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Informix Community Event

Thursday saw the annual UK Informix community event at the Henley Golf Club, sponsored and extremely well organised by Bell Micro. Unfortunately, a nasty accident on the M5 delayed the arrival of many of the participants, but we soon sat down to a number of excellent presentations, compered by David Linthwaite.

This included an excellent comic turn from Jerry Keesee, who delivered the Informix roadmap and new features update.

Guy Bowerman spoke about application development, virtualisation and the cloud and I found that I finally "got" the cloud, especially from an ISV's perspective.

Cosmo then spoke about the Informix Warehouse and how it can complement your existing investment in Informix. He also delivered a competitive overview covering the major competitors to Informix and a discussion of some benchmarking activity.

While some of us were trying to have our lunch, Jon Ritson discussed how to implement MACH11.

Robert Dant of Centric iSolutions (a grizzled veteran DB2 DBA) discussed their new product and why it would only ever run on Informix.

There were also a couple of product demonstrations that really caught my eye, including the new configuration management feature in ServerStudio and Lintel Software's Infotrace log analyser. These could both be incredibly useful additions to any Informix DBA's arsenal of tools.

Outside of the presentations, there was also the chance to mingle with some of the best and brightest minds in Informix. This year, we had Jerry Keesee, Director of Development for Informix; Terri Gerber, Worldwide Sales Executive for Informix; Guy Bowerman, Embedability Architect; most of the level 3 tech support engineers were there as well as some of the (very) old guard of Informix hands.

I can heartily recommend that any Informix user should clear their diary for next year's event: the presentations were of an extremely high standard (I can say that, because I didn't present!) and the organisation was immaculate. Hats off to Sandra Rye and the rest of the Bell Micro team for an excellent event.

It's an excellent opportunity to learn, mingle and enjoy -- make sure you are there next year!

UK Informix Community Event


thank you for this interesting report about the UK Informix Community Event organized by Bell Micro.
It is good to hear that this was an excellent event with high quality content delivered to the attendees.

Can you tell us a little more about IBM's benchmark activity regarding IDS ?

I guess many Informix customers and partners are interested in that as we always only see DB2 based benchmarks published by IBM. These ones don't help a single Informix partner to sell IDS (:-

Can't really say much

I can't really comment on the benchmarking, because it was never audited. However, on the specific Windows platform we were very, very close to Microsoft's performance number and the stuff in xC6 should allow us to blow it away. However, no-one can match the price/performance ratio on this benchmark because Microsoft have exceptionally competitive pricing for SQL Server.

That is why Microsoft is the only vendor that is publishing TPC-E benchmarks -- no-one else can match their price/performance number.

IBM should rethink their price policy for IDS


is is good to hear that xC6 might possibly blow away MS SQL performance numbers. However it will help nothing, if IBM is not willing to officially publish those results (:-

I believe that IBM should earnestly rethink the price policy for IDS. At the last German IUG Workshop, various people criticised IBM's "Batteries excluded" sales tactic. We could have many more MACH11 cluster installations as well as customers utilizing the compression technology, if IBM would not charge extra for those features. More installations mean more references and more references help to spread the word about IDS as well as making this excellent technology even more robust.

IBM wants to establish IDS in the SMB Market. To be successful here you:

  • Need to make the IDS price more MS SQL Server compatible
  • Need to provide a free Community Edition that small companies could start with
  • Need to create product awareness for IDS in the market
  • Need to publish benchmark numbers that are significantly better than those of the "top dog" in the SMB market

Unfortunately currently none of those points have been realized by IBM (:-


Hi Eric,

The problem with the TPC-E benchmark is quite simply that Microsoft pricing makes it nearly impossible to compete with the price/performance number. Not even other database vendors that have considerably more aggressive attitudes to marketing and much greater pricing flexibility have found a way of competing with Microsoft in this space. It is not like the TPC-C, where leadership changes hands on a fairly regular basis -- NO other database vendor competes in the TPC-E space.

I couldn't really find any way of commenting on your other points, so I'll leave you with the thought that in my opinion, IBM is fully aware of these points but has counter-arguments that it finds more compelling. It is certainly not my place to say which side of the fence I am on. ;-)


Hi Spokey,

thank you for your honest answer.

There might be some compelling reasons for IBM. However I believe that if IBM doesn't begin to eliminate those weak points, Informix will not move forward or at least it will only very slowly move forward.

I would like to see more courage from the Informix Product Management especially regarding the IDS pricing as well as the missing free Community Edition. It doesn't help if they make the IDS prices Oracle and DB2 "compatible". To be successful against the top dog (Oracle), you need to find new, innovative ways to make Informix an attractive choice. That is what I'm missing from IBM.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained :-)

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