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IBM Calls Informix DB Upgrade "Significant"
Most Substantial Upgrade In Five Years

In what it is calling the most significant update in over five years, IBM has released a major upgrade to its Informix database. The upgrade offers users improvements in performance, administration and security.

Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) Version 10 boosts query performance with better memory allocation and configurable page sizes, the company says. Version 10 also offers improved back-up and restores utilities to provide faster setup of secondary servers, and better log management tools. The enterprise replication feature, for generating copies of data at multiple sites, now supports templates, easing deployment. The database comes with a tool IBM says can cut installation time in half.

Version 10 lets administrators do a point-in-time restore for an individual table, a capability already available in DB2. IDS customers currently have to restore the whole database, copy the table they want and then reinsert it, says Neil Truby, director of Ardenta in Sunbury on Thames, England, which provides Informix technical services. New security features include support for pluggable authentication modules, which let administrators customize authentication for individual applications, and column-level encryption.

IBM offered few specifics about the planned version of IDS for small and midsize businesses, which will be called IDS Express Edition and is planned for mid-year release. The company says the product will be offered for Windows and Linux. IBM already offers an Express version of DB2. Rivals Oracle and Microsoft also offer databases targeted at the low end of the market.

IBM acquired Informix's database business in 2001 for $1 billion. Customers have praised IBM for continuing to update the products and not forcing them onto its flagship DB2 product line, but some have been critical that IBM does little to market the software, pushing the DB2 brand instead.

IBM says it remains committed to the Informix products and has laid out a road map for them until 2010. It continues to transfer technologies between IDS and DB2 and is currently working to allow bidirectional data synchronization between the two platforms, the company says. Customers with a maintenance contract for IDS Version 9.x can upgrade to Version 10 for no extra charge.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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