Here Comes Informix

Get ready to feel the love as IBM puts Informix in a featured role

It has been about 30 years since Informix was founded in California, and about 9 years since IBM added Informix to its portfolio of data management offerings in April 2001. For those 9 years, Informix has shared a single spotlight with its brethren IBM database servers.

That will change in 2010. IBM Information Management is giving Informix its own well-deserved spotlight to harness the true potential of this great database product.

I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the specifics, but here’s the basic plan:

  • Delight the install base
  • Build strategic differentiation
  • Create a proactive sales culture
  • Build new, profitable revenue streams that capitalize on the growing footprint of Informix

Each of those four items involves its own focused plan that is already under way. To me, that’s a sign that this is sure to be an exciting year for Informix. You can get a taste of things to come at data/informix/discover-informix.

One of the great things about seeing the new plan is that I know what a strong platform Informix is and that it’s worthy of this level of attention. I have always said: let customers do an old-fashioned Coke vs. Pepsi database challenge, and most of them will choose Informix—and love the choice they made, even years later. Want an example? On the IT vendor satisfaction tracking site VendorRate (www., Informix has placed first or second in customer satisfaction each quarter since the third quarter of 2008, and first overall for 2009.

The reason? It always works! I have told real stories about this characteristic for years in this magazine and its predecessors. Remember my friend the Informix DBA who does not need a work pager or cell phone because his system is always up? How about the country that runs its entire phone system on Informix totally unattended, except for the person who puts a backup tape in the system once a week?

That’s not all that’s going on. IBM will be producing and committing to a variety of IBM Software Group products that will work seamlessly with Informix. I wish I could give you the product names or even some hints about their identities, but let’s just say that the list I was given includes more than 10 products from within the IBM portfolio, plus numerous well-known open-source products.

I’ve been known to have a few choice words to say about Informix getting the support it deserves, and that’s why I’m excited—it looks like we’re going to be seeing a lot more from IBM very soon. (And oh yes, rumor has it the name will be INFORMIX, not IDS.) Want to learn more? Mark your calendar for the IBM Information On Demand 2010 Global Conference at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas this October. In the meantime, check out the IIUG Web site at to get your Informix fix.