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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Looks like Oracle is worried about Informix again!

OMG, it looks like Oracle is beginning to worry about Informix! Why would I say that? Isn't Oracle "The world's most popular database!"? Why should they worry?

I dunno, but in February Oracle announced v18c (actually v12.2 but read on). This latest release of Oracle implements tons of features that have been in Informix for up to 28 years! The need to compete with Informix on features again seems to have surfaced!

Not to tout Oracle, but to point out how forward thinking the Informix development team is, witness:

  • Annual major releases with quarterly updates. To celebrate they have renamed v12.2 to be v18c after the year of its release. One assumes that the Q1 release next year will be v19c.
  • Ability to attach a table to another table as a partition - was that Informix 7.31?
  • All identifiers have been increased from 30 bytes to 128 bytes - Informix v7.30 circa 1998
  • Multitenancy
  • JSON support including dot notation in queries
    • Functions for converting table data to JSON
    • JSON operators in SQL queries
    • New API to allow JSON aware languages to query Oracle JSON documents
    • Ability to update fields within JSON documents
  • RAC based Database Sharding - well sort of. A shared RAC database can have its data segregated so that nodes only operate on a subset of the data. But it is still a monolithic store.
  • NonRAC based Database Sharding - well sort of. Applications must be shard aware. Inserts, updates, and deletes are directed to the appropriate shard in the API layer, not within the database server shard cluster.
  • "Connection Manager" enhanced to manage load balancing between multiple servers. Originally this was closer to Informix Connection Multiplexer feature.
  • Application Continuity - This is similar to Informix's Transaction Survival allowing transactions to complete when a server fails.
  • Session private temporary tables - Informix v4.01 the initial release of Informix Online circa 1990?
  • New Oracle autonomic features to allow for unmanaged cloud databases.