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Enhance EXPLAIN in order to no longer need Informix server access

Currently Informix EXPLAIN generates a server side file. For developers that are working from remote machines, it becomes problematic to retrieve the explain files when they have restricted access to the Informix Server machine.

There are 2 undocumented functions that can be used but they have limited functionality : ifx_explain and bson_explain .

These functions return the optimizer plan, but cannot return a statistics section ( the sql statement is never actually executed, so there is no statistics section ).


Informix should be enhanced to allow a remote client to retrieve the output of the EXPLAIN plan and the statistics section.


Such  capability would greatly benefits developers that have restricted access do the Informix server machine, has it happens in many corporate environments.


  • Luis Marques
  • Aug 30 2019
  • Future Consideration
Why is it useful?
Who would benefit from this IDEA? Developers, DBAs
How should it work?

In an agnostic way ( should work for dbaccess, jdbc, odbc, etc ), the explain output ( including statistics section ) should be made available to a remote client.

One possible way would be to enhance and document the already existing ifx_explain and bson_explain functions.


Idea Priority Low
Priority Justification
Customer Name
Submitting Organization
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  • SangGyu Jeong commented
    10 Sep 03:36

    I agree. This feature is essential for Informix users.

  • FERNANDO NUNES commented
    16 Oct 22:00

    You have my vote... no functionality is too much. But there is already a solution/workaround for this:

    I'm not absolutely sure if this works if we create it in only a database (sysadmin would be an obvious choice) or if we would need to create the functions in all the instances databases.
    But with these simple functions you can have the same effect... In any currently supported version, so no need to wait for a new RFE implementation and a new version...

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