Analytics Goes Into the Database Engine

InterSystems' upgrade to Cache 5 speeds analysis, handles nonstandard data.

New real-time analytics capabilities in an upgrade to InterSystems Corp.s object-relational database will be a boon to users who need to analyze large data sets, users say.

The real-time analytics in Cache 5, which InterSystems will launch next week, comes from new Transactional Bit Map Indexing technology built into the core database.

Real-time analytics for transactions is becoming more important as customers—particularly those in the financial services and health care sectors, where InterSystems focuses—demand instant analysis for applications such as fraud detection or patient diagnosis, said officials at the Cambridge, Mass., company.

"Theres less and less tolerance for week-old data," said Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning at InterSystems. "They need more analytics in the core of the system."

The Transactional Bit Map Indexing capabilities were a draw for Kenneth Billings, CIO at the Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, in Maryville, Tenn.

The lab began development earlier this year on a Web-based laboratory information system and chose Cache 5 because its object capabilities allow it to handle nonstandard data types, such as DNA sequencing information and images, better than other databases, Billings said. At the same time, the new real-time analytics helps with complex queries.

"Its so much more efficient that we can search hundreds of thousands of patient records and get a large number of returns in seconds," Billings said. "Its really a benefit for people who need to analyze large data sets against other large data sets, and thats important in the biotech sector."

Beyond real-time analytics, Version 5 brings a Web services element to Cache with new support for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language). It also supports the Windows .Net and Java frameworks.

The biggest difference in the databases Web services support compared with the major relational databases is that it doesnt require an application server to deploy Web services, instead adding the capabilities directly into the database server, InterSystems officials said.

Version 5 also improves Caches enterprise Java capabilities by adding support for J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and Enterprise JavaBeans. Developers will be able to use a traditional approach called Container Managed Persistence for providing J2EE as SQL to the database.

In addition, Cache 5 provides an automatic version of an alternative called Bean Managed Persistence, or BMP, which developers traditionally had to manually code themselves. BMP provides faster performance between the application and database, officials said.

For larger, multiserver deployments, Cache 5 includes a new protocol called Enterprise Cache Protocol. It pushes the in-memory storage of data out to application servers to boost the performance and scalability of thin-client application deployments such as Web applications, officials said.

Cache 5 pricing starts at $200 for a single-user version and $1,000 for a multiuser configuration. It supports Windows, Linux, OpenVMS, AIX, HP-UX, Tru64 Unix and Solaris.