Informix is a relational database and for almost 20 years was also the name of the company who developed it. Informix DBMS was a development of the pioneering Ingres system that also led to Sybase and SQL Server, and was the #2 database system behind Oracle for some time in the 1990s. Their brush with success was surprisingly short-lived however, and by 2000 a series of management blunders had all but destroyed the company.
IBM’s acquisition of the brand in 2001 caused a seismic shift in the technical support, marketing and future of the Informix products. However, with IBM’s excellent track record of sustained product maintenance, there is now a bright and assured future for Informix.
Relational Database Systems, Inc. (which became Informix Software Inc at the time the company went public in 1986), was formed in 1980, when its founders pioneered what is known as C-ISAM – a complex keyed-ISAM system for the storage and fast retrieval of data. It was the company’s first relational database server, branded as Informix (a combination of ‘Information’ and ‘UNIX’), that became successful enough to trigger the company to change its name accordingly.