Informix Experts

For a complete list of current SQL reserved words, see the IBM Informix Guide to SQL: Syntax.

Sanjit Chakraborty[Read More]

Achieving Consistent Meanings for DATETIME Values with JDBC

cheetahblog Tags:  timestamp time zone timezone jdbc datetime calendar 2,666 Views

The best-fit Java class for an Informix DATETIME value is java.sql.Timestamp. Java.sql.Timestamp technically inherits from java.util.Date; although, there are some semantic differences which are not typical of inheritance relationships. All the constructors, getters, and setters which are not deprecated for Date and Timestamp use values based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). They are offsets in milliseconds from the epoch, January 1, 1970 00:00:00 GMT. So, it would be logically consistent for Timestamps to convert to DATETIMEs using the GMT reference frame by default. However, the JDBC Tutorial and Reference specifies that, when no Calendar is provided, Timestamp values are converted to the time zone of the JVM in which the application is running. The difficulties surrounding Timestamps and time zones are not limited to the scope of the Informix JDBC driver; they are generic to all of JDBC because that is the specification.

This model creates problems in a variety of ways. For distributed applications, the Date or Timestamp values might be streaming into the database from JDBC drivers located in different time zones. With multi-tier applications, you might find yourself contending with a user interface in time zone A, the JDBC driver in time zone B, and the database server in time zone C. The driver is the library where external types are converted to internal types; so, where it is running is where the local time zone comes into play. It can be difficult for either the front end or the database to know in what time zone the driver is operating. Dealing with the conversion from Timestamp in GMT to DATETIME in the JDBC driver locale has to be done in the application layer directly interfacing with the JDBC driver.

The conversion done by the driver applies in both directions, and this can lead to complications if anything other than the JDBC Timestamp class is used in conjunction with DATETIME values. If strings representing DATETIMEs or DATETIME literals are used anywhere in your application SQL (including CURRENT), the values will not be converted on the way in, but will be converted on the way out. Similarly, different APIs will not convert in either direction. If you insert new Timestamp(86400001) (January 2, 1970 00:00:00.001 GMT) through JDBC, and select it back from within the same JVM, you will get that same value back. So, you might expect that selecting the same row-column from, say, DBAcccess, would also give you the same value, but it will not because the value was converted to JVM time zone on the way in through JDBC, but not converted on the way out through ESQL/C. If you are in the U.S., you will get some time on January 1st, not even the same day. The reverse also applies, you may find yourself with values inserted through other APIs, which perform no conversion, that are converted to some other time zone when selected through JDBC.

DATETIMEs, of course, do not contain time zone information. There are basically two ways to deal with this, record the time zone information in another column along with the DATETIME or establish a convention that all the DATETIMES in the database are in the same time zone. Establishing a convention is the simpler approach both from an application implementation perspective, and in terms of being able to easily compare values in different rows, columns, or tables. If you know that every Java application which will ever access the data will operate in its own JVM, you can code your applications to set the default time zone of the JVM, but this is a problematic solution when more than one, independent application is running in the same JVM, such as servlets in a web server. It is unclear what would happen with different threads of execution changing the time zone for all other threads, but if they were actually able to do that, it would not be pretty.

At JDK 1.1 two things happened, all the getters and setters for java.util.Date where the meaning was ambiguous with respect to time zone were deprecated and the java.util.Calendar class was introduced. Along with the Calendar class itself, methods accepting a Calendar object were added to the JDBC interface, for example PreparedStatement.setTimestamp(int parameterIndex, Timestamp x, Calendar cal) and ResultSet.getTimestamp(int columnIndex, Calendar cal). In these methods, the Calendar object establishes the frame of reference used to convert from the GMT offset in the Timestamp object to or from a DATETIME value. If you create a constant Calendar object in your applications, and use it every time you read or write a Timestamp object to a DATETIME, the values DATETIME will remain consistent with each other, and the meaning of the value will not change dependent on the time zone of the JVM.

Using a GMT calendar would be efficient because it requires less operations to convert between the Java classes and the value in the database. Also, the value will not change if other APIs, like ODBC or ESQL/C, are used. Conceptually, what is stored in the database is January 1, 1970 00:00:00.000 GMT + tstamp.getTime() milliseconds.

Calendar cal = Calendar.getInstance(TimeZone.getTimeZone("GMT"));

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is a close relative to GMT and is just as viable.

In this model, all date and time values in the database are on the same time line, and conversion to other time lines or calendar systems are handled at the user interface level. Using UTC or GMT for all DATETIME values provides a simple model to implement in applications. It also removes all the problems related to knowing the time zone of the JDBC driver runtime or if applications written in anything other than Java will ever be used to access the data.


-Chris Golledge


Modified on by cheetahblog

New onstat option to display sysdbprocedure cache

cheetahblog Tags:  onstat sysdbopen cache sysdbclose procedures 2,656 Views
In IDS 11.10, you can configure session properties using sysdbopen() and sysdbclose() procedures, see Configuring Session Properties. Theseprocedures are stored in sysprocedures system catalog. A memory cache is maintained for these procedures to facilitatefaster searching of procedure identifiers. A new onstat option is available to print statistical information about thismemory cache. You can determine how many users are accessing a database, the sysdb procedures defined for public andother users from this information. A sample output is shown:
    $ onstat -g cac sproc

    IBM Informix Dynamic Server Version 11.10.FC1 -- On-Line -- Up 4 days 20:30:27 -- 38912 Kbytes

    Sysdbproc Cache: Number of lists : 31

    list# refcnt dbname Public Procids Username User Procids UsrList# (open,close) (open,close)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 0 sysmaster (-1, 0)16 1 testdb (345, 346) suma (347, 348) 14 informix (343, 344) 12218 0 sysutils (-1, 0)21 0 sysuser (-1, 0)

    list#List number to which the database name hashes
    refcntNumber of sessions accessing this database
    dbnameDatabase name
    Public ProcidsProcedure ids of public.sysdbopen() and public.sysdbclose(). The value will be (-1,0) if there is no public or user defined sysdb procedures for that database
    UsernameUser name of any users who have their own sysdbopen() and sysdbclose() procedures for that database
    User procidsProcedures ids of sysdb procedures for a particular user in a database
    UsrList#A user hash list to which the user belongs

The number of lists is determined by the onconfig parameter DS_HASHSIZE. The maximum number of database entries for a list is determined by DS_POOLSIZE. This is a soft limit as the limit is checked only when you close a database. When you close a database, if the number of database entries for that list is greater than DS_POOLSIZE, IDS deletes all excess database entries in that list that has a reference count of 0.

Suma Vinod[Read More]

Which version of CSDK should be used on Windows 7 platform?

cheetahblog Tags:  odbc csdk windows7 2,617 Views

Both CSDK version 3.50 and CSDK 3.70 are supported on Windows 7 operating system, which makes difficult to decide which one to use. A useful way to decide which CSDK to use is: 
consider what version of Informix Server you are using. By design, the CSDK version will be the "latest 3.x for 11.x". Here “x” is the same minor version number “.50” or .”70” as the database engine, e.g., Informix 11.50 and CSDK 3.50; or Informix 11.70 and CSDK 3.70.                 
In regard to the bit level, 64-bit windows will support either 32-bit ('.TC') or 64 bit (.'FC') CSDK. Although the bit level is not significant for determining which one to use, it is important to note that the ODBC manager on Windows 7 is 64-bit. If you want use a 64-bit CSDK, you will have no issues. However, a 32-bit CSDK will require an older ODBC manager.       


-David Jay                      

Monitor Resource Contention

cheetahblog Tags:  bth 2,579 Views

Two new onstat commands introduced in 12.10.xC2 to view the dependencies between blocking and waiting threads. A running threads take ownership of various objects and resources; for example, buffers, locks, mutexes, decision support memory etc. Contention for these resources among hundreds or thousands of threads can result in chains of  dependencies.

Now, you can use the 'onstat -g bth' command to display the dependencies between blocking and waiting threads. Next, use the 'onstat -g BTH' command to display session and stack information for the blocking threads.

Here is a scenario where these onstat commands can be helpful. It possible a  thread that is blocked waiting to enter a critical section might own a row lock for which another thread is waiting. The second thread might be blocking a third thread that is waiting in the MGM query queue. Usually, the duration of such contention is short and user never notice any problem. However, if a thread is blocked long enough, you might need to identify the source of the contention. The 'onstat -g bth' command discovers the chains of dependency and displays blocker threads followed by waiting threads, in order.

The following is a sample output of the 'onstat -g bth' command where multiple threads are waiting on resources.


Highest level blocker(s)
 tid      name                 session
 48       sqlexec              26

Threads waiting on resources
 tid      name                 blocking resource              blocker
 49       sqlexec              MGM                            48
 13       readahead_0          Condition (ReadAhead)           -
 50       sqlexec              Lock (0x4411e578)              49
 51       sqlexec              Lock (0x4411e578)              49
 52       sqlexec              Lock (0x4411e578)              49
 53       sqlexec              Lock (0x4411e578)              49
 57       bf_priosweep()       Condition (bp_cond)             -
 58       scan_1.0             Condition (await_MC1)           -
 59       scan_1.0             Condition (await_MC1)           -

In the above example, four threads are waiting for a lock that is owned by thread 49. However, that's not the actual problem. The thread 49 is waiting for MGM resources that are owned by thread 48. So, originally problem started with the thread 48. Next, run the 'onstat -g BTH' command to see the session and stack information of thread 48.  Following is the example for 'onstat -g BTH' output:

Stack for thread: 48 sqlexec
 base: 0x00000000461a3000
  len:   69632
   pc: 0x00000000017b32c3
  tos: 0x00000000461b2e30
state: ready
   vp: 1

0x00000000017b32c3 (oninit) yield_processor_svp
0x00000000017bca6c (oninit) mt_wait
0x00000000019d4e5c (oninit) net_buf_get
0x00000000019585bf (oninit) recvsocket
0x00000000019d1759 (oninit) tlRecv
0x00000000019ce62d (oninit) slSQIrecv
0x00000000019c43ed (oninit) pfRecv
0x00000000019b2580 (oninit) asfRecv
0x000000000193db2a (oninit) ASF_Call
0x0000000000c855dd (oninit) asf_recv
0x0000000000c8573c (oninit) _iread
0x0000000000c835cc (oninit) _igetint
0x0000000000c72a9e (oninit) sqmain
0x000000000194bb38 (oninit) listen_verify
0x000000000194ab8a (oninit) spawn_thread
0x0000000001817de3 (oninit) th_init_initgls
0x00000000017d3135 (oninit) startup

Highest level blocker(s)
 tid      name                 session
 48       sqlexec              26      

session          effective                      #RSAM    total   used   dynamic
id      user     user      tty   pid   hostname threads  memory  memory explain
26      informix -         45    31041 darwin   2        212992  186568 off

Program :

tid      name     rstcb            flags    curstk   status
48       sqlexec  448bc5e8         ---P---  4560     ready-
58       scan_1.0 448bb478         Y------  896      cond wait  await_MC1 -

Memory pools    count 2
name         class addr           totalsize  freesize   #allocfrag #freefrag
26           V     45fcc040       208896     25616      189        16        
26*O0        V     462ad040       4096       808        1          1         

name           free       used           name           free       used      
overhead       0          6576           mtmisc         0          72        
resident       0          72             scb            0          240       
opentable      0          7608           filetable      0          1376      
log            0          33072          temprec        0          17744     
blob           0          856            keys           0          176       
ralloc         0          55344          gentcb         0          2240      
ostcb          0          2992           sqscb          0          21280     
sql            0          11880          xchg_desc      0          1528      
xchg_port      0          1144           xchg_packet    0          440       
xchg_group     0          104            xchg_priv      0          336       
hashfiletab    0          1144           osenv          0          2520      
sqtcb          0          15872          fragman        0          1024      
shmblklist     0          416            sqlj           0          72        
rsam_seqscan   0          368            

sqscb info
scb              sqscb          optofc   pdqpriority optcompind  directives
4499c1c0         461c1028       0        100         2           1         

Sess       SQL            Current       Iso Lock       SQL  ISAM F.E.
Id         Stmt type      Database      Lvl Mode       ERR  ERR  Vers  Explain    
26         SELECT         stores        CR  Not Wait   0    0    9.24  Off        

Current statement name : unlcur

Current SQL statement (5) :
  select * from systables,syscolumns,sysfragments

Last parsed SQL statement :
  select * from systables,syscolumns,sysfragments


-Sanjit Chakraborty

Modified on by cheetahblog

C-Style Comment Indicator with DB-Access

cheetahblog Tags:  dbaccess comment 2,560 Views

Earlier versions of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) had restriction with C-style comment indicators ( /* ... */ ) in SQL statements, within the DB–Access operations.

Without the C-style comment indicator it was not compliance with SQL-99 standard and caused problems while migrate from other databases server.

Starting with IDS Version 11.10, restrictions with C-style comment are no longer in effect. Any of the following styles SQL comment indicators can be use in all DB–Access statements.

  • Double hyphen ( -- ) complies with the ANSI/ISO standard for SQL
  • Braces ( { } ) are an Informix extension to the ANSI/ISO standard
  • C-style slash-and-asterisk ( /* . . . */ ) comply with the SQL-99 standard

The comment symbol indicator can be choosing depends on ANSI/ISO compliance requirements.

Comment symbol indicator can be use on the same line with the SQL statement. It can spans across single-line or multiple-line, but cannot be nested.

DB-Access will filter any comments before sending SQL statement to the database server.

Examples:  -- Double hyphen comment  SELECT * FROM orders;     -- Selects all columns and rows                            -- from the orders table

{ Comment using braces } SELECT * FROM orders; { Selects all columns and rows from the orders table }

/* C-style comment */ SELECT * FROM orders; /* Selects all columns and rows from the orders table */

Sanjit Chakraborty
[Read More]

Dynamically Changing Configuration parameters for Enterprise Replication

cheetahblog Tags:  dynamic er configuration | 1 Comment 2,559 Views
er_dynamic_configIn IDS 11 you can dynamically change,add or removethe Enterprise Replication configuration parameters.  Thechangestakes effect immediately, while the replication is running. Following are the three commands to use, which are explainedindetail along with examples.

cdrchange config

Use the cdr change config command toreplace theexisting value of an Enterprise Replication configuration parameterwith anew value while replication is active. All Enterprise Replicationconfiguration parametersand environment variables can be changed with this command. Thevalue persists while replicationis active; the ONCONFIG file is not updated, if you want to make thechange permanent it is better to update the values in ONCONFIG instead.The list of configuration and environment variables that this commandcan be used is shown in Table 1.1.

For example the CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN configuration parameter is setto suppressthe generation of error and warning messages 1, 2, and 10, so that itappearsin the ONCONFIG file as: CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN 1,2,10. The followingcommandchanges the suppressed error and warning messages to 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7

Before changing the values you can confirm the existing values by doing:

$onstat -g cdr config | grep SUP
   CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN configuration setting:1-2,10   

Now lets change the values to 2,3,4,5 and 7:

$cdr change config "CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN 2-5,7"
 WARNING:The value specifed updated in-memory only.

The warning clearly indicates that the chages are in-memory only, thatmeans once the replication is stopped and restarted the original valuesfrom
ONCONFIG will take effect.  Now lets confirm the new values:

$onstat -g cdr config | grep SUP
   CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN configuration setting:2-5,7   

cdradd config

Use the cdr add config
command to add one or more values to an EnterpriseReplication configurationparameter while replication is active. The value persistswhile replication is active; the ONCONFIG file is not updated. This option isavailableonly for configuration parameters and environment variables that allowmultiple values. The allowed configuration and environment variablesare listed in the Table 1.1.

Followingthe "change config" example, if you want to add another error andwarning message number for suppression to the existing list of 2,3,4,5and 7, say number 10, you can do that by using the following command.

$cdr add config "CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN 10"
 WARNING:The value specifed updated in-memory only.

We can confirm the new values from "onstat -g cdr config" as following.

$onstat -g cdr config | grep SUP
   CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN configuration setting:2-5,7,10   

cdrremove config

Use the cdr removeconfig command to removethe existingvalue of an Enterprise Replication configuration parameter whilereplication is active. The value persists while replication is active; the ONCONFIG file isnot updated. The allowed configuration and environment variablesare listed in the Table 1.1.

Again, following the same example from "add config", lets now try toremove suppression for error and warning messages 2,3,4 and 5andkeep 7 and 10 by using the "cdr remove config" command as following.

$cdr remove config "CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN 2-5"
 WARNING:The value specifed updated in-memory only.

Confirm your changes:

$onstat -g cdr config | grep SUP
   CDR_SUPPRESS_ATSRISWARN configuration setting: 7,10 

NOTE: Thecommands changeconfiguration parameters only in memory; they do not update theONCONFIG file. To update environment variables in the ONCONFIG file,use the CDR_ENV configuration parameter.

The following table shows which kind of changes are valid for eachEnterprise Replication configuration parameter.

Table 1.1
ConfigurationParameter cdr add config cdrchange config cdr remove config

Vijay Lolabattu
[Read More]

How to find the application that running a particular SQL?

cheetahblog Tags:  onstat 2,554 Views

It is not uncommon that an inefficient SQL statement causing overall performance problem. In that scenario, first you need to identify the problematic SQL, next find out the user and application that executing the SQL. Here is a glimpse to address the second part of the problem.


There are different possible ways to find out the user and application running a particular SQL. The ‘onstat -g ses <sessionid>’ command is the simple way figure out the application that running a SQL. Do you notice any thing new in the following ‘onstat -g ses <session id>’ output?


IBM Informix Dynamic Server Version 11.70.FC5 -- On-Line -- Up 16:41:52 -- 1048576 Kbytes


session           effective                 #RSAM    total  used   dynamic

id       user     user   tty pid   hostname threads  memory memory explain

34       informix -      1   19387 garion   1        278528 217656 off


Program :



tid      name     rstcb            flags    curstk   status

176      sqlexec  145629268        B--PX--  13103    yield bufwait-


Memory pools    count 2

name         class addr              totalsize  freesize   #allocfrag #freefrag

34           V     145b99040        274432     60064      376        27

34*O0        V     145b0d040        4096       808        1          1


name           free       used           name           free       used

overhead       0          6576           scb            0          144

opentable      0          13880          filetable      0          4312

ru             0          600            log            0          16536


sqscb info

scb              sqscb            optofc   pdqpriority optcompind  directives

142e211c0        145b53028        0        0           0           1


Sess       SQL            Current            Iso Lock       SQL  ISAM F.E.

Id         Stmt type      Database     Lvl Mode       ERR  ERR  Vers  Explain

34         INSERT         stores       NL  Not Wait   0    0    9.24  Off


Current statement name : inscur


Current SQL statement (997) :

  insert into customer


You are right. There is a new ‘Program’ section in above onstat output. Now, you can use the ‘onstat -g ses <session id>’ command to display the full path of the client program that used in a session. Use the client program information to monitor or control the application access to the database. One thing you should know that the program information is sent by the client itself, and name of the program totally depends on the client.


-Sanjit Chakraborty


New Onstat Commands

cheetahblog Tags:  onstat 2,552 Views
Beginning with IDS version 11.10, Informix introduced several new onstat commands to enhance server maintenance and monitoring. Database Administrator can take advantage of these new onstat commands to perform their regular activities.

Following are list of new onstat commands:

     Onstst Commands                Description   onstat -g his       Prints SQL statement tracing information using SQLTRACE                        configuration parameter. For more information on SQL tracing,                        see following articles:                       Tracing SQL in Cheetah Part 1                       Tracing SQL in Cheetah Part 2

onstat -g ckp Print checkpoint information and checkpoint related advisory. For more information on checkpoint advisory, see following article: Checkpoint Performance Advisory

onstat -g pqs Allows dynamically track a session's query plan. For more information see following article: onstat -g pqs onstat -g smx Prints Server Multiplexer group information for servers using SMX. Server Multiplexer Group (SMX) is a communications interface that supports encrypted multiplexed network connections between servers in high availability environments. SMX provides a reliable, secure, high-performance communication mechanism between database server instances.

onstat -g rss Prints Remote Standalone Secondary (RSS) server information. The output of this command differs slightly depending on whether the command is run on the primary server or on the RS secondary server.

onstat -g sds Print Shared Disk Secondary (SDS) server information

onstat -g ipl Shows index page logging status information

onstat -g cat Prints information from the Enterprise Replication global catalog. The global catalog contains a summary of information about the defined servers, replicates, and replicate sets on each of the servers within the enterprise.

onstat -g cdr config Prints the settings of Enterprise Replication configuration parameters and environment variables that can be set with the CDR_ENV configuration parameter.

For a complete list of onstat commands, see the IBM Informix Administrator's Reference Guide.

Sanjit Chakraborty
[Read More]

Encrypted Communications for HDR

cheetahblog Tags:  hdr encryption 2,519 Views

In IDS Cheetah release, you can encrypt communication between an HDR pair, to secure the transmission of data over unsecured networks, including the internet. After you enable encryption, the HDR primary encrypts the data before sending it to the HDR Secondary server. The HDR secondary server decrypts the data. Use new ONCONFIG parameter ENCRYPT_HDR to enable encryption between the HDR pair. You can also customized encryption using following parameters.

Configuration Parameter Default value Comments/Description
ENCRYPT_HDR 0 0 - disable, 1 - enable HDR encryption
ENCRYPT_CIPHERS allbut:<ecb> Defines ciphers and modes that can be used by the current database session.
The following ciphers are currently supported:
  • des (64-bit key), des3 (Triple DES), desx (Extended DES, 128-bit key)
  • aes/aes128 (128-bit key), aes192 (192-bit key), aes256 (256-bit key)

  • bf-1 Blowfish (64-bit key), bf-2 (128-bit key), bf-3 (192-bit key)
ENCRYPT_MAC medium Controls the level of message authentication code (MAC) generation.

  • off - does not use MAC generation.
  • low - uses XOR folding on all messages.
  • medium - uses SHA1 MAC generation for all messages greater than 20 bytes long
    and XOR folding on smaller messages.
  • high - uses SHA1 MAC generation on all messages.

ENCRYPT_MACFILE builtin A list of the full path names of MAC key files.
ENCRYPT_SWITCH 60,60 Defines the frequency (in minutes) at which ciphers, secret keys are renegotiated.
cipher_switch_time, key_switch_time
  • To use your own MAC key file
    • Execute the following command to generate MAC Key file.
      $INFORMIXDIR/bin/GenMacKey -o  /usr/informix/etc/MacKey1.dat
    • Copy MacKey1.dat over to the paired server

    • Update ENCRYPT_MACFILE configuration parameter on both the servers as shown below
      ENCRYPT_MACFILE    /usr/informix/etc/MacKey1.dat,builtin

  • NOTE - HDR and Enterprise Replication (ER) share the same encryption configuration parameters: ENCRYPT_CIPHERS, ENCRYPT_MAC, ENCRYPT_MACFILE and ENCRYPT_SWITCH.

Nilesh Ozarkar[Read More]

OpenAdmin Tool for IDS XAMPP tutorial updated

cheetahblog Tags:  idsadmin oat 2,514 Views
In March an article on installing IDSAdmin in a XAMPP environment was published on this blog. This article has just been updated by Inge Halilovic with instructions and screen shots for the latest available version of OpenAdmin Tool downloadable from the Free Product Download Site. The new version of OAT has improved graphics, simpler installation, new features such as support for Mach 11 topology, and several bug fixes.

Guy Bowerman[Read More]

Restoring critical administrative files with onbar utility

cheetahblog Tags:  -cf file onbar critical 2,484 Views

It is already known to us that onbar backs up some critical administrative files during storage space backup. These critical files are as follows:

- The onconfig file

- UNIX: The sqlhosts file

- The ON-Bar emergency boot file: ixbar.servernum

- The server boot file: oncfg_servername.servernum


There may be a situation when you need to restore one of these files, for example: replace disks, restore to a second computer system (imported restore) etc. However, previously there was no easy way to restore these files from onbar backup. You need to depend on the Informix Technical Support to perform this operation.


Starting with Inofrmix vesion 12.10.xC2, you can restore the critical files that you backed up with onbar utility. Onbar cold restore has an option now to restore these files or you can only restore these file without perform the storate space restore.


Use 'onbar -r -cf yes' to restore critical file during cold restore. Alternatively, you can use 'onbar -r -cf only' to extract critical files while Informix server is offline.


-Sanjit Chakraborty

Installing multiple copies of IDS on Windows - 11.50.xC2

cheetahblog Tags:  install installation 2,472 Views

Introduction:Multiple installation of IBM Informix Dynamic Server is now enabled in IDS 11.50 xC2. With this, users will be able to install multiples copies of IDS on a single machine with the ability to create instance(s) per installation. For example, a user can have 11.50 xC1 and 11.50 xC2 co-existing on the same machine with instances related to each installation running on that machine.

With this new effort, a user that has an installation of IDS 11.50 can invoke setup.exe and will be presented with existing installation of IDS on the machine. The user can then make a choice between installing a new copy of IDS and maintaining an (one of the) existing copy(ies). If there is an existing installation of IDS 11.50 on a machine, a user that launches setup.exe in graphical mode will be presented a panel similar to the one below:

Multiple Installation Screenshot

However, with an existing installation of IDS 11.50, launching setup.exe in silent mode will require a maintenance response file. Without a maintenance response file or with an installation response file, the installer will abort. To install a subsequent copy of IDS 11.50 in silent mode, the user should pass the ‘-multiple’ command line option to setup.exe.

In addition to the "-multiple" command line option, there are 2 command line options for maintenance namely "-path" and "-instnum". These 2 new command line options are used to launch maintenance mode for a specified installation. Since they perform the same functionality, they should be used interchangeably and not in conjunction with one another.

Usages of the newly implemented options:

  • -multiple usage

  • setup.exe -multiple

    This option can be used in conjunction with other installation command line options. E.g.

    setup.exe -multiple -s -f1"C:\TEMP\server.ini" -f2"C:\TEMP\server.log"

  • -path usage

  • setup.exe -path [installation path]

    The user invokes setup.exe with the ‘-path’ option passing the installation path for which maintenance is required. This option can be used in conjunction with other maintenance command line options. E.g.

    setup.exe -path [installation path] -s -f1"C:\uninst.ini"

  • -instnum usage

  • setup -instnum [installation number]

    The user invokes setup.exe with the ‘-instnum’ option passing installation number for which maintenance is required. Note that each installation is tagged with an installation number in shortcut menu (except for the first installation which doesn’t have a tag). This option can be used in conjunction with other maintenance command line options. E.g.

    setup.exe -instnum [installation number] -s -f1"C:\uninst.ini"

    For more information on installing IDS, visit

    Tosin Ajayi

    [Read More]

    After an upgrade query running slow

    cheetahblog Tags:  opt_seek_factor slow upgrade 2,459 Views

    You have upgraded to Informix 11.70.xC3 or higher version. After upgrade encountered some of your queries running slow. The common observation, a query was using index path prior to upgrade and running faster. After an upgrade the same query is doing a sequential scan. Using an index directive the query uses the index and runs much faster than the sequential scan. However, the index path has a higher estimated cost associated with it than the sequential scan.

    Also, after an upgrade it could be seen that the optimizer chooses a different index in the newer version of Informix than it did in the prior version and causing the query to run slower.  

    A newer costing functionality was added in 11.70.FC3 and higher in the 11.70 family. This functionality was added to account for the seek time required to traverse an index (especially large indexes). There were situations where queries using an index would take longer to return than a sequential scan because of all the I/O involved.

    You can control the new costing functionality using the OPT_SEEK_FACTOR configuration parameter. This parameter allows to set the "weight" of an I/O seek cost. The range is 0 to 25 and default is 6. Making it lower causes the seek cost to be lower which lowers the estimated cost of using an index path.

    You can revert to the old costing method by setting OPT_SEEK_FACTOR to 0 in the ONCONFIG file.

    - Grant Flander

    Improved Statistics Maintenance

    cheetahblog Tags:  explain sampling statistics 2,436 Views
    • Automaticstatistics collection.

    IDS now automatically collects index statistics, equivalent to thestatistics gathered by UPDATE STATISTICS in LOW mode, when you create aB-tree index on a UDT column of an existing table or if you create afunctional or VII index on a column of an existing table. Statisticsthat are collected automatically by this feature are available to thequery optimizer, removing the necessity to manually run UPDATESTATISTICS. When B-tree indexes are created, column statistics arecollected on the first index column, equivalent to what UPDATESTATISTICS generates in MEDIUM mode, with a resolution of 1% for tablesof fewer than a million rows, and 0.5% for larger tables.

    • Query statistics in EXPLAIN output.

    You can now view statistics about completed queries in the new Querystatistics section in SET EXPLAIN.  The  querystatistics section of the output gives a detailed information on eachscan, join and sort statistics such as estimated cost, number of rowsscanned, estimated number of rows and number of rows produced at eachlevel.  The EXPLAIN_STAT configurationparameter enables or disables the inclusionof a Query Statistics section in the explainoutput file. You can generatethe output file by using either the SETEXPLAINstatement of SQL or the onmode-Y sessionid command. Following is an example.


    In explicit UPDATE STATISTICS operations in MEDIUM mode, a new SAMPLINGSIZE option in the Resolution clause can specify the minimum number ofrows to sample for column distributions.

    If the Resolution clause omits the RESOLUTION keyword and specifies noconfidence level and no percent value, then the number of rows thatDynamic Server samples will be the larger of the following two values:

        * The min value that you specifyimmediately after the SAMPLING SIZE keywords
        * The sampling size that is required forthe default percent of rows in each bin (2.5%) and for the minimumconfidence level (0.80).

    If a sampling size is specified in a Resolution clause that includesexplicit values for both the average percent of sampled rows per binand for the confidence level, then the number of sampled rows will bethe larger of these two values:

        * The min value that you specifyimmediately after the SAMPLING SIZE keywords
        * The sampling size that is required forthe specified percent of rows and for the specified confidence level.

    If a sampling size is specified in a Resolution clause that includes anaverage percentage value but sets no confidence level, then the minimumconfidence value of 0.80 is used to calculate the actual sampling sizefor Dynamic Server to use if the specified size is smaller.

    For example, the following statement calculates statistics for twocolumns of the customer table, without updating index information. Atleast 200 rows will be sampled, but the actual size of the sample mightbe larger than 200 if more rows are required to provide the default0.80 confidence level for a sample distribution that uses 50equivalence categories, with an average percentage of 2% of the sampledvalues in each bin.

    UPDATESTATISTICS MEDIUM FOR TABLE customer (city, state)

    Whether or not you include an explicit SAMPLING SIZE specification inthe Resolution clause, Dynamic Server records in the system catalog theactual sampling size (as a percentage of the total number of rows inthe table) at the time of MEDIUM mode UPDATE STATISTICS creation.

    • New FILETO option to redirect  SET EXPLAIN output to a filethat you desire.

    When you execute a SET EXPLAIN FILE TO statement, explain output isimplicitly turned on. The default filename for the output issqexplain.out until changed by a SET EXPLAIN FILE TO statement. Oncechanged, the filename remains set until the end of the session or untilit is changed by another SET EXPLAIN FILE TO statement.

    The filename can be any valid combination of optional path andfilename. If no path component is specified, the file is placed in yourcurrent directory. The permissions for the file are owned by thecurrent user.  The output file that you specify in the SETEXPLAIN statement can be a new file or an existing file. In DynamicServer, if the FILE TO clause specifies an existing file, the newoutput is appended to that file.  Following is an examplewhere the explain output is sent to file "explain.vijay" under "/tmp"directory.

    SETEXPLAIN FILE TO '/tmp/explain.vijay'

    These features reduce the need for DBAs to perform UPDATE STATISTICS onindexes, enabling better query plans and ease of use.

    Vijay Lolabattu
    [Read More]

    Optimizer Directives in ANSI Join Queries

    cheetahblog Tags:  directives optimizer joins ansi 2,427 Views
    In IDS 11.10, all optimizer directives including external directives can be used in queries using ANSI joins.Using
    optimizer directives might enable you to force a favorable query execution path thus improving performance.

    Here is a description of the different optimizer directives and how they work with ANSI join queries.

    Optimization Goal DirectivesFIRST_ROWS, ALL_ROWSDirectives enabled for ANSI join queries
    Access Method DirectivesFULL, INDEX, AVOID_INDEX, AVOID_FULL,INDEX_SJ, AVOID_INDEX_SJDirectives enabled for ANSI join queries
    Explain-Mode DirectivesEXPLAIN, AVOID_EXECUTEDirectives enabled for ANSI join queries
    External DirectivesDirectives enabled for ANSI join queries
    Join Method DirectivesUSE_HASH, USE_NL, AVOID_HASH, AVOID_NL, /BUILD, /PROBEDirectives enabled for ANSI Inner Joins
    Directives not enabled for ANSI Inner Joins in views
    Directives enabled for ANSI Outer Joins that can be transformed into ANSI Inner joins
    Directives disabled for all other ANSI Outer Joins
    Join Order DirectivesOrderedDirectives enabled for ANSI Inner Joins
    Directives enabled for ANSI Left Outer joins if it doesn't conflict with the ordering requirement for Outer Joins
    Directives disabled for all other ANSI Outer Joins

    Suma Vinod[Read More]