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IBM Informix
Developer(s)IBM / HCL Technologies
Stable release
14.10.xC10 / March 15, 2023 (2023-03-15)[1]
TypeMulti-model database
LicenseCommercial proprietary software
HCL Informix
Developer(s) HCL Technologies
Stable release
14.10.xC10 / March 31, 2023 (2023-03-31)[2]
TypeMulti-model database
LicenseCommercial proprietary software
Developer(s) HCL Technologies
Stable release / May 1, 2023 (2023-05-01)[3]
TypeMulti-model database
LicenseCommercial proprietary software

Informix[4][5][6] is a product family within IBM's Information Management division that is centered on several relational database management system (RDBMS) and multi-model database offerings. The Informix products were originally developed by Informix Corporation, whose Informix Software subsidiary was acquired by IBM in 2001.

In April 2017, IBM delegated active development and support to HCL Technologies for 15 years, with a number of IBM employees working on Informix also moving to HCL. As part of this arrangement IBM will continue to market and sell it as IBM Informix to their customers, with HCLTech able to market and sell it as HCL Informix.[7]

The current version of Informix is 14.10 and forms the basis of several product editions with variation in capacity and functionality. The Informix database has been used in many high transaction rate OLTP applications in the retail, finance, energy and utilities, manufacturing and transportation sectors. More recently the server has been enhanced to improve its support for data warehouse workloads.[8] Through extensions, Informix supports data types that are not a part of the SQL standard.

On July 24, 2020, HCL announced OneDB Database Server V1.0.0.0 as a multi-model (relational, object-relational, and dimensional) DBMS based on Informix.[9] On August 19, 2021 HCL released OneDB 2.0 as a cloud native, multi-cloud, Kubernetes-orchestrated offering.[10]

On December 29, 2021, Actian (formerly Ingres Corporation) became fully owned by HCL America.[11] Actian remained a separate entity, now acting as the Data, Analytics and Insights division of HCLSoftware.[12] It is expected that the Informix portfolio will be transferred from HCL to Actian, with HCL Informix and OneDB already available for download at Actian's Electronic Software Distribution (ESD) portal.

Key products[edit]

As of 2023, the current version of both IBM and HCL Informix is 14.10. The major enhancements made over previous releases were adding built-in index compression, integration of JSON collections with support for MongoDB JSON drivers into the server, and an enhancement permitting database objects to be partitioned across multiple servers in a cluster or grid (aka sharding). Queries can optionally return data from the locally connected server instance or from an entire grid with the same SQL.

Informix version 14.10 introduced support for partial indexing where only a subset of the rows in a table are indexed and for multi-valued key indexes which support indexing the elements within multi-valued data types such as LIST, SET, MULTISET, and BSON array fields.

Heterogeneous clusters are fully supported, and there are several deployment options that are available, including some that provide very high levels of data redundancy and fault tolerance. This feature is marketed by IBM as Informix Flexible Grid.

Regarding HCL Informix 14.10, key highlights include:

  • Functional parity with IBM Informix 14.10 for on-premises deployment
  • Replacement of FlexNet license management with a script-based monitoring solution, consistent with other Actian offerings
  • Expanded O/S support with the addition of Linux on Power Little Endian and Solaris Sparc.

Informix is offered in a number of editions, including free developer editions, editions for small and mid-sized business, and editions supporting the complete feature set and designed to be used in support of the largest enterprise applications. There is also an advanced data warehouse edition of Informix. This version includes the Informix Warehouse Accelerator which uses a combination of newer technologies including in-memory data, tokenization, deep compression, and columnar database technology to provide extreme high performance on business intelligence and data warehouse style queries.


Informix is generally considered to be optimized for environments with very low or no database administration, including use as an embedded database. It has a long track record of supporting very high transaction rates and providing uptime characteristics needed for mission critical applications such as manufacturing lines and reservation systems. Informix has been widely deployed in the retail sector, where the low administration overhead makes it useful for in-store deployments.

With the ability to deeply embed Informix in gateways and routers, timeseries support, small footprint, and low administration requirements, Informix is also targeted at Internet-of-Things solutions, where many of the data-handling requirements can be handled with gateways that embed Informix and connect sensors and devices to the internet.

Other products[edit]

In addition to the products based on the version 14.1 engine the Informix family also includes a number of legacy database products which are still supported in market. These include Informix OnLine, Informix Standard Edition (SE), and Informix C-ISAM. These products are simpler and smaller footprint database engines that are also frequently embedded in third party applications. Collectively these products are often referred to as the "Informix Classics".

The Informix family also includes a client-side development environment, the Client-SDK, which supports a number of different environments including .net for Windows developers and a variety of protocols for Unix and Linux environments. Obsolete and non-IBM Informix heritage products can run via emulation on modern hardware.[citation needed]

Training and certification[edit]

IBM Training includes a complete set of core Data Servers Training courses that apply to Informix. These courses delve into many essential Informix concepts, from fundamentals to advanced SQL topics.[13]

As part of IBM's Academic Initiative, IBM is offering Informix software, documentation and training to higher education institutions worldwide through its new Informix on Campus program. IBM is offering an inclusive package of Informix materials to college faculty called "Informix In a Box",[14] which offers hands-on labs and PowerPoints to use in lessons, recorded training for teachers, DVDs with class material and VMware virtual appliance images, as well as T-shirts for students.

Users groups[edit]

Users groups remain active[15] in Belgium,[16] Croatia,[17] France, Germany, the United States, and many other countries. The IIUG (International Informix Users Group) acts as a federation of those user groups and provides numerous services to its members.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Informix V14.10 documentation". IBM. May 24, 2023. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  2. ^ "Release documentation and machine notes for HCL Informix, v14.10.xC10". May 24, 2023. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  3. ^ "What's new in HCL OneDB 2.0.1". Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  4. ^ Barnaby J. Feder (April 25, 2001). "I.B.M. Will Acquire Database Unit of Informix for $1 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  5. ^ Morgan, Timothy Prickett (March 21, 2005). "IBM Buys Other Half of Informix with Ascential Acquisition". IT Jungle. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Anina Ot (February 24, 2022). "The Data Replication Market in 2022". Datamation. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  7. ^ "IIUG" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 8, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "Informix Gets Optional Data Warehousing Feature From IBM". InformationWeek. March 6, 2009.
  9. ^ "HCL OneDB V1.0.0.0 Product overview". Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  10. ^ Amanda Tevis (August 19, 2021). "Introducing HCL OneDB 2.0". Blog HCLSoftware. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  11. ^ "HCL Technologies subsidiary boosts stake to fully own Actian Corporation's parent". December 30, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  12. ^ "HCL Technologies and Sumeru Equity Partners to Acquire Actian Corporation". Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  13. ^ "IBM - IBM Information Management Training and Certification". April 1, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  14. ^ developerWorks: Wikis - Informix on Campus - Informix in a Box
  15. ^ "Local User Groups".
  16. ^ "Welcome to the Benelux Informix User Group".
  17. ^ "Adria IUG (Udruga Informix korisnika Adria)".

External links[edit]