Informix Goes Java

Who would a major database vendor choose when selecting an embeddable database? For Informix Corp. ( the answer was Cloudscape Inc. (

Informix has announced an agreement to use Cloudscape’s 100% Pure Java database for occasionally connected users of Informix enterprise database systems. Using the Cloudscape database, customers can synchronize with enterprise data and Java applications that are hosted and managed by the Informix Dynamic Server.

Informix made the announcement at the Java Business Expo in New York. Also at the Expo, Informix unveiled a partnership with BEA Systems Inc. ( to certify BEA’s WebLogic Java application server with Informix Dynamic Server. Bill Hostmann, executive director of middleware at Informix, says BEA is Informix’s first Java middleware partner. "The combination of Informix and BEA [enables] customers ... to extend their Informix applications to the enterprise using industry standards such as Java Database Connectivity, SQLJ and Enterprise Java Beans," Hostmann said in a statement.

The moves are part of a strategy of providing a comprehensive Java product suite that enables customers to build enterprise applications, according to Informix. Customers will have the flexibility of deploying Java directly in the database, in a middle tier or in a Java or Web client, whichever of the three tiers best fits the application.

Cloudscape and BEA together are a logical fit for Informix. The two Java-focused companies entered an arrangement earlier this year when WebLogic was a distinct company marketing its Java application server under the Tengah name. The Cloudscape-BEA arrangement dealt with cross-marketing and technological integration. Cloudscape also has personal ties to Informix; some of Cloudscape’s employees came from Informix.

The Informix announcements fit into the Menlo Park, Calif., database vendor’s current strategy of focusing on high-end database management systems and leaving other components of integrated offerings to so-called "best of breed" third-party products.

The Informix partnerships could also fill one hole in Informix’s Decision Frontier Solution Suite, a recent offering integrating Informix Dynamic Server with several third-party tools for a complete data warehousing/data mart solution. At release time, Informix was still shopping for third-party vendors to supply 100% Pure Java access and a data mining tool. Informix officials declined immediate comment on whether or how the Java announcements might fit into the suite.

Also today, Informix announced SEC approval of its agreement to acquire Red Brick Systems Inc., a data warehousing consulting firm and RDBMS vendor. Red Brick shareholders will vote on the offer Dec. 31. --Scott Bekker, Staff Reporter

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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