- Embedded SQL for C.
Administrating and Developing with Informix
So as I'm messing around with the Informix Ultimate-C edition for Mac, I also am looking at CSDK 3.50 too. And while there is nothing wrong with the product, it does make me wonder what else a Developer might like to see with the product. In out (C)lient (S)oftware (D)evelopment (K)it we have the following:
If you happen to be on a platform other than Mac, you also get JDBC.
What else would you like to see in a CSDK bundle? Maybe I'm getting spoiled but looking at Microsoft and Apple, if you get an SDK you actually get a a real toolkit, something that also helps you build rapid prototypes, or even full fledged applications. I honestly think that IBM has a solution there already too. The free version is called Data Studio, and with just a little tweaking IMHO, could be the exact gui programming tool I see missing from the CSDK bundle. Even then though, I think all we would see on Unix platforms would be JCC, JDBC, ESQL/C and ODBC, and the question then is "is that enough, or do you want more?"
Would PHP, Ruby, and perl be enough? What else could/should a developer want for a CSDK bundle? I want to hear you thoughts on the matter.
So now that the announcements are over it's time to do a little evaluation. So to that end I am going to download and install Informix Ultimate-C edition for Mac. If I get enough requests I will run through this same exercise with windows, but at the moment I will presume that to be the same as the Mac edition, but more "window-like".
So onto the first part. Downloading a copy. The good news is it is very easy to find. If you merely go to the Informix website, you can click on the Ultimate-C edition for Mac, and there is a download link. The bad news is that you have to go through the same old routine you always go through when downloading a product or demo from IBM, fill in tons of radio buttons and other assorted things for IBM sales follow up. While I understand the rationale behind doing it, that doesn't mean I don't sympathize with everyone who doesn't want to create an IBM idea, and click what seems like 100 radio buttons just to download a "no charge" product.
So we are now past the hoops necessary to download the product and we are downloading the product. It's not lightweight, but still a smaller footprint that a lot of other things. Total space required for download? Well according to finderr, it's 99.44 GB
-rw-r--r--@ 1 majp51 staff 145059237 May 24 15:14 iif.11.50.FC7CE.macosx64.dmg
So that is the actual number of bytes.
As soon as the download completes successfully finderr will open up the mounted .dmg file like so:
As you can see this is the standard .dmg file and by default we have the the .pkg file standard.
I would suggest that before going any further though that you create an informix userid, and an informix group. The first reason is that you know what those id's are, but there is a second issue that can show up, especially when upgrading your Mac OS. The second reason to create your own informix ID and group is because , while the The install script creates them for you, they do it at the command line and "silently", for lack of a better term. While there is nothing wrong, per se, with the way the installer creates user id's and passwords, it creates an interesting visual problem. For anyone who uses a Mac, you manage users through System Preferences -> Accounts, unfortunately the "silent" user creation means that the informix user and group will not show up there.
Alright then so now it is time to go to the install itself. It has the really nice install package wrapper for most mac apps. Looks like the below.
For anyone used to Mac installs, this is the standard "pretty" installer. Looks good and very mac-centric. And even seems very fast until you run into a slight problem. This installers calls another installer to do the actual install.
That actual installer looks like :
So just like this part of the page, the install feels a little cluttered. As we install each piece be aware that you will eventually need to go back to the package installer to close the window, I only mention this because when you are installing the product, it may not be the only thing you are doing which means that package installer made be hidden behind a bunch of other windows. Note, that at one point or another you will be asked if the installer wants to update the kernel. If you have installed Informix before you can say "no", otherwise say "yes".
OK so following those steps (mostly just clicking) it took a little less than 5 Minutes to install everything on my Macbook Pro. So all and all a relatively simple, painless process. But also a standard informix install too.
I expect to be blogging some more about this issue including what the "limitations" for this edition will likely mean to a developer.
For those of you who made it to iiug, I'm sure you all remember Rob Thomas promising more to come on offering and other
changes. Well today is that day, and it is a great day for anyone who wants to do application development on Informix.
New offerings and prices.
So why do I think this is great for Developers? Well mainly for the Informix Ultimate-C edition for Mac and Windows.
Let me quote from the above:
Gives businesses, ISVs, and OEMs the ability to develop and deploy enterprise-class functionality for departmental
or small-to-medium sized business solutions, at no cost.
Look at that again.. Windows and Mac for the Ultimate-C Edition at no cost. So if you want to design, develop, and deploy
a Windows or Mac based solution that needs a robust full featured RDBMS, then Informix is now the clear best solution.
Happy Monday to most everyone. For those of you who made it to the IIUG conference in April,
you may have hear about the new open source intiative. The goal is to either maintain support
or add support for popular Open Source options. One of the first pieces that is being worked on is
enhanced Hibernate support. The Dialect for Informix on Hibernate has been update significantly,
so if you use Hibernate I highly suggest you download this patch.
So go take a look.
So can I get a show of hands that have used IBM Data Studio Developer? Anyone?
The product comes in two flavors, Data studio, the free version, and Optim Studio Developer,
which is the paid version.
If you do Java Coding, or currently use Eclipse, it's a very nice tool. If you use Eclipse you can
add it as a plugin to eclipse, or you can re-install the API.
Pamela Siebert and Venkatesh Gopal have done a Developerworks article that covers how to
get up and running with Data Studio.
Thanks for the introduction Guy.
A lot of you know me, but for those that don't, I've worked for 20 years in the RDBMS industry,
either as an application developer or a DBA. I've worked on every major RDBMS that runs on
WIndows or some flavor of Unix (Linux and OSX included) at various points in my career,
finally coming to work for Informix in 1995, then moving on to DBA work before coming back to
Informix, now IBM, in 1999. Been working for "the man" ever since. My main areas of focus have
been performance tuning, GLS, and Security. I've had the opportunity and pleasure of working
with some of Informix's great VARS and partners while supporting some of Informix's best and
most demanding customers.
Now with performance tuning, GLS, and Security you would naturally think "Database Engine Nerd,"
and you wouldn't be wrong. Be that as it may, I haven't forgotten my roots as an ESQL/C programmer,
and while I have to grab a manual to write java, I am definitely an advocate for the Developer.
After all the way I look at things is if you don't advocate for the developer, who is going to write
applications for this RDBMS called informix which you think is great.
So the next question you may be asking is "What's with the title of the post Mark?"
Glad you asked. I'm an Apple nerd. I prefer a Mac to a PC, an iPhone to any other phone, and
Love the iPad. Certain members of IIUG have referred to me as "Steve Jobs Jr." . I was also one
of the first to test Informix on the Mac, and continue to test and play with Informix versions as they
come out on the Mac. I'm a Mac advocate as well as an Application Developer advocate.
I plan to discuss things going forward in the App Dev side of the fence, and the Mac side of the fence.
And I looks forward to hear from people as well. Informix application development tools and process
cannot move forward and get better without input. While a blog may not get that much input, then
again it may too.
I look forward to adding content in the future. And hope to hear from readers soon and often.
Critics might argue that this blog has over the years become a little sparse on actual weighty topics related to application development, and somewhat abundant when it comes to reprinting random announcements and links to other posts. It could be further argued, by the most exacting of readers, that my average post takes about 25 seconds to type, and I don't even bother checking it for typos..
Therefore I am very pleased to welcome Mark Jamison, an enterprise support engineer, trenchant Informix developer advocate, and posessor of many other talents.. as a technical author for this blog. You'll be seeing posts from Mark over the coming months.
Informix User Group stalwart Norma Jean has started her own blog where she writes about Informix, the development tool GeneXus and IIUG related matters: check out Thoughts about Informix, GeneXus, & life in general. The photo makes me want to visit Wisconsin..
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During a visit to London last November I met Clive Eisen at Hildebrand Consulting to learn about the solution they provided for the Digital Environment Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS) - a project to monitor home electricity consumption to a fine level of granularity, enabling people to make significant savings in energy costs. It was also an eye-opener to learn about some of the appliances that use the most electricity in a typical.
Hildebrand needed to create a solution capable of handling 50,000 new database entries per second with time-series data. Hildebrand selected the Informix TimeSeries DataBlade and Real-Time Loader as a technology to could handle this level of throughput with complex data.
You can learn more about the DEHEMS project and Hildebrand's Informix-based solution in this recently published following case study: Hildebrand solves a key problem in smart metering research With IBM Informix technologies for time-series data management.
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The next Informix Chat with the Lab is just over two weeks away. This time Mark Ashworth covers an increasingly in demand Informix feature: the Spatial and Geodetic IDS extensions. Here are the details..
The International Informix User Group (IIUG) conference ended on Wednesday, followed by a well attended Customer Advisory Council meeting on Thursday.
It was a good conference and I'm looking forward to being able to download the conference material from the website. As usual I didn't make it to many sessions except ones I had to moderate. This at least enabled me to catch up on the work Informix has been doing with VMware on performance best practices in a presentation by Sreeni Paidi from IBM and Robert Campbell, a VMware technologist. The fruits of this endeavor will soon be published as a white paper.
Two of the speakers at the conference have started blogs this week. I have been mentioning a plethora of blogs started by IBMers over the past few weeks, and it's good to see more Informix related blogs started by Informix experts in the wider community.
Database and Baseball stuff
The most entertaining presentation at IIUG had to be Mike Magie's Informix in the Everyday World - Moving from 10 to 11. Mike works for consultants SAIC at the USDA and took us through some stories of his Informix DBA experiences, and also contrasting Informix features and architecture with SQL Server. Mike had the audience laughing throughout the talk, once his wife got him a working laptop. Anyhow, getting to the point, he has also started a new blog: Database and Baseball stuff, It begins with a discussion of the new External Tables feature in IDS, showing the phenomenal unload performance it delivers, a later post will discuss loads.
There is also some stuff about baseball, I remember seeing something about pitch macros before I fell asleep.
Informix: Art Kagel's View
Art Kagel, Informix guru currently working for Oninit has announced a blog, in his own inimitable style..
The Informix technical writing team, obviously envious at are amazing riting skils, have decided to get in on the act and start their own blog.
The blog, inappropriately named, Appropriate Content can be found here. It begins with an introduction to the team, where I learned that many of our technical writers are in fact real.
I enjoy working with the writing team, and I'm always impressed how quickly they can convert the obscure mumblings of engineers and incomprehensible technical specifcations into lucid text. I'm looking forward to reading more.
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The IIUG conference is next week and our user-friendly Usability guy Howard Glaser has shared some details about the Usability Sandbox sessions that are taking place. The feedback from these sessions goes directly to Development and really helps us understand your needs and concerns. Many of the features we are working on for Panther release of Informix came out of usability sessions that were conducted over the last two years.
Here are the details, and don't forget the free T-Shirt!
Today the Informix 11.50.UC6 Developer Edition Ubuntu packages went live on the Ubuntu Partner Repository.
These packages are the easiest way to install Informix products on any platform.
As my screen shot shows I upgraded from UC5, and as one comes to expect with Ubuntu packages the upgrade was quick and painless.
To see the Informix packages in the Synaptic package manager, go to Software Sources->3rd Party Software and enable the Ubuntu Hardy Partner repository. More detailed instructions, including how to install these packages on later versions of Ubuntu (by default these are for the Hardy - 8.04 LTS release) are available in my earlier post.
If you are wondering when we are going to support later versions of Ubuntu which don't require libstdc++5 to be installed, the Panther release of IDS expected later in the year will dispense with the libstdc++5 requirement and support the next Ubuntu Long Term Support release 10.04 LTS.
The IBM Development and test cloud is currently in Beta, which means you can sign up and try out its services for free. A pre-configured SLES based Informix appliance image which contains similar components to the VMware based Informix virtual appliances is available for use in the Developer in the cloud .
If you are interrested in finding out more about the Informix image, a good way to start is by signing up for an account, starting an instance, and then viewing the recently uploaded video showing the Informix Virtual Appliance Cloud Demo...
The video demonstrates the basics of how to use OpenAdmin Tool to configure Informix v11.50 instances running in the Cloud including setting up a high availability cluster.