Informix plans to formally launch its socalled Internet Foundation.2000 database at the supplier’s Information Portal user group meeting in San Diego on Wednesday.
The offering, which was codenamed Centaur (see VNU Newswire, 19 January, 1999), is the fruit of three years of work trying to integrate its Dynamic Server relational database with the object/relational offering it acquired with Illustra.
The supplier’s overemphasis on Illustra helped contribute to its financial downfall a couple of years ago due to accounting irregularities. It tried to insist that users move to the new database, despite failing to outline its business rather than technological benefits, but was forced to U-turn on the policy following a customer backlash.
This time, however, Informix is going for a dual positioning strategy. A new version of Dynamic Server will be available for those customers wanting to stay with relational technology, while Internet Foundation.2000 will be targetted at users wanting to implement applications based on unstructured data such as audio and video for the Web.
Jean-Yves Dexmier, Informix’s president and chief operating officer, said: “It took us three years to build Foundation.2000 from the ground up and we dedicated a third of our engineering resources to it. To solve the problems of the Internet, we couldn’t have just taken old products and added new functionality to them.”
But unlike Oracle, which now proclaims that client/server is dead and is focusing wholeheartedly on the Web, Dexmier said that Informix was still basing its offering on the client/server model.
“We’ve created a migration path. It’s wrong to discard existing systems and we’ll continue to focus on our large installed client/server base. Our customers are not prepared to move to the Web immediately - it will take time. It’s our bread and butter and it could be a mistake to forget the people using our systems. We need to help them move at their own pace through democracy not dicatatorship,” he added.
Internet Foundation, which is available now, supports the Microsoft Com+ object model and also includes the fruits of Informix’s Krakatoa Java project (see VNU Newswire, 12 December, 1998).
This means a Java Virtual Machine has been integrated into the database so it can run and store Java code natively and it supports part zero and one of the SQL/J standard. Informix has also released a Java datablade and provides support for Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) via Tanga, an EJB container that sits on a separate server, but runs EJB based applications.
Virtual Data Interfaces also enable users to view data from Informix and third party applications from across the enterprise, while support for more data sources, the addition of replication software and improved extraction, transformation and load capabilities are being marketed under the banner of Smart Data Federation. These additions are intended to enhance the database for the online transaction processing space.
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