IBM Informix Reviews

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Score 7.0 out of 100

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March 14, 2018
Art S. Kagel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I support business and government organizations that use Informix worldwide. Clients use Informix for OLTP applications as well as Data Warehouse and Decision Support analytics. Database sizes range from several GB to tens of TB. Industries include retail, wholesale, electric utilities, online gaming, online gambling, information processing, financial records management and financial transactions, court record keeping, government taxation units, etc. For most of these organizations Informix manages and secures mission-critical data.
  • Industry leading OLTP performance.
  • Excellent Data Warehouse performance from the basic engine. Outstanding Data Warehouse performance from the Informix Warehouse Accelerator module.
  • Best embedability among major RDBMS systems.
  • Scalable from the smallest Raspberry PI up to the largest monolithic systems and out to dozens of distributed nodes.
  • Hybrid data capabilities to merge relational data with time seriesv, geospacial data, JSON data and other non-traditional data types with performance comparable or better than systems dedicated to those data types.
  • Honestly, not much. IBM and HCL have excellent product feature feedback mechanisms with an online system for users to offer feature improvements and suggestions. Many are incorporated in new releases. The latest includes two such user suggested features for example.
  • Like most RDBMS servers, Informix is strong in OLTP so it is a good choice for any high volume transaction systems including retail, banking, online gambling, etc.
  • Because its memory and storage footprints are relatively small and its installation footprint can be adjusted by deselecting unneeded features during installation, and also in large part to the autonomic tuning features of Informix, it is ideal for embedded systems and is used as the embedded database engine for several mainstream products in telecommunications, environmental management, and similar systems.
  • Its ability to integrate timeseries data with relational data make it ideal for monitoring and for the analytical processing of time oriented data such as utility supply, weather tracking, logistics and warehouse management, etc.
  • Informix's support for JSON/BSON data types and for the MongoDB API and wire listener protocol, in addition to the extensions Informix adds to the MongoDB API to support relational data, generic SQL statements, and multi-step transactions make it an ideal drop in replacement for MongoDB and other document oriented databases when application requirements exceed the capabilities and performance characteristics of these NoSQL database systems.
  • The Informix Warehouse Accelerator (IWA) feature of the Informix Advanced Enterprise Edition can accelerate data warehouse queries several hundred times over the speed of the base Informix and other RDBMS servers. In addition, IWA provides this acceleration with no modifications to applications and analytical tools and without the need to create additional indexes, cubes, or pre-calculated summary tables. Further, queries accelerated with IWA do not affect the performance of simpler queries running in the base Informix engine allowing IWA to provide an analytical query engine on top of a operational data store without complex ETL/ELT data migrations/conversions.
The Informix product support team has won awards and is appreciated by the entire Informix user community.
Read Art S. Kagel's full review
March 14, 2018
Andrés Repossi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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I used Informix in my past job. I was the Informix company's referent within the company. Informix was the main engine, and at the time I had started working there in 2004, it was one of the largest Informix DBs in the UK.

Informix was very stable, robust, reliable and with great performance, this is why it was the main platform. In the DB farm, Informix had the highest uptime, with the lowest outages, even planned ones were very short. In addition to Informix we were using Oracle/SQLSvr and MySQL. It had the least number of technical issues, and never had to be patched due to the quarterly received vulnerability patching report (Please check this Patching Vulnerability Analysis in my Blog, it is in Spanish, but nowadays can be easily translated to any language.

In terms of business problems, Informix always suffered from the lack of and emptiness of marketing and very bad management, to the point, to make many people think that Informix was a dead or became an old engine! Now with the latest agreement between IBM and HCL, we hope this could change for better and improve in the following years.
  • Informix since its conception has a distinct multi-threading architecture no other engine has, it is unique of its kind. This is precisely how the engine is able to scale up like no other, with the lowest footprint, without killing the host and profiting each bit of the hardware. The threads are sub-proceses like any other one, but the difference is that they are are not controlled by the OS process dispatcher. This is why you will never be able to see these threads running at OS level. Informix is an OS itself, on top of the OS.
  • Informix has the best replication techniques. Not many ppl know that MongoDB (the NoSQL engine) scales out because of its data sharding replication technology, and Informix is able to store Mongo BSON documents using the same data partitioning as MongoDB does. This way Informix extends the SQL or structured data with the unstructured data natively, together within the same data repository. This means that it is not only able to store JSON/BSON documents, but the engine is able to behave as it would be the MongoDB engine itself. Any application using MongoDB can be redirected to the Informix Mongo wire listener transparently. What´s more, it also improves the NoSQL (BASE) characteristic, making it ACID by allowing transactions to the CRUD operations. This last is something MongoDB is working on, promised to be delivered next year.
  • As described previously, MongoDB's sharding concept relies on data partitioning, this is how it scales out, and as I also described previously Informix scales up given the described multithreading unique architecture! It implements the data sharding with one of its best replication technologies called Enterprise Replication. This is an Active-Active replication technology that allows replicating even between different platforms. This is actually how I managed to migrate the whole Informix platform from Solaris to Linux, with just a DNS change. There was almost ZERO downtime nor application change - this was really amazing!.
  • It is very difficult to find a missing functionality in Informix, technically is great. I will again criticize the business side and how it has been managed over the past, I hope this could be improved with HCL's help. I know they are working hard, but we need to start letting the world know and revert their concept about its existence and that it is one of the best competitors within the data treatment, in the market. We need to start telling the world about success cases and stories showing this and backing up its strong technology.
Informix is very well suited for either OLTP and OLAP transaction processing. This means that it has the best technology, concentrating both business requirements: transactional and analytical processing at the same time, as well as being able to store and process structured and unstructured data at the same time as well, and able to scale up and out if needed or required.

This is why Informix is able to adapt to almost any sort of environment and satisfy almost any sort of requirement, even if the requirement is to be embedded in hardware! This last is possible because it it requires zero support and maintenance, as it can be self tuned and self healed. One of the main scenarios which is nowadays getting promoted for is the IoT one. Starting from mid 90's Informix incorporated the extensibility concept through the datablades it had brought from Illustra. This is why it is pioneer in the TimeSeries and GeoSpatial (tracking moving objects) technology, with the fastest and best storing TimeSeries techniques and GeoSpatial functionalities. The Wire Listener is one of the best features Informix has introduced to its suit of functionalities, can work in three different scenarios API types: MQTT, REST and MONGO, supporting IoT, MongoDB (an application using MongoDB can be redirected as it is to Informix-Mongo without changes) and able to understand HTTP functions (POST, GET, PUT, etc).
Read Andrés Repossi's full review
March 13, 2018
Eric Vercelletto | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I assist several companies using Informix, which are in different sectors. Some use exclusively Informix, others use Informix for their most critical applications. Most appreciated characteristics of Informix are: robustness or near zero downtime, capacity to scale horizontally and vertically, simplicity and low cost of administration, and ultimately the capacity to handle on the same engine structured SQL data with unstructured NoSQL data, MongoDB style.

  • Informix is very stable. It has stayed up and running for years. The only downtimes we had were due to planned power outages. This is a mandatory quality required in a industrial environment.
  • Informix has a very rich and extended replication system that allows many useful functionalities:
  • High Availability
  • Tables or part of tables replication, both ways
  • Replication patterns like 1 to many servers and sharing storage between 2 servers
  • All these replication techniques can be combined together and we love the simplicity of their set up.
  • Informix has been featuring NoSQL datatype ( JSON/BSON) for almost 5 years now, including the NoSQL MongoDB style language.
  • Once you have loaded your MongoDBdata into Informix, you can run any application compatible with the MongoDB 3.0 stack
  • The biggest advantage of this solution is that you can execute joins with SQL Structured tables and NoSQL collections alltogether, either in SQL language or in NoSQL language.
  • I heard recently that Informix is available on AWS, with a very wide range of configurations from very small to very big. This is something we would like to look at
  • Informix runs on gateway devices, like for instance Raspberry PI / Arm based nano computer or Intel Quark based. This is the same product that works on bigger platforms, including the replication architecture that makes IOT applications much easier to develop and maintain.
  • Informix is also directly accessible thru the REST protocol, with is a great asset for IOT applications, based on Node JS, Python, running on nanocomputers. This makes those applications much tinier in terms of resource comsumption, as well as efficient.
  • The name of Informix is almost invisible on the market, which is very frustrating. This give the feeling that IBM is not interested in Informix without providing any reasons for why IBM makes no effort to sell Informix.
  • The pricing policy is very complex
Great for:
  • demanding industrial automation processing
  • infrastructures required complex replication schemas, with servers located on different places/regions/countries
  • Applications intensively using timestamp and or geospatial
  • Simplifying DBMS by using at the same time SQL and NoSQL, needless to use separately RDBMS and NoSQL DBMS
  • Amazingly low requirements for DBA staff, in general, Informix is good for companies who like simplicity and efficiency
Less appropriate for:
  • Informix being a pay-for solution, it may not be recommended for companies who do not want to spend money for a DBMS,
  • Also Informix is not good for companies who refuse to consider anything than the top 5
Read Eric Vercelletto's full review
March 23, 2018
Jean Georges Perrin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Informix is a relational database. In our context, it is used for transactional operations (OLTP). It is used across the organization, for different products and processes. We use it for its high scalability.
  • High scalability.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Great user group (IIUG).
  • Highly embeddable.
  • Can be expensive for the top editions.
Highly recommended for:
  • Transactional operations.
  • Embedded database, like in IoT.
  • Full end to end IoT integration.
  • Solutions requiring database extensibility.
  • Support for hybrid data structures (relational and NoSQL).
Not recommended for:
  • Storing text data, even if the text datablade is a great product, now integrated, it is not designed for this.
Read Jean Georges Perrin's full review

What is IBM Informix?

Informix is an embedded relational database offering from IBM.

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IBM Informix - an embedded database for the edge and beyond

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What is IBM Informix?

Informix is an embedded relational database offering from IBM.

Who uses IBM Informix?

The most common users of IBM Informix are from Enterprises and the Computer Software industry.