The big announcement in the world of Informix the other day was IBM signing the agreement with Chinese company General Data Technology or GBASE, which is, based on information on their website, a key software enterprise in the state planning. The base of the agreement (copy of the news is here) is that IBM shares the code of Informix, and GBASE will (in support of the China government’s national technology agenda) modify its security to conform to standards of Chinese government. That modified Informix will then be used in the future database projects.
So this is obviously big news for Informix, because it guarantees the expansion of the product to a fast growing market, but what does it exactly mean for us, non-IBMers involved in the Informix business?
Well, I’m looking at this in a good faith, so my personal thoughts are positive. This kind of agreement will result in bigger demand for Informix experts, both domestic and foreign. I have to admit that I have no idea about the state of affairs regarding Informix experts in China, but I presume it is definitely possible there will be a need for database designers, architects, and even bigger need for DBAs to maintain the big installations we all imagine when thinking of databases in China. So it’s quite possible some of us will find our careers continuing somewhere in east Asia or telecommuting for a local partner in China. Other than that, new DBAs should be properly trained, so that’s also another opportunity for all of us involved in teaching and training. This also means the growth of Informix community, and hopefully there will be more international community members springing out of these systems.
But most importantly, this means a long term survival of Informix as a product, which is of course in the best interest of all the Informix people. As Mr. Art Kagel said, this is the proof Informix is here to stay. And a little dream for the end, to share with you… would be nice to have this kind of commitment in other countries as well. Just saying.