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Established in 1980 as Relational Database Systems Inc.. The company was renamed to Informix in 1988.

Most customers run Informix products on departemental or enterprise class Unix servers. However, there is a NT port.

Informix also was one of the first vendors to port their products to Linux.

  • 1980 release of C-ISAM (C routines for indexed sequential files)
  • 1984 release of Informix-SQL and Informix-ESQL/C (tools)
  • 1986 release of Informix-4GL (tools)
  • 1987 Informix-SE1 (RDBMS)
  • 1988 release of WingZ (Macintosh), probably one of the first graphical spreadsheets.
  • 1990 release of Informix-Online (Online-4.x, 5.x) (RDBMS)
  • 1993 release of Informix-Online Dynamic Server (Online-7.x) (RDBMS)
  • 1994 release of NewEra (OO tools)
  • 1995 purchase Illustra (OO RDBMS)
  • 1997 release Informix-Universal Server (Online-9.x)
  • 1998 purchase of Red Brick systems (data warehousing, OLAP2, data mining)
  • 1999 purchase of Cloudscape (Java based RDBMS), i.Reach and i.Sell
  • 2000 release of Informix Dynamic Server.2000 and Internet Foundation.2000

In the early 90ies, Informix grew explosively to be a leading database vendor, competing with Oracle, IBM and Sybase.

Then it lost considerable market share, mainly because of :

  1. some very creative accounting, resulting in over-estimation of the shares
  2. a bug ridden product release,
  3. incoherent management, strange acquisitions ( people started wondering what Informix actually was selling).
  4. and... last but not least fierce competition of other vendors, mainly Oracle.

The database-business was bought by IBM in 2001. The remaining part of Informix. was renamed to Ascential software and is focussing on e-commerce solutions.

IBM states it will integrate Informix technology in DB2, which, of course, remains their flagship. IBM will continue to sell and support most products but will enhance only the more popular ones.

1 Standard Engine
2 OnLine Analytical Processing
  • http://www-4.ibm.com/software/data/informix (informix's new home;))
  • http://www.informixhandbook.com/index_ibmstory.html (milestones)
  • http://www.iiug.org/techinfo/faq/faq_top.html (the Informix Technical FAQ)

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