Informix is repackaging its databases again to try and make them more relevant to its chosen key markets of online transaction processing (OLTAP), data warehousing and ecommerce.
The move follows a huge repositioning effort about a year ago (see VNU Newswire, 20 November, 1997), when the database supplier decided to streamline its offerings, following a financial debacle brought about by accounting irregularities.
The market had also been confused by Informix?s positioning of its raft of database offerings, a situation that led to a fall off in sales from which it still has yet to fully recover.
David Appelbaum, Informix?s vice president of product marketing, explained: ?We?re taking our Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) core services and packaging them to meet the specific needs of specific markets. We?re focussing on our three core businesses because customers are tired of paying for technology that they don?t use.?
As a result, the supplier is taking the Universal Data Option (UDO) element of IDS and adding support for Sun?s Java and Microsoft?s COM+ object models. UDO was formerly known as Universal Server and is based on the firm?s Illustra object-relational database acquisition.
Support for Java and Com+, Appelbaum attested, will make UDO Internet and ecommerce ready a la Oracle, but the upgrade, dubbed Centaur, will not include a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) of its own.
Instead users will have to go to their JVM vendor of choice and install the technology in the database themselves - a move that Applebaum claimed will mean they do not have to upgrade their database with each revision of the JVM.
Informix also plans to come out with fixed price ecommerce application templates covering areas such as payment verification and cataloguing based on its own and third party applications. The templates will provide users with between 75-80 per cent of the functionality they need to build their own packages and will start shipping in the second half of 1999.
But Informix is also upgrading UDO?s extraction, transformation and load (ETL) capabilites to enhance it for the OLTP market. Centaur will support more data sources and include replication software, and the enhancements will be marketed under the new banner, ?Smart Data Federation,? to point them up.
ETL enables users to analyse and manipulate data from different databases and data sources, Applebaum said.
Centaur has just gone into early beta and is scheduled to ship by the middle of this year. It will be followed by Pegasus in about a year?s time, which will include further enhancements to those outlined above.
On the data warehousing side of things, Informix plans to come out with Yellowstone, which has also just gone into early beta. This is due to ship at about the same time as Centaur, and will be followed by Independence approximately a year later.
Yellowstone will be based on Extended Parallel Option (XPS) and will be integrated with Informix?s online analytical processing (Olap) bundle, the Decision Frontier Solution Suite. This will include the Metacube (Olap) engine, which is currently available as a separate IDS option.
The offering will have support for 64bit addressing, incorporate a shared nothing architecture and provide enhanced indexing capabilities. Informix will also release application templates for the retail, telecommunications and finance markets at the same time.
Independence, on the other hand, will provide automatic data failover and other high availability features.
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