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IBM Informix OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Informix is #8 ranked solution in top Relational Databases. PeerSpot users give IBM Informix an average rating of 10 out of 10. IBM Informix is most commonly compared to SQL Server: IBM Informix vs SQL Server. IBM Informix is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 29% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Relational Databases Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is IBM Informix?
Informix is one of the most widely used database servers offering high levels of performance and availability, distinctive capabilities, & minimal overhead.

IBM Informix was previously known as Informix.

IBM Informix Customers
Shaspa, Hildebrand, Kaifa, Ranhill Powertron, Federaci‹ Farmacutica (FedeFarma), Camden Council, The German Aerospace Center (DLR), Myers, Votorantim Group, Doosan Infracore, GreenIvory
IBM Informix Video

Archived IBM Informix Reviews (more than two years old)

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ERIC VERCELLETTO - PeerSpot reviewer
General Manager and Architect - Informix Expertise at Begooden-IT Consulting
Real User
Many embedded functionalities of the engine allow for significant savings on complex developments and maintenance
Pros and Cons
  • "For IoT business cases, having Informix Enterprise Edition work on edge computers, like Raspberry Pi and using Informix replication, makes complex situations simple to build and maintain."
  • "Continue extending the SQL language for compatibility with the competition's language, including Stored Procedure Language."

What is our primary use case?

I have assisted a wide range of customers in strategic and/or critical applications, such as: Health Care: Informix is at the epicenter of all the biggest private hospital consortia in Belgium, concentrating critical and real-time data. Laboratories: Informix is the center of several environment control quality software. Telco: Informix handles the biggest Mobile operator in Southern Europe. Insurance: Several companies in Europe and India.  Banking: Informix as a central platform for a number of medium-size banks in Europe and Africa. Real-time industry: Informix manages data for big battery plants in France.  Government: Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice.  Most of these customers were running on Unix based installations, like AIX, Solaris, HPE, and Linux.

How has it helped my organization?

Whenever a DBMS is the central piece of an application, Informix provides a very high rate of reliability. E.g., some customers show Informix uptime of 10 years. The flexibility of its replication architecture allows for achieving easy high availability + DRP + enterprise type replication.  Its hybrid data model allow for concurrent handling of structured data (SQL), custom data types and handling methods, unstructured data (NoSQL), and soon graph data. The very low level of DBA staffing necessary to handle many instances. Some customers handles tens of thousands of Informix instances with barely more than two handfuls of DBAs. For any customer involved in IoT, Informix is just the best solution from edge to central servers. Informix Entreprise works great on edge devices as well as central servers, including massively parallel architecture and in-memory OLAP. DataBlades, like TimeSeries, are the best ever way to implement any application based on time based data in a very massive way.

What is most valuable?

Very flexible with extended replication architecture. It has great responses to complex requirements, implemented easily, and is easy to maintain. Easily scalable, vertically and horizontally  Hybrid data: Does SQL and NoSQL in the same queries, providing simple answers to complex scenarios Onboard DataBlades like TimeSeries, Spatial, node, etc. Warehouse Accelerator easily plugs into OLTP instances and deals with OLAP queries with extreme performance (query response times divided up to 700). For IoT business cases, having Informix Enterprise Edition work on edge computers, like Raspberry Pi and using Informix replication, makes complex situations simple to build and maintain. 

What needs improvement?

Continue extending the SQL language for compatibility with the competition's language, including Stored Procedure Language. Be more active in the open source community. Regain occupation of VAR and BP fields. Regain occupation in software makers. The product needs a lot more marketing involvement from IBM. Some customers simply believe that Informix does not exist anymore due to the heavy silence of IBM Salesforce.
Buyer's Guide
Relational Databases
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and others in Relational Databases. Updated: June 2022.
610,518 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

34 years as an end user, developer, and solution architect.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Many customers that I have met or talked to report uptimes of five or six years. Our identified record is no downtime over 10 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Informix was one of the very first DBMS implementing a real multithreaded architecture in early 1990s. This architecture is now bulletproof and continues enhancing at every release.Informix scales great vertically (on the same machine) and horizontally (on other machines). The query sharding technology, although implemented a few years ago, was developed on Informix in the early 2000s on a data warehouse specific Informix product.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is generally very efficient. I have never had a bad experience with the tech support. Sometimes, the delays seem a bit long, but they respect deadlines.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

After having developed on hierarchical DBMSs (HPE images + Visual Basic) for a number of years, I wanted to replace this wonderful but dying platform with a more modern one. I had requirements on DBMS functionality and language possibilities. This is when I starting looking at emerging platforms (the 1980s).

How was the initial setup?

Once the DBAs are correctly trained on the product, setup is generally trouble-free. People attending the IBM training on Informix quickly become very knowledgeable on the product. Informix is very powerful. It renders high levels of performance with amazingly low level of hardware resource consumption. In many cases, for moderate-size implementations, the low level editions are enough to handle the workload, taking care of which functionality or limitation is offered by every edition.

What about the implementation team?

To implement in-house, I highly recommend a good training on the product with IBM or another company based in the US. Generally companies who know Informix are passionate about that product with deep knowledge and experience on it.

What was our ROI?

I do not have figures for my company since we work with final customers. Nevertheless, a number of customers had comparative studies with the direct competition and decided immediately to stay with Informix. Although these figures were confidential, they explained that the DBA staffing figures left no chance to any competitor, the costs of instability were insignificant, and the product does not have high levels of hardware requirement. Also, many embedded functionalities of the engine allow for significant savings on complex developments and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The free edition can be enough to handle moderate-size implementations, but you may want a pay for edition to benefit from more functionality, such as replication.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I tested:  Windows based systems, such as FoxBase, but they were too limited. Oracle and PL/SQL were too expensive for my budget, extremely complex to implement, and had very limited development possibilities. With Informix + Informix-4GL, I found exactly what I wanted for my projects. Some customers have decided to leave Informix and sourly regretted this decision after the first severe issues appeared. Many of them came back to Informix.

What other advice do I have?

Take a real look at Informix before making any choice. The competition may look appetizing but unsuspecting issues will probably occur after making the wrong choice, such as unbudgeted increases of your DBA team, decrease of reliability, and increase of complexity to implement similar solutions. In terms of functionality, not a lot is needed. The product has a lot of very good, useful functionality. Not looking at Informix would really mean a shot in your own leg before walking a long distance. This reflects my opinion and the vast majority of my customers'.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IT Budget Manager at Lake County
Real User
Fast, easy to use, and provides important financial reporting

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to build and maintain databases. It is also used for backing up, restoring, and replicating Informix databases.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has made financial reporting possible by allowing financial people the opportunity to set Informix to "Auto Pilot" so that they can attend other duties.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are its speed and ease of management.

What needs improvement?

This solution is in need of more current tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for twenty-five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Relational Databases
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and others in Relational Databases. Updated: June 2022.
610,518 professionals have used our research since 2012.
IT Manager at Soluciones Integrales S.A.
Real User
Easy to administer with support for HDR and Grid

What is our primary use case?

We develop software that works with Informix.

How has it helped my organization?

Every version is faster than the previous.

What is most valuable?

This solution is fast, easy to administer, supports HDR, and supports grid.

What needs improvement?

This solution would be improved with offline data export.

I really would love to have a QT plugin.

For how long have I used the solution?

Thirty-two years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Administrador de Hardware y Base de Datos at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The server must have the necessary memory, processing, and storage (depending on available infrastructure) in order to be scalable by users' consumption of resources

What is most valuable?

  • High performance on OTLP environment, but depends on application design.
  • Data compression for enterprise version with data deduplication.
  • Provides solutions for making data highly available, with data replication configuration (HDR, RS, and SD) and ER (Enterprise Replication) for different scenarios.
  • The Informix Flexible Grid eliminates the administrative complexity of ER. Flexible Grid provides the ability to automatically create database objects, such as tables, indexes, and stored procedures on all nodes within the grid as a single operation.

Link: http://waiug.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2015-Nov-waiug-ER-Grid.pdf

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, we had an ER configuration, then we moved to an HDR. In both cases, it allowed us to recover from a failure in the main server.

What needs improvement?

On the part of our development area, a feature that has another product with the SQL clause update from with several INNER JOIN.

To require an example, you confirm to send it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this solution for eight years approximately. When I took over as a DBA, we were with version 9 (named Informix Workgroup version).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No. So far, it has responded very well

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No. We switched from licensing to enterprise because we grew in users and required more memory.

We are growing in data and it is easy to increase the storage space (DB spaces and chunks).

How are customer service and technical support?

10 out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had another platform which was centralized (nine years ago). Currently, the transactions are online.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was done for the partner Informix, I would say half & half (half straightforward, half complex) because you must know certain commands of the operating system where it will be installed.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have not managed the costs, but depending on the characteristics they wish to exploit and the number of users connected, they can opt for connection-based or server-based licensing if there are about 300 users evaluating license per server.

Informix Innovator-C Edition - Free

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (including replication and some clustering benefits).
  • Limited to one core and 2GB of memory.

Informix Advanced Workgroup Edition - Payment

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • This edition is limited to 16 cores with a maximum of 48GB of memory and does not support clustering features.
  • Supports spatial data stores.

Informix Enterprise Edition - Payment

  • It allows you to use an unlimited amount of data storage, processors, and memory.
  • Informix Ultimate Edition includes cluster functions and IBM Informix Flexible Grid functionality.

Informix Advanced Enterprise Edition - Payment

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The product has been available for approximately 19 years, since it is part of the system that the company bought.

What other advice do I have?

The server must have the necessary memory, processing, and storage (depending on available infrastructure) in order to be scalable by users' consumption of resources.

If the bases are large, it is advisable to place them in separate dB spaces. If necessary, indices also separate them.

Have a disaster recovery plan.

Define if the information is critical: a high availability of the same (HDR, RS, and SS).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.