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IBM DB2 vs IBM Informix: What are the differences?

IBM DB2 and IBM Informix are both relational database management systems (RDBMS) developed by IBM. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Architecture: IBM DB2 uses a multi-tier architecture, with separate components for data storage, query processing, and application processing. In contrast, IBM Informix follows a two-tier architecture, combining the data storage and query processing components into a single server process. This architectural difference can impact performance and scalability depending on the specific use case.

  2. Data Replication: IBM DB2 provides replication capabilities through its built-in Change Data Capture (CDC) feature, which allows for real-time data replication across different instances or databases. On the other hand, IBM Informix offers a more advanced replication feature called High Availability Data Replication (HDR). HDR allows for both synchronous and asynchronous replication, providing better data availability and disaster recovery options.

  3. SQL Compatibility: While both IBM DB2 and IBM Informix support the ANSI SQL standard, there are some differences in their SQL dialects and syntax. IBM DB2 provides a wider range of SQL functions and features, including advanced analytics and windowing functions. IBM Informix, on the other hand, focuses more on simplicity and performance, offering a streamlined set of SQL features optimized for high-speed data retrieval.

  4. Data Compression: IBM DB2 includes built-in support for data compression, allowing for significant storage savings and improved query performance. It utilizes various compression algorithms, such as dictionary encoding and run-length encoding, to reduce the physical storage requirements. In contrast, IBM Informix requires the use of external compression utilities for achieving data compression, which adds an extra layer of complexity and may impact performance.

  5. Concurrency Control: Concurrency control is important in multi-user database environments to ensure data integrity and prevent conflicts. IBM DB2 uses a locking-based concurrency control mechanism, where locks are acquired on data objects to control access and changes. IBM Informix, on the other hand, utilizes a lightweight, multi-versioning concurrency control (MVCC) approach. MVCC allows for better concurrency by allowing multiple transactions to read and write to the database simultaneously without blocking each other.

  6. Deployment Options: IBM DB2 and IBM Informix offer different deployment options to cater to different needs. DB2 is available on a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Linux, UNIX, and z/OS. Informix, on the other hand, is primarily designed for Linux and UNIX platforms but also offers support for Windows. This difference in platform support can influence the choice of the RDBMS based on the specific IT infrastructure in place.

In summary, DB2 is known for its scalability, reliability, and compatibility with various platforms, making it suitable for enterprise-level applications and large-scale deployments. In contrast, Informix is optimized for high-performance OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) workloads, offering features like TimeSeries and Spatial Data Management, making it well-suited for real-time analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) applications.

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Pros of IBM DB2
Pros of IBM Informix
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    Rock solid and very scalable
  • 5
    BLU Analytics is amazingly fast
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    Native XML support
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    Secure by default
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  • 1
    Best performance
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    What is IBM DB2?

    DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows is optimized to deliver industry-leading performance across multiple workloads, while lowering administration, storage, development, and server costs.

    What is IBM Informix?

    It is a fast and flexible database with the ability to seamlessly integrate SQL, NoSQL/JSON, and time series and spatial data. Its versatility and ease of use make Informix a preferred solution for a wide range of environments, from enterprise data warehouses to individual application development.

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    What companies use IBM DB2?
    What companies use IBM Informix?
    See which teams inside your own company are using IBM DB2 or IBM Informix.
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    What tools integrate with IBM DB2?
    What tools integrate with IBM Informix?

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    What are some alternatives to IBM DB2 and IBM Informix?
    Oracle Database is an RDBMS. An RDBMS that implements object-oriented features such as user-defined types, inheritance, and polymorphism is called an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). Oracle Database has extended the relational model to an object-relational model, making it possible to store complex business models in a relational database.
    The MySQL software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL Server is intended for mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed software.
    PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management system that supports an extended subset of the SQL standard, including transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, user-defined types and functions.
    MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
    Microsoft SQL Server
    Microsoft® SQL Server is a database management and analysis system for e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions.
    See all alternatives