Demo 'til you Drop
Demo 'til you drop is a brutal gong show styled event where participants demo their pants off until they make a mistake, pause, something fails to work, or they mention their product supports Oracle. Congratulations to Informix's Alexander Koerner who won the show with his notorious "Cluster in my trousers" (aka Cheetah to Go) demo of Informix Dynamic Server 11.10's replication features running on memory sticks.
Informix had several booths in the Expo hall, including demonstrations of Open Admin Tool (OAT), Replication (ER, HDR and Mach11), Label Based Access Control (LBAC), and IDS for the gaming industry. We were also handing out a DVD which included the free IDS 11.10 Developer Edition. Nearby another line of booths was reserved for Informix partners, such as Cobrasonic, AGS, and Kazer.
I'm not very good at gathering freebies at conferences, because I was brought up to feign interest in a product before collecting the loot and this can be time consuming. Fortunately many booths had interesting wares, such as the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 Live DVD being given away at the Novell booth, which includes a very nice desktop interface and Lotus Notes 8.
There were many talks and Developer Den sessions centered around IBM Data Studio - the new Eclipse based development environment formerly known as Developer Workbench - and its various tools and features. It was good to see some demo's and tutorials showing how easy this is to use. Now I need to try some of them back at the office.
.Net application Development
Writing .Net programs for IDS is becoming much easier. Ajay Aggrwal's "Rapid Application Development on .Net for IDS" session lived up to expectations and demonstrated using the new IBM Database Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 to create working Informix .Net applications in minutes.
Self-Contained Informix Applications
Alexander Koerner let us in on his Cheetah to Go secrets with a detailed session showing how to use Qemu to create a self-contained IDS demo application consisting of a fully functional IDS Mach 11 cluster with demo applications on 512 Mb USB drives.
IDS versus the Competition
Simon David, better known as Cosmo, shared some comparisons configuring and benchmarking IDS vs Oracle, and pointed out some inaccuracies and bias in a recent Forrester report.
Rise of the Robots
Friday morning sessions can be a little under-populated so I had visions of my Developer Den session about interfacing databases with chat bots going something like this:
Guy: Welcome to exciting world of chat bots.Chatbot1: Sensors indicate room is empty.Guy: Silence Chatbot1Chatbot2: Destroy all humans.Guy: No-one asked you.
Fortunately a few people wandered in by accident and the chat bots cooperated, which was good enough for me.
Overall there was a positive feeling at the conference amongst Informix attendees - the increased investment and focus on Informix by IBM is reaping results. It's good to be working on a product in ascendancy, and hear in person comments from DBA's who use IDS and like where it's going.