On my way to work this morning, there was a news story on the radio about a new cologne called Sushi. The product description explains this unique product:
Not what you think it would smell like! Demeter's Sushi is the fresh scent of just cooked sticky rice and straight from the seaside seaweed, laced with hints of ginger and lemon essences. Simply delectable... after all, if it smelledlike fish, would you wear it?This reminded me of an old joke about Informix Software (the company) and how they marketed their products:
If Informix sold sushi, they would call it cold, dead fish.Now, I know that joke has been told many times for many different companies, but the first time I heard the joke it was in reference to Informix so for me, they get to own the joke.
I then started to think about two troubling conversations I recently had.
The first was with someone who emailed me at informix-dba.com asking if I knew of any Informix consultants looking for a short term gig. During our conversation he wanted to ask some questions about Informix since he finally found a "real human in Informix-land" he could talk to. That statement itself is pretty sad to hear, I wonder if he ever has any trouble finding real life Oracle, SQL Server or MySQL humans to talk to? Doubt it, but Chetu Pap can't seem to find anyone to fill his Oracle positions since he keeps posting them in the Informix DB LinkedIn group, so maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, here are the 3 questions he asked.
Is Informix in active use today?
I answered yes and without naming names (can we name names?) I told him about how Informix was still being used all over the world from large retail stores down to smaller sized companies like the one I work for. Yes, Informix is in active use today.
Is IBM supporting it?
I answered yes and went into the major releases from 9.4 to 10.0 to 11.1 to 11.5 to vNext that is in the works and the new fix packs that are released every quarter and the emergency releases and patch releases that are available in between fix packs and the amazing job that Informix support does when I call with a question. Yes, IBM is very much supporting Informix.
Is it generally hard to find an Informix resource to deal with a legacy system?
I don't know, I am not usually looking for Informix resources, but I do know they come to our conferences and I see them on the Informix SIGs and there are companies out there that sell Informix consulting. Hey, what do you mean by LEGACY SYSTEM anyway? I threw up in my mouth a little bit.
The second conversation was with my twenty-something year old brother in law. He's a really smart kid finishing up his Computer Science degree at the University of Texas at Austin and had been working as a research assistant with a professor of his doing something with Oracle. We're talking about his job and my job and he flat out asks me, "Is Informix dead or what? I told my professor that you were an Informix DBA and he says nobody uses that anymore." More vomiting ensued.
I'm no longer on the IIUG Board of Directors, so I don't get to meet with the IBM executives and marketing people and hear about what is being done to fix these perceptions. I do know that IBM is a very generous Platinum Sponsor of the IIUG conferences and if I google Informix there was an Adwords ad for some Informix marketing stuff and if I go to ibm.com/informix there are a lot of things about TimeSeries, Genero, Warehouse Accelerator and Blink and there was/is the Academic Initiative to help promote Informix in the university and I get the newsletter from Tom, but what else is being done? Is it enough?
Maybe the push is in other areas of the world and I'm just not seeing it. Are you in another part of the world and seeing anything?
There is a comments section, leave one if you've seen something or email me at informix-dba.com. If you work for IBM Marketing/Advertising and would like me to talk about the good things you are doing, email me and I'll be glad to post them.
I know Informix is actively being used and I know Informix is continuously being improved, why doesn't the rest of the world know too?