Tuesday, November 22, 2011

IIUG 2012 - Registration Open and Conference Site is Live

The IIUG 2012 Conference Planning Committee announced today that registration is open and the conference website is live.

Join the IIUG  for the 2012 IIUG Informix Conference April 22-25, 2012 at their new sunny San Diego, CA location and be a part of the largest gathering of Informix fanatics in the world.
  • Take advantage of this one of a kind training and networking opportunity
  • Presentations by IBM Development and Support and Informix DBAs and Developers
  • FREE IBM Information Management Certification Testing
  • Reunite with old friends and colleagues
  • New content for all Informix versions and features
  • Optional Half and Full Day Tutorials to maximize your training dollars
  • Explore new technologies and services in the EXPO Hall
  • FREE Hands On Labs from IBM

The IIUG 2012 site is your one stop shop for everything you need to know about attending the conference including registration, keynote, session and tutorial information, how to become an IIUG 2012 sponsor, up to date news on latest conference details, conference hotel information, information for conference speakers and even non conference related activities in the San Diego area.

Be sure to follow IIUG 2012 on Facebook and Twitter @IIUG2012 for more information leading up to and during the conference.

Don't forget to take advantage of the IIUG 2012 Conference room rate at the San Diego Mission Valley Marriott to ensure you will be close to all the action during the conference.

Register before January 16, 2012 and receive $130 off the cost of regular registration and take advantage of the $100 IIUG Member discount. Not an IIUG member? No problem, membership is free and you can join before registering for the conference and claim your discount for a total savings of $230!

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Smart Meter Stuff is for Real

Yesterday IBM hosted a Smart Meter Summit in Austin. I attended not because I do anything with Smart Meters, but because I have seen and heard the IBM speak about Informix TimeSeries and how it is a perfect fit for Smart Meter data and wanted to hear more. I wanted to find out for myself if this was for real, to find out if there is there an opportunity for Informix to grow here or if it is just Smarter Planet marketing fluff.

It is for real.

The number of homes and businesses with a Smart Meter is growing with no sign of slowing down. What I found interesting was the reason for this growth. Before attending the Summit I imagined the push for these meters was because they give you a more granular view of your power usage giving the consumer the ability to see their power consumption in near real time instead of once per month so they can switch things off if they are using too much power. I was wrong. This is definitely one benefit of Smart Meters, but the real driving force behind the push for Smart Meters is something called a Truck Roll.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smart Metering Data Summit

Lots of activity surrounding Informix in my fair city of Austin lately. I like.

There was the IBM Informix sponsored booth at the Online Game Developer Conference last year, the 11.70 Informix Roadshow that came to Austin in July and now I see IBM is hosting a Smart Metering Data Summit (TimeSeries) on September 15th.

IBM Smart Metering Data Summit
Thursday, 15 September, 2011 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
IBM Briefing Center - Austin, TX
11301 Burnet Road, Building 101, Austin, TX

Register for this Free Event Today

You Stay Classy San Diego

2012 IIUG Informix Conference dates and location announced today.

I love LAIP.

Friday, August 19, 2011

User Defined Aggregates

Until recently I had no use for User Defined Aggregates, that was until I was ridiculed by my MySQL counterparts over the fact that Informix does not have a group_concat aggregate function.

This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

A quick search of the internets produced this Stack Overflow post which shows how to create a User Defined Aggregate in Informix that will duplicate the MySQL group_concat aggregate.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Austin Informix 11.70 Roadshow - Day 2

The second day was just as informative as the first. I am bummed we are done but I needed to get back to work anyway.

Some interesting things from Day 2:

create | drop if [not] exists

Long time coming, IMO. Gives you the ability to write SQL like the following
create database if not exists db with log;

create table if not exists tab1 (
   field1 integer,
   field2 char(2)

drop table if exists tab2;
Index Extent Sizing

You can now specify the first and next extent sizes for your indexes instead of relying on the engine to guestimate what your index extent sizes should be based on index key size and table size.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Austin Informix 11.70 Roadshow - Day 1

We're just wrapping up day 1 of the 2 day Informix 11.70 Roadshow in Austin, TX and I am glad I was able to finally attend one of these things. I hope another will come to my area soon. We've got a full room of people from all over the great state of Texas wanting to hear more about new 11.70 features and get hands on experience with Flexible Grid and Automatic Storage Provisioning.

Carlton Doe is a great speaker and as the agenda promised he discussed Informix Marketing and the plans for the future, talked about the new 11.70 features that improve performance and ease of administration, got a look at the Informix Warehouse Accelerator and then went into an intense presentation over Informix Flexible Grid. We finished up the day with a Flexible Grid Hands On Lab.

I look forward to tomorrow and the topics of Application Development Enhancements, Backup to the Cloud, Instance Administration Features and Automatic Storage Provisioning Hands on Lab.

If one of these are coming to your area I highly recommend you attend if the class hasn't filled up yet.

I really want to get back to posting some technical stuff soon and I will, I promise. I've got a suggestion to write about Fragmentation/Partitioning and I want to do a post about User Defined Aggregates to duplicate the group_concat() functionality in MySQL.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

North American Informix 11.7 Roadshow Schedule

Happy to see IBM scheduled 4 Informix Roadshows in my part of the world, especially the one for Austin, TX which will be walking distance from my house.

I've never been able to attend a Roadshow because it wasn't feasible for me to travel to San Jose or NYC but I've already reserved my spot for July 12 and 13. I hope to see some new faces and get a chance to talk about the greatness of this product with people getting to know Informix for the first time.

I hope there is one in your area that you can attend!

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
     July 7 & 8    9 am - 5 pm    
     IBM 1360, boulevard Reni-Livesque Ouest  Montrial, Quibec H3G 2W6  Room: 7th Floor, Room 629

Austin, TX
     July 12 & 13    9 am - 5 pm      NOTE: Registration closes July 7!!
     IBM 11301 Burnet Road, Bldg. 101  Austin, Tx 78758-3493   Walnut Room, 02-2J008

Seattle, WA
     July 26 & 27    9 am - 5 pm    
     IBM 1200 5th Ave  Seattle, WA 98101  Room 9-9020

Minneapolis, MN
     August 2 & 3    9 am - 5 pm    
     IBM 650 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402   Lake Superior Room A 04-429

Here are the details of the FREE 2 day technical deep dive and hands on labs

Day 1:
  • Introductions and logistics
  • Informix Marketing overview
  • New general database and Data Warehouse features
  • Informix Flexible Grid and Hands-on lab
Day 2:
  • Application development enhancements
  • Backup to Cloud
  • New Informix instance administration features
  • Informix Automatic Storage Provisioning and Hands-on lab

IBM will be providing a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch each day. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Merge Statement

Introduced in 11.50.xC5 and enhanced in 11.50.xC6 the Merge statement is a nice addition that I really didn't pay much attention to until I learned how it works in preparation for the 11.70 certification exam.

The Merge statement gives you the ability to perform the following SPL in pure SQL:
foreach with hold

      price = L_price
      id = L_id;

   if dbinfo('sqlca.sqlerrd2') = 0 then
      insert into warehouse_products (id, price) values (L_id, L_price);
   end if;
end foreach;  
Here is the Merge statement accomplishing the same thing with only SQL:
merge into warehouse_products w using products p on
   w.id = p.id
when matched then 
   update set w.price = p.price
when not matched then 
   insert (w.id, w.price) values (p.id, p.price);
Check out the Informix Information Center for more information about deleting on a match, using external tables as the source table and using collection-derived tables as the source table.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meter Data Management Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)

Smart Grid News.Com is hosting a free "Lessons from the Real World" webinar featuring leading experts from IBM talking about how the underlying database solution you choose is critical to Meter Data Management (MDM) projects and the importance of getting this decision right from the beginning.

IBM, Smart Meters, Databases......are you thinking what I'm thinking? The IBM experts should talk extensively (if not exclusively) about Informix TimeSeries in this webinar.

Sign up for the FREE webinar to hear what IBM leading experts have to say about Informix TimeSeries and its roll in the MDM market or be there represent Informix if they don't.

Smart Grid News.Com Webinar
Meter Data Management Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 1:30 PM Eastern (10:30 AM Pacific)
Register for FREE

Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 IIUG Informix Conference - Day 4

Dr. Arvind Krishna Keynote

Mr. Rob Thomas Keynote

2011 IIUG Informix Conference - Day 3

Informix fanatics enjoying some lunch on day 3

I had to do a little work in between conference activities

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011 IIUG Informix Conference - Day 2

Hung out with Watson in the morning...

...and totally pwned him

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 IIUG Informix Conference - Day 1

Sunday morning registration
One of the six Sunday AM Tutorials about to get started

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

IBM Informix Genero Adds New Platform Support

If you were excited about the IBM Informix Genero announcement, but were sad because only Linux and Windows were supported then you'll be happy to see IBM Informix Genero now supports the following platforms:
  • Linux PowerPC
  • AIX
  • HP
  • Solaris
  • Sun
  • Mac
The official announcement can be found here.

The announcement also adds a new pricing metric for Limited Use (LU) licensing when use with Informix Growth Edition purchased with Limited Use licensing.

Just a few days until the 2011 IIUG Informix conference, hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

IBM Redbook: Informix Flexible Grid

Draft version of Informix Flexible Grid: Extending Data Availability made available at redbooks.ibm.com.

Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1. Overview
  • Chapter 2. OpenAdmin Tool
  • Chapter 3. Configuring server for Flexible Grid and Enterprise Replication environments
  • Chapter 4. The Flexible Grid
  • Chapter 5. Administering Enterprise Replication
  • Chapter 6. Monitoring and troubleshooting Enterprise Replication and Flexible Grid
  • Chapter 7. MACH11 cluster
  • Chapter 8. High availability data replication
  • Chapter 9. RSS database server
  • Chapter 10. Shared Disk Secondary servers
  • Chapter 11. Connection management in an Informix environment
  • Chapter 12. Informix in cloud and virtualization environments
  • Chapter 13. Migration
  • Chapter 14. Using ifxclone   
I am currently reading this to help prepare for the free 11.7 Certification Exam I'm going to take in 3 weeks at the IIUG Conference.

Page 1: When did HDR become Heuristic Data Replication and not High-Availability Data Replication?

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Chef Diego on the 2011 IIUG Informix Conference Menu

    Close your eyes and think of the food served at the last conference you attended.

    Did you relive nightmares of imitation gruel and grade D meat? You probably did. This is because for most conferences the food is an after thought, an added expense, something that just needs to be dealt with because people have to eat.

    Not true for the IIUG Informix conference. We have a chef and he has a super cool name, Chef Diego. He also has a vision for the food he will prepare for this year's conference. Did the dude that cooked your last conference meal have a vision or did he have a budget?

    During our three day cruise, I will take you to four different destinations: the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska before returning you to Kansas City. Welcome aboard and bon voyage!

    - Chef Diego

    The last thing you think about when deciding if you should attend a conference is the food. That is probably the right approach, which is why the CPC has put together a conference rich in technical content. The great food and open bar (no tickets ;) are just icing on the cake.

    If you are not registered for the conference, it isn't too late to register and you can still take advantage of $100 off for IIUG members. Book now before airline prices increase! You can attend this 3 day event for less than the cost of one IBM Informix training class!

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Innovator-C: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

    I've been talking a pretty big game about Innovator-C and how you can use it in production even though some Growth Edition and Ultimate Edition features are not available and the amount of memory and CPUs you can use are limited.

    2 weeks ago that talk stopped being just talk and became reality as we turned up our first Innovator-C HDR pair of production database engines.

    The server ain't big (1 Quad Core CPU, 2GB SHMTOTAL and RAID10 over 4 disks), but it cranks out 4 million transactions and 500,000 new session requests per day (and the box is bored and typically 99% idle).

    This database was a perfect fit for Innovator-C. The data set isn't so large that we need to worry about partitioning data and it is all OLTP so not having PDQ isn't show stopper. Recovery Time Objective would have been nice, but using the CKPTINTVL isn't a big deal. The only thing I'm really sad about not having is Direct I/O for cooked chunks, but whatever. I can live without it (just don't understand why this is disabled in Innovator-C).

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    2011 IIUG Informix Conference Schedule Now Available Online

    In about a month the 2011 IIUG Informix Conference and its 95 hours of Technical Sessions, 19 hours of Hands on Labs, 36 hours of Tutorials, 3 Keynotes, 3 days of Exhibit Hall, 3 Breakfasts, 6 Refreshment Breaks, 3 Lunches, 3 Evening Events and over 25 hours of Certification Exams will come together in a beautifully choreographed ballet of speakers, volunteers, attendees, hotel staff, laptops, projectors, food, drinks and friends.

    To help you navigate the largest gathering of Informix fanatics and plan how you will best take advantage of all the conference has to offer the Conference Planning Committee has posted the Conference Schedule and Sunday Tutorial Schedule online for your reading pleasure.

    UPDATE: Mobile device friendly link: iiug.org/pda

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Upgrading an HDR Environment from 11.50.FC3 to 11.50.FC8W2

    I'm about to upgrade one of our HDR pairs from a relatively old version of 11.50 to the most recent drop to resolve a minor bug. Since an upgrade is something you may be interested in doing some day, I thought it would be a good idea to document my steps here.

    Normally an upgrade from xC3 to xC8 would be trivial and low risk since we're only upgrading the minor versions, but with the addition of Compression in xC4 any upgrade from xC3 or lower must be treated as a major upgrade which includes a reinitialization of HDR.

    I want to minimize downtime by doing as much of the work as I can outside of the maintenance window and I want to minimize my risk by testing the following migration and reversion steps on my test systems to ensure there are no gotchas and choreograph my upgrade in a way that always gives me a quick and safe way to abort mission and get production up and running if something goes wrong during the upgrade.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    2011 IIUG Informix Conference - Only 10 Days Left for Early Bird Registration

    Register for the 2011 IIUG Informix Conference on or before January 31, 2011 and save $125

    Early Bird registration ends in 10 days, register now before Regular Registration starts and the price increases. Also don't forget to use your free IIUG membership to receive an additional $100 off registration pricing.

    The speaker selections have been made, the speakers have been notified and the speakers are diligently working on many new presentations that cover Informix 11.7 topics like Flexible Grid and Automatic Storage Provisioning.

    There are also many new topics that cover all Informix versions if you haven't made the leap to the latest and greatest yet. We've got Performance Tuning, Troubleshooting and Developer sessions by the IBMers who actually implement the engine code and from DBAs and Developers who use the engine in the field to give you the most well rounded Informix training that money can buy for a fraction of the cost.

    I'm also happy to report that the Conference Planning Committee has added more Free Half Day Hands on Labs sessions this year and added more Sunday Half and Full Day Tutorials to help you maximize your training budget.

    After all of this Informix training you'll be ready to take advantage of the FREE IBM CERTIFICATION TESTING. Almost any Information Management test will be available for you to take, not just the Informix ones. Take as many as you like as many times as you need to, it don't cost nuthin'. The free certification testing is something the IIUG has been able to provide for many years now and I feel it adds tremendous value to the conference. When I first started attending these conferences, the free certification testing alone was enough to convince my boss and the bean counters at my company that the cost of the conference was worth it. Not sure if you've looked at the Average Joe cost for one of these tests, they ain't cheap and if you don't take advantage of this you are seriously missing out.

    With all the Tutorials, Hands on Labs, Technical Sessions and Certification Testing you'll be seeing and doing you're going to need some food in your belly to give you the required energy to make it through the day. I can tell you that you won't go hungry at an IIUG Informix Conference. You'll get 3 meals a day and we're talking real food here, not your typical conference food by any stretch of the imagination.

    Finally, in the evenings you can relax with friends and have cold drink or ten and get ready to do it all over again the next day. No drink coupons here, the complimentary beer and wine is usually all you can handle, bro.