Informix, one of the databases offered by IBM, has a long and illustrious history. In particular, it is well known as a platform for supporting applications developed by third parties and ISVs, primarily for use in transactional environments. This is because Informix is a robust offering that combines high performance and functionality with minimal administrative requirements. However, this paper does not discuss these features of the product in any detail. Instead, we are here concerned with the use of Informix either in a hybrid transactional/analytic environment or for pure data warehousing applications, especially those involving ‘big data’ analytics based on sensor and other machine-generated data.
In this paper we will start with a brief discussion of various types of analytics and data warehousing, and then consider the sort of facilities that are required to support such environments, along with a consideration of the features of IBM Informix that lend themselves to such deployments. We will conclude with a discursion into areas where Informix has special abilities, not generally available in other database products, which lend themselves to specific types of analytic applications.