If your list of bookmarks is disorganized like mine, you can find the link on the home page of the v11.50 information center, or just type "onconfig portal" into your favorite search engine.
This week I spent some time in email conversation with a customer and Erika about installing OAT on 64-bit Windows. I wanted to share with you what I learned.
You probably already know that since 11.70.xC4, you can install OAT when you install the IBM Informix Client Software Development Kit. This option is available on Windows 32-bit, Linux 32-bit and 64-bit, and MAC OS 64-bit operating systems.
You can also install OAT on 64-bit Windows, but it can be a little trickier. OAT is not part of the 64-bit Windows Client SDK. To get OAT on Windows 64, use the installation program for the 32-bit Windows Client SDK with these important additional steps from Erika!
1. First, review this topic: Verify system requirements (Windows). As described in this topic, you need to set the PATH to include the SysWOW64 folder before running the 32-bit installer on 64-bit Windows. One added note: In the first step, open the command prompt as Administrator.
2. Equally important! OAT requires that the installation directory does not contain any special characters. So the default "C:\Program Files (x86)\" directory for 64-bit Windows does not work because of the parenthesis. Choose a different installation location.
With that in mind, you can download and install the 32-bit Windows Client SDK. For even more information about installing OAT, including the prerequisites, see Installing the OpenAdmin Tool for Informix with the Client SDK.
When OAT is successfully installed, an OAT item is added to the Windows Start menu.
Another resource that you might find helpful is the OpenAdmin Tool forum at www.iiug.org/forums/oat. It's sponsored by the International Informix Users Group (IIUG), not IBM, but the OAT team follows it.
IngeHalilovic 060000MPB8 Tags:  monitor informix storage alarms oat configuration performance administer database health 1,837 Visits
The IBM® Informix® Health Advisor Plug-in for OpenAdmin Tool (OAT) analyzes the state of the Informix database server. The Health Advisor plug-in gathers information about the database server, the databases, and the operating system, and creates a report that contains the results and recommendations.
The Health Advisor plug-in includes a series of alarms that check conditions on the database server: configuration, Enterprise Replication (ER), operating system (OS), performance, and storage. You can create profiles that specify the alarms that are enabled and the thresholds for the alarms. You can schedule a task to run the Health Advisor with a specific profile at regular intervals. You can specify who receives an email notification of the results. You can also run the Health Advisor on demand on the current profile and view the report.
Here's an example of some of the types of advice the Health Advisor can give you:
Red Alarm DBSPACETEMP
Red Alarm Logical Log File StorageThe DBAPCETEMP configuration parameter is not set. For best performance with temporary tables and sort files, use the DBSPACETEMP configuration parameter to specify two or more dbspaces on separate disks.
Red Alarm Physical Log StorageThe logical log files are stored in the root dbspace (rootdbs). Move the logical-log files out of the root dbspace to a dbspace on a disk that is not shared by active tables or the physical log.
Yellow Alarm OS Virtual ProcessorsThe physical log is stored in the root dbspace (rootdbs). Move the physical log out of the root dbspace to a dbspace on a disk that is not shared by active tables or the logical log files.
Yellow Alarm Disk SortsThe number of CPU virtual processors is less than 50.00 % of the CPUs in the operating system. Increasing the number of CPU virtual processors might improve performance. Take appropriate action to increase the number of CPU virtual processors.
The number of disk sorts is greater than 1.00 % of total sorts. The current number of disk sorts is 1.22 %. Investigate options for adding additional shared memory for sorts.
IngeHalilovic 060000MPB8 Tags:  warehouse fixpack timeseries database new_features 11.70 informix oat 1,836 Visits
IBM® Informix® 11.70.xC4 contains the following new functionality in the following categories.
Check out some new ideas for OAT and talk to us about how you use Informix and Informix documentation at the IIUG conference in San Diego. Alison Eckholm, the Informix usability expert, and I, the OAT information developer, are hosting a usability sandbox at the conference on April 23, 24, and 25. You can participate in any of these sandbox sessions:
Whether you attend IIUG or not, you can participate in our survey on Informix administration. We want to understand how you find information about Informix when you need it. You can help by completing the survey, whether you use the command line, OAT, or other administrative tools. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential. To participate, go to the IBM Informix Administration Survey on the IBM website: https://www-950.ibm.com/survey/oid/wsb.dll/s/ag456.
jasna 110000T2XC Tags:  applications 4gl ide informix-genero genero-studio application-development 1,785 Visits
There's much excitement around here now that IBM® Informix® Genero® is generally available. In fact, you might want to mark your calendar for the April 21 "Chat with the labs" to hear Jerry Keesee and Shawn Moe describe the new Informix Genero offering, including packaging, sales, and technical support.
During the development phase, I installed the product to verify some installation instructions. The installation went smoothly and was very quick and easy to do -- I just followed the prompts on the installation application and, voila, in minutes I had the integrated development suite on my laptop.
I thought I'd explore the graphical Form Designer in Informix Genero Studio. A form is the user interface for Informix Genero applications. For example, forms allow application users to query a database or to make changes in the rows of a database table. Adding widgets to the form was simple. With a few clicks, I selected the fields that I wanted to add and then I typed labels for them. From the Genero Studio workspace, I could customize the form. I simply grabbed the fields to make them longer or shorter. I selected items from the form structure list, deleted them, and then they disappeared from the rendered image. Oh the power! Hmm, maybe in my next life I should be a developer?!
An Informix customer suggested that we create a quick reference card for the SQL administration API, so we created one for 11.50.xC8.
This quick reference card shows SQL administration API task() and admin() function arguments sorted by functional category with examples of syntax. Version numbers indicate in which version of Informix each argument was introduced.
This is the last blog entry for the year: Happy New Year!
IngeHalilovic 060000MPB8 Tags:  informix sql administration quick_reference database 1,726 Visits
We've updated the SQL administration API quick reference card with 11.70.xC4 content. This is the same version that was available in hard copy at IIUG.
Because I write the IBM® Informix® TimeSeries Data User's Guide, I was lucky enough to be able to read this benchmark as it was being written. It truly is amazing! Check out how fast and efficient the Informix TimeSeries solution is for meter data management.