Informix Corp is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to establish, at its UK headquarters, an Information Superstore, dedicated to data warehousing. As it sees its rivals Oracle Corp and Sybase Inc refining their data warehouse offerings, Informix, which marked out its data warehousing stake before the others, is upping the ante by creating an […]
Informix Corp is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to establish, at its UK headquarters, an Information Superstore, dedicated to data warehousing. As it sees its rivals Oracle Corp and Sybase Inc refining their data warehouse offerings, Informix, which marked out its data warehousing stake before the others, is upping the ante by creating an environment where potential users of data warehouses can investigate which tools and hardware would best suit them. And the company hopes the superstore will act as a springboard from which it will gain access to the large companies with which it has hitherto had little success. In addition to the superstore there will be two smaller, but similar, centres in the City of London, one of which will display an application for a specific financial market niche; the other will have generic applications for the entire financial sector and telecommunications company. In the latter, AT&T Global Information Solutions, and one as yet unnamed company, will provide the hardware. Partnerships are key to Informix’s ability to offer a total warehousing system, as they are to Sybase and Oracle, and the company has rallied to its cause, and the superstore, a selection of software and hardware vendors so that it can showcase what it describes as ‘best of breed’ data warehouses. Those signed up are AT&T Global Information Solutions, Hewlett-Packard Co, Sun Microsystems Inc and Pyramid Technology Corp for the hardware; SHL Systemhouse Inc and Data Sciences (UK) Ltd as integrators; Prism Technologies Ltd, Information Advantage Inc and Business Objects SA for software. But conspicuous by their absence are IBM Corp and ICL Plc, both of whom have been touting their massively parallel machines as ideal for data warehouses. Informix said it is talking to both about getting their kit into the superstore. The superstore in Feltham, Middlesex will offer education workshops, data warehouse audit and application testing, and charge on a range of scales. For example, potential customers of an Informix-based warehouse would be charged less than people that simply wanted to use it as a benchmarking facility. But the company does not expect to make money out of the superstore although companies using it to develop warehouses based on databases other than Informix will be charged a premium that would make it cheaper to buy an Informix database. The centre will be linked to remote sites throughout Europe for demonstration purposes, and there are plans for similar superstores in Munich and either Paris or Madrid.