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IBM Informix OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Informix is #8 ranked solution in top Relational Databases. IT Central Station users give IBM Informix an average rating of 10 out of 10. IBM Informix is most commonly compared to SQL Server:IBM Informix vs SQL Server. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 31% of all views.
What is IBM Informix?
Informix is one of the most widely used database servers offering high levels of performance and availability, distinctive capabilities, & minimal overhead.

IBM Informix was previously known as Informix.

IBM Informix Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Informix Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM Informix Customers
Shaspa, Hildebrand, Kaifa, Ranhill Powertron, Federaci‹ Farmacutica (FedeFarma), Camden Council, The German Aerospace Center (DLR), Myers, Votorantim Group, Doosan Infracore, GreenIvory
IBM Informix Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM Informix pricing:
  • "The free edition can be enough to handle moderate-size implementations, but you may want a pay for edition to benefit from more functionality, such as replication."
  • "I am not aware of the licensing costs or terms."

IBM Informix Reviews

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ERIC VERCELLETTO
General Manager and Architect - Informix Expertise at Begooden-IT Consulting
Real User
Top 10
Many embedded functionalities of the engine allow for significant savings on complex developments and maintenance

Pros and Cons

  • "For IoT business cases, having Informix Enterprise Edition work on edge computers, like Raspberry Pi and using Informix replication, makes complex situations simple to build and maintain."
  • "Continue extending the SQL language for compatibility with the competition's language, including Stored Procedure Language."

What is our primary use case?

I have assisted a wide range of customers in strategic and/or critical applications, such as:

  • Health Care: Informix is at the epicenter of all the biggest private hospital consortia in Belgium, concentrating critical and real-time data.
  • Laboratories: Informix is the center of several environment control quality software.
  • Telco: Informix handles the biggest Mobile operator in Southern Europe.
  • Insurance: Several companies in Europe and India. 
  • Banking: Informix as a central platform for a number of medium-size banks in Europe and Africa.
  • Real-time industry: Informix manages data for big battery plants in France. 
  • Government: Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice. 

Most of these customers were running on Unix based installations, like AIX, Solaris, HPE, and Linux.

How has it helped my organization?

  1. Whenever a DBMS is the central piece of an application, Informix provides a very high rate of reliability. E.g., some customers show Informix uptime of 10 years.
  2. The flexibility of its replication architecture allows for achieving easy high availability + DRP + enterprise type replication. 
  3. Its hybrid data model allow for concurrent handling of structured data (SQL), custom data types and handling methods, unstructured data (NoSQL), and soon graph data.
  4. The very low level of DBA staffing necessary to handle many instances. Some customers handles tens of thousands of Informix instances with barely more than two handfuls of DBAs.
  5. For any customer involved in IoT, Informix is just the best solution from edge to central servers. Informix Entreprise works great on edge devices as well as central servers, including massively parallel architecture and in-memory OLAP. DataBlades, like TimeSeries, are the best ever way to implement any application based on time based data in a very massive way.

What is most valuable?

  • Very flexible with extended replication architecture. It has great responses to complex requirements, implemented easily, and is easy to maintain.
  • Easily scalable, vertically and horizontally 
  • Hybrid data: Does SQL and NoSQL in the same queries, providing simple answers to complex scenarios
  • Onboard DataBlades like TimeSeries, Spatial, node, etc.
  • Warehouse Accelerator easily plugs into OLTP instances and deals with OLAP queries with extreme performance (query response times divided up to 700).
  • For IoT business cases, having Informix Enterprise Edition work on edge computers, like Raspberry Pi and using Informix replication, makes complex situations simple to build and maintain. 

What needs improvement?

  • Continue extending the SQL language for compatibility with the competition's language, including Stored Procedure Language.
  • Be more active in the open source community.
  • Regain occupation of VAR and BP fields.
  • Regain occupation in software makers.
  • The product needs a lot more marketing involvement from IBM. Some customers simply believe that Informix does not exist anymore due to the heavy silence of IBM Salesforce.

For how long have I used the solution?

34 years as an end user, developer, and solution architect.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Many customers that I have met or talked to report uptimes of five or six years. Our identified record is no downtime over 10 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Informix was one of the very first DBMS implementing a real multithreaded architecture in early 1990s. This architecture is now bulletproof and continues enhancing at every release.

Informix scales great vertically (on the same machine) and horizontally (on other machines). The query sharding technology, although implemented a few years ago, was developed on Informix in the early 2000s on a data warehouse specific Informix product.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is generally very efficient. I have never had a bad experience with the tech support. Sometimes, the delays seem a bit long, but they respect deadlines.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

After having developed on hierarchical DBMSs (HPE images + Visual Basic) for a number of years, I wanted to replace this wonderful but dying platform with a more modern one. I had requirements on DBMS functionality and language possibilities. This is when I starting looking at emerging platforms (the 1980s).

How was the initial setup?

Once the DBAs are correctly trained on the product, setup is generally trouble-free. People attending the IBM training on Informix quickly become very knowledgeable on the product.

Informix is very powerful. It renders high levels of performance with amazingly low level of hardware resource consumption. In many cases, for moderate-size implementations, the low level editions are enough to handle the workload, taking care of which functionality or limitation is offered by every edition.

What about the implementation team?

To implement in-house, I highly recommend a good training on the product with IBM or another company based in the US. Generally companies who know Informix are passionate about that product with deep knowledge and experience on it.

What was our ROI?

I do not have figures for my company since we work with final customers. Nevertheless, a number of customers had comparative studies with the direct competition and decided immediately to stay with Informix. Although these figures were confidential, they explained that the DBA staffing figures left no chance to any competitor, the costs of instability were insignificant, and the product does not have high levels of hardware requirement. Also, many embedded functionalities of the engine allow for significant savings on complex developments and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The free edition can be enough to handle moderate-size implementations, but you may want a pay for edition to benefit from more functionality, such as replication.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I tested: 

  • Windows based systems, such as FoxBase, but they were too limited.
  • Oracle and PL/SQL were too expensive for my budget, extremely complex to implement, and had very limited development possibilities.

With Informix + Informix-4GL, I found exactly what I wanted for my projects.

Some customers have decided to leave Informix and sourly regretted this decision after the first severe issues appeared. Many of them came back to Informix.

What other advice do I have?

Take a real look at Informix before making any choice. The competition may look appetizing but unsuspecting issues will probably occur after making the wrong choice, such as unbudgeted increases of your DBA team, decrease of reliability, and increase of complexity to implement similar solutions.

In terms of functionality, not a lot is needed. The product has a lot of very good, useful functionality.

Not looking at Informix would really mean a shot in your own leg before walking a long distance. This reflects my opinion and the vast majority of my customers'.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BT
Head of Department at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Quite stable and flexible but not very innovative

Pros and Cons

  • "So far, we do not have a lot of issues. It's pretty problem-free."
  • "The solution really doesn't add new features very often."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to store some customer information in our database. Basically, this customer information will be used by all the applications that are in our company.

What is most valuable?

The solution is quite stable and reliable. We use it mainly due to its general stable nature.

There's a lot of flexibility for us to create a DB schema. 

They provide some replication for us - XDR, or something like that.  

So far, we do not have a lot of issues. It's pretty problem-free. 

What needs improvement?

The solution really doesn't add new features very often. Other solutions are much more actively pushing out upgrades and improvements. Informix just isn't extremely innovative.

Something we are looking for is, for example, data reduction. We want to do masking and it doesn't give a lot of flexibility. Oracle already has something to support us and can set out a policy for the data reduction and then you just simply set up and then you can use it without any writing of functions - plus, it's easier to do masking.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for more than 20 years at this point. It's been two decades. I've used it for quite a long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the solution to be pretty stable. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales well. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so without too much difficulty.

How are customer service and technical support?

We do have a support contract with this vendor. 

From the marketing you get, IBM seems to really push that you get more from them than Oracle. They've been aggressive in selling their product to us. Oracle hasn't been as aggressive. They seldom come to us or approach us. Typically, it's our company that goes to Oracle.

IBM is much more aggressive in selling their product as opposed to Oracle. They're always checking in.

How was the initial setup?

Our team wasn't directly involved in the installation process. Therefore, it would be difficult to comment on how complex or straightforward it is.

We instructed a team to set up a database, a blank database, and then we created a schema and all of these kinds of things. While the server installation was handled by another team, the creation of the database is done by us.

What about the implementation team?

We had another team set up the solution for us.

We are professional services providers. Basically, we review some applications on the Informix DB, and then the application, and we will roll out to production. We have another team to support the second level of support. The first level of support would come from the help desk.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have a corporate license with IBM. We also have a global account. We have a contract of a few years with them. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're currently looking at Oracle as an option to replace this solution.

With IBM, we're finding there aren't a lot of new features coming out. Oracle, in contrast, always seems to have something new. 

In terms of data security, we see some improvement in Oracle, however, we don't see a lot of new things coming from Informix. While both have data replication, in terms of bi-directional replication, both vendors are still not that good, especially when there's a very huge volume of data replication. Right now, we have to use a third-party data replication by SharePlex.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the latest version of the solution in our organization.

I was in the company for almost 20 years. Initially, we had quite a lot of databases. Basically, most of our big database was using Informix. And then, 10 years ago, we started the first migration to Oracle due to the licensing costs. On the first attempt, we changed to Oracle due to the fact that we got a very good deal from Oracle. Then, we moved one of the applications to Oracle. This year, the company direction is to go completely over to Oracle. That said, we still have one application, which until today we still use Informix for. That's why there's the intent to also migrate to Oracle, so that our company will focus on Oracle only, instead of multiple kinds of application databases.

I look at the current market trends. It seems like IBM Informix is a little bit behind compared to other big vendors like Oracle. Competitors invest a lot in new features, such as in-memory and those kinds of things. We don't see a lot from Informix. 

In general, I would rate the solution at a six out of ten. It's an okay solution, however, if a company is looking for something more innovative, there are other options on the market.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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Learn what your peers think about IBM Informix. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,676 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Denis Bandeira
Database Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very stable with good features and good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is pretty easy."
  • "The pricing is a bit expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Informix in Brazil for mapping two company emails. We are using it here in Rio De Janeiro and also in Sierra. The main system of Informix in Rio is the commercial system and is very important to the company. The technical system using Informix is in Sierra. However, in Rio, it is now more important as the commercial system is being used by the call center which is using the Informix database.

What is most valuable?

There are many great features within the solution. For myself, from what I have witnessed, there isn't just one valuable feature.

I'm overall quite satisfied with this solution. I have 20 years with Informix. I like everything about it.

The initial setup is pretty easy.

The stability is very, very good.

The scalability of the solution is great.

What needs improvement?

What they're saying today is that IBM did not do the right thing with the old database of Informix. 

We need more marketing solutions for Informix as the marketing for Informix is very low here in Rio. They need to push it out more, to give it more visibility. In comparison, for example, Oracle is everywhere. They market everywhere. They are very visible.

The solution should offer replication.

It would be helpful if the solution would allow us to access third-party tools. Oracle, for example, has that capability.

The pricing is a bit expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years or so. It's been about two decades. I've used it for a very long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We don't have any problems with the Informix Database. We haven't had any problems with the stability for 20 years. There are no bugs or glitches. It's extremely reliable. It's a very good database.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is very good. It's not a problem to scale the solution if you need to.

In Rio we have about 1,900 users on the system, the commercial system. In Sierra, we have about 500 users using the Informix database. They are basic users that are not developer.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only used technical support a few times. It's been very little in terms of interaction. I can't really speak to how they are with so little experience. 

That said, from my few interactions, I've been satisfied with them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The company decided to not use Informix for the new system. The new system we'll be using is Oracle or Paradox. We'll not be using Informix anymore in the near future. It's a decision from management and not necessarily my own.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's pretty straightforward. A company shouldn't have too much trouble with the implementation.

The last database we deployed was 20 years ago. We never deploy the new database with Informix. I can't recall how long the deployment took, as so much time has passed.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is a little high, however, Oracle, for example, is a bit higher still.

What other advice do I have?

We're an end-user and customer.

While I would recommend Informix, today it is so difficult due to the market and the price. It's difficult to convince people to use Informix due to this. If the price was less than Oracle, it's likely people will use it more.

On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate it at an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Hermann Jimenez Franco
DBA Informix at Independent
Real User
Top 10
Its high availability characteristic is very stable and easy to configure and administer

What is our primary use case?

  • I currently administer Informix for different clients.
  • I have configured the HDR, RSS, SDSS and connection manager options with a cluster with optimal performance nodes.

The version of the Informix is 14.10 Enterprise Edition.

How has it helped my organization?

  • OLTP processing capacity and the availability of information with high availability implementation have been significantly improved.
  • The increase in the number of users has not prevented the proper performance of the engine.
  • I've had the cluster configuration online for over a year.
  • With Informix, I sleep peacefully.

What is most valuable?

  • I have been administering Informix for 10 years, and it's a highly reliable product, robust, processes high volumes of information, etc.
  • Its high availability characteristic is very stable and easy to configure and administer compared to Oracle to be performed higher than lower costs.
  • I really think it's a robust database tool and an excellent support.

What needs improvement?

I am expecting the new version 14.1 that brings significant improvements to replication.

 With Informix, everything that's expected is met.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable!!! I have come to have instances of Informix with more than two years in the online state without losing its performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The DBMS Informix in scalability is optimal and never degraded your perfomance

How are customer service and technical support?

The experience with technical support is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

no, always informix.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup may be complex if no knowledge of the product is known.

Informix provides a basic setup that gets an initial configuration to operate.

The setting of the configuration requires knowledge of the product and its bonds.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Oracle and SQL SERVER

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MohamedAfeilal
General Manager at New System Engineering
Real User
Top 20
Good stability, and performance, with enhanced functionality

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's stability, performance, enhanced functionality, and replication are all great features."
  • "There should be more intelligence surrounding discovering data to be able to automatically create indexes."

What is most valuable?

The solution's stability, performance, enhanced functionality, and replication are all great features.

What needs improvement?

The solution doesn't include functionality like data anonymization. We have this functionality in other solutions like In SQL and Oracle but not in Informix. IBM has another product for anonymization, called InfoSphere Optim. Some clients want that anonymization in the engine, not in another product. Instead of making it a separate product, they should merge the two, or make anonymization available in this solution as well.

There should be more intelligence surrounding discovering data to be able to automatically create indexes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 1995.

How are customer service and technical support?

Unfortunately, we don't have local technical support in Morocco. We have only call support; we don't have access to on-site support. We must have someone that's remote try to take action on our machine if there are issues. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is okay because we are able to negotiate costs. However, the solution should make an effort to adjust the pricing so that we can get the same pricing in Morocco as we would get in the United States.

What other advice do I have?

We use all deployment models, including cloud and on-premises.

I'd recommend the solution; I'd rate it nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

IBM
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DanielGonzalez2
Database specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
A scalable and stable solution with an easy setup and good performance

What is our primary use case?

I act as a consultant to my customers, who use the database for processing data. 

What is most valuable?

I like the solution's performance and facility. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see backups from secondary servers. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using IBM Informix for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good, there existing a problem-free cluster for around ten months.

How are customer service and support?

Thus far, the technical support has been very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple. It took me…

What is our primary use case?

I act as a consultant to my customers, who use the database for processing data. 

What is most valuable?

I like the solution's performance and facility. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see backups from secondary servers. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using IBM Informix for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good, there existing a problem-free cluster for around ten months.

How are customer service and support?

Thus far, the technical support has been very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple.

It took me around 13 minutes to deploy the solution. 

What about the implementation team?

Two people are sufficient for the deployment. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not aware of the licensing costs or terms. 

What other advice do I have?

I act as a partner.

The security is sufficiently good. 

There are around 2,000 people who are making use of the solution at present. 

I rate IBM Informix as a ten out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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