We Missed the Big 30

Even though I intend this blog to be mostly technical, there are occasionally some thoughts I’d like to share. Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts.

Couple of months ago I was doing some research on history of Informix so one of the things I found was Wikipedia page on Informix which states that the product was first released in 1981. This intrigued me to look further for some addional info on this first release, but apparently Google doesn’t have any page related to this event in its index. Later, Mr Scott Pickett pointed me to this video, where Mr Sippl says (at 14 min mark) that he sold some copies of Informix to some folks at 1980.

Now, all of this wouldn’t make much of a story if one could google for “30 years” and “informix” and find at least one decent site or event that celebrates this (IMHO) big anniversary for a software product. The mentioned search results mostly in CVs. “30 years of informix” search (with quotes) finds no pages. At the same time, prompted by this years celebration of 10 years of Informix being part of IBM, you could google for (quotes) “10 years of informix” and find that 4 out of first 10 pages relate to this anniversary.

I believe the mere fact that one product has survived this many years could be a potent marketing punch-line – make the same search, just replace database name with the “main competitor” and see for yourself. Not really surprised that IBM hasn’t mentioned 30 years, that’s somehow in sync with their strategy of “not marketing specific products”, but at least it should have been announces somewhere. As a Java developer, I had the luck to attend 2005 JavaOne Conference. It was a great celebration of Javas 10th birthday, and those guys from Sun made each of us 15.000 attendees feel proud to be part of this great technology. They understood the real power of the product comes from the users, developers, solution providers. Unfortunately for them, seems like there were some other things they didn’t quite understood, but nevertheless Java is still marching on.

Though it was IBM that should make the hype of it then, it also seems to me that we, as an Informix community, users, dealers, vendors… didn’t seize this opportunity to emphasize the greatness of the product that mostly gets our bills payed. There wasn’t enough talk about it throughout 2010, not even at the annual IIUG Conference. I’m not deluding myself, this is not in any way comparable to some cool feature like flexible grid etc, but it is something that tells other users and customers there is a tradition and loyalism involved here. For what I’m told and what I have read, Informix survived  some very hard times in good part because of its users, and a big anniversary should be a great time to remember it.

Anyhow, that’s water under the bridge now. We can all set it straight very soon – next year there’ll be the first 0x20 years of Informix (or 040 if you prefer octal numbers)!


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