11. Miscellany

11.1 What machines get ported to first?

Acceptance platforms can vary by project. Traditional firsts have been SunOS 4.1.X, HP 9000/8xx, Sequent Dynix, IBM RS6000, NCR 3xxx. Solaris 2.[34] will be replacing SunOS 4.1.X. 3B20 users, don't hold your breath. The Informix engine development team is located in Portland practically camped on Sequents doorstep. This is on purpose.

11.2 I've finished the FAQ, what else can I read?

Originally from Jack Parker (jparker@hpbs3645.boi.hp.com), and since updated by Kerry Sainsbury:

The enclosed is a list of Informix related books - I just compiled it from saved off messages from this group. The basic list is actually maintained by Walt Hultgren at Emory ( http://www.iiug.org/techinfo/booklist.html) - but I stuck in comments where I found them. And added a book or two.

My apologies in advance to the netters whose comments I stole from previous messages to stick after a book title.


Books Related to Informix, WingZ and General Database Topics

Last Changed: Feb 1996

Entries are formatted with the following information:

Title (and Volume or Edition number, if appropriate)
Publisher, Date, ISBN, Pages, Price

Some entries may not be complete. If you know of any additions or changes that should be made to this list, please send them to walt@rmy.emory.edu.



An Informix-4GL Tutorial
Paul Mahler
Prentice Hall, 1990, ISBN 0-13-464173-6

...it looked like a reference card, more than a tutorial book (Look at the size of the 4GL supplement, it's almost that size). I started flipping through the pages and discovered that about 150 of the 250 pages dealt with Database design and concepts. The remaining 100 pages contained about 10 pages worth of actual information; the remaining 90 pages were so poorly written that I had a hard time believing that the editor actually 'let it through'. Needless to say I gave the book back to them and asked them to put it back on the shelf for me. I think that the 4GL by example book is alot more worthwhile.

I was really disapointed to see that two-thirds of such an expensive book was dedicated to such introductory comments. I would expect this for a book written on Microsoft Access, or some software aimed at the masses, but I think that anyone who was at the level of learning 4GL would probably either have a good knowledge of the concepts of Tables, Columns and Indexes or would have a book in Database Theory.

I guess I sound like I'm wining, but I'm mostly wanted to warn people away from wasting their money. If this book hadn't been in a local store, I would have paid the money and ordered it.

- Daniel James - Database Administrator (djames@statsci.com)

...I agree that it is a waste of the paper it uses. And the sheer number of blatant typographical errors in it is depressing. I'm no compiler, but a lot of the example code would clearly be rejected by the compiler. Ugh!

- Anon

Building Applications Using a 4GL - Second Edition
Mark G. Sobell
Sobell Associates, 1986, ISBN 0-937613-00-2
Sobell Associates Inc.
P.O.Box 1335
Menlo Park, CA 94026-1335

"...is dangerous. It has example 4GL code that can lead to corrupted data in a multi-user environment." - Anon

"Here's one that I've seen used in a college course, and which I give to programmers new to 4gl. It is *very* introductory, though, and if newbies look at any of our existing code they quickly find lots of stuff which this book does not cover."

- Clem Akins

"For more in-depth work I mostly like the Informix 4gl manuals, especially:"

Informix 4GL by Example
Part No. 000-7022
July 1991
Informix Software, Inc.
4100 Bohannon Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025

These examples can provide some code and style guidelines for a shop of programmers with disparate styles."

- Clem Akins

Data Processing in UNIX Using Informix SQL, ESQL/C, C-ISAM and Turbo
R. S. Tare
McGraw Hill, ISBN 0-07-062885-8
Price: $8.95 for the International Edition (Ramsub)
Informix-SQL, A Tutorial and Reference
Tony Lacy-Thompson
Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-465121-9, UKP 19.95, US$ 28.80
Using Informix-SQL - Second Edition
Jonathan Leffler
Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-56509-9

"It contains a lot more than Ace reports and is worth having as a reference beside the Informix manuals, of course the author is known as a regular writer here on the net and may be happy to answer any questions arising from the text."

- Tom Hogarty

"I felt the stock Informix documentation was pretty opaque. I found "Using Informix-SQL, Second Edition" by Jonathan Leffler in a local computer superstore and have been very pleased with it. Much more approachable than the Informix manuals. I dont have any books to recommend if its not ISQL that you're interested in. For installation and management, I ended up taking the Informix training course, which did a good job of covering things."

- Joe Matuscak

INFORMIX database administrator's survival guide.
Lumbley, Joe.
INFORMIX database administrator's survival guide / Joe Lumbley.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : PTR Prentice Hall, c1995.
ISBN 0-13-124314-4 I have been reviewing Joe's book for our INFUSE User Group in the UK. I would certainly recommend all DBAs, whether SE or OnLine to read it. Although it doesn't have specific sections on SE much of it is very relevant to SE

- Malcolm Weallans, OnLine Database Consultancy

A special word of thanks to Joe Lumbley. I bought his book some time back, but never took the time to read it. A situation arose recently that I couldn't resolve with the usual manuals so I dragged out Joe's book. Not only did it clarify my problem. but it was actually FUN to read. His insights into user's expectations and mental processes brought many smiles and nods as I continued reading even after I had resolved my situation.

IMHO this book is a MUST for everyone who gets stuck being the DBA.

Disclaimer: I didn't make any money for saying the above.

- J. David Schronce

The Informix guide to SQL tutorial.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : PTR Prentice Hall, 1995.
Informix-online performance tuning.
Suto, Elizabeth.
Informix-online performance tuning / Elizabeth Suto.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall PTR, c1995.
ISBN 0-13-124322-5

Gets consistantly good comments in comp.database.informix

Informix-SQL. (LC)
Kipp, Cathy.
Programming Informix SQL/4GL : a step-by-step approach / Cathy
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : PTR Prentice Hall, c1995.
ISBN 0-13-149394-9
Taylor, Art, 1958-
Advanced Informix-4GL programming / Art Taylor.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : PTR Prentice Hall, c1994.
ISBN 0-13-301318-9


WingZ Navigator
Informix Software, Inc., Part # 9833B

General Database

A Visual Introduction to SQL
J. Harvey Trimble, Jr.
David Chappell, ISBN 0-471-61684-21
Concurrency Control & Recovery in Database Systems
P. A. Bernstein, V. Hadzilacos & N. Goodman
Addsion-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-10715-5
Database, A Primer
C. J. Date
Fundamentals of Data Normalization
Alan F. Dutka & Howard H. Hanson
Introduction to Database Systems, Volume I
C. J. Date
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-14201-5
Introduction to Database Systems, Volume II
C. J. Date
Relational Database Writings 1985-1989
C. J. Date
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-50881-8
Relational Database: Selected Writings
C. J. Date
Using SQL
James R. Groff & Paul N. Weinberg
Osborne McGraw-Hill
SQL The Standard Handbook
Stephen Cannan & Gerard Otten
McGraw Hill Book Company
ISBN 0-07-707664-8

"The following [preceeding] book is good, but only if you know some "SQL" - it serves as a reference book. It is based on the new SQL standard ISO 9075:1992(E) and is therefore quite relevant (i.e. not archaic)."

- Jayesh Thakrar

Books are available from Prentice Hall, Email: orders@prenhall.com More info is available from http://www.informix.com/

11.3 What Informix Info is on The Web?

Start with www.iiug.org, the International Informix User Group's site (which includes links to everywhere else of interest), and then move on to Informix's own site at www.informix.com

You could also try examples.informix.com Kaye Bonney (byExample Web Mgr) described it as :-

This site is a online resource of technical information to help Informix developers master Informix and third-party products. It contains illustrated How To guides for connecting Informix to third-party products as well as detailed code examples, including annotations, that can be run interactively.

On 3rd Feb 1997 todd@informix.com (Todd Katz) wrote:-

examples.informix.com/finderror is a Java-based utility that provides immediate access to meanings of all Informix error messages in an easy-to-use. form.

11.4 List of major bugs fixed in the various versions

I think such a list is beyond the realms of a FAQ. If you're curious about such things consult with Informix-Link.

11.5 What is Informix-Link?

InformixLink TechInfo Center, the private, 24-hour on-line service, is 
designed to provide instant access to the most up-to-date information about 
Informix programs and services. InformixLink TechInfo Center is available 
via the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, and dial-up services.

Available via subscription and only to INFORMIX-Assurance, INFORMIX-OpenLine, 
Regency Services, and INFORMIX-Enterprise customers, the InformixLink TechInfo 
Center is our primary, on-line mechanism for providing you with vital support 

TechInfo Center includes access to the folowing support features:
Open a case
Product Registration
Alerts: up-to-the-minute information on our technology
Porting reports
Product defect reports
Product release information
Events, including upcoming Informix-related activities and tradeshows

With TechInfo Center, you are among the first to know about the latest 
offerings in training, specialized support offerings, product defects, and 
alerts. You will also receive unparalleled electronic access to mission 
critical support information, 24 hours a day, worldwide.

World Wide Web Access

TechInfo Center on the World Wide Web offers point-and-click graphical 
capabilities, extensive indexes, and links to related material - so you can 
navigate with little effort, through a vast store of information. You can:

easily get additional information via hypernet cross references. You don't 
have to spend time hunting through various menus, lists, and documents in 
order to pull together a complete picture. We've already done the extensive 
linking for you. We also include a "What's New" section, so that you can 
easily locate the latest materials;

request additional information through electronic forms. No need to telephone, 
no searches for envelopes and stamps, no hassles. Just a few keystrokes from 
you, and what you're looking for will be quickly on its way;

send comments regarding specific pages. Your participation and feedback is 
very important to us. Our goal is to make the Web your one-stop shop for what 
you need - if there's a way we can improve it, we want to know.

InformixLink TechInfo Center is accesible at the the following 

CD-ROM Access

Sometimes network issues or network costs make Web access unrealistic. Some 
secure environments limit access to the Internet for data security reasons. 
To make InformixLink TechInfo Center access feasible under these circumstances,
Customer Services has produced it on CD-ROM.

CD-ROM subscribers receive all of the information contained in InformixLink 
TechInfo Center, including an easy to use graphical interface and extensive 
cross referencing.

The year-long InformixLink CD-ROM subscription provides an essential resource 
for anyone who uses or supports Informix products. Extensive hypertext cross 
references allow users to locate the information quickly without hunting 
through endless menus, lists, and documents. The "What's New" section alerts 
users to the latest information.

The CD-ROM contains all of the information available on the Web, and can be 
used to access other value-added services.

Dial-Up Services

Support Customers also have the option of using a dial-up service. Due to 
graphical and linking limitations, this option is not as versitile as access 
via the Web and CD-ROM. Dial-Up access also includes bulletin boards and 
forums, as well as electronic mail facilities.

Registration Procedure

To register, fill out the InformixLink Order Form at 
 or call 1 800 274 8184. 
Have the appropriate product serial number ready for account set up.

11.6 Does Informix run under Linux?

Yes!! At last. I-Connect, ESQL/C and SE have been ported. See the Informix on Linux FAQ at http://www.iiug.org/techinfo/linux/linux_faq.html

Running SCO Versions

DISCLAIMER: Running SCO Informix under Linux is probabley a violation of your Software agreement.

From: natural@crl.com (F Korbel Natural Bros)

I am running Informix SE-4.xx, 4GL and debugger originally targeted for SCO UNIX, on linux. Here is a recap of how I did it:

  1. Find the source to iBCS (COFF emulation). It is available at all linux archives such as sunsite.unc.edu, via ftp.
  2. Compile the iBCS object, one minor tweak in source was required in a header file. char [] vs. char *.
  3. Apply the patches to the linux kernel source as described in iBCS readme file.
  4. Compile a new kernel (about 15-20 minutes.) Do this with iBCS as a *loadable* module, not an integral part of the kernel.
  5. Using all of the usual precautions, reboot with the new kernel.
  6. Attempt to compile libraries required to run COFF binaries. I gave up quickly and moved to the next stage.
  7. Take existing libraries on SCO partition and install on your linux system.
  8. Create informix user and group. Install informix and brand. Set up environment flags.
  9. If you haven't adjusted your startup scripts to automatically load iBCS, do so now manually with the command: insmod iBCS
  10. Fire up isql, r4gl, etc. They all work, including in an xterm window.
  11. Where I am now. I am tweaking the xterm definitions so the function keys work correctly for existing code.

P.S. Operations appear FASTER than on the native platform. Error 32766 means your sqlexec doesn't have the right permissions (I think).

Good luck

Jurgen Herrmann

Korbel Champagne

From: jsturm@garnet.msen.com (Jeffrey Sturm)

It would be hard to use ESQL/C under Linux without an IBCS2 cross-development system. Since the ESQL/C libraries are not Linux-compatible, the Linux compiler/assembler/linker/etc. cannot be used. You also need a libc.a that is 100% compatible with SCO. I don't think the GNU libc meets this criteria without modification.

Regarding use of versions > 4.1

On 27th Dec 1997 david@smooth1.co.uk (David Williams) writes:-

I have got Informix-SQL 6.02.UC1 and Informix-SE 7.10.UC1 for SCO v3.2.4.2 working by:-

Loading the latest 2.0 kernel :-

http://ftp.kernel.org/pub/Linux/kernel/v2.0/linux-2.0.33.gz Compile this with modules enabled and kerneld support.

Also you will need


Unpack and follow the install instructions.


Unpack into /shlib


Unpack into /shlib

Copy the following files from a SCO machine into /usr/i486-sco/lib:-


NOTE: I have not tried shared libraries yet, if you want to you may also need to take across /shlib at this point(??)

Finally you need to make some adjustments to the c4gl script!

Since this is copyright I can't give out the new version.However, (I hope) I can say that you need to:-

  1. Define a new variable SYSLIBDIR="/usr/i486-sco/lib".
  2. Make all references to the above libraries explictly use $SYSLIBDIR.
  3. Use nettlistub.a by explictly including it. Ignore the if statement, it should return false, saves trying to use sed!!
  4. Define a new variable CRT1=$SYSLIBDIR/crt1.o
  5. Link with $CRT1 before any libraries.
  6. Define a new variable DOLINK. Set it to 1 at the start and then set to 0 if -c is passed.
  7. If DOLINK is 0 then set CRT1="" and the list of static librarys to "". This means the linker coffld will not give annoying error messages because it has been called with nothing to link.
  8. Remember to export INFORMIXC="/usr/local/bin/coffgcc -nostdlib -fwritable-strings" before compiling.
  9. Use seipcip in sqlhosts for connections
  10. export INFORMIXTERM=terminfo to get a good screen display.

marcog@linux.ctonline.it (Marco Greco) has the only Web site with notes how to run Informix on Linux:-


11.7 Tell me more about product X, Y, or Z

"The Butler Group" have about reviews and opinions about practically every database product and development tool on the planet. Take a look at their Web page at: http://www.butlergroup.co.uk

11.8 Are the Informix Manuals available electronically?

Some of them can be found at http://www.informix.com/documentation/

11.9 How do I get my own Informix engineer on-site?

On 13th August 1999 mosserp@WellsFargo.COM (mosserp) wrote:-

And also worth mentioning is the availability of Informix Enterprise Support, under which Informix, for a slight fee, of course ;-), will place "an advanced support level / source code engineer" (our ESE is patch-certified) ON-SITE to assist with any questions / problems / planning / emergencies / etc. This means you have a fully-qualified, knowledgeable engineer to work on YOUR open cases -- and he/she is just down the hall from you!! The price is probably a little steep for small sites, but, if you are using Informix heavily with lots of boxes / instances, and most especially if those Informix databases are critical to the business, then it is well worth the price.