Enterprise Architecture

IBM Unveils Informix Upgrade

Big Blue's other database gains scalability, access-control and disaster-recovery enhancements.
IBM today announced Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) 11, an upgrade of Big Blue's database aimed at exceptionally fast OLTP performance and reliability in massive-data-volume environments such as retail, telecommunications, government and banking. The upgrade, which is set for worldwide availability July 6, enhances the data server's availability and disaster recovery capabilities while also driving toward "administration free" operation.

New features in IDS 11 include support for cluster server environments and failover recovery from any node. Borrowed from IBM's mainframe systems, the cluster technologies are said to ensure continuous data availability and disaster recovery from clustered data centers regardless of the geographic location or distance between backup data center sites.

Adapting technology introduced last year in DB2 9, IDS 11 gains Advanced Access Control features including cell-, column- and row-level label based access control (LBAC) for enhanced security. LBAC offers flexibility in defining security hierarchies and classification levels for controlling access to sensitive data. IDS 11 frees up DBA resources through a new SQL-based administrative API that can monitor and perform tasks within and across applications. There's also a new data query scheduler that monitors events and resources and collects statistics for automated reporting. Other upgrades include a new GUI-based IDS Admin for remote administration, a "Web Feature Service API" for location services, and built-in support for XML publishing.

IBM acquired Informix in 2001, paying $1 billion for what was then one of the leading database systems used in transaction-handling systems, data warehousing and business intelligence. IBM says Informix remains a leading product, used by eight of the top-ten retailers and 20 of the top-25 supermarket chains in North America. It's also used by the US 911 emergency call network and is said to process all VISA credit authorizations in the US.