Databases, IBM Champions

Shining the Spotlight on Outstanding Informix Users

Notes from the 2012 IIUG Informix conference in San Diego

The 2012 IIUG Informix conference in San Diego last month was—to put it mildly—a resounding success. With a sold-out hotel and many session rooms at their limits, I think the IIUG hit a home run with this event and location. (I guess that’s easy to say when you’re the guy in charge!) But seriously, I want to publicly thank each member of the IIUG conference team: Matt Elders, Sam Gentsch, John Fahey, Andrew Ford, Rhonda Hackenburg, Cindy Lichtenauer, David Link, Bruce Simms, and Kernoal Stephens, as well as Anita McKeithen and Pradeep Kutty from IBM, plus all the speakers and the vendors.

I also need to shine the spotlight on this year’s winners of our two special IIUG Directors Awards. Since 2002, this award has gone to individuals who have simply stood above the rest in the world of Informix. This year’s awards went to Scott Lashly of IBM and Dr. Mirta Baranovic of the University of Zagreb (read her wonderful story here). They are two of the most remarkable Informix people I have ever met, and both is a gem of the Informix world.

Scott is a longtime Informix and IBM employee. He’s the brains behind the Informix engine, and he is always willing to share that knowledge with users he comes in contact with—at any hour of the day or night when he is needed. One of my favorite “Scott” moments happened a few years back, when the IIUG team used to do individual session evaluations. Well, apparently Scott had a full room of attendees—but NO presentation. He simply asked the audience “What do you want to talk about?” I read some of the evaluations of that session, and one person wrote that it was the best session he ever attended at an Informix conference. Need I say more?

I met Dr. Mirta Baranovic for the first time about a year ago. I sat in a room in Zagreb, Croatia, with 50 to 75 Informix users, and this wonderful lady sat just a row behind me. Throughout the course of the day, each and every person at the event came up to her to say hello. It was like they were all coming up to pay their respects to the Godfather or the Pope (Mirta, please excuse the comparison!). As I understand it, as a college professor at the University of Zagreb in the late 1990s, Mirta attended a faculty event and came in contact with Informix. She returned to Zagreb and had her students do a test of databases—and Informix was the winner. Since that test, Mirta has taught all of her classes using Informix. She has touched every computer science student attending the University of Zagreb with her findings on Informix. These past students were just coming up to thank her personally for the wonderful knowledge she had passed on to them!

I’d also like to highlight how one user can make a difference in a different way. Eric Vercelletto, of Paris, France, conducted his own TPC benchmarks for Informix for a work project. Now, I have never personally thought benchmarks were terribly important (I have even written in this magazine that I think benchmarks are like the National Football League’s old saying: ‘On any given Sunday any team can win”), but Eric has done a wonderful job exploring the limits of IBM Informix Innovator-C. Read Eric’s full report here.

Finally, I have a request for all Informix users. Please take a few minutes to help out my two new friends Alison and Sue, from IBM, on their quest for information. They’re conducting two separate surveys online, and I’d like to help them get as many responses as they can. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential in both surveys. Here are the details:

  1. Administration: We want to understand how you find information about Informix when you need it. Target audience: Informix administrators.
  2. Best Practices: Help us shape the priorities for best practices content. Target audience: Anyone who is using or is interested in using Informix.

And finally, this just in: The IIUG Web site has the new Informix Dynamic Server 11.70 xC5 Developer Edition free download for members. And remember, IIUG membership is free! Join us and get the latest and greatest release of Informix. New version released May 24, 2012!

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Stuart Litel

Stuart Litel is president of the International Informix Users Group, CTO of Kazer Technologies, an IBM Gold Consultant, member of the IBM Data Champion Inaugural 2008 class, and recipient of the 2008 IBM Data Professional of the Year award.