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Introduction: How to Use This Book - Pg. xlii

xlii Introduction: How to Use This Book What Makes This Book Unique This book is intended to be a comprehensive reference to Informix products. It provides a substantial amount of detail as well as reference information. You can find much of this information in the many Informix manuals, but this book organizes it into one place and helps you find additional information. In addition, the book works in conjunction with its CD and Web site ( www.informixhandbook.com) to provide a complete and long-term, ongoing reference. We want this to be one reference that can be on the shelf of any Informix developer or administrator. The information is organized into various functional groups, simplifying the process of finding what you need. My vision in designing this book is this: Create one reference that will help every level of Informix database administrator, application developer, system administrator, and end user. Organize the information in an easy-to-find fashion for all major Informix product lines. In conjunction with the book, its CD, and Web site, provide appropriate examples and detail, directing the readers to additional places to look for information. Supply a reasonable amount of "behind-the-scenes" information but focus on functionality. Use authors that specialize in particular Informix products and are well known in the Informix world. Make this the book to choose if you would like one reference on Informix. That's a pretty tall order, isn't it? This book does not claim to be "everything to everybody" but it can help you on many different levels. If it can't provide a specific answer, it will tell you where to find the answer. One of the major values with this book is that its Web site (www.informixhand- book.com) provides updated reference material for each chapter as well as numerous links that help you find more information. Many comprehensive Informix references in the world just don't exist-- at least not one-volume references--and I'm one Informix devotee who wants to fill that gap. The book also spans different versions of Informix. We provide plenty of information to get you up and running with older versions of the product, including INFORMIX-SE and OnLine Server (version 5.x). We offer more of a focus on the family of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) products, including IDS versions 7.x, IDS.2000, Informix Internet Foundation.2000, and the data warehouse products. You may already know the names of many of the authors of this book. They were chosen from the local and international user groups as well as Internet newsgroups, ensuring that you will learn from some of the most knowledgeable Informix experts in the world. When choosing authors, I considered critical the fact that they had a special focus in the areas about which they wrote. In addition, all authors worked within the design and vision of this book, helping provide a consistent look and feel. To ensure overall consistency, I read and edited all of the chapters after they were submitted. We make this book more enjoyable by sprinkling it with amusing stories from Informix employees and others in the industry. These stories help add spice and make your learning experience much more enjoyable. All the way from this introduction to the CD-ROM to the Web site, we are crafting this book to meet the needs of Informix users worldwide. Please learn how to use it and have fun with it!