Oracle to IBM Informix porting guide

A discussion of database and application porting issues

The authors discuss what needs to be changed to make an application running on an Oracle database run on an Informix database, and gives alternatives.

In this article

  • Migration scope definition
  • DDL comparisons
  • DML comparisons
  • Embedded SQL
  • Application architecture issues
  • Using bladelets
  • Planning guide
  • Syntax comparison
  • Database concepts
  • Sample code
  • Counting system object scripts
  • Data type mapping

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This content is part of a progressive knowledge path for advancing your skills. See Migrating from Oracle to IBM Informix Dynamic Server on Linux, Unix, and Windows

This porting guide details the differences between Oracle's 11g release and Informix (version 11.70). In addition, it can be a useful reference for all migrations between the two database servers regardless of version. In addition to DDL, DML and overall SQL syntax, this document explores the differences between Oracle and Informix with regards to object technology through the use of large objects, user-defined types, and user-defined routines. It also looks at the differences between Oracle's table partitioning and Informix table fragmentation. Part of the explanation is a discussion on what needs to be changed to make an application running on an Oracle database run on an Informix database. If there is more than one way to port some piece of functionality, alternatives and recommendations are also discussed.

This document is intended to be a living document. Missing items, better ways of implementing Oracle functionality in Informix other than what is documented here, examples to better illustrate a point, and other suggestions should be sent to Chris Golledge ( so they may be included with future revisions.


This document should be used as a guide to assist in porting applications that run on an Oracle database server to run on an Informix database server. Regardless of whether a porting effort will be completely manual or if tools will be utilized, this document can provide value. Obviously, if the port is performed manually, this guide will provide the most value. If the port will utilize tools, then analysis can be performed using this guide to determine how much of the application the tools will convert, and how much must be converted manually. In any case, this guide is intended to be used to both visualize the scope of a porting effort, and to aid in the porting effort by addressing the technical issues.

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Zone=Information Management
SummaryTitle=Oracle to IBM Informix porting guide