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Informix reworks tools strategy

Informix delivers a revamped tool to make it easier for Visual Basic programmers to build applications linked to Informix's database servers running on Windows NT.

Informix Software (IFMX) today delivered a revamped tool lineup along with partnerships intended to boost the appeal of its Universal Server database.

The company said the new tool, Informix-Data Director, an add-on to Microsoft's Visual Basic toolset, is now shipping. Data Director makes it easier for Visual Basic programmers to build applications linked to Informix's database servers running on Windows NT.

Informix had originally positioned the tool for use with Universal Server, an object-relational database intended to eventually replace the company's mainstay relational database product line.

But in the wake of a disasterous earnings report and a poor customer reception for Universal Server, the company has decided to refocus its marketing energies on Informix-Online, its flagship relational database.

Data Director is priced at $200 per user, or $6,000 per CPU, for licensees of Informix Online in an Internet environment. It is priced at $50 per user, or $1,500 per CPU, for users of the company's Online Workgroup database.

Universal Server support will be added at a later date.

Informix also inked a joint marketing deal with Microsoft to comarket Data Director with Visual Basic.

And the company is not giving up on Universal Server. It announced today 42 new DataBlade modules, which allow the database to be customized. The DataBlades work with Universal Server running on Windows NT and Intel MMX Pentium processors.

The DataBlades provide specialized processing of information for data warehousing, digital media, mapping, text handling, and Web and e-commerce applications.