I did my first steps in the IT world during the early eighties, on BULL GCOS systems, making part of the so-called « mini-computers » family. I quickly moved to the Hewlett Packard 250 universe, whose very innovative operating system embedded the « IMAGE » hierarchical database system jointly with the very powerful Business Basic interpreted language, that allowed to develop multi-user business management applications. At this time, each user had a RAM partition of maximum 64 Kilobytes, and the big disk drives contained up to 40 Megabytes.
Despite those limitations, one could build applications supporting tens of users, and hearing complaints about those tiny resources was not a common thing. This period has been for me a very efficient school, that taught me to consider optimization and system resource savings in the primary objectives for a project.
I got started with the Informix Technology in 1986, when I was looking for a sufficiently robust, performing but also sustainable development system, so that I could migrate a LIMS ( Laboratory Integrated Management System ) application for Quality Management that I had developped on HP 250. It must be said that, at this time, the market offer for development systems was really broad, and making the right choice was not an easy thing. But I definately was feeling at ease with the Informix-4GL language, and I liked a lot the still baby concept of RDBMS. This was Informix-4GL 1.00, where the langage and the database engine were merged into the same product. By the way, this LIMS application is still in production at the time being.
In 1990, as a Hewlett Packard Medical Division software Partner, I managed the design and development of an application for a hospital, sitting on HP 9000/hp-ux. This innovating medical document workflow and archiving application, based on Informix OnLine 4.0 RBDMS, Informix-4GL 4.0 and Uniplex as Word Processor, Spreadsheet and a remarkable Report Generator, received a large user adoption. An important share of this application has recently been migrated to a brand new Linux x86_64 platform, driven by IBM Informix Innovator-C Edition, using the bullet-proof High Availability Data Replication known as HDR.
In 1991, I « joined the Informix Order» as a technical support engineer, employee in the french sub of Informix Software. Confirming my passion for the Informix-4GL technology as well as Informix-OnLine, I could during several years ensure offsite and onsite technical support, training on engines and languages, but also integrate Informix Premium customers development and production teams. having in mind experience and knowlege transfer in addition to regular production systems admin and development mentoring. Those customers included Ministries, National and Regional Public Administrations, retail, industry, Telco and a large number of Small to Medium private companies as direct channel Informix customers. At this time, i co-authored, with the priceless help of a great friend of mine, the « Advanced Informix-4GL programming » training guide, in French, which has been revisited later by the Corporate Training Department in Menlo Park.
This experience took me to move to Informix Portugal in 1996, where I had the opportunity to execute the same kind of tasks in Premium projects such as Insurance and Mobile Phone industries companies. The size of the implemented infrastructures lead me to develop and deploy monitoring and performance measuring processes ( and also have a lot of fun developping them!)
Partnering with an excellent local Software House, we conducted a retro-engineering / application re-writing project of about 4.000.000 lines of Informix-4GL, which took us to design an Informix-4GL parser. I got aware a few years later, that this parser was part of the « initial seeds » of the Aubit-4GL project. After a couple of years of fulltime onsite support for the biggest Portuguese mobile phone operator, the Informix Dynamic Server 7.X and 9.X instances I had in charge were working too smoothly, and this got me a little bored. An ex-Informix guy convinced me to take a new technical challenge by moving to a (the biggest) CRM Editor at this time.
After several years acting as a Technical Account Manager in that company, which also gave me the opportunity to retro-actively understand the real quality of Informix Dynamic Scalable Architecture, and also after my return to France, my Informix virus, sleeping during these few years, all of a sudden got back to surface and lead me to thoroughly involve myself again into the IBM Informix Technology.
My name is Eric Vercelletto, you can reach me anytime thru the contact form. I really hope I will manage to share my passion for Informix with you, may this blog bring you the help you are looking for.