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IBM To Purchase Informix Database

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the and-then-there-were-two dept.

IBM 228

Boban Acimovic writes "According to this story on the Yahoo Financial News", IBM is going to buy Informix Database Software for $1 billion in cash. The main players in database leader struggle will be Oracle and IBM after this acquisition." That's in the commericial space - obviously SleepyCat, PostGres and MySQL and others aren't going away. And it appears that the other parts of Informix will be staying around as a seperate biz, so we should continue to see their support for OSS [?] .

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in cash? (1)

xyster (128) | more than 12 years ago | (#268745)

They're paying that much money in cash? why would they do such a foolish thing?

Re:I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 12 years ago | (#268752)

MySQL does not have many of the features of an Oracle or DB2. There are no provisions for refferental integrety. I don't think there is a good way to back up very large databases. (Say more than a few hundred megs) and so on. That does not make it bad. Just not in the same ballgame as the big databases.

I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (4)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 12 years ago | (#268753)

IBM is no more worried about MySQL cutting into its DB2 market than Boeing is worried about Cessna cutting into its airline market.

Its not that DB2 is "Better" than Mysql any more than a 747 is "Better" than a Cessna 172, they just do different things and get used for different jobs.

TPC - a poor performance indicator (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 12 years ago | (#268756)

TPC is hardly the best indicator of performance or scalability. It doesn't really allow meaningful comparisons between systems.

Re:TPC - a poor performance indicator (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 12 years ago | (#268757)

Sad - responding to my own message.

I did, of course, mean TPC-C. Other TPC benchmarks are more meaningful, and less tweakable by the vendor.

Re:Heh! One of these things is not like the other. (3)

AMK (3114) | more than 12 years ago | (#268759)

Current versions of BerkeleyDB support transactions, and note that MySQL's transaction support is built using BerkeleyDB, so clearly MySQL isn't going to support transactions and be any faster.

Two words - Red Brick (1)

Eric Wayte (4583) | more than 12 years ago | (#268761)

IBM wanted Red Brick and the only way to get it was to buy the rest of the Informix database business.

Red Brick [informix.com]

Linux is still a part of IBM culture (1)

krbuck (6961) | more than 12 years ago | (#268762)

Linux if not open source is very much a part of IBM. If you spend any time at any IBM campus that deals with software or cruise through any of their internal web sites, you'll quickly understand this fact. Perhaps more telling is that IBM is spending real dollars to contribute to the Linux community.

Also, a recent post stated that the enterprise db's are in a different space than the available open source offerings. This is very true. For my part, I'm looking forward to better support for an improved database offering from IBM that runs on Linux.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Vendors and stuff (4)

hatless (8275) | more than 12 years ago | (#268763)

Hm. I do think Sybase and Microsoft are also players in the mid-to-large database market, and that a lot of companies with decent products but small market share, like Progress, would also take issue with the idea of IBM and Oracle being "it".

Sleepycat? Yeah, , Oracle and IBM do have little embedded data store products, but I'd hardly mention them in the same breath as FIlemaker, much less Oracle and DB/2. And as for MySQL and Postgres? Please. They're competition for Filemaker, MS Access, Interbase, Cloudbase and the like, and in some cases very good competition for them. But not even Postgres 7.x touches the lowest end of what the IBM, Oracle and Informix server products do. With live replication and decent hot backup features, maybe it could chew on their ankles, but that's about it. As for the middle-range, wake me up when Postgres can do clustering and failover, or when a single Postgres database can hit at least half a terabyte with good performance.

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 12 years ago | (#268766)

MS dropped support for Alpha in Win2K. There will be no more official releases for the platform.

Tech confussion (4)

Kope (11702) | more than 12 years ago | (#268768)

It is really dissappointing to see PostgreSQL, MySQL and SleepyCat compared to Oracle, Informix, Sybase, and DB2. The latter are enterprise databases, the former are not. While PostgreSQL adn the others are very good in the space they operate in, they do not do what Oracle and company do. To compare them as if they operated in the same space shows a gross ignorance of enterprise level data computing that is inexcusable for a site that is suppossed to be about "news for nerds." "Nerds" should know that enterprise level databases are more than transactional SQL engines (hell, in the case of MySQL and Sleepycat, not even that!).

Re:Free DB's are getting mainstream (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 12 years ago | (#268769)

Then again, some applications are better off just staying on a free database. NASA for instance, no longer uses Oracle. They are now using MySQL instead just because of the huge amounts of licensing fees that they can now divert to other areas, while still keeping their databases very fast and useful.

Where did you hear that?

NASA uses Oracle, MS SQL, Access, DB2 and a bunch of other databases. NASA is not a monolithic organization that dictates what software can be used. Each project makes its own decisions as to what software is the best fit for its needs. It could be Linux with MySQL, NT with MS SQL or Solaris with Oracle. If you name a software package, there is probably a NASA project that uses it.

Re:Interbase vs. Postgres (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 12 years ago | (#268770)

I'm sure there more, but I would say the biggest thing postgres has that interbase doesn't is support for objects and object-oriented behaviors.

Don't forget Interbase/Firebird (2)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 12 years ago | (#268771)

Interbase (Firebird on sourceforge) has a nice niche in the open source database arena as well.

I would put it somewhere in between mysql and posgres in terms of ease of use, ease of installation, performance, features, and third party tool support.

For some of us it's a good compromise.

Re:Oracle Leads What? (1)

thegrommit (13025) | more than 12 years ago | (#268772)

Considering how difficult it is to pry corporate customers from an entrenched platform, I'd say "leading in sales" is pretty significant.

Technical merit doesn't always lead to success.

Re:Open Source vs Commercial (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#268781)

Of course, it's a turn-on if you don't want to wait around for SQL parsing. To each his own, I suppose.

Heh! One of these things is not like the other. (1)

jamesneal (15488) | more than 12 years ago | (#268782)

That's in the commericial space - obviously SleepyCat, PostGres and MySQL and others aren't going away.

Doesn't one of these seem a little out of place?

Mark: "We're going to need SPEED! Let's use MySQL."

Bob: "This is going to be a high transaction session database! We're going to need transactions and rollbacks! Let's use PostgreSQL."

Dennis: "We'd a crummy little dot-bomb. We don't need speed, and we don't need transactions and rollbacks. Let's use DBM files."


Re:Short Changed (1)

jamesneal (15488) | more than 12 years ago | (#268783)

A guy walks into an automotive store and asks "Would you give me a rear view mirror for a yugo?" The clerk thinks about it for a minute and says "Okay, that's fair."

What exactly is IBM buying? (2)

geophile (16995) | more than 12 years ago | (#268784)

This is utterly bizarre. What on earth is IBM buying? It can't be the "brand". That was destroyed in the disastrous Illustra integration.

It can't be the software, which was crap. In 200 lines of code, I wrote two different test cases, (only one of which was multithreaded), which crashed the Informix server.

It can't be the support organization. Getting help from Informix support was a surreal experience. There was the time I had to instruct one of their support guys how to unzip a zip file. I had to explain to another one the concept of a client, and introduce the fact that Informix was accessed from one.

It can't be the advanced R&D: The aforementioned Illustra was surpassed in all ways by IBMs research out of their Santa Teresa Labs, and some of this research has already found its way into DB/2.

Customer base? I didn't think Informix had that much of a following.

So what is it? What? I just don't get it.

Re:DB/2? (1)

Rick_Clark (21676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268793)

DB/2 is very expensive, on par if not more pricy then Oracle. I think they are trying to have mid-priced DB. You get the great IBM support and some of the power (probably with an easy migration path to DB/2) for a much lower price. It should give IBM an advantage over Oracle which, as far as I know has no entry-level priced database.

Re:I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (1)

Rick_Clark (21676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268794)

I think MYSQL suffers from the same problem as Linux. Someone plays with it a couple of months and then markets themselves as an "expert". Unqualified admins can make a good product look much worse than it actually is. I don't think anyone could play with DB/2 for coulpe of months and get away with calling themselves an "expert".

Re:DB/2? (1)

Rick_Clark (21676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268795)

In an enterprise environment all of your options are costly, if you abide by the licenses. I certainly do not count NT as an enterprise environment. That is what we are talking about enterprise level DB's. On an enterprise level DB/2 and Oracle are very expensive. In a startup if you could pay $5,000 for you informix licenses and when you need it move up to a more expensive DB/2 product that would be of great benefit. In most large enterprises Mysql and Postgres would not be suitable.

Re:Tech confussion (1)

scrutty (24640) | more than 12 years ago | (#268800)

A few points and a little de-FUDing

  • Using sequence objects to generate serial IDs are more flexible than auto increment columns IMHO. This is how Oracle actually did it the last time I worked with Oracle
  • Version 7.1 of Postgresql , which came out last week supports unlimited row lengths for blobs without resorting to large objects
  • The documentation is fine. Check the online stuff at the website [postgresql.uli.it] , or buy manuals from Great Bridge [greatbridge.com] or just search Amazon.com on the term postgresql for commercial stuff

BTW, Postgresql follows ANSI SQL far more closely than MySQL attempts to , so almost any standard reference book should help you along with the query side. You don't have to use the source

Austin Powers? (2)

sporty (27564) | more than 12 years ago | (#268802)

This for some reason brought up a scene where Dr Evil (or was that Aevil) would be one of these OSS developers, and these IBM would be the US.

Evil: Well IBM, you better pay us for our DB before we crush you.

IBM: Hahahhaa.. we have DB2

Evil: (demonstrates Informix) As you see IBM, we do have a powerful DB. Pay us $1 BILLION DOLLARS, or we'll have to release the new version that outperforms db2 by 50%.

IBM: You fiend!


Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (1)

neorosis (34785) | more than 12 years ago | (#268805)

I disagree - this does make sense. Everyone said the same thing about Oracle buying RDB from DEC in the old days. And now, what do you think the huge RDB installed base buys when they want to upgrade or acquire new software? Oracle, of course, partly because Oracle sales knows about the shop and the players.
This uncovers another unusual, fun fact about annual support: part of the purpose of annual support is to stay in touch and stay current with the decision makers at the customer's location. That means that when the sales team comes a-knockin', they know what door to knock on, unlike the competition. The support organization is extraordinarily profitable arm of these enterprise db companies, and that revenue stream could justify this acquisition alone.
This acquisition does make sense seen from this light.


Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (2)

MemRaven (39601) | more than 12 years ago | (#268807)

There IS some interesting technology at Informix, you just have to know what it is. Look at ZDNet Article [zdnet.com] on it. The main thing they're buying it for, somewhat, is the data warehousing capabilities. This is actually someplace where IPS (Informix Parallel Server) has a reasonable advantage.

Informix has two main enterprise products: IUS (Informix Universal Server), which is the result of the Illustra integration; and IPS, which is the massively parallel server. IPS is actually pretty widely respected and used. It's a monster for data warehousing, and is very commonly used in large (i.e. bricks-and-mortar) retail installations. In fact, a very common installation platform for large retail is to use IBM (mainframes, AS/400, and POS terminals) for the transaction processing, and IPS to handle analysis.

So in that sense, there's both interesting technology there (the massively parallel bits in IPS) and a very good synergy of customer base and products.

So in direct response, there IS interesting R&D out of the Portland lab where informix did the XPS work (I forget if they're actually calling it XPS or IPS these days, it used to change around a lot), you just didn't know it.

And the research you're probably thinking of comes out of Almaden. There's some interesting DB/2 related work out of Santa Theresa, but Almaden is where the really cutting-edge stuff has taken place IIRC.

Re:Sybase... (2)

MemRaven (39601) | more than 12 years ago | (#268808)

Was. From what I've heard, at this point they've removed virtually all of the Sybase code. MS SQLServer 6.5 was almost all Sybase code, 7.0 and 2000 are virtually NO sybase code.

MySQL ? Try Interbase (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#268818)

Although MySQL is nice - if one really wants a free database today he ought to check Interbase. It's free - but has much more important functionnalities that MySQL totally lack (consistency, triggers, etc...).

Re:Open Source vs Commercial (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#268819)

Beside, Sleepycat DB isn't really competing with Oracle, DB2, Informix or even MySQL. It doesn't have any SQL query language, so one needs to use the proprietary API to access it, which is a turn off for many programmers (me included).

Re:I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#268820)

The problem of MySQL is not bad admins, the real problem of MySQL is that it's lacking a lot of very basic features that every other DB out there have. You still can't even make a simple nested SELECT in this thing !

Re:Tech confussion (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#268821)

Maybe because he has a lot of code written for MySQL and PostgreSQL lacks some basic features MySQL has ?

Last time I checked (a few months ago) :
- PostgreSQL doesn't has any AUTO_INCREMENT attribute. You can make external counters and then attach them to a column, but what a complex way of doing something simple
- PostgreSQL use "large object interface" to handle blob columns. It really really sucks, as you can't just put your binary datas into your SQL query and have to deal with complex and proprietary API calls.
- PostgreSQL severly lacks documentation. No one will want to read the source code to know how to write his queries

and so one... so far I've looked myself at migrating from MySQL to PostgreSQL, and came to the conclusion that both are severely crippled, but in very different ways.

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

Caball (58351) | more than 12 years ago | (#268822)

<Tell me (this is a serious question, not a troll): why would any company with an eye to the future lock themselves into a single-vendor, single-operating-system, single-hardware-platform solution? Particularly for enterprise-wide, mission-critical resources. I've never understood the mindset. Really.>

Because those vendors you mention have been and will be around for a while. They are true, tried, and tested (well, maybe not Microsoft on the tested part :)

People know those vendors and they trust them, right or not.

Do you think Miscrosft, Intel, and say Dell are going away in the near future? My money says most of the Linux companies will be gone long before they are... but I'm just a troll.

Forgetting something? (2)

babbage (61057) | more than 12 years ago | (#268826)

The main players in database leader struggle will be Oracle and IBM

<naive> Microsoft & SQL Server? </naive>

I don't really keep up with such things (though I probably should), but does this really mean that "no one" is running SQL Server? I thought it was doing well enough that some naive people -- marketing drones, purchase mismanagers, etc -- see the term "SQL" as being synonymous with the M$ product instead of, oh, say, 'structured query language'.

I'm not even trying to start a flamewar here (though Slashdot is oh so good at that), but I didn't think M$ was a player to be dismissed in this area. Am I wrong?

Re:Oh, I know what I'm talking about (1)

goldenfield (64924) | more than 12 years ago | (#268829)

IBM uses Notes enterprise wide, of course, as does 3M (I've been employed by both). When I left 3M, they were doing some interesting things in Notes like document translation on the fly - and this was in 1997. My sources tell me Accenture is also transitioning to Notes (but don't quote me on that).

Notes has good points and bad. As an email client or PDA software, its not gonna compete. Mostly, I think because it forces a database approach on these decidedly not database type tasks. But I think you'll be hard pressed to find an enterprise wide document revision/archiving system with the same support for Knowledge Management as Lotus.

Re:Short Changed (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 12 years ago | (#268830)

How long have you been saving that joke for? Why didn't you wait longer?!? :)

Sybase... (1)

jonathansen (68749) | more than 12 years ago | (#268831)

It's not just Oracle and IBM in the commercial DB world... Sybase is still a player... at least, I still see lots of job postings for Sybase programmers/DBA's, so it must be doing okay...

Re:Forgetting something? (1)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 12 years ago | (#268833)

I've always liked SQL Server, esp. 7.0. It's one of Microsoft's better products. Unfortunately it's only available on one platform.


Informix, Ascential and OSS (2)

jdfox (74524) | more than 12 years ago | (#268837)

And it appears that the other parts of Informix will be staying around as a seperate biz, so we should continue to see their support for OSS.

Informix Corporation owns Informix Software and Ascential Software. The software assets of Informix Software are being sold to IBM for cash, not shares. The Informix Corporation will be renamed Ascential Software, and will take up where its former second subsidiary left off. Informix Software will disappear into a legal entity on a shelf.

Ascential, formerly known as Ardent, has no history of involvement in Free or Open Source software: they're best known for their Extract-Transform-and-Load tool "DataStage". They also sell a few other software tools. But there will be no OSS support from Ascential. If any GPLing or open-sourcing is to happen with the database products, it will have to come from IBM, and I'm sorry to say that today's announcement tells us nothing new about that.

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (3)

jdfox (74524) | more than 12 years ago | (#268838)

For starters, Informix owns the telecoms market: 8 out of 10 calls placed worldwide transact across an Informix DB.

Second, big chunks of the Time Series Analysis market: several large finance houses including Merrill-Lynch, Morgan-Stanley and Chase use Informix IDS to do speeds and volumes no one else can get near. When you're doing Time Series on trillions of stock ticks per day, that's important.

Third, video: CNN, BBC, RAI, Telecinco and others use IDS and the Video DataBlade for storing video objects in the DB. CNN saves around a million per year by doing real-time ingestion and indexing of video streams, saving them on manual keying of the metadata, and getting video out onto the editors' desktops within 2 seconds.

Fourth, Data Warehousing, esp. in retail: Informix Redbrick is designed for DW, not OLTP, and it shows in the performance. Redbrick also scales to multi-terabyte far more easily than most DBs (including Informix IDS).

Informix has a sizeable, loyal customer base of people that can't get what they need from Oracle or DB2.

IBM will take the IDS/Illustra code and use it to build the next gen of DB2 with improved Object Relational support, plus star-schema support for Data Warehousing, and ride on the revenue of the installed base while they wait for the oven to go "ding". The legacy products like C-ISAM can be maintained at very little expense, giving additional long-term cash cows: it's surprising how much of that is still out there, chuggin' away untended.

Finally, there's headcount: the acquisition will also go roughly halfway toward IBM's recruitment goals for the software business, in which they intend to be one of the 3 serious players in a few years' time.

And no, I no longer work for Informix.

Re:DB/2? (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 12 years ago | (#268839)

Thats the question that I have. This makes no sense. DB/2 has the same distribution that Informix has, are they going to support both? I suppose that DB/2 is more of a mainframe application than Informix is, but I could be fudding that.

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (1)

Nexx (75873) | more than 12 years ago | (#268841)

Oh, yeah, I hate to reply to my own post, but many Informix-using companies who also run them on IBM hardware must be salivating right now, as they can get support and sales from one convenient(?) place.

Re:DB/2? (2)

Nexx (75873) | more than 12 years ago | (#268842)

Previous to this, Informix wasn't exactly what you'd call "cheap". I worked for an all-Informix shop at one point, and they paid through the nose for a then-obsolete Informix 5. Mind you, they had multi-terabyte databases and millions of transactions a day, but still....

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (2)

Nexx (75873) | more than 12 years ago | (#268843)

Customer base? I didn't think Informix had that much of a following.

It may not be worth $1B, but Informix does have a fairly large list of prominent customers.

When I worked for an all-Informix+IBM RS/6k house, we were told that the company did some $BIGNUM%, where $BIGNUM > 40 and $BIGNUM < 100, of all the real estate-based credit reporting in the US. As another poster has said, they also hold Verizon and Deutsche Telekom as clients as well. I don't call that small :-).

I do concur about their support being surreal, though, and some of their DB Servers were extremely flakey, and as for R&D, well, you already said everything I was going to say :-P.

Re:DB/2? (2)

Nexx (75873) | more than 12 years ago | (#268844)

That just comes out to $10,000/customer. If every customer had an annual support program with Informix, and bought additional software licenses from IBM née Informix every year, then the purchase isn't exactly a silly investment, from this point alone.

Re:Oh, I know what I'm talking about (3)

Nexx (75873) | more than 12 years ago | (#268845)

MasterCard International, for one. And yes, MS Outhouse is still better than Lotus Nots.

Re:Oh, I know what I'm talking about (1)

crosstalk (78439) | more than 12 years ago | (#268846)

I for ONE IBM employee do like notes, I think it is a littly klunky for doing email but For other things regarding information sharing and things of that nature I like it very much. Notes also has some features for coding within it that are nice as well especially for gathering information. I do like some of the other options and I only work I notes now. On of the other problems is it tends to chew memory like crazy. One of the other nice things about Notes is that I get to personally laugh at all the viruses affecting Microsoft products when they go around. As far as having to log out it is due to Deamon's still running from Notes. I have been to many company sites that are running notes, and seem to be very happy with it in the way they can link their email systems to their information managment systems.

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

Rexifer (81021) | more than 12 years ago | (#268850)

In answer to your question, my experience has been that the businesses I've contracted with run towards vendors that offer the best bang for the buck. Wintel hardware is cheap, so is MSC contract lacky help. (Of which I'm not, BTW...)

I'm not saying it's right, just that this is the way it is... Platform implementation decisions are usually made by the boys who approve the budget in corporations.

Re:Forgetting something? (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 12 years ago | (#268855)

Yeah, SQL Server is nowhere near as ph33rful as MySQL and PostGres. You keep telling yourself that.

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 12 years ago | (#268856)

Integration is actually one of MSs biggest selling points. Look at it this way:

Oracle offers no "fully integrated solution", and you have to pay through the nose for it. Some would argue this is a good thing, and that's why they've got their niche pretty well cornered. Oracle's claims to reliability are at least as exaggerated as MS's and IBM's.

MS offers an integrated software solution. You get the hardware from junkyards if you want, but you've got to go MS from there on up. Compared to Oracle and IBM, this is by far the cheapest solution. It probably isn't the most reliable, but only time will tell if SQL2k breaks that mold.

IBM offers you a fully integrated solution, or at least that's the one they push hardest for. They want you to run IBM's DB with IBM's Java platform on IBM's OS on IBM's proprietary hardware, and that ain't cheap.

Re:Database Leaders (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 12 years ago | (#268857)

Don't think IBM and Oracle wouldn't have done it in a heartbeat if they were even capable of it, though. Neither of them has been able to achieve this level of integration, no matter what they've done.

IBM can't do it, because no one in their right mind is going to buy IBM's proprietary hardware(remember the 80's?) without a few million to blow. It's incredible how fast people forget.

Oracle can't do it, because they're hoping Linux will provide them with the OS for free. Until Linux stabilizes more, they're still stuck without an OS. Again, it's incredible how fast people forget what it was like when Oracle and Sybase were the only solutions.

Short Changed (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#268858)

They bought Lotus for $6 Billion. That's kind of like buying a yugo for $250,000.

Oh, I know what I'm talking about (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#268859)

Having been subjected to Lotus Notes for the past 6 years, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about. I have yet to meet an IBM employee who likes Notes and I have yet to meet anyone outside IBM who uses it (MCI did for a while before moving to MS Outlook.) The fact that I (A rabid Linux fanatic) would prefer to use Microsoft products over Lotus products should be a damning enough indictment of any company and its software.

Re:I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (1)

ChannelX (89676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268860)

Uh...a database that is more than a few hundred megs is not necessarily considered a very large database. I admin a db that is about 100GB and that isn't very large by today's standards.

Re:Vendors and stuff (1)

ChannelX (89676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268861)

Sybase has an extremely small marketshare and Sybase is just now coming up to the abilities of Oracle and DB2. Same for Microsoft. Both databases, while good, are still not up to what Oracle and DB2 can handle.

Re:Vendors and stuff (1)

ChannelX (89676) | more than 12 years ago | (#268862)

Oh. Almost forgot. Putting Interbase in the same category as Access is also not appropriate. Interbase and SQL Anywhere both are far better engines than Access or even MySQL.

Re:Oh, I know what I'm talking about (1)

benwb (96829) | more than 12 years ago | (#268865)

Phillips (the netherlands equivelant to GE) rolled notes out to all of its divisions a couple years ago. As of 1999 there were 14 million notes users. Even if this has dwindled, there are still a significant number of people using it. It is a crap product though.

Re:Vendors and stuff (1)

radish (98371) | more than 12 years ago | (#268866)

I'm no fan of Sybase (as a product that is), but they have some key clients. Primarily, they basically own the major banks - the majority of large Wall St institutions have historically used Sybase. This is changing now (slowly) with DB2 coming in well. Oracle is usually shunned, although as a non-dba I don't know why that is.

Re:Tech confussion (mostly yours, I think) (1)

Peter Harris (98662) | more than 12 years ago | (#268867)

Er, what *have* you been smoking?

The documentation for PostgreSQL is plentiful and clearly written.

Your point about blobs may be valid - I haven't used them yet - but AUTO_INCREMENT is just a dirty hack because MySQL can't do subselects, and therefore wouldn't be able to make much use of a PostgreSQL-style sequence anyway.

When you find the documentation (clue: it's on the web-site!), try making a list for your own amusement of features that MySQL has and PostgreSQL lacks, *and vice versa*.

I'm sorry, just feeling combative today.

Re:Free DB's are getting mainstream (1)

cribeiro (105971) | more than 12 years ago | (#268871)

I think that's fine. MySQL is a nice software, but it obviously can't scale as far as Oracle can. It allows for a pretty cheap entry point (free or almost free). When you reach the point where you really need Oracle to keep running, believe me, buying an Oracle license is not going to be your biggest problem...

Re:DB/2? (1)

supersnail (106701) | more than 12 years ago | (#268872)

On UNIX & NT DB2 UDB is actually preetty cheap.

On linux it's free (as in beer.).

They are probably just after the Informix cutomer base, plus, there very nifty datawarehousing extensions.

Plus the cheapest way to recruit staff is to buy a company.

Re:Vendors and stuff (1)

supersnail (106701) | more than 12 years ago | (#268873)

While sybase are a very viable database vendor, MS really just arent.

Being stuck with NT as the only platform, and, a general corporate lack of trust are disadvantages that I don't think MS will ever overcome.

Incidentaly if you want to see how big databases can get and what they are running on check out :-- http://www.wintercorp.com/VLDB/2000_VLDB_Survey/wi nners/

Its a little self selecting and as your probably unfamiliar with the products "CA" usually mean "Computer Associates IDMS" and especially in the "transactional" category "IBM" usually means the ancient but high performing IMS/DB rather than DB2.

Sybase = Financial Sector (1)

Desario (110867) | more than 12 years ago | (#268876)

Sybase is very prominent, in fact dominant, in the financial sector, and is certainly no less a player than Informix or Oracle.

Re:Heh! One of these things is not like the other. (1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#268877)

The_Messenger: Since we aren't poor, let's use a real database, such as Oracle, SQL Server, or DB2. MySQL is severely lacking in features and standards-conformace. PostgreSQL is less lacking, but is also slower than Taco.


Re:Oh, I know what I'm talking about (1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#268878)

"My sources tell me Accenture is also transitioning to Notes." -- Fitzgerald Steele, Jr., 24 April 2001


Re:Two words - Red Brick (1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#268879)

IBM wanted Red Brick and the only way to get it was to buy the rest of the Informix database business.
I have a Brown Brick that IBM may also be interested in purchasing. It is composed of the same material as Informix products... crap!


Re:I don't think IBM is worried about MySQL (2)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#268880)

You still can't even make a simple nested SELECT in this thing !
That's because MySQL isn't even suggestably conformant to SQL92, which is a necessity for a real database. MySQL also lacks: transactions, rollback, stored procedures, external keys, views... shall I go on? MySQL is fine for setting a toy personal website (i.e. Slashdot) but isn't even an option for business use. I would think it's an embarrassment for the OSS community that their flagship DB is so incomplete.

Its only grace is that the little it does, it does fairly fast.

OSS has proven the old tenet that "you get what you pay for". Which is buy business users pay for Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server. (Well, that and the cool schwag the marketing people bring. "Well Oracle brought me a travel mug, but Microsoft brought this cool bomber jacket! I'm going to make a business decision** and go with SQL Server."

** "Business decision" is dronespeak for "random yet biased stupidity".


Just Desserts (2)

john@iastate.edu (113202) | more than 12 years ago | (#268885)

IBM deserves any and all DB misfortune (including pissing away a billion dollars) for the crime of destroying the far superior QUEL query language from Ingres with 'the EBCDIC of query languages', SQL!

Re:Short Changed (1)

mrdisco99 (113602) | more than 12 years ago | (#268887)

We use Notes here at CharBroil, and are glad we do every time we hear about yet another Outlook virus on the loose.

One great thing about Notes is that you can platform the Domino server on just about anything. What can you Outlook users do when you get tired of running Exchange on NT?


TPC? (1)

Otis_INF (130595) | more than 12 years ago | (#268894)

Erm... how much scalability do you want? -> www.tpc.org. It not only wins every price/performance spot, it also has the top spot in overall performance. That's is not even the biggest news. Their PREVIOUS record was done with using half of the machines they used in the winning setup. They scored almost the half of the current record. So add twice as much machines, get twice as much performance. If that's not scalability, then what is?

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 12 years ago | (#268897)

Got to be the customer base. A few big clients paying maintainence fees will make back an awful lot of that $1B, especially if they, eg., fire everybody at Informix who isn't obviously necessary. This can make a nice business model, just ask CA, the vulture of the IT world.

They have the inside track to move those customers to DB/2 later, and eventually throw the carcass of Informix code to OSS. Win, win, win.

Open Source vs Commercial (2)

BMazurek (137285) | more than 12 years ago | (#268898)

That's in the commericial space - obviously SleepyCat, PostGres and MySQL and others aren't going away.

Ummmm....Sleepycat is a commercial embedded database. Sure, it's Open Source, but it's still commercial. The two adjectives "Open Source" and "Commercial" are not mutually exclusive.

Open Source Informix? (1)

HerrGlock (141750) | more than 12 years ago | (#268900)

IBM has been into the open source idea for a while now, if only to annoy MS. DB2 is IBM's baby so why are they going after something they already have?

Wishful thinking maybe, but could an open source informix be in the works to put onto their S/390, now z/whatever servers and go after certain other players in the DB field that are not even vaguely threatened by the open source movement.

It's an idea.

Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]

Re:Forgetting something? (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 12 years ago | (#268911)

MS Sql Server is nothing more than Sybase with a GUI that is limited to the Intel platform and Windows OS. Most corporations will not store their huge data stores on a desktop OS and limited hardware....(Any more than they will convert all off their desktop users to Linux.) DB2 is an awesome mainframe RDBMS because of the hardware it runs on. Oracle is great because it will perform on all the industrial strength *nix hardware platforms. Oracle or DB2 on Intel And/Or Windows becomes just another underpowered toy like SQL Server. Much like how the fancy sports/race cars look really good on the outside -- but they also have to back it up under the hood.

Re:Heh! One of these things is not like the other. (2)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 12 years ago | (#268913)

MySQL also offers transaction support using two other table types (with their associated back-ends)...Gemini (from NuSphere i think...might be wrong), and InnoDB from Innobase. I've been playing around with the InnoDB tables in the last few days with MySQL 3.23.37 and they seem to support transactions nicely. InnoDB tables also support row level locking, so MySQL shoudn't slow down as much under a heavy insert load.

Re:DB/2? (2)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 12 years ago | (#268914)

DB/2 is very expensive, on par if not more pricy then Oracle

DB2 is actually a fair bit cheaper than Oracle, especially when you start running it on fast SMP machines. Oracle charges you based on the number of CPUs in your server, multiplied by the CPU speed in MHz, multiplied by a $ amount. You also pay an additional premium if your CPUs are RISC, rather than plain-jane Intel.

DB2 is priced on a flat per-CPU basis, irrespective of CPU speed. Basically you're penalised for running Oracle on fast CPUs, whereas with DB2 you aren't. Run Oracle on newer high MHz CPUs (like an Alpha, UltraSPARC III or PIII-Xeon) and your wallet starts to bleed pretty badly.

Seen it coming (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 12 years ago | (#268916)

Since approx. 3 years IBM is really pushing for market leadership in the relational db-market.

By buying Informix (the other candidate being Sybase) IBM gets access to a significant amount of enterprise database customers and that was obviously worth a bundle and then some to them.

What I couldn't figure out yet, is why anybody spends a ton of Money on database licenses, when Postgresql provides a very viable alternative.

Re:Sybase... (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 12 years ago | (#268917)

Yep, although they lost quite some market share due to management stupidity.

Also what seems to have gone forgotten is that the MS SQL Server database engine is essentially based on Sybase...

Re:Linux is still a part of IBM culture (1)

Tirs (195467) | more than 12 years ago | (#268924)

From my very personal experience: yes, IBM is spending fat bucks with Linux, more than people out there can see. Does this mean we will see Informix for Linux supported by IBM? Maybe... but personally, I think that IBM will kill Informix, tear the pieces apart, and use them to improve their own database product: DB2. Opinions about it, please? About Micro$oft SQL Server: Does anybody use it? Here in my country it is not very known. Don't misunderstand me: it IS known and used, but it is not the market leader (not even the second).

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (1)

CraigoFL (201165) | more than 12 years ago | (#268925)

They're buying one of their few remaining competitors. Who's left in the high-end DB market now? Oracle obviously, Microsoft and Sybase maybe. Beyond that?

The DB market just shrunk slightly today. IBM might be pulling a Microsoft here -- buy out your competition.

Re:Tech confussion (1)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 12 years ago | (#268931)

Agreed. I use MySQL everyday in lieu of Oracle. I am really tired of the Real Soon Now status of MySQL. Coding subselects in Perl is no fun and not having commit and rollback in a usable state sucks. But I'd like to see Oracle run so fast on so little.

Re:Forgetting something? (1)

jfk3 (215200) | more than 12 years ago | (#268932)

Yes, you're wrong. SQL Server is a toy. If you don't "keep up with such things"... ...nevermind I'll spare the flame.

Free DB's are getting mainstream (1)

Arethan (223197) | more than 12 years ago | (#268940)

Apparently MySQL, PostgreSQL and SleepyCat aren't exactly out of the running for comercial applications either. This article [mysql.com] from the MySQL homepage tells of Oracle's creation of a migration kit for "upgrading" from MySQL to Oracle. At least one of the big few are starting to recognize that not everyone starts out using thousand dollar software.

Re:Free DB's are getting mainstream (1)

Arethan (223197) | more than 12 years ago | (#268941)

Oh exactly, that's what I meant to point out. When you're creating your application, you need to think long term, but keep your budget in mind. A migration app from MySQL to Oracle lets you start out with a high performance (and best of all FREE) database, and then you can migrate to Oracle at a later date when the need becomes more obvious.

Then again, some applications are better off just staying on a free database. NASA for instance, no longer uses Oracle. They are now using MySQL instead just because of the huge amounts of licensing fees that they can now divert to other areas, while still keeping their databases very fast and useful.

Re:DB/2? (1)

MidnightLog (225857) | more than 12 years ago | (#268943)

My guess is that IBM is really after Informix's customers. Sure they'll support the Informix software for a while (probably quite a while - IBM is good that way). They'll also pull some ideas out of Informix and add them to DB2. But I think the main goal is to make those customers IBM customers. A nice side effect of this for IBM is those customers won't turn to Oracle.

SQL Server 2000 (1)

pxld (244458) | more than 12 years ago | (#268950)

Why wouldn't you consider Microsoft to be a player in the high-end database space? I think that over the next 5 or so years we will see SQL Server being used in places traditionally reserved for Oracle or DB2.

Here come the Object databases (1)

dodson (248550) | more than 12 years ago | (#268953)

Will this consolidation open the door for object or object/relational databases.

It would seem as choices narrow in relational databases it might be easier to sell alternative technologies.

We use Intersystems Cache, it is an object relational database.

IBM and Oracle products are hardware scalable. This could also open up the door for smaller less feature rich, but nimbler, databases in the mid to low end of the markey.

Actually (1)

UberLame (249268) | more than 12 years ago | (#268954)

Before this aquisition, the main players were Oracle and IBM (think DB2). I'm not sure why this aquisition was thought nescesary.

To those who say what about MS SQL, well... MS SQL is easy to use. It main threat is that it is easy to use and cheap to get so people keep trying to use it in places that Oracle should be used. MS in turn tries to accomodate these people, so while MS SQL isn' too much of a threat yet, it each new version moves it further up the scale of what it can do. I'd say at least two more versions are needed before it will really be ready for a direct assult on Oracle or DB2.

Re:Database Leaders (1)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 12 years ago | (#268958)

They are making sqlserver a require part of all thier applications and .NET. While you can do some stuff with other databases, microsoft had demostrated features with office and other products that will not work without sqlserver

If Microsoft binds the operation of their desktop this intimately to their servers, IBM and Oracle will be pounding on the Attorney General's door the very next morning. This is an anti-competetive, exclusionary tying tactic similar to what got their collective corporate ass in hot water in the first place. Not that I don't think they'd try to do something like this....

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

tb3 (313150) | more than 12 years ago | (#268961)

SQL Server is a pretty good DBMS although there are questions about its scalability. The major problem is that it only runs on Windows NT, and there are major questions about its scalability. There seems to be a concensus that Win NT Server (4.0, 2000, etc) do not scale as well as Unix, Solaris, etc, which cripples the scalability of the DBMS.

what happens to cloudscape? (1)

m00nshyn3 (314525) | more than 12 years ago | (#268962)

does cloudscape go to IBM as well? i have not played with it much, but on the surface it seems to be a good product. hopefully it will go somewhere with IBM's interest in java.

Re:What exactly is IBM buying? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#268964)


As another poster has said, they also hold Verizon and Deutsche Telekom as clients as well. I don't call that small :-).

Now I know why Verizon is so terrible! Talk about telecommunications nightmares!

Re:SQL Server 2000 (3)

Hilary Rosen (415151) | more than 12 years ago | (#268965)

You answered your own question. MS isn't a player in the high-end database space. It will be.

Not to troll, or start a flamewar or anything, but MSSQL 2000 (== MSSQL 8.0 == MSSQL 7.5) is a pretty good DBMS. I haven't seen anything to touch it on a MS platform. The cynical [slashdot.org] might say that the MSSQL releases right after they hire a bunch of talent from the competition are always the best. This release appears to follow that rule.

Re:SQL Server 2000 (1)

newtrip (445158) | more than 12 years ago | (#268967)

Because it runs only on WinNT/2k servers and they, in turn, run only on Intel-based hardware?
That's not entirely true. They do run on more than just X86 hardware. I believe Alpha is supported...
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