The database moves to Informix with the 8.0 release, but from what I've seen so far on the beta there isn't really much change in functionality, and not much change in the database schema.
1) You still use SQL, but now it's Informix's spin on SQL - so you may have to make changes to some queries etc
2) You have access to the DB using the Informix drivers which you can get from IBM or by installing something that uses Informix (e.g. HRC)
3) You use 3rd party tools for anything but basic stuff via the CLI - so setting up stored procedures, testing complex queries etc would be done in whatever tools you like.
I would guess if you already have a mechanism for determining which of the HA pair is 'active' you may still be able to use that... I did see a slide on the REST API, but can't find a reference to it... it's another SOAP based API if I remember correctly.
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