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Cache 5 adds bit map indexing, Bean support

Database system maker InterSystems Corp. today released Cache 5, which officials say adds better support for real-time analytics in transaction processing environments. Moreover, Cache users can now expose object methods or procedures as Web services with full SOAP and WSDL support.

In a nod to the need of mid-tier Java developers, Cache 5 automates production of systems using Bean Managed Persistence. Meanwhile, an enhanced distributed cache memory facility supports configurations that resemble in-memory data handling for multiple servers.

Cache 5 adds important new functionality to help the product vie with relational competitors, who themselves are adding non-relational traits to their products as fast as they possibly can.

To improve on data warehousing systems that suffer from poor update performance of bit map indexes, InterSystems has developed its own form of transactional bit map technology, said Paul Grabscheid, VP of strategic planning.

'Today, when people have analytical needs, they take [the data] out of their transactional system and move it into a data warehouse. But they'd like to work on their live data. Bit map technology is great for retrieval, but not for updating,' he noted. For Cache 5 transactional bit map indexing, InterSystems has enabled atomic bit map operations via optimized updateable compressed bit maps.

Cache 5 user Molecular Pathology Labs spent a year looking into a suitable system before selecting InterSystems product, said Ken Billings, CIO. The Maryville, Tenn.-based company specializes in diagnostic DNA-based testing related to infectious diseases, cancer, human identity testing and other disciplines. The company had complex data, high-performance transaction needs, and a requirement for real-time analytics and queries, said Billings.

'We have data sets that are not the normal ones,' said Billings. 'We have to be able to deal with DNA sequence data, DNA micro assays, images and some trending analysis so we can graph patient [health] over time.'

InterSystems' support for XML data handling was also a factor in the selection of Cache 5, said Billings.

'The [InterSystems bit map technology] is a tremendous value,' said Billings. 'It has dramatically decreased our search times. We can search through a large set of information quickly.' Varied search methods, including phonetic patient database searches, are also possible with the system, he said.

InterSystems finds itself in a unique position as it brings Cache 5 to market. Founded in 1978, the company's non-relational database technology has long been in the shadow of relational offerings from Oracle, IBM and others, although it has made a successful business out of Cache, working primarily with VARs (especially those in health-related industries).Yet the spread of unstructured, non-transactional data in corporate systems has provided new impetus to consider non-relational alternatives such as Cache.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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