The 11.70 documentation set includes a new user guide, the IBM Informix Embeddability Guide, which contains information on customizable deployment options and configurable administration features that you can use to achieve an end-to-end deployment solution. Some examples of the topics in this guide, which are also available in the Embedding IBM Informix section of the IBM Informix 11.70 Information Center, are:
Only 3 weeks until the Information on Demand (IOD) conference. I know that they say "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", but if you attend any of the Informix sessions, you are going to want to bring home what you learned!
Search for "Informix" in the session preview tool to see a list of the lectures and labs that you can choose from. For example, one (or all!) of these labs might interest you:
IDX-1344A: How to use sharding to improve performance and availability of distributed applications
IDX-1381A: Speed-of-thought query response with Informix Warehouse Accelerator and new SQL enhancements in Informix 12.1
IDX-1467A: Comprehensive compression techniques using new features available in Informix 12.1
Informix Version 11.70 contains enhancements to high-availability cluster functionality. One of these enhancements lets you upgrade an 11.50 cluster to an 11.70 cluster without any downtime. For detailed information about this process, read the "Upgrade Informix high availability clusters online" developerWorks article, written by Anju Sudhakar and Sapna Ramesh. two of our esteemed Informix software engineers.
If you upgrade to version 11.70, you can configure Informix to automatically expand an existing storage space when the space is full. You can also configure Informix to expand the space before it is full, when its free pages fall below a specified threshold. When you enable and configure automatic storage provisioning, you do not need to manually add storage space to avoid out-of-space errors. Even if you prefer to add space manually, automatic storage expansion greatly simplifies the process of adding space, because you do not need to determine where to get the space.
The IBM Informix 12.10.xC6 release has a lot of new functionality to support JSON compatibility! In addition to the Parallel sharded queries that I've already blogged about, Informix is now compatible with MongoDB 2.6 and 3.0 clients, and has more options for controlling security and resource management.
MongoDB 2.6 and 3.0 compatibility
Informix now supports the following MongoDB commands:
The following database management commands:
The query and write operation commands insert, update, and delete.
The instance administration commands createIndexes, listCollections, and listIndexes.
The user management commands, for MongoDB 2.6 and later, createUser, updateUser, dropUser, dropAllUserFromDatabase, grantRolesToUser, revokeRolesFromUser, and usersInfo.
The role management commands: createRole, updateRole, dropRole, dropAllRolesFromDatabase, grantPrivilegesToRole, revokePrivilegesFromRole, grantRolesToRole, revokeRolesFromRole, and rolesInfo.
The query and projection command $eq.
The field update operators $mul, $min, $max, and $currentDate.
The pipeline aggregation operator $out.
More security options
You can configure the database server to authenticate MongoDB client users, who connect through the wire listener, with a pluggable authentication module (PAM). Because you administer user accounts through the database server, you can audit user activities and configure fine-grained access control.
You can configure the wire listener to:
Authenticate MongoDB clients with the MongoDB 3.0 SCRAM-SHA-1 authentication method.
Specify an IP address as the administrative host
Set authentication timeout
Better Resource management
You can configure the wire listener to:
Configure a memory monitor to reduce resource usage.
Create a separate thread pool for administrative connections.
Specify the timeout periods for socket connections.
Suppress pooled connection checking.
Specify the number of maintenance threads for connection pools.
You can use MQ messaging functions to enable Informix applications to exchange data directly between the application and IBM WebSphere MQ. Applications can send and receive messages from local or remote queue managers that reside anywhere in the network and participate in a transaction.
IBM Informix Version 11.70 includes several new MQ messaging functions, which simplify administrative tasks and reduce the number of WebSphere MQ licenses that are needed.
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 can use the new FULL_DISK_INIT configuration parameter to prevent the major problems that can occur if you or someone else accidentally initializes your instance or another instance when the first page of the first chunk (page zero) exists at the root path location. Page zero, which is created when Informix is initialized, is the system page that contains general information about the server.
The FULL_DISK_INIT configuration parameter specifies whether or not the disk initialization command (oninit -i) can run on your Informix instance when a page zero exists at the root path location. When this configuration parameter is set to 0, the oninit -i command runs only if there is not a page zero at the root path location. (If you change the setting of the FULL_DISK_INIT configuration parameter to 1, the oninit -i command runs under all circumstances, but also resets the FULL_DISK_INIT configuration parameter to 0 after the disk initialization.)
This feature is just one of many new useful features in Version 11.70xC1.
There are several improvements to compression in IBM® Informix®version 12.10. See the What's new in Informix page in the information center for links to documentation on these features. Here's a summary:
Improve space utilization by compressing, repacking, and shrinking B-tree indexes
You can use SQL administration API commands or CREATE INDEX statements to save disk space by compressing B-tree indexes. You can also use SQL administration API commands to consolidate free space in a B-tree index, return this free space to the dbspace, and estimate the amount of space that is saved by compressing the indexes.
Save disk space by compressing simple large objects in dbspaces
You can use SQL administration API commands to save disk space by compressing simple large objects (TEXT and BYTE data types) that are stored in the same partition in the same dbspace as the table in which they are referenced. When you run an SQL administration API compress or uncompress command, the database server compresses both the table row data and the referenced simple large objects. You can choose to compress or uncompress only the table row data or only the referenced simple large objects.
Save disk space by enabling automatic data compression
You can use the COMPRESSED keyword with the CREATE TABLE statement to enable the automatic compression of large amounts of in-row data when the data is loaded into a table or table fragment. Then, when 2,000 or more rows of data are loaded, the database server automatically creates a compression dictionary and compresses the new data rows that are inserted into the table.
Also, when you run SQL administration API create dictionary and compress commands on existing tables and fragments, you enable the automatic compression of subsequent data loads that contain 2,000 or more rows of data. If you run an uncompress command, you disable automatic compression.
In addition to saving space, automatic compression saves time because you do not have to compress the data after you load it.
Manage compression in IBM OpenAdmin Tool (OAT) for Informix
OAT has new compression options on the Space Administration > Storage > Tables and Indexes page:
You can enable automatic compression when you compress existing tables and fragments. You disable automatic compression when you uncompress a table or fragment.
You can compress indexes. You can consolidate free space in indexes (repack) and return free space to the dbspace (shrink). You can also estimate the amount of space that you can save if you compress an index. An index must have at least 2000 keys to be compressed.
You can compress simple large objects (TEXT and BYTE data types) when you compress tables and fragments. You can also estimate the amount of space that you can save if you compress simple large objects.
IBM Informix Schema Manager Plug-in for OpenAdmin Tool (OAT) has the following compression options on the SQL ToolBox > Schema Manager page:
You can enable automatic compression of row data when you create a table. The database server automatically creates a compression dictionary and compresses the data when 2000 or more rows of data are loaded into the table or fragment.
You can compress an index when you create an index that has at least 2000 keys.
Each version of Informix supports new SQL keywords that are reserved words. The use of these words in your applications might affect the migration of your applications when you upgrade to a new version of Informix. If you haven't migrated to the new version and would like to see the new keywords, you can find them listed in the following IBM Informix Migration Guide appendix: New keywords of SQL
The Version 11.70 IBM Informix Guide to SQL: Syntax contains an alphabetic list of all keywords.
Okay, you’ve skimmed the release notes and see that the new release has a number of new features. Then you see that the description of each new feature refers you to one or more user guides. You’re especially interested in one new feature, but think, "I still have dozens of things to do and don’t have time to try to look through whole the book or parts of it."
All you need to do is go to the IDS Information Center and expand a category, such as "Administering" or "Security." Then find the "What's New" topic in each book. In some books, it's the first topic; in other books, it's in the Introduction chapter.
Each row in the table of new features in the "What’s New" topic contains the same short feature description that you saw the release notes. The row also contains links to the topics that have been added for the new feature or updated to include information on the new feature. Just click the link to go to the new or updated topic.
If you’re using PDFs, just open the PDF and navigate to the "What’s new" topic or search for the words "What’s New." Then find the row you want and click the link to jump to the desired topic.
Here's an example of the "What's New" topic in the Administrator's Guide: