Informix Software Inc has sacrificed openness for closeness in choosing to mould its OLAP on-line analytical processing product Metacube into a datablade plug-in for its Universal Server database. The datablade, due out in the second half of the year, will run only against Universal Server and not rival databases Oracle, Sybase or Microsoft’s SQL Server. To get Metacube queries running quicker, Informix has decided to plug the query into the database. Historically you extracted data from a relational database and moved it to the client for analysis. We see it as much more important to move the analysis to the data, because the amount of data is increasing, especially when there are images too. We want to move the algorithm to the data and make it run as part of the database, explained UK technology marketing manager, Terry Lawlor. The kind of query Metacube tackles is ‘summarize the sales of this product for this region for last year,’ and so competes in data warehousing space with Microstrategy Inc’s DSS Agent and Information Advantage Inc’s Axsys. Last week Informix shipped Universal Server on Hewlett-Packard Co’s HP-UX; The next two will be for AIX and Siemens AG’s Sinix followed by Sequent Dynix and Digital Unix, all by June, including NT, according to Informix.
NewEra still not dawned
Keep holding your breath though for a version of the company’s graphical application development tool New Era to use with Universal Server. Word is that the delayed product will see the light of day next month, but it seems as if the company is too distracted by Forte Software Inc’s forthcoming implementation of the Forte application development tool for Universal Server, to get New Era integrated. For customers that cannot face upgrading to the unknown beast that is Universal Server, there will be a version of Online Dynamic Server out this summer – Version 7.3. New features include Web-based systems administration and enhanced security. On the security front, users will be able to have a single log in to database applications, wherever they are on the network, and the database will encrypt and decrypt communications across a network. Also, a new indexing feature for decision support has been added to Online Dynamic Server from its big brother XPS, the parallel version of Informix’s database. Another project on the cards is to get XPS to run on Microsoft Corp’s Wolfpack clustering interfaces by the end of the year. XPS is supposed to be merged into the Universal Server melting pot later this year, but this now seems less than likely as Informix says that the focus for this year is to ramp up the parallel version to perform mission-critical online transaction processing.