Informix to Try and Redefine Itself at Conference

Aiming to establish itself as an analytic solutions provider rather than simply a database provider, Informix hosts its annual user conference in San Diego, Solutions Portal '99 this week.

Aiming to establish itself as an analytic solutions provider rather than simply a database provider, Informix hosts its annual user conference in San Diego, Solutions Portal '99 this week.

"It is important for us to send a message to the market that implies solutions vs. products," said Diane Fraiman, vice president of corporate marketing at Informix.

The message Informix hopes to deliver is centered around how Informix is going to help companies succeed in the i.economy, a term the company recently trademarked.

"It's a good move, since anybody who's not Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft probably wants to position themselves as something other than a pure database system," said Merv Adrian, vice president of Giga Information Group, in Santa Clara, Calif.

The most notable supporting factor for Informix's vision will be the official launch of its next-generation database engine, Informix Internet Foundation.2000, which Fraiman touted as the "Internet platform for the `i.marketplace.' "

"What we're addressing with Foundation is the issue of needing an e-business platform with scalability and extensibility," Fraiman said. "The largest business problem in large [online companies] is scalability, and no other [database] engine out there will have the scalability of Foundation.2000."

The database includes built-in hooks for Extensible Markup Language, built-in Java support, and support for ActiveX and Component Object Model objects. The next edition of Foundation.2000, which Fraiman noted is "just a little bit down the road," will add CORBA support.

Another product to appear at Solutions Portal '99 will be Informix's business intelligence engine, code-named Yellowstone. The company will demonstrate the engine at the conference and discuss an ongoing beta program, but Yellowstone itself will not ship until later this year.

Informix Corp., in Menlo Park, Calif., is at www.informix.com.

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