Administrating and Developing with Informix
So I got back from this years IIUG. It was a blast, as usual. The IIUG is making efforts to increase the number of presentations that are applicable to developers. This year it included presentations on Database programming with PHP, a section on open source coding with informix, programming with drupal, and then I did a best practices presentation for application developers.
I don't know when the IIUG will make the presentations available, but you do need to be a member to get them, and the process is simple, and free. Just go over to
And sign up.
The Chicago Infomrix User Group meeting looks to be a good one. Here is the invite email form Rob Beal...
As of last night Informix Dynamic Server 10.0 is available for free download from the IIUG members area. The following versions are available:
AIX 64 bit - IDS.10.00.FC5I1HP 64 Bit Itanium - IDS.10.00.FC5I1Sun Solaris 64 Bit - IDS.10.00.FC5I14Windows 32 bit - IDS.10.00.TC5I1Linux 32 bit - IDS.10.00.UC5I1
These versions are available with no time limits for non-commercial use. In these special editions the only restriction is on the number of users which is limited to 5.
This has been requested by the Informix user community for a long time. Thanks to everyone in IIUG and IBM who made it happen.[Read More]
Downtown San Jose was bustling with Mexicans on horses, teenage girls and pasty engineers on Sunday as it hosted Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the NCVA Junior Girls Volleyball Power League Regionals and IDUG North America.
IDUG kicked off with a series of Sunday educational seminars. Of the 5 Informix ones I managed to catch Speed and Performance in IDS presented by John Miller and 20 year Informix veteran Scott Lashley who was grumbling about being offered a senior coffee in Macdonalds - I'm sure it was an innocent mistake. It was good to pick up some performance tips from the experts - must increase my physical log size to take advantage of non-blocking checkpoints - ok the online log has been telling me that for a while but it's good to get a reminder..
Fancy hoof-work on W San Carlos
Today saw the official start of IDUG. For the keynote two retired IBM fellows Pat Selinger and Don Haderle were reanimated to discuss the future of database technology. They have a cute comedy routine going with a dash of bawdiness, which makes a change to standard hype-laden conference keynotes.
Monday was the busiest day for me with my interminable JSP/Ajax and Krakatoa/Solano talks and booth duty but did get to attend one Special Interest Group meeting - Informix for Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence - where hardcore data warehousers shared their thoughts and questions with Kevin Fennimore, Ron Flannery and Martin Lurie. The consensus is these guys would like to see more XPS warehouse friendly features ported into IDS. Tomorrow I just have to inflict my soul-crushing IDS Internals for Windows presentation (it's soul-crushing in a good way, honest) and can then report on a few other sessions.[Read More]
Yesterday was the last day to upload draft presentations for IDUG 2007 - North America (May 6-10), taking place in San Jose, home of the Museum of Quilts and Textiles, not to mention the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Western North America, allegedly. So far I have uploaded 1 out of 3 drafts, and in the spirit of prevarication am now writing about it rather than finishing the job.
Browsing the conference grid I see there are 4 separate Informix tracks and plenty of new material. It's reasonable to expect we'll be learning a lot more about Cheetah (IDS 11.10). There is an early bird discount available until March 23rd.
The IBM Information Management Technical Conference 21-25 May 2007 in Düsseldorf, birthplace of Altbier and Kraftwerk, in that order, is currently gathering papers. Early bird discount lasts until February 28.[Read More]
The rest of IDUG rushed by in a blur, here are some notes..
In the morning I delivered my IDS for Windows internals talk. If anyone downloads the slides from the conference website or IIUG please note they claim the 64-bit Windows port of IDS will not support ISM. As development plans have progressed this has since turned out to be a cheap lie, ISM support is now planned. In my defense, I am a cheap liar.
Freed up to attend a few sessions I followed a meandering path of application development, security and Linux, beginning with Sergio Ferreira's JSTL SQL tags talk, which starting with the Java web stack explainedJSTL - the Java Standard Tag Library, EL - Expression Language, and how to use the various JSTL components such as SQL.
In the afternoon Alexey Sonkin provided some tips on Optimizing Linux for IDS - I was expecting this to get very technical and was not disappointed. Topics included performance comparisons for different Linux filesystems, partitioning optimization for drive geometry, picking the best I/O scheduler for database performance, optimizing the kernel memory swapping algorithm, the quadratic dependency between network connections and SOC VPkernel processing time, and FASTPOLL.
Here is a copy of the official conference agenda for Tuesday evening:
On Wednesday morning I met Anatole Vishon who demonstrated some of the new features in Server Studio 6.x currently in beta and due for releaseto coincide with IDS 11.10. There is a lot to cover in Server Studio and I'llsave this for a separate blog entry later this week.
In the afternoon I caught Jonathan Leffler's Encrypted Communications with IDS 10.0 presentation which took us from Kerckhoff's Principle, the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol and AES to setting up encrypted network communication in IDS using Encryption CSM.
Next was Paul Watson going through some Public and Free Datablades- a useful range of blades to extend SQL functionality that are freely available and easy to build and install. For some reason Paul thought I'd make a good sacrificial goat for various object relational questions that came up - maybe it was a punishment for arriving late, either way I'm going in disguise to his next talk.
Later that day coaches were laid on to give conference attendees a taste of BayArea traffic and transport them to a reception at IBM's plush Silicon Valley Lab (SVL). As the throng were shepherded to the reception area we were waved and cheered by resident developers - presumably the slow ones who were unable to get away when rounded up.
On Thursday the only session I managed to see was Gary Ben-Israel's Hitchhiker's Guide to J2EE - an illuminating guide to the framework universe, AJAX, EJB, and some of the serious problems to that need to be overcome when developing within a Java framework. As a result of this talk and some offline chats I've added Wicket to my "to learn about" list.
Throughout the conference the Exhibit Hall was busy. IDS had 4 pedestals, including an IDSAdmin demo showing new replication features and an interesting gaming development demo which I hope this blog or IDS Experts might cover in the near future.[Read More]
You may have seen announcements for the 2008 IIUG Informix Conference in Lenexa on April 27-30 this year. Ones like this for example..
But is it worth going to? why Lenexa? what can we expect this year?
I put these and some other tough (well slightly tough) questions to IIUG President Stuart Litel who kindly agreed to an exclusive interview with the Informix Application Development Blog..
A. It will be a very technical event with a concentration on purely Informix. All the sessions revolve around the entire Informix product line.
Q: Why did the IDUG and IIUG conferences go their separate ways?
A: A few reasons.
1) The IIUG Board believed that the users wanted a more affordable and Informix only event. We had experience at doing two day events before and we attracted many more people.
2) We wanted to do an event that was a break even event financially, not where costs were very high and the price had to be high and also not to make a big profit, but only to put a little seed money away to cover costs to do an event each year.
Q: Why would people want to take time out of their work schedule to attend the IIUG Conference?
A: I have personally been to each and every Informix conference since they started about 15 years ago. I personally believe it is not only what you learn but the people and relationships you make, such as meeting you the first time a few years ago and fellow Informix users around the world. If I have technical problems or questions I have the contacts throughout the world to talk to and help with my word situation.
You will be learning and meeting some of the best instructors, but at conferences you are meeting the best technical trainers from IBM, developers like yourself, Jonathan Leffler, John Miller, Madison Pruet, Kevin Brown, Scott Lashley as well as fellow users who you can share work experiences. I have often said give me two days at a conference with power users and developers vs ten weeks of Informix only classes and you will learn not only more but create the right contacts to assist you in your every day business life. And don't forget you can meet Carlton Doe and get a copy of his IDS 11 book autographed!
Q: Attending a conference is a big waste of money, discuss..
A: I definitely dont agree with that statement. See all my comments below. I mean for about $1500, three days, over sixty sessions on JUST INFORMIX and its related products, how can you beat that. I have heard well its not only the money but also the time away from the office. Please tell me what better deal there is in the IT / IBM / Informix world. The IIUG created this event to be just that an event that people will learn about and talk about later. I have heard people comment about coming to Kansas City, whats there to do. Trust me I just about the same thing, but it does not matter where we hold the event, we are there for the event and to learn and meet fellow users and this proved to be the perfect location.
As for the Conferences being a waste, hey I have been to every Informix Conference there ever was under Informix Corp. Every IBM event that had Informix content (the old Technical Conferences and now IOD) and IDUG / IIUG event and most of what I have learned and almost all the Informix contacts I have in the world were all made due to coming to these conferences. It is like anything else, it is what you make of it, and here you have the opportunity to make what ever you want with fellow users from around the world.
Q: What presentations are you planning to attend?
A: Me personally, to tell you the truth I have not looked at the sessions yet. But there is over 60 Informix technical sessions, the most number of Informix sessions than any IBM conference or other event anywhere in the world! and for the price, how can you beat this! The bad news I doubt I will get to any sessions, because I will be too busy with the event. Although I try not to miss sessions from what I call the "Gang of Five", the Five IBM Distinguished Engineers - they are always the best (of course Guy I will get to your sessions).
Q: Why Lenexa, I mean come on, why Lenexa?
A: If you take a right hand turn out of the hotel it is College Blvd. Drive five miles or so down the road and that is where most of the Informix developers and support team for IBM are actually located. Many of these people will be presenters at the conference in addition the Monday night party we intend to invite the entire Informix development and support staff to the party. One big family is what I am calling it!
Also Kansas City is centrally located in the middle of the United States so we are not at either coast. I remember the biggest Informix conference ever was held in Chicago with over 5,000 attendees and I believe one of the reasons was due to the location. What do they say in real estate... LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. well Overland Park / Lenexa / Kansas City provided just this.
Q: Do you have any entertainment lined up for us?
A: Wait you said people were there for the technical sessions... OK I will give you an exclusive PEAK but will not spill all the details.
Sunday night will be a reception in the Exhibit Hall starting around 6PM
Monday night will be an event which I will call "Party with the Informix Family" with all the attendees, developers and support staff from the area invited and Tuesday night is an off site event which I will not give you any of the details. But here is something I will say to you... They put me in charge of the parties, so if you have met me before you will know the food and beverages will be good (and I love to eat and I hate drink coupons hint hint :) )
Over the years I tell lots of Informix stories and I will always remember a few years back at an Informix conference run by IBM I walked down a hallway and there was Jonathan Leffler sitting on the floor eating lunch with some users drawing all kinds of technical information. Give Informix users some good Informix content and pizza on a box and a corner to sit in on the floor and they are happy... We re there for the technical information, but the entertainment will be fun too!
Q: How are the registration numbers looking so far?
A: We are way ahead of schedule. As of the writing of this to you, we only have space for about 110 - 120 more people. The hotel can only hold about 340 people in the main conference room, so that is our limit. Also on the Hotel room block, we have blown over it twice! I had to call the hotel and get more rooms under the hotel room block. We are way ahead of projection. In fact we have more Informix people already registered than attended last years combined IDUG / IIUG event and we still have over 11weeks to go!
Also on the side of Sponsors / booths... We have more booths already signed up an paid for then the IBM IOD and IDUG 2007 events combined!
Q: Why Lenexa again?
A: Cause we want to be where the developers are! It gave us access to the core of the Informix team (of course besides you guys up in Portland, Oregon!)
We have three of the most important people in the IBM Informix world coming to speak. Arvind Krishna is the Vice President of Database Servers for IBM Information and he will be the keynote. If you have never heard Arvind speak, he is truly very informative and very entertaining. Also speaking will be Jerry Keesee and Bernie Spang together. Jerry is the Director of World Wide development for IBM Informix and this past year at IOD, Jerry's session was one of the few for any product that was standing room only. In fact they closed off the room due to fire regulations. Bernie Spang is the Director of WorldWide Marketing for IBM Information Management Databases. These two are great together, which is why I asked them to do it together. It will be fun to see who gets more time on stage!
And speaking of these three individuals, there will be some world class special announcements happening that I cant talk about a this time, but they will be press worthy announcements happening (opps that is all I can say). But there is some other special stuff happening that I have not even told the conference committee yet that I have planned up my sleeve.
Speaking of the Conference committee, these people are doing one heck of an amazing job. Lead by IIUG Board Member Cindy Lichtenauer, One of the IIUG Founders and first President Walt Hultgren and long time IIUG Board Member James Edmiston, they are joined by long time Informix users: Kernoal Stephens, Tammy Frankforter, David Link, Bruce Simms and Tom Beebe.
Also one last note. I got an email from someone in Croatia the other day who is coming. He figured out that he can fly to the USA, stay for the entire conference and pay for the conference registration for less than it costs just for the registration only to an IBM conference in Europe and this event is where the true Informix knowledge will be, so he is coming to the event and urging other users in Croatia to also come.
Personally I have estimated that the total cost of the event for someone in the USA including Airfare, hotel and conference registration is only about $1500 from most anywhere in the lower 48 states! Remember a week at an IBM class is I think about $2500 just for the tuition and IOD registration is about $1595 for the EARLY BIRD. Here you get much much more for about the less cost!!
Thanks Stuart! From what I've heard the list of sessions is being finalized about now. Here is where you can check the list of Confirmed Technical Sessions. Hope to see you there in April.
Here's an IIUG conference summary email that was sent to IIUG members today..
No other conference in the world will focus this intensely and comprehensively on the Informix product set. For 3 action-packed days across 5 content-rich tracks, from April 26-30, there will be an absolute focus at The Marriott Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas — which is right down the street from the Informix Development Labs.
Don't delay register now! http://www.iiug.org/conf/2009/iiug/register.php
No matter how you look at it, this conference is an unbeatable deal. So, plan on being at the 2009 IIUG Informix Conference in Overland Park, Kansas April 26-29, 2009.
TUTORIALS (Sunday April 26th)
TECHNICAL SESSIONS (Monday April 27 — Wednesday April 29)Over 85 technical sessions over three full days!For an updated list of sessions, visit: http://www.iiug.org/conf/2009/iiug/sessions.php
CERTIFICATIONAll attendees can take IBM Information Management Certification exams at no cost. Each of these tests is a $150 value!
The IIUG 2009 Conference in Overland Park, Kansas is coming up on April 26-29th.
Cindy Lichtenauer from the IIUG Board of Directors recently sent an invite which introduced the conference as follows:
Nowhere in the world will you find a conference where you will get more foryour money!
For the low price of $649 you will be able to attend three jam-packed daysof Informix-only content. You can attend the 2009 IIUG Conference and yourconference fee, hotel, airfare and all meals will be less than what youwould pay for the registration fee alone at other conferences! Beat theprice increase on March 1 and make sure you will be able to attend, as the2008 event was a complete sellout.
We have lots of new content this year including 5 tracks containing 88technical sessions, Keynote presentations from IBM executives, greatnetworking opportunities, an exhibit hall filled with Informix vendors andfree IBM certification.
Afternoon Sessions (1:00pm-4:30pm, Lunch 12-1 included)
All Day Sessions (8:30am-4:30pm, Lunch and breakfast included)
If you're going I hope to see you there. This year I'm currently scheduled to give a presentation on Informix virtualization, and have a standby session on IDS on Windows. If all goes well I'll get to participate in some usability sessions and demo's as well..[Read More]
A few stragglers from the IIUG conference are camping out at the Doubletree for various meetings this week, and the consensus is that the first IIUG conference for many years was a great success as well as being fun. Good job Stuart and team. The sponsors I spoke to appreciated having such an Informix focussed attendance at the booths too.
If you were at the conference this week there is a good chance you'll see yourself in the IIUG Conference 2008 photos, as enigmatic Frenchman Jean-Georges Perrin was very efficient with his camera.[Read More]
The IIUG has a new publication out called the IIUG Developer's Desktop Newsletter. Published monthly, the newsletter is aimed at helping application developers who work with IDS do more with the product. Edited by Mark Jamison, the first edition has a Java theme, with the following technical articles:
There are plans for an "Ask the Developers" section where your questions are answered by Development. Questions, articles and comments can be sent to: devnews _at_ iiug.org.
Overall, great first newsletter Mark (and all contributors).[Read More]
The IIUG Board of Directors elections are underway (from midnight US Eastern Standard Time on 01 December thru 15 December). Nominations for candidates closed on November 15th and a total of 16 candidates are standing - 9 returning board members and 7 new candidates. I couldn't work out from the election information how many positions are open, but the current board has 11 members. If who represents Informix users at the IIUG matters to you, read the candidate statements and vote here.
Leafing through the candidates, a certain Mr Perrin is setting the pace with his own campaign video!
Any other publicity stunts gratefully received.[Read More]
The mysterious Frenchman Jean-Georges Perrin has been quiet lately. Therefore he is up to something.
Last seen at IDUG sporting a camcorder and tripod, there was clearly some kind of grand multi-media scheme in progress. At last, secret sources (JGP's blog) reveal plans for IIUG TV.
The short teaser on the website promises IDS Street talk.. I do recognize several IIUG regulars on the video, including John Miller demoing IDSAdmin (soon to be called something else) in the IDUG Exhibit hall. That's not me in the background, and the bored, tipsy look on my face is actually rapt concentration.
Will iiug.tv be the Informix go-to site of the Summer? I await with baited anticipation.[Read More]
The Informix User Group of Northern California are having their first meeting tomorrow Friday May 16 from 9:30 - 2:30.
Here is the agenda:
The meeting is held at:
4400 North First Street, Suite 100, Room 1066
San Jose, CA 95134 (directions)
Most importantly lunch will be provided, so if you're in or around the Bay area take an extra long Friday lunch break and go and see what's new..
Many years ago there was an active Northern California branch of the International Informix Users Group. Somewhere along the way participation dwindled and it fizzled out. Following some successful Informix tech fair and tech day events in the California Bay Area there has been renewed interest in this group, resulting in its recent reactivation.
The IBM contact for the group, Suma Vinod has sent me the following announcement:
Our website is http://www.iiug.org/iugnc/. Announcements about events and tech talks will be published on this site as they become available.
A good reason to attend these events if you're within reach of the Bay area is the large pool of Informix support engineers and developers based in the IBM Silicon Valley Lab available for talks. Thanks Suma and IIUG for setting this up, and welcome back IUGNC! I wish you every success.[Read More]