New Features for Data Warehouse, Sensor Data, Cloud Computing,
Administration and Application Development
Powerful and simple have always been watchwords for the IBM Informix database server and version 12.10 continues in that vein with enhancements to five key feature areas.
As well as updated platform support, there are also other new server features to improve SQL compatibility and boost performance:
New features in the Informix Warehouse Accelerator create a real time, in memory data warehouse capability. An updated administration interface means that the accelerator is even easier to configure and manage on a daily basis by using the new automatic partition refresh and trickle feed features. Informix has never been faster, simpler to use or more consistent in its performance.
The Informix server has also been enhanced to provide powerful OLAP features, often used by Business Intelligence tools such as IBM Cognos products, to simplify and speed up complex queries that have to work across very large sets of data.
The ability to store and analyze high volumes of structured data is key to handling the current explosion of information from monitoring devices and Smart Meters. The unique capabilities of Informix spatial and TimeSeries data types make it a simple task to store and process this data avalanche. New enhancements built in to 12.10 make these data types even more powerful than before.
There is now a transparent view of time series data through Informix Warehouse Accelerator marrying two Informix technologies into a very powerful data search and analysis engine. Management of time series data is now much simpler and faster with the capability to define active and dormant time ranges for the storage containers.
There are also several enhancements to the Virtual Table Interface and a new Loader API to make access to time series data even faster than before.
Spatial data support has been enhanced to include new features that come with the latest ESRI 10.1 library.
New features in the Informix Flexible Grid environment make the configuration and management of sharded data within complex replication environments even simpler than before by introducing the powerful concept of regions and the easy configuration of spoke and hub systems.
Monitoring of replication queues has been enhanced to take account of their asynchronous nature and there are performance enhancements to allow for the replication of lightappend operations.
The Connection Manager and internal server support for failover can now prioritize different networks within an application and database environment to maintain the highest level of service. This can also include keeping a Shared Disk Secondary cluster running while there is a network outage.
Autonomic capabilities have been extended with the ability to automatically compress data and compression now supports more database objects, which lowers the storage space requirements. Dynamic configuration for more server parameters allows for automatic tuning and self healing, including the ability to manage parameters in groups using an export and import interface.
Rolling window definitions for fragmented tables boost performance and can be controlled automatically for simple administration.
As well as boasting a new dashboard, the IBM OpenAdmin Tool for Informix continues to be developed to monitor and control many of the new Informix 12.10 features mentioned above, such as replication grids and Informix Warehouse Accelerator data marts. There is now a mobile app for DBAs on the move, allowing them to monitor the health and performance of all their database server systems.
The old Informix Storage Manager has been replaced with a new Primary Storage Manager to make the process of backing up the server simpler and faster.
Application Development Support
It is easier to build applications in general, and database neutral ones in particular, with the addition of several new SQL language elements. As well as the OLAP functions mentioned above there are new UNION operators, extensions for compatibility with other database servers (including Informix Parallel Server) and new aggregate capabilities.
Improvements to Informix Genero speed up the development process with powerful new templates for the Business Application Modeling tool.
The Eclipse based loader tool for time series data now makes it easier to create load jobs, and has a simple command option for use in minimal production environments.
As always, there are a number of internal enhancements to the Informix server that improve cross platform support and provide notable performance increases. Examples of performance enhancements include the following: ANSI style outer join queries can now be better optimized by utilizing hash joins and support for compression of data in the server has been extended to include indexes and simple large objects, which reduces I/O time.
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