InterSystems IRIS: Rise of the Open Analytics Platform

It’s been a long time in the making, but after an exciting sprint between the announcement at Global Summit in September and the official release earlier this month, we’re happy to give our customers access to the InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. The last few months especially have been a great coming together of code and teams to get everybody at InterSystems aligned around this new product. That last bit–getting people from various groups to work on the same subject from various angles—is actually a nice analogy with the area of the data platform I’m most passionate about: Analytics.

Analytics has figured heavily in all sorts of technology publications over the last decade, and the rise of Big Data and Fast Data certainly fuelled that fire. As a concept, it has grown to cover an exceptionally broad range of tools and technologies, ranging from mere reporting over business intelligence to predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. There’s no single product on the market that covers that entire spectrum, so one of the main challenges in the analytics area is now harnessing that variety of tools and technologies. That’s why with InterSystems IRIS, we’re committed to providing an Open Analytics Platform, a platform that allows partners and end-users to build solutions and services that leverage best-of-breed analytics technologies, both embedded in the platform and complementary to it. You can learn more about our open analytics in the Big Data Analytics Experience here on InterSystems.com.

InterSystems IRIS contains embedded technologies for Business Intelligence and Text Analytics, addressing specific analytics use cases really well. For InterSystems IRIS Business Intelligence (formerly known as DeepSee), you as the developer can model your multidimensional cubes and embed it in your applications with ease. For InterSystems IRIS Text Analytics, formerly called iKnow, you’ll benefit from the unique bottom-up approach it uses to extract concepts and their context from natural language text.

But, of course, these only cover a limited part of that broad analytics market, so in InterSystems IRIS, we’re complementing this with support for industry standards like PMML and UIMA, as well as connectors for third-party software like Apache Spark. With this architecture, we allow our customers to leverage the tools they know and like and still get the most out of their data infrastructure, hosted on InterSystems IRIS. For example, with our connector for Apache Spark, we’re allowing Spark to exploit the distributed data layout and other parallel processing opportunities in InterSystems IRIS, enhancing throughput and transparently allow your Spark programs to be more effective. And with our support for PMML, we allow your data scientists to build the most accurate models in their preferred toolset, after which they can import them in InterSystems IRIS, where native code is automatically generated to execute the model in real-time processes.

We’re very excited to present this first release of InterSystems IRIS to our customers and look forward to your feedback. As you can see, an Open Analytics Platform is all about allowing people from various teams with various skill sets to work together. Of course, we’re also open to further synergies with other third-party technologies, and you’ll see more examples of that in the releases to come. If you’d like to give the platform a spin in our online learning environment, just check out the InterSystems IRIS Experience.

Benjamin DeBoe

Benjamin is a product manager in the Data Platforms group at InterSystems, looking after the areas of scalability and analytics. He joined InterSystems in 2010 as part of the iKnow acquisition and has worked with various database technologies, mostly in the areas of data warehousing, natural language processing and anything analytics.

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