Appropriate Content: Informix Documentation Team
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.
Starting with version 12.10.xC4, you can resolve in-place alter operations by running the admin( ) or task( ) SQL administration command with the table update_ipa or fragment update_ipa argument. You can include the parallel option to run the operation in parallel. For example, the following statement removes in-place alter operations in parallel from a table that is named auto:
See the table and fragment arguments: Compress and optimize storage topic for details.
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Quick Reference Cards are meant to be printed in color to provide a handy reference (and enhance the decor of your office).
We've updated the following Quick Reference Cards with IBM® Informix® 12.10.xC4 content:
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As of IBM© Informix© 12.10.xC4, you can deploy an Informix server that supports multiple tenants. A tenant is a set of users in a client organization that needs to access the same data and system resources. You create a dedicated tenant database, and assign storage and processing resources for that database based on the service-level agreements with the client organization. For example, you can provide services to multiple companies that run efficiently in a single Informix instance.
When you configure multitenancy, you segregate the following aspects of a database server:
To create a tenant database, run the tenant create argument with the admin() or task() function. The user that creates the database is granted DBA privileges. You can view the tenant database properties in the tenant table in the sysadmin database.
The following statement creates a tenant database that is named companyA:
The tenant database has the following properties:
The tenant database does not have a blobspace, stores temporary smart large objects in the sbspace that is specified by the SBSPACETEMP configuration parameter, and is case-insensitive.
For more information, see Multitenancy.
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Consider subscribing to the following Informix channels on YouTube to learn more about our technology and how you can benefit from it.
Even though the IBM Knowledge Center contains the technical product documentation for thousands of IBM products, you can easily and quickly get information about only the products and topics that you are interested in.
To reduce the number of results returned about a particular subject area, you can refine your search by using the intitle operator. The intitle operator restricts results to words or phrases that appear only in the title of a topic. Use this operator when you are looking for the main topics about a subject area. For example, compare the following two searches for Informix 12.1:
1. basic text search error
2. basic text search intitle:error
You can also search for a phrase in the title. For example:
Today is the 10th anniversary of the Informix acquisition by IBM. I'm very happy to be employed, and by a stable company like IBM! About half the current Informix doc team came over in the acquisition. What can I say--we're very loyal to Informix! One of the best things about working on Informix is working with a development team that is really passionate about their product.
One of the other best things about Informix is the amazing customers. Every time I talk, email, or just listen to a customer, I find it very valuable. IBM really emphasizes the importance of customer perspective in its writers, as well as an understanding of customer business needs and improving time to value. We all try very hard to translate the information about functionality that we get from development into a clear statement of customer value. Please keep the feedback coming!
This year, I feel like I've come a full circle with Informix. When I started at Informix almost 15 years ago, one of my first projects was working on the TimeSeries DataBlade documentation with Kevin Brown. It has always been one of my favorite parts of Informix to work on. But after that initial assignment, I didn't get many chances to work on the TimeSeries documentation again, until this year. With 11.70.xC3, the TimeSeries extension, as it is now known, has been significantly enhanced, and I was lucky enough to be able to do the documentation for it. The TimeSeries data type technology was very cool 15 years ago, but today it is really coming into focus as a solution for the ubiquitous monitoring of everything that seems to be happening these days. Here's a couple of case studies that I found particularly interesting:
Hildebrand solves a key problem in smart metering research
Coldset Printing Partners: The IBM Informix TimeSeries solution helps company track usage trends and analyze data over time
I'm looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years of Informix at IBM will hold!
For IBM® Informix® 12.10.xC5, we rewrote the database server installation information. Previously, we had two installation guides: one for UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X, and one for Windows platforms. For 12.10.xC5, we combined the two guides into one guide and while we are at it, we condensed the information and corrected out-of-date information.
Take a look at the new Installation Guide!
Here's a teaser: the new Preparing for installation topic:
Preparing for installation
Before you install Informix database server products, you must prepare your system and plan for choices that you must make during the installation process.
Preparing for installation includes reviewing system requirements, planning how to upgrade, deciding on the installation owner and the installation directory, reviewing installation options, and gathering information if you want to create a database server during installation. It also includes preinstallation tasks such as obtaining the software and reviewing the machine notes.
To prepare for installation:
Log files are created during the installation process. You can use the log files to troubleshoot installation errors.
After you install the database server, you can create the demonstration databases that are included with the database server. Many examples in the documentation and in the $INFORMIXDIR/demo (UNIX, Linux, Mac OS X) or the %INFORMIXDIR%\demo (Windows) directory are based on the demonstration databases. You can use the demonstration databases to explore database server features. You can create the demonstration databases at any time after installation by running the dbaccessdemo command. See Demonstration databases.
With IBM® Informix® 12.10.xC5, you can search time series data for matches to a specific pattern of values. For example, after you identify a pattern of abnormal electricity usage that indicates an outage, you can search for matches to that pattern to find other outages. A pattern is a sequence of numeric values in a field within the TimeSeries subtype. You can specify a search pattern as a time range in a specific time series or as a list of numeric values. A match is a sequence of values from a target time series that conform to the search criteria.
When you run a pattern matching search, you specify the method to evaluate possible matches and the margin of error between the search pattern and matching values.
The following information is returned for each resulting match:
You can create a pattern matching search index on a time series instance to improve query performance.
Read more: Pattern matching searches.
Attend the Using Pattern Matching Analytics in IoT and TimeSeries data Webinar on April 20: https://events.na.collabserv.com/register.php.
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Here is the list of new features for IBM® Informix® 12.10.xC5!
What's new in IBM Informix version 12.10.xC5
Go to What's new in Informix for links.
One of the great features of the IBM Knowledge Center is that you can create PDF versions of any documentation you want. First you create a collection of topics that you want to be in the PDF.
To create a PDF from the Knowledge Center:
1. Sign in to the Knowledge Center with your IBM ID. The Sign In button is in the upper right corner of the black title bar.
2. In the navigation pane, click the topic that you want to add to a collection. The subtopics are also added to the collection, but you can edit the collection to remove the topics that you don't want.
3. Choose an option from the Add to collection menu, in the upper right above the topic:
4. If you chose a new collection, enter a name. Otherwise, choose an existing collection name.
5. Click My Collections at the bottom of the navigation pane to see your collections.
6. Select the collection in the navigation pane and click Create PDF File. Note: Only the first 1000 topics are included in the PDF.
The PDF is created. You have about an hour to download it before it disappears.
Starting with IBM® Informix® 12.10.xC4, you can allocate space efficiently when you import tables that have large rows by setting a default extent size of 16 KB. Include the new -D option of the dbimport utility to specify a default extent size of 16 KB. Extent sizes that you specify in the CREATE TABLE statement override the -D option. The -D option is useful especially when you import huge tables that contain large LVARCHAR columns.
Informix 12.10.xC4 has some very exciting new features for JSON compatibility:
Support for CORS requests in the REST API (12.10.xC4W1)
You can now set up cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) with the REST API. To do so, set the following optional parameters that were added to the jsonListener.properties file:
Informix now supports the following MongoDB 2.4 features:
You can perform the following new tasks that extend MongoDB functionality in your JSON application:
You can customize the behavior of the wire listener by setting new properties. For example, you can control logging, caching, timeout, memory pools, and the maximum size of documents.
Access Informix from REST API clients
You can now directly connect applications or devices that communicate through the REST API to Informix. You create connections by configuring the wire listener for the REST API. With the REST API, you can use MongoDB and SQL queries against JSON and BSON document collections, traditional relational tables, and time series data. The REST API uses MongoDB syntax and returns JSON documents.
Create a time series with the REST API or the MongoDB API
If you have applications that handle time series data, you can now create and manage a time series with the REST API or the MongoDB API. Previously, you created a time series by running SQL statements. For example, you can program sensor devices that do not have client drivers to load time series data directly into the database with HTTP commands from the REST API.
You create time series objects by adding definitions to time series collections. You interact with time series data through a virtual table.
If you're installing Informix server in a Unicode environment, check out the tips that we added about setting the GL_USEGLU environment variable. You’ll learn:
Examples are provided to show the steps that you must use to create a Unicode database. And, just in case something doesn’t go as expected, we added some troubleshooting tips for errors that you might encounter.
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There's actually more Informix information on the ibm.com site than just the Knowledge Center. For example, there's developerWorks articles, tech docs and notes, and Redbooks. If you want to search all of these sources, just use the search field on the www.ibm.com site. I know it's hard to see, being black on black, but here's what it looks like, in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage:
You don't need to log in. Include the word "informix" in your search and you'll find all sorts of things. The links to documentation in the Knowledge Center look like this: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSGU8G_12.1.0/com.ibm.welcome.doc/welcome.htm. The number after the uppercase letters is the Informix version number. In this case, 12.1.