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April 1994 Newsletter

Volume 4, No. 2

Highlights of This Issue

Informix and Microsoft Client/Server Package for Windows NT

Informix Online Archive to Disk Script - by Clem Akins

Next Meeting - Informix Database on Windows NT

Pat Higbie, President of DataFocus, Incorporated, will discuss how DataFocus ported the Informix SE database to Windows NT. DataFocus helped developed the POSIX subsystem in NT and, as you would expect, they are experts in the area of NT/UNIX porting and compatibility. This promises to be a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Informix database and Windows NT. This will be a joint meeting with the Advanced Systems User Group (Windows NT User Group) and the Washington Area Informix Users Group. Microsoft Corporation will be hosting the meeting.

Date and Time: May 11, 1994 from 7-9 PM

Location: Microsoft Corporation

5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW., Suite 600

Washington, DC 20015

Directions: Across the street from Friendship Heights Metro (Red Line), the Microsoft office is located in the Chevy Chase Pavilion Office Building, 5335 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 600. This is at the intersection of Western Ave. and Wisconsin. Ring the buzzer in the lobby for entrance after 6 PM and go to the 6th Floor.

1994 Informix Worldwide User Conference

The Informix Worldwide User Conference is a once-a-year opportunity for Informix end users, partners, industry executives and interested customers to meet. This year's conference entitled "Database Technology for Dynamic Organizations" will feature more than 60 conference sessions, tutorials and other breakouts designed to help Informix's customers and partners effectively use Informix database technology to be more competitive. The conference will also feature a 50,000 square foot exhibition hall where over 80 Informix customers, hardware and software partners, and VARs will showcase Informix-based solutions. The conference and exhibition will be held July 11-14 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. For more information call 1-800-247-0262.

Annual Special Edition of Newsletter

We will be producing a special edition of our newsletter for the Informix Worldwide User Conference in July. Last year 2,000 copies of a special 24 page edition were distributed to our local members, worldwide conference attendees, and new members as they joined the user group. This year we are planning a bigger issue. We have some exciting new articles planned. If you would be interested in contributing an article, please contact Lester Knutsen as space is limited.

Sponsors for the Newsletter Special Edition

We already have two companies committed to sponsoring the Special Edition newsletter. We are looking for three more companies who would be willing to share the costs of this special edition. Each sponser will have one page for information or advertizing. If you are interested, please call Lester Knutsen, at 703-256-0267.

Plans for 1994

We plan to have quarterly meetings and publish four newsletters this year. The first meetin was held in March at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. The next meeting will be in August at the Informix office to review new products from Informix and the results of the Informix World Wide User Group Conference. The fourth meeting will be Forum 94 in November.

Elections to the Board of Directors

At our July meeting we will be holding elections to the WAIUG Board of Directors. The Board is composed of volunteers who plan our activities and work hard at putting them together. If you are interested in volunteering to be on the Board, or would like to nominate a member, please contact the Secretary of the WAIUG, Rick Montgomery at 703-756-7273.

User Group Membership

Our user group has grown to over 500 names on our mailing list this year. We are incorporated as a non-profit organization. Our objective is to share information, learn about new products, provide technical input, discuss problems, share solutions, and network with other Informix users. In order to cover our expenses and support continued growth, the board of directors decided to implement membership dues in 1994. The membership dues will be $20.00. Everyone who registered and paid for the User Group Forum in 1993 will automatically be covered as a member for one year. Membership will allow you to receive all our newsletters and a discount on our forum next year. For more information about membership, please call our Membership Director, John Petruzzi at 703-490-4598



Informix Value-Added Resellers Provide Database Applications on Windows NT

MENLO PARK, Calif., (February 1, 1994) Informix Software, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of a promotional client/server package for the Microsoft(R) Windows NT(TM)platform. This package is the first product deliverable, resulting from the joint strategic marketing alliance between Informix and Microsoft that was announced in November 1993.

The promotional package, which has received early support from several Informix Value Added Resellers (VARs), will include the Windows NT Advanced Server operating system, and the INFORMIX-SE Client/Server Software Developers Kit (SDK) for Microsoft Windows NT. The Informix developers kit contains Informix's database server for Windows NT and a complete set of Informix client connectivity modules for the Microsoft Windows(TM) operating system.

As part of the strategic alliance, the agreement calls for the two companies to co-market the promotional product package; jointly provide training to Microsoft Solutions providers, Informix VARs, and Windows NT early adopters; and jointly participate in other marketing activities such as advertising, seminars and direct mail programs.

Informix VARs to Offer Windows NT-based Applications "This package will accelerate the further development of business applications for Windows NT," said Dwayne Walker, director of the Worldwide Solution Provider Group at Microsoft. "Informix' large marketshare and VAR base of over 3500 partners, makes a strong case for cooperation between our two companies."

"We are pleased to work with Microsoft and get their support, because we view the Windows NT Advanced Server as an attractive alternative for customers who want to develop database applications quickly and cost effectively," said Steve Sommer, vice president of marketing at Informix. "The bundle is proving to be very attractive to our VARs and other independent software developers who want to expand their applications into the Windows NT marketplace."

One such company is accounting software vendor, Concepts Dynamic, Inc., of Schaumburg, Illinois. An early test site for the promotional package, the company has already used the INFORMIX-SE Software Developers Kit to migrate its application software packages to the Windows NT environment. Concepts Dynamics recently released a new version of its Financial Control System software that supports the Windows NT platform.

"We believe that the Microsoft Windows NT environment represents the future of desktop computing," said Karl W. Steinle, president of Concepts Dynamic. "By using tools like the INFORMIX-SE Client/Server SDK for Windows NT and INFORMIX-4GL for Windows, we are able to make our accounting applications available to the growing number of companies who are choosing Windows NT as their client/server environment. This strategic offering from Informix and Microsoft is another example of how Informix helps its partners evolve their products into new technologies, new markets, and new customer accounts."

TECSYS INC., an open systems software provider to the wholesale distribution industry, has already made significant commitments in its product portfolio strategy to the Windows NT environment. The company's Informix/Windows NT-based application will be available this year.

"TECSYS' primary focus is to deliver customer-responsive solutions that provide simplicity to end users, operational efficiency, and competitive advantages to distributors," said Peter Brereton, TECSYS' senior vice president, Product. "Leveraging the power, flexibility and ease of use that will be brought about by Informix and Windows NT will undoubtedly add more performance to our ELITE product line and also increased flexibility for our customers."

Client/Server Package Details

Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1 features powerful, 32-bit pre-emptive multitasking; access to gigabytes of memory and terabytes of disk storage; built-in networking; and scalability to run on Intel(R) RISC and symmetric multiprocessing systems. INFORMIX-SE version 5.01 is a low-overhead RDBMS ideal for early development on the Windows NT platform. The product requires minimum database administration expertise yet provides reliable performance and sophisticated features that assure data consistency in multiuser configurations. INFORMIX-SE takes advantage of client/server features such as stored procedures, triggers, and ANSI SQL-89-compliant declarative integrity constraints.

In addition to INFORMIX-SE, the package will include INFORMIX-ESQL/C, a tool which allows C-based Windows applications to access Informix databases; INFORMIX-SQL, a database application development tool that provides database administration facilities to the server; and INFORMIX-NET PC, a tool that provides communication between an Informix database server and a client PC.

Also included in the Informix client/server kit is an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver from Q+E Software that will allow customers to use any ODBC-enabled third-party client tool and link it to the Informix server running on Windows NT Advanced Server.

Price and Availability

The promotional package is available immediately from Informix. Tech Data (TM), an exclusive distributor for the promotional package in the U.S., will also sell the package and provide customer training and support. Customers interested in more information on the package may call Informix at 1-800-331-1763 or Tech Data at 1-800-237-8931.

A special introductory suggested retail price (SRP) of $1795 per user, offered in the U.S. for a six-month period, will allow developers to create Windows NT Advanced Server database solutions at a substantially reduced cost. Sold separately, all the products in the package would cost approximately $5,000 (SRP).

Developers who already have the Windows NT Advanced Server operating system may purchase INFORMIX-SE Client/Server SDK for Windows NT, as a separate product. The kit is available today, at a special introductory SRP of $995 per user, in the U.S.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

About Informix

Informix Software Inc. (NASDAQ: IFMX) provides the most complete and productive database technology to build, deploy, run, and evolve applications. Informix products include powerful distributed database management systems, robust application development tools, and graphical- and character-based productivity software for delivering information to every significant desktop platform. With corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Informix has European headquarters in London and Asia/Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

Informix VARs Support Informix, Microsoft Client/Server Package

"There are a variety of reasons why we want to evaluate the Microsoft Windows NT and Informix solution," said Oscar Rodrigues, CEO of Antares, an Informix partner and creator of accounting and Contact Management application software. "One, we see a significant interest from our customers to develop on it. Two, to remain competitive, we need to provide our customers the flexibility to choose the best computing environment for their needs. And finally, using the Informix and Microsoft client/server solution will open-up a broader market for us."

"We believe that the Microsoft Windows NT Environment represents the future of desktop computing," said Karl W. Steinle, president of accounting software vendor, Concepts Dynamic. "By using tools like the INFORMIX-SE Client/Server SDK for Windows NT and INFORMIX-4GL for Windows, we are able to make our accounting applications available to the growing number of companies who are choosing Windows NT as their client/server environment. This strategic offering from Informix and Microsoft is another example of how Informix helps its partners evolve their products into new technologies, new markets, and new customer accounts."

Online Archive to Disk Script

by Clem Akins

(Editors Note: This is from a message posted to the internet, comp.databases.infomix newsgroup. Printed with the permission of the author. )

I've had several requests to post our solution to the archive to disk problem, so here it is. While this works well for us and has for a long time now, you get no warranty, so check this code carefully for compatibility with your system!

Some notes:

The tunables.sh program set a number of environmental variables which may be used by several programs.

I used GNU zip, because it gets way better compression -- in the 80-90% range for one of our archived systems.

We DECnet copy the compressed archive file to a remote node for offsite backup. This could easily be FTP or something else.

     | Clem Akins                  Standard Disclaimers Apply      |
     | Reynolds Metals Co.         ("Cutesy" ones, too!)           |
     | Alloys Plant (MS #59)                                       |
     | 3509 East 2nd St            Internet: cwa@leia.rmc.com      |
     | Muscle Shoals, Al           Telephone: (205) 386-6783       |
     | USA    35661-1256           Facsimile: (205) 386-6831       |
     |                 "Climb High, Cave Deep!"                    |

       O   /
        \ /
Here ----\---- Snip Here --------- Snip Here --------- Snip Here ---------
        / \
       O   \
#	DATE CREATED: 06/15/91
#	A script to perform a complete backup of the OnLine system
#	database.
#	Logic:
#		force checkpoint
#		## force completion of current log
#		determine pid of log archiver and kill it
#		move log file to Old log file and create new log
#		start log archiver program
#		perform level 0 backup 
#		compress archive
#		copy archive to a remote node
#	Written on DEC Ultrix (BSD variant).
#	The following variables are defined in tunables.sh:
#		LOGS - dir to hold std out and std err
#		INFORMIXDIR - dir with informix progs
#		LOGFILE - informix logical log tape device (from tbconfig)
#		ARCHIVE_DIR - dir to hold the archive file
#		    Note:  this *must* be bigger than the entire dbspace!
#		           If you run out of space, the archive program
#		           will fill up your LOGS dir with error messages!
#		ARCHIVE_FILE - name of the archive device (from tbconfig)
#		BACKUP_NODE - name of computer to store archive on
#		BACKUP_ACCOUNT - name of secure account on that node
#		BACKUP_PASSWORD - password for secure account
#		ALT_BACKUP_DIR - dir on BACKUP_NODE to store archive file
#	Returns: 0 for success, else return code of most recent command
echo "running tunables.sh..."
. /usr/local/tunables.sh

# re-direct stdout and stderr to a log file EXEC_LOGFILE=$LOGS/`basename $0`.log exec 1>$EXEC_LOGFILE 2>&1 echo `date` "Beginning On-Line Backup; user id of " `id` cd $LOGS # run from here THESTATUS="$?" if [ "$THESTATUS" -ne 0 ] then echo "$LOGS DOES NOT EXIST. ARCHIVE ABORTED" exit 1 fi USERID=`id` USERID=`echo $USERID | cut -f2 -d"(" | cut -f1 -d")"` if [ $USERID != "informix" ] then echo "$USER ATTEMPTED TO RUN `basename $0`" exit 1 fi INFORMIXBIN=$INFORMIXDIR/bin echo "Forcing a checkpoint..." ${INFORMIXBIN}/tbmode -c THESTATUS=$? if [ $THESTATUS != 0 ] then echo "Error from checkpoint was $THESTATUS" exit $THESTATUS fi sleep 10 # let prior step complete...

# use OnLine utility to determine pid log_pid=`${INFORMIXBIN}/tbstat -u | grep '.*-A-' | cut -c18-23` if [ -n "$log_pid" ] #### variable is non-zero then echo "Stopping log archiver process pid = $log_pid" ${INFORMIXBIN}/tbmode -z $log_pid sleep 10 kill -9 $log_pid fi o_log_pid=$log_pid while [ -n "$o_log_pid" ] do echo "waiting for tbtape to exit... PID $o_log_pid" sleep 5 o_log_pid=`${INFORMIXBIN}/tbstat -u | grep '.*-A-' | cut -c18-23` done # assumes directory set (above) # nohup creates local file nohup.out echo "Cleaning out the old logical log..." touch ${LOG_FILE} cat /dev/null ${LOG_FILE} echo "Restarting log archiver..." nohup ${INFORMIXBIN}/tbtape -c & echo "Creating new archive file..." cd ${ARCHIVE_DIR} touch ${ARCHIVE_FILE} cat /dev/null ${ARCHIVE_FILE} echo "Running backup utility..." #### run the backup utility, answering questions ${INFORMIXBIN}/tbtape -s <<END 0 END THESTATUS=$? if [ $THESTATUS != 0 ] then echo "WARNING. NO TBTAPE PROCESS. Error from archive was $THESTATUS" exit $THESTATUS fi #### compress the archive and make a copy on another node # uses gnu zip, available by ftp in prep.ai.mit.edu:/pub/gnu /usr/local/tools/gzip -fv -5 $ARCHIVE_FILE THESTATUS=$? if [ $THESTATUS != 0 ] then echo "Error from compress of archive file was $THESTATUS" exit $THESTATUS fi # # this uses the DECnet copy command. It could be written to use an # ftp or other network copy command. # echo "dcp -iv ${ARCHIVE_FILE}.gz ${BACKUP_NODE}/${BACKUP_ACCOUNT}/${BACKUP_PASSWD}::${ALT_BACKUP_DIR}archive.gz" dcp -iv ${ARCHIVE_FILE}.gz ${BACKUP_NODE}/${BACKUP_ACCOUNT}/${BACKUP_PASSWD}::${ALT_BACKUP_DIR}archive.gz THESTATUS=$? if [ $THESTATUS != 0 ] then echo "Error from archive file copy to ${BACKUP_NODE} was $THESTATUS" exit $THESTATUS fi #### exit program with success status echo "Another successful archive and backup" exit 0 O / \ / Here ----\---- Snip Here --------- Snip Here --------- Snip Here --------- Snip / \ O \

This Newsletter is published by the Washington Area Informix Users Group.

Lester Knutsen, President/Editor

Washington Area Informix Users Group

4216 Evergreen Lane, Suite 136, Annandale, VA 22003

Phone: 703-256-0267