In IDS 11.50.xC6 this technology is available as part of the product for all platforms. The basic concept behind DU is that you set up your Informix instance on one machine. Configure it, create and populate databases if required, and then copy your Informix directory and dbspaces and bundle it with your application. Your application can then silently deploy the pre-configured instance to any machines it installs on by calling DU (the executable is called ifxdeploy). At deployment time DU will unzip the instance, create the informix user, set file permissions, set any instance specific settings for the machine such as the instance name, listening port etc., and optionally relocate data chunks, so if your application deploys pre-configured dbspaces in a new directory the root space will be updated to reflect the new location of chunks.
To help get started with the Deployment Utility, Informix enablement consultant Sreeni Paida has published a new developerWorks article:
Automate small footprint, embedded Informix Dynamic Server deployments - End-to-end embeddability for IDS deployments on Linux, UNIX, and Windows using the IDS Deployment Utility and Embeddability Toolkit.
This article covers end to end Informix deployment scenarios for UNIX and Windows:
1. Installing Informix on a "template" machine.
2. Reducing the instance to a minimal footprint.
3. Packaging the instance and data.
4. Deploying the instance and data on target machines.
There is also active research going on to make embedded IDS deployment easier, that is taking as many of the manual steps out of this process as possible, to reduce both application developer time, and the amount of application installer code required to deploy IDS as an embedded database server.
If you embed IDS in your application or are thinking of doing so, it is worth taking a look at this technology to see how it can make the installation component of integrating with Informix easier.