First off - please forgive me for my ignorance of Informix. I'm a SQL Server DBA and my sum total knowledge of Informix comes from web browsing for the last 30 minutes.

So I thought I'd bring my questions to the gurus. I hope you can help educate me.

We are building a data warehouse in SQL Server, and have 72 structurally identical Informix databases as one of our data sources. These databases are hosted by a third party, and there is no possible way to do a live data transfer to our server. As we only need to import the data once a year, the 3rd party is planning on delivering the databases to us on DVD. (Sorry, I don't know what version of Informix the 3rd party is running, but for the sake of argument let's assume it's on Unix not Windows, and is a release within the last 4 years).

The solution I have in mind right now is that we will install Informix here at our site, attach or restore the 72 databases each year, and then use OLEDB to pull the data into SQL Server.

So my questions are:
1 - Is it possible (and feasible) for us non Informix people to setup an Informix server on Windows, remembering that it will only be used once a year and therefore we don't care about the finer details of a proper installation?
2 - Is it possible to easily automate the restore or attach of 72 databases?
3 - Will Informix databases created on a Unix server be useable on a Windows server?
4 - Is there a free version of Informix (similar to SQL Server Express for example) that would meet our needs?
5 - If not - then which version & edition of Informix would you recommend?
6 - From what I can gather, it's possible to do OLEDB to Informix using IBM's own OLEDB provider or one from a company called Attunity. Is there any reason not to use IBM's provider?

Thanks everyone - I really hope that you can help with these questions.