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Informix serves it simpler, cheaper

The company drastically simplifies its database server product lineup, cuts prices, and reworks its pricing model to lower the initial cost to users.

As promised, Informix Software (IFMXE) today drastically simplified its database server product lineup, cut prices, and has reworked its pricing model to lower the initial cost to users, the company said.

With the announcement, the company is trying desperately to prove that despite continuing financial turmoil, its technology is still sound. Yesterday Informix reported a much worse-than-expected $110 million loss for its third-quarter, restated financial results for its last 14 quarters because of accounting errors, and said that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its bookkeeping practices.

Instead of offering several product lines, Informix will now sell a single database server and five configuration options for decision support, parallel processing, data analysis, complex data support, and Web applications.

"We're taking a solutions focus," said Dan Leighton, director of server product marketing at Informix. "Informix has been a technology focused company, but it hasn't always been clear how to link technology to solutions for customers. There have been lots of products with lots of version numbers."

The company's new core database server, Informix Dynamic Server, was formerly called OnLine Dynamic Server. Universal Server, the company's object-relational database built using technology acquired through the acquisition of Illustra Software, will now be sold as a "Universal Data Option" to Dynamic Server.

Informix will also simplify its client access strategy by offering a single Informix Client which uses a single API (application programming interface) to enter all supported data.

The company slashed the price of its data warehousing option, formerly known as Extended Parallel Server, by $800 per user, and has unbundled DataBlade modules from the former Universal Server to lower the cost of the Universal Data Option. DataBlades will now be sold separately, Informix said.

The five configuration options include Universal Data Option, and:

  • The Advanced Decision Support Option, technology formerly found in the Extended Parallel Server, the company's parallel processing server.

  • The Extended Parallel Option, more technology from the former Extended Parallel Server, for loosely coupled and shared-nothing server designs.

  • The MetaCube ROLAP Option, formerly known as Informix-MetaCube, which provides a multidimensional view of warehoused data for data analysis.

  • The Web Integration Option, formerly the Web DataBlade and Informix Universal Web Connect, which lets Web clients be integrated with Informix Dynamic Server.

    Leighton said the new scheme will roll out gradually, and won't initially affect existing customers. "Product packaging changes will take place over the next six months; engineering changes will happen over the next year," he said.