IIUG World 2019

IIUG 2020 Online World Conference Presentations will begin soon!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Everyone is invited to attend our next Webcast on Tuesday December 17, 2013 at 2PM EST.  
Please share this with your other Informix DBA's.

I will present UPDATE STATISTICS in depth, dostats, and my other free utilities for monitoring and tuning an Informix database in his utils2_ak package. Topics covered will include:

- Table Level statistics and data distributions
- Fragment Level statistics and data distributions
- Update statistics for procedure/function
- Providing data distributions for User Defined Types
- Dostats and the art of balancing distribution quality with runtime performance
- Other useful utilities in the utils2_ak package

Click here to register - http://www.advancedatatools.com/Informix/NextWebcast.html

To view our past Informix Performance Tuning Webcasts visit -http://www.advancedatatools.com/Informix/Webcasts.html

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Informix 12.10.xC2 Rules - all others drool!

If you missed the version 12.10.xC2 Beta EVP and the IBM Informix Chat with the Labs on 9/25 then you are in for a shock!

IBM has been talking about Big Data in reference to Informix for several years ever since someone realized that the TimeSeries Datablade capabilities of Informix, developed in the mid '90s, is quite literally about very big data.  However, some members of the Informix user community have taken IBM to task pointing out that when folks talk about Big Data they are usually discussing unstructured data stored in NoSQL databases like Hadoop, MongoDB, and others.  So, what did you miss?

Informix is now the ONLY database that successfully integrates unstructured and structured data together in a single database platform.  Working with the developers of MongoDB, IBM has integrated MongoDB's BSON data type into IDS as a native type and implemented  the MongoDB interface protocols within Informix.  You can now do the following:

  • Store MongoDB collections in Informix as BSON types.
  • Query both MongoDB collections and Informix relational tables in Informix from both MongoDB clients and Informix clients.
    • Mongo clients see collection formatted key:value data from collections and from tables.
    • Informix clients see data rows from tables and collections.  Missing collection fields are mapped to NULL values.
    • Dynamic Informix clients can determine the current schema of collection data.
  • Shard tables and collections across multiple servers.  Not only can you query the data across the shard farm but when you insert data to sharded tables or collections the local server determines which shard the data should live on based on the definition of the various shards.  This is VERY similar to the horizontal partitioning that Informix's old XPS engine provided.
  • All data, including Mongo collection data, is included in Informix's ACID compliant transaction handling!  No one else can guarantee consistency in a NoSQL data store!
  • Informix compression works with MongoDB data. Because of the redundant key names inherent in the key:value nature of collection data compression rates are even more impressive than for table data!  Only Informix can save you 70-90% of the storage you would otherwise use for unstructured data in any other MongoDB or similar NoSQL database!
Combine this with features that Informix has had for a long time:
  • Timeseries data
  • GeoSpacial data
  • BTS web-like text search capability
  • Informix Warehouse Accelerator to improve complex query times by 100x to 4000x!
  • Hierarchical Data Replication Secondary server (active or passive).
  • Multiple Remote Secondary replicated servers (active or passive).
  • Active or passive Shared Disk Secondary servers for load balancing, application isolation, and nearly instantaneous failover.
  • Transaction survival - failover primary server functions to a secondary without loss of running transactions.  This means absolutely uninterruptable transactions!
  • Enterprise Replication
    • Multiple peer replicated servers on heterogeneous hardware
    • Master-Slave replication in both Scatter and Gather configuration
    • Combine with Sharded Query capability to maintain local data on local servers but query from a central location without a master copy
I don't think I've run out of features, but I have run out of the time I've allotted to myself for this post.

To wrap up: Informix is now positioned to be what its users have always considered it to be: The best damn database product on the market!  This should finally satisfy a certain community member based in Chicago who is usually rather vocal about Big Data.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What's the hottest new feature in Informix 12.10?

In the next edition of IBM Data Mag (http://ibmdatamag.com/), Lester Knutsen gives us a quick overview of the new Informix version 12.10 Grid Query feature. This, I think, is the hot new feature!  Lester refers the feature back to a similar XPS feature that allowed one to distribute a database across many servers and issue queries to the entire group of servers treating the entire distributed data set as a single database.  "Can't I do that with any RDBMS that supports distributed queries?", you may ask.  The simple answer is, "Yes, you can."  But it is not simple.  

What every serious RDBMS  can do

All major RDBMS's can allow you to query multiple servers using a UNION or UNION ALL to create a query that will gather the data from multiple servers.  So, what's so new in Informix v12.10? Go read Lester's article when it comes out in a couple of weeks for details.  It is really cool.

Why do we care?

In 2000, Informix Corp. leaked that it was working on a project to merge the high transaction rate and full ACID support in Informix Dynamic Server 7.31 and the Object Relational and expansion features of Informix Universal Server 9.30 with  the distributed nearly unlimited database and distributed query shared nothing capabilities of Informix eXtended Parallel Server (XPS) to create the ultimate database server in a project that Informix called Arrowhead. It didn't happen.  It didn't happen, not because the technology and the expertise were not there, but because a year later, in late 2001, Informix Corporation's database assets were purchased by IBM and the Arrowhead project was squashed.  

Since then, for nearly twelve years now, IBM, much to its own confusion, has been diligently improving the Informix database server.  For many of those twelve years Informix fans have asked IBM repeatedly when they might resurrect Arrowhead.  The answer has always been the same, "Never.  It's never going to happen."

Well, good news.  Like it or not, Grid Queries may not be the original technical design of Arrowhead, but along with the features added in Informix v11.xx that have long existed in XPS, conceptually and usability wise, Arrowhead is alive and well and it is here today!

This is a game changer.  Now transactions against OLTP tables can happen locally on a local server and only tables that affect other locations (so lookup tables, inventory and warehouse levels, shipping manifests, etc.) have to be replicated using ER/GRID and the national, regional, and company wide reporting that requires access to all of the data can get it simply and quickly.  

With the Informix Warehouse Accelerator included in Informix Advanced Enterprise Edition, even complex Business Intelligence/Analytical processing can be performed on the massive distributed data sets using up-to-the-minute data (no ELT/ETL, Cube loading, or data summarization delay) gathered simply from the entire corporate server grid.  Add to that Informix Cluster Grid's ability to cluster, replicate, and distribute data across heterogeneous servers and we have access to power and technology that no organization not using Informix can get.  Not from anyone else anywhere!  It will take decades before the industry Ninja will be able to tack on anything remotely like IBM Informix's Grid Query technology and then it will be a massive cludge.

I'm stoked!  See you all in San Diego in two weeks to hear more about all this!