IBM Adds Data-warehousing Tools to Informix

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IBM is trying to make its Informix OLTP (online transaction processing) server a more potent option for BI (business intelligence) and data warehousing through a new optional toolset, the company announced Thursday.

The Informix Warehouse Feature provides tools for organizing and preparing transactional data -- such as from an order processing or inventory system -- for analysis, whether on its own or as part of a broader BI implementation that uses information from multiple sources. IBM has a range of products for surfacing such data, chief among them its Cognos BI software line.

While IBM has positioned the DB2 database as its top back-end platform for BI and data warehousing, a significant number of Informix customers are already performing such tasks with their systems, said Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus.

Wednesday's announcement is meant to reflect that reality, as well as reward those users "for their loyalty with continued feature enhancements," he said. "IBM is implicitly saying, 'We're not going to force you to migrate to DB2 to do data warehousing. We're not end-of-lifing Informix -- far from it.'"

While the new capabilities provide increased parity between Informix and DB2, the latter will likely continue to see the lion's share of feature enhancements for BI and data warehousing, according to Kobielus.

Pricing for the new data-warehousing option wasn't immediately available Thursday.

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