Looking to demonstrate its commitment to the Informix user base, IBM Corp. has made a series of enhancements to the product line that it acquired 11 months ago and said it has more upgrades on the way.
The biggest step taken by IBM thus far has been the release of Version 9.3 of IDS last autumn, with new features such as a bundled set of database administration tools. At the same time, it announced a tool that lets IDS 9.3 share data with IBM's own DB2 databases. That was followed in November by the release of a so-called gold bundle that includes both DB2 and IDS.
Without disclosing details, IBM said that it plans to release later this year enhanced versions of Informix's Red Brick data warehouse software and XPS parallel database.
But Colleen Graham, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., said she views IBM's current approach as a short-term strategy. "While IBM claims they will continue to support customers on the Informix products, they have also made it clear that DB2 is their flagship product, and they want customers to migrate to DB2," she said.
An IBM spokeswoman acknowledged that the company "is leading with DB2." But, she said, it plans to enhance individual Informix products every 18 months to meet the needs of users who don't want to switch databases. "Customers are not going to be forced to migrate to DB2," she said.
The message that Informix database development will continue for the foreseeable future was also delivered by Tom Rosamilia, IBM's vice president of worldwide data management development, in a speech at the International DB2 Users Group conference last month.