Caching In on Updated Data

ObjectStore's DSS software uses virtual memory mapping.

ObjectStore is readying a new breed of caching mechanism that company officials said will more efficiently update data in emerging service-oriented IT architectures that need the freshest information to respond to constantly changing business activity.

ObjectStore, a division of Progress Software Corp., this week will unveil ObjectCache Version 2.0. The data source synchronization software keeps cached data current and consistent with back-end data sources and databases through virtual memory mapping, regardless of where and when changes occur, said officials at Progress headquarters here.

Designed for highly distributed and transaction-heavy environments, ObjectCache improves performance and reduces the number of times IT systems need to access relational data by allowing changes to be automatically written back to a corporate database while changes in the main database are propagated to the cache. ObjectCache 2.0, due next month, initially will work only with Oracle Corp. databases.

"Were talking about dynamic data that is always changing," said Progress CEO Joe Alsop. "Our strategy is to pull out data we need, cache it using this model and push the data back when were done."

Alsop said ObjectCache is perfectly suited for environments with legacy databases that customers want to scale up or add new functionality and services to. Examples of these environments include financial services, telecommunications and radio-frequency identification deployments.

Last fall, ObjectStore released a limited-edition Version 1.3 of ObjectCache for a small subset of its customers. Orange UK, a France Telecom subsidiary, is using ObjectCache as part of its real-time customer service operation supporting 12 million wireless customers in the United Kingdom.

"We needed a copy of the database to allow routing to happen without hammering our back-end systems," said Gerard Murphy, senior designer for Orange, in Bristol, England. "It is fair to call [ObjectCache] a truly real-time application, and thats where its performance is [crucial] for us because our other DBMS technologies cant do it quick enough."

Murphy said his organization uses ObjectCache to ensure that up-to-the-minute information about incoming callers is routed from automatic call distributor centers to customer service representatives headsets.