InterSystems Cashing In With Cache Database


But Digital Technology International, a solution provider specializing in high-end publishing systems for newspapers, has moved from Oracle to Sybase to Cacheas in InterSystems' new Cache database.


"Primarily because it was invented after the Internet and handles large amounts of digital data" without requiring a lot of database add-ons and middleware, said Don Oldham, president of Digital Technology International (DTI), a solution provider in Springville, Utah.

Indeed, Cache 2007 brings aboard the latest-and-greatest Java and AJAX rapid application development techniques. The database itself descends from the MUMPS database that became prevalent in hospitals and medical centers.

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"You don't use middleware with Cache, you use Cache Server Pages, and what you [as a partner do] in the middle is the competitive advantage," Oldham told CRN. The other plus that InterSystems' Cache database offers is that it's fully programmable in and of itself, while Oracle and the other SQL-based databases use stored procedures and SQL, he said. But SQL technology is now 25 years old, Oldham noted.

The newly shipping Cache 2007 release lets Java programmers use their familiar Java techniques or program the database itself.

"Cache was programmable before [2007] but using its own ObjectScript tool. Now, you can program with Java using Jalapeno. That's nice, but Zen is the really cool breakthrough because it lets you do AJAX-style applications with a rich client experience," Oldham said.

Cache 2007's new Jalapeno toolset allows the developer to select required data from within the Java application; the database then parses through that and figures out what needs to be done.

The Zen framework "builds on the concept of AJAX and lets partners build a user experience that is as interactive and rich as what people expect in a Windows client/server environment," according to Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning at InterSystems, Cambridge, Mass.

Asynchronous Java and XML, or AJAX, programming techniques can create a great user experience but can be difficult and time-consuming, Oldham noted. "Now, we can do that programming out of the database so [that] dynamically updated data doesn't have to flow through middleware," he said.

DTI embeds the Cache database within its own applications and as such is both a sort of OEM partner and solution provider. Other VARs say they like working with InterSystems because even if the database sale does not end up going via the partner, the company makes good on the margin.

Cache 2007 shipped in early November and runs on Windows, Linux, Unix and Macintosh servers. Prices range from about $220 per user to $1,380 per user.