Why or why not? / Prquê ou porque não?

This article is written in English and Portuguese
Este artigo está escrito em Inglês e Português

English Version:

The Internet is a wonderful thing… You get to find all sorts of things and it’s easy to spread your word, specially since the creation of the so called social networks… On a recent search on twitter I found a very interesting question from “SQLMountain / Michael Sexton”. The question was:

“Why o why do vendors still use Informix?!? Looking at u #cisco”

After digging a bit I’ve learned that the author is a database architect with 12 years of experience. And apparently he works mainly with SQL Server. So I think that the apparent surprise is perfectly understandable in that context… But on the other hand, again by searching the net, I could find some answers to that question. In particular:

So, I’d say that the question is not properly formulated. It’s not why “still”. The chronology above shows an increasing, and not decreasing trend.
So I then tried to reverse the question: Why would you not use Informix? And here are some possible reasons (I’m obviously playing devil’s advocate here) together with some thoughts:

  • It’s not stable
    But it is, and customers keep telling me that, and showing me their uptimes to prove it
  • It’s too complex
    But it isn’t… Many Informix shops don’t have a classic DBA (full time job of a specialized person). Usually the person taking care of Informix is a “many hats” kind of person
  • It lacks functionality
    I’m always wanting more… But the ones I wish for are usually not widely used in competitor products. And it has first class features like the high availability, the replication (ER), the extensibility
  • It’s slow
    It isn’t… I know that from personal experience, but that’s what customers tell me also. It works well with less hardware than other competitors
  • The support is not good
    Err… though point, because I work for IBM. But because I work for IBM and because I have the privilege to work in customer environments that include many other (non-IBM) products, I know that Informix tech support is one of the best (if not the best) technical supports I’ve worked with or I’ve heard of. Yes, I may not be a trustworthy source of information from the readers point of view… But just recently I’ve heard the same comment from two people that don’t even know each other, both talking about one of Informix’s major competitors: “the first five interactions with ? technical support look like program ELIZA interactions”. At the time I did not know what program ELIZA was. The incredible part of this story is that those two persons told be exactly the same within a couple of weeks.
  • It’s expensive
    Well… this one is hard to discuss. The price lists are not really the price customers pay. But Informix has a wide variety of editions that range from free to everything (except compression) included. Some competitors charge extra for features even in the most expensive edition. And have lower limits (memory, processor, data size) on the free versions (which sometimes are not up to date with the current product versions, while IBM keeps the free versions on the same fixpack levels as the payed versions)
  • It lacks interoperability with other products
    Not really although this is a widespread idea. It has the usua…

Auteur : noreply@blogger.com (Fernando Nunes)

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