10. Gimme something for nothing, what's available?

10.1 Informix Archive Sites

The following is a list of sites known to contain Informix-related archives or files. Included with each is a brief description of the archive contents and how to obtain more information.

You might also try searching on the keyword "informix" using your favorite Net utility like archie, etc.

This listing originated in the file " /pub/informix/doc/archive_sites" in the FTP archive on ftp.iiug.org (also mirrored at quasar.ucar.edu). Walt will be posting all-new editions to c.d.i. around the first of each month.

Primary site for the this FAQ. Contactdavid@smooth1.co.uk
ftp.demon.co.uk (
Files related to interfacing the perl programming language with Informix databases using isqlperl, developed by Bill Hails. (bill@tardis.co.uk). Access is via Anonymous FTP under "/pub/perl/db/perl4/isqlperl"
kcbbs.gen.nz (
Files related to the Informix FAQ listing, under the informix directory. Contact Kerry Sainsbury (kerry@kcbbs.gen.nz)
ftp.iiug.org (IP
Utilities, documentation and past messages from the Informix mailing list and the Usenet newsgroup comp.databases.informix. Also mirrors many of the files on das13. Accessible by anonymous FTP. Get the files "README" and "ls-LR" in the directory /pub/informix.
A few scripts to assist with administering an Online database, including one to generate "update statistics" scripts and a lock-monitoring script.

An on-line electronic information service offered by Informix Software, Inc., for a subscription fee. Contains bug lists, workarounds, technical tips, product and marketing information. Available via interactive dial-up access, and now through The Web. The home page is at

http://www.informix.comCall +1 800 331 1763 (USA) or your local Informix Software representative. Informix's contact is Sheryl Ingravallo (sheryl@informix.com), +1 650 926 6355

(walt@mathcs.emory.edu (Walt Hultgren {rmy}))

10.2 Is there a Perl interface to Informix?

Yes, there are a number. For general information about Perl visit:

10.2.1 A simple interface

Clay Irving uses "something like":
$cust_code = "A001A"

@cust_array = `echo 'select cust_name from cust_table where 
  customer=\"$cust_code\" ' | $dbaccess database_name-`;
$cust_name = $cust_array[4];

10.2.2 isqlperl

Bill Hails writes:

There is now a perl interface to Informix SQL, available by anonymous ftp from ftp.demon.co.uk as pub/perl/db/isqlperl/isqlperl-1.2.shar.Z You'll need perl already installed, and you'll need Informix ESQL/C installed to build it also.

This is not the notorious (and mythical) Infoperl, rather it's my reaction to finally discovering that Infoperl never existed. Nor is it DBperl compliant, so it will undoubtedly be supplanted by DBperl in the not too distant future.

I've tested it on Informix 4.10 SE and Online.

Note: isqlperl is not compatible with Perl 5 -- you need Perl 4 to use it.

10.2.3 DBD::Informix

Jonathan Leffler (johnl@informix.com) updates


Where is DBD::Informix


The latest version of DBD::Informix should be available by accessing:


You can also go to CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) via:


There are two sub-directories: DBI for the latest version of DBI, and DBD for the latest version of DBD::Informix and all the other DBD modules.

In case of doubt, I use the FTP site:


This is based in Walnut Creek, near San Francisco, CA, USA. There may well be another CPAN mirror site closer to you -- check in the web pages for The Perl Institute http://www.perl.org Note that CPAN automatically multiplexes your download requests to a mirror site near you.

Last updated: 1999-09-19 for DBI-1.02 and DBD::Informix Version 0.62

10.2.4 Vortex Perl

tom@sqlman.com (Tom Grenier) writes:-
I am in the process of converting a major internet sub-site from oraperl to
Vortex perl.  We looked at the shareware DBI version, and I followed the
list for a while.  My impression is if you are strong in Unix C and have the
time to play with it, it is probably a fine way to go.  If not, Trifox has a
product that, so far, looks like it will work just fine.  However, it is not
free ( but you can pick up a phone and have an intellegent person assisting
you if you need).

You can check them out at 


10.2.5 DBD::Illustra

On 1st Oct 1998 pmh@edison.ioppublishing.com (Peter Haworth) wrote:-



Last updated: 1998-10-12 for DBD::Illustra Version 0.03

10.3 What about Mac Client Software?

Dr. Richard Spitz says:

There is a freeware package released by Genentech Inc. called DSQL which consists of a server for Unix/VMS and several clients for Unix,DOS and Mac. It may take some tweaking to get the server compiled and running for your system, but the Mac part seems to be pretty straightforward.

I am not a Mac person, but our Mac people liked the hypercard stack very much with which they could interface to our Informix databases on our Unix hosts. There is also a programming API to integrate database access into your own programs.

You can get dsql from cgl.ucsf.edu (, I don't know the exact directory.

10.4 Is there an RDS de-compiler available?

Nothing that will produce anything like .4gl code from a .4go, anyway. There is an internal tool for analyzing .4go files that is called the "decompiler" internally, but its output is too terse to be useful for much except debugging fglpc and fglgo.

10.5 What about a GUI interface?

A list of GUI builders & front-ends appears in Appendix G

10.6 Recommended free software


Dave Snyder's excellent 4GL code generator for simple single table maintenance-style forms. Provides a good skeleton for more sophisticated maintenance programs too. ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/das/SHELL/db4glgen.sh


Jack Parker's excellent database comparison tool. Identifies differences in database structure between two databases, and generates appropriate SQLs to bring them in sync. ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/pub/dbdiff2.Z


Generate tag files for use with the vi editor. Increased my programming productivity enormously! Get it from ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/pub/4gltags_awk.Z a C-based version is available at: ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/pub/4gltags_c.Z


Edit .err directly to fix compilation errors. Another superb productivity gain. Requires use of the vi editor. ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/das/SHELL/vie.sh


Essentially you pass a SELECT statement to the routine and it builds a pick-list window. Pretty damn flexible. Pretty damn easy to use. Does NOT use arrays. Optionally forces a Query-by-Example selection before displaying the pick-list. I like it a lot, but then I wrote it.



David Cortesi (cortesi@informix.com) has a nice utility ftp://ftp.iiug.org/pub/informix/pub/reform_sql.Z capable of reformating ISQL vertical-format reports from this:

# order_num      1007
# order_date     03/25/1989
# customer_num   117
# backlog        n
# po_num         278693
# ship_date      04/23/1989
# ship_weight    125.90

into a horizontal format like this:

# order_num order_date customer_num backlog po_num  ship_date ship_weight
#      1007 03/25/1989          117       n 278693 04/28/1989      125.90
#      1012 06/05/1989          117       n 278701 06/09/1989       70.80

The latest versions of the tools of Tim Schaefer for 4GL, and DBA work are available at www.inxutil.com and updated frequently.  There is also a monthly electronic magazine highlighting Informix tools and events, for developers and end users.

4gl Works

Marco Greco has made available a small subset of his "4glWorks" product (an Application Framework for 4GL) at www.ctonline.it/~marcog/4glworks.htm

10.7 Is there any Web Server software available?

There's the Informix-supplied CGI stuff

http://www.informix.com/informix/products/dlprod/webkits/docentry.htm which are CGI hooks for 4GL, ESQL-C and NewEra.

Informix ESQL-C/CGI Interface Kit

To quote Jeff Rowe (j.p.rowe@larc.nasa.gov), a guy with a wealth of information about database-aware web tools, this interface kit is "A C library of function calls that combine with Informix's ESQL/C programming language to give a developer a minimal set of Web/databse development tools. IMHO, there is too much missing for this library to be really useful, but it does offer some BLOB management routines."

Informix 4GL/CGI Interface Kit (19 August '95)

A 4GL/C function kit allows 4GL (RDS + 4GL/C) to interface with CGI. Same functionalities as the ESQL-C/CGI kit.

marcog@linux.ctonline.it (Marco Greco) writes: Informix is no longer shipping the source code, but the compiled libraries instead. The only ports available are HPUX, AIX & Solaris - and this poses some problems for the SCO users. Jonathan told me that he's trying to convince whoever is in charge to put back the source code on Informix www site. It'll take some time though.

There's WDB

A Web interface to SQL Databases. WDB was originally written as an interface to Sybase but now, thanks to Curtis Wong, it also has an interface to Informix.

From the announcement...

All there is needed to use WDB is the WDB script (written in Perl) and a set of high-level form definition files, each describing a different view on the database. WDB automatically creates HTML forms, on-the-fly, to allow the users to query the database, and given the users query constraints it will query the database and present the result to the user. WDB even comes with a utility to automatically extract information about a table from the database and create a working template form definition file.

WDB is a cgi-script written in Perl for NCSA's HTTP server. WDB was written for the ESO and ST-ECF science data archive.

More information and instructions on how to download and install it is available at http://arch-http.hq.eso.org/bfrasmus/wdb/wdb.html

For an example of what a WDB interface to a database looks like try the Hubble Space Telescope Science Exposures form at:


There's dbCGI

dbCGI is an unsupported, free software product of CorVu Pty Ltd.

dbCGI uses embedded SQL in HTML documents to execute database queries and format the results. It has support for Progress, Sybase, Oracle, Informix, Ingres and ODBC(whatever that means) databases, including BLOB data, such as images, sound and video.

There's lots of other stuff too...

Jeff Rowe has great gobs of interesting information on all the products mentioned above, plus more, at:

http://cscsun1.larc.nasa.gov/~beowulf/db/existing_products.html and http://cscsun1.larc.nasa.gov/~beowulf/db/web_access.html

10.8 Are there any Technical Interview Questions available?

On 5th Oct 1998 dbruce@us.dhl.com (David Bruce) wrote:-

We use the following from the Washington Area (DC) IUG:


10.9 Is there a Python interface to Informix?

On 19th Jan 1999 tbryan@arlut.utexas.edu (Tom Bryan) wrote:-

The Python database modules with Informix (see http://www.python.org/topics/database/modules.html)

10.10 Is there an OLE DB interface to Informix?

On 7th August 1999 leopold_the_cat@yahoo.com (Leopold The Cat) wrote:-


10.11 Are there any notes on sysmaster?

On 6th September 1999 paul@oninit (Paul Watson) wrote:-

Having been pestered for sysmaster information on and off for a while I collected some of my notes together on extracting information from sysmaster and put them on our website. The URL is


10.12 Are there any notes on onstat?

On 15th May 2005 david@smooth1.co.uk (David Williams) wrote:-

Try http://www.oninit.com/onstat/index.html