Firstly, if you follow The Informix Zone you will already know there's a new Informix RedBook, 162 pages of high availability goodness entitled: Informix Dynamic Server V10: Superior Data Replication for Availability and Distribution. This compliments the RedBook published last December: Informix Dynamic Server V10 . . . Extended Functionality for Modern Business.
Secondly, IBM RedBooks are pioneering a new authoring process known as RedWiki. The old style RedBook authoring process took the form of a residency. Authors, typically IBM employees, would travel to a specific site and work there until the job was done. With the new process, anyone can apply to be an author, and the team collaborate on the book via a Wiki page from their regular locations working part-time. I like this concept, it can mean larger teams, and can draw on a greater pool of authoring talent. We use wiki pages extensively within Informix support and development both informally in small teams and in a larger more structured environment.
I turned down the last opportunity for a RedBook residency.. the flesh was willing but the time was lacking. With the Wiki-based authoring process I'd have probably applied. To see an example of the new style of RedWiki take a look at PHP Zend for i5/OS.
I hope this concept catches on and look forward to seeing some Informix RedBooks written this way. Judging by the expertise on display in the IIUG and comp.databases.informix newsgroups there would be no shortage of enthusiasm and talent for a distributed Informix RedBook.
Administrating and Developing with Informix
From archive: April 2007 X
gbowerman 100000B5T0 2,799 Views
I just read an interesting post from ZDNet blogger Paul Murphy entitled Sun’s training problem..
I know of a Sun V880 installed in January of 2002 with eight 750Mhz processors, 16GB, and four A1000 disk packs that ran Informix 10 with Sybase/IQ with exactly zero downtime for almost three years despite a half dozen or so disk replacements and a Sybase upgrade....Paul's main point is about Sun not evangelizing their SMP and in-memory data integration solutions, though the implication is also there that IBM has work to do to evangelize the modernity, relevance and reliability of Informix Dynamic Server.
Reading this led me to reminisce about my first Sun machine at Informix, an Ultra 2, running several IDS instances, it never stopped working.[Read More]
A new developerWorks article was published last week by Abhishek Mathur called Using the new Deployment Wizard in IDS Cheetah - New control for the IDS install process.
The article highlights an important new feature in IDS 11.10 install - the ability to customize which components are installed.
Now instead of copying all the files during installation, just those for the chosen components are copied. For IDS 10.0 and below most of the files in the media were language files of which only a small subset were likely to be relevant to your locale. I am not sure I go along with this sentence though..
Have you seen how large some other Enterprise RDBMS installations are? However the point of this sentence is well-intentioned. Perhaps 270Mb should be viewed as considerable if we can reduce the footprint by only copying the required files.
This goes a step towards Componentization - where you can pick and choose which Software components you wish to install rather than legacy all-or-nothing software installations.[Read More]
There is an interesting article in the latest edition of the German IT publication entwickler magazin entitled Comeback Der Kult-Datenbank.
In it Eric Herber discusses the Open Beta Program for IDS version 11.10, speculates on the choice of the codename Cheetah ("fast, silent and extremely efficient") and introduces some of the new features. The impressive sales growth of IDS in the last year is mentioned and how IBM has changed its database strategy, now giving DB2 and IDS equal status, positioning them for different target markets depending on their specific strengths.
The article concludes with the comment that in a highly competitive database market Informix is evolving as IBM's trump card due to its low administration costs, resource gentle, highly scalable multi-threading architecture and extensibility features.[Read More]
The developerWorks team have begun testing a new concept called developerWorks community topic spaces - empowering people to create "micro-sites focused on a specific technical subject, software project, development activity, or user group community".
IDS Cheetah already has its own community space, see the preview here: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/ids.
Er, what is a space?
From the developerWorks Spaces Wiki FAQ:
A space is a Web micro-site with one or more owners who can manage the content, presentation, and distribution with an easy-to-use interface. Spaces usually combine multiple ways to create or collaborate on content such as blogs, forums, wikis, file-sharing, video sharing, and so on. They may also provide ways to distribute the content via Web feeds such as Atom, or RSS.
Much more than a home page, a space allows the owners to communicate and connect with others. Each space is a potential community of its own: a following around an expert, a community of interest around a topic, a software project community, a user group community, and so on, based upon the wishes of its members.
The way it works, as far as I can tell, is that as the creator or maintainer of one of these spaces you choose from a selection of portlets to add to your page, examples include: blogs, feature stories, lists, forums, lists, podcasts, RSS aggregators, custom feeds and more, thus creating your own portal/aggregation site. These portlets can be dragged around the page and various layouts and themes chosen to suit your aesthetic proclivities. You can add up to 10 co-editors.
It will be interesting to see how this idea grows. If you feel like starting your own space, apply here.[Read More]
gbowerman 100000B5T0 2,481 Views
Does anyone remember the Informix for Innovation Software Grant Program? This ended around the turn of the millennium and a few fragments remain. According to these details at the Synergos Institute the average total yearly giving was $5 million.
The legacy of these grants lives on in the form of continuing projects which benefited, such as SETI@Home. Another example is Bugscope (1, 2) which is still actively engaged in education programs. Other beneficiaries include Large Scale Distributed Information Systems and the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. Some projects which came to an end like the Heron Middleware forImage Retrieval at the University of Augsburg spawned new research projects which are still ongoing.
Back in the present, IBM has the Shared University Research Program, the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM Research work with universities. They even have a Second Life training presence which "includes a giant labyrinth where software developers can build robots and race them against each other". What I don't know is whether Informix is involved in any of these current initiatives. If anyone happens to know I'd be interested to find out.[Read More]
Based on support calls there is a fairly high demand for Informix integration with Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). When it comes to worked examples there is somewhat of a dearth. It is therefore refreshing to see this new developerWorks article by Manoj Mohan, Ramesh Gopal Srinivasan, Thamizhchelvan A. Anbalagan: Enhance Informix Dynamic Server security using the Pluggable Authentication Module framework and JDBC - Increased authentication flexibility for IDS.
The article includes a working example PAM module written in C with Solaris 32 compilation instructions and configuration file. Next is a an example JAVA callback module using JDBC. The Informix JDBC driver has supported PAM since 2.21.JC5. (Incidentally the JDBC version coming out with Cheetah will be 3.10.)
At one point the article states:
Note that IDS also supports LDAP on Windows which is set up and configured just like PAM - look in %INFORMIXDIR%\demo\authentication for an example. The IDS documentation for LDAP on Windows is here: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/idshelp/v10/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.admin.doc/admin219.htm.[Read More]
Archecker is one of those utilities that can be very useful, though no-one would accuse the documentation of being over-exhaustive - at least it has its own chapter in the Informix Backup and Restore Guide. Last year's developerWorks article Perform point-in-time table-level restore in Informix Dynamic Server by Doug Kim helped, and now Volker Fraenkel has added to the canon with a recently published developerWorks article called Data archiving with Informix Dynamic Server table-level restore -A practical guide for independent data archiving.
Among other things the article talks about the advantages of Table Level Restore, creating archecker schema files, and how to unload tables in IDS 11.10 to XML/XSD using genxmlschema.[Read More]
A closed beta for the Windows 64-bit port of IDS is scheduled to begin around mid-May. The 64-bit port has some performance advantages, including support for shared memory greater than 4GB. Here's an example onstat -g seg from a pre-beta test instance showing >5GB shared memory. Note that SHMBASE is now placed above 2GB (0x80000000).
D:\disks\ids\x64>onstat -g seg
Update 4/7/07: Note that this is a x86_64 (also known as AMD64) port. No IA64 version is currently planned.
If anyone is interested in participating in this beta please contact the project manager Anita McKeithen.[Read More]