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InterSystems IRIS: Refining a Top Data Management Platform

heavy vault door, opening to reveal long rows of computer servers
Open vault door revealing computer servers

I’ve been reflecting on recent conversations with customers, what we’ve achieved, and what lies ahead.

InterSystems IRIS has been shipping for almost four years now. In that time, it has become one of the top data management platforms on the market, with overwhelmingly positive adoption rates and customer feedback. Over the last year, we’ve made significant investments and enhancements and fielded several new releases of InterSystems IRIS. These are all inspired by our customers and focused around five “pillars” in which we make continuous investments.

So, what exactly are those pillars and what do those enhancements mean for our customers? Let’s take a look at each in turn.

Interoperability and IOT

Interoperability is built into our technology as standard. This allows InterSystems IRIS to be easily integrated with your existing systems throughout the product lifecycle. We’ve recently added standard support for Apache Kafka, including API management features that allow requests to be transformed into Kafka messages in a Kafka topic. We’ve also added connectors to AWS cloud services including S3, SNS, Cloudwatch, and HealthLake.

In health care, interoperability is our middle name, and our continuous investments in protocols including X12, HL7v2, and especially FHIR have made it easier and faster for our customers to be interoperable and compliant.

The developer experience

Developers are at the heart of our business and we have continued to support them in a number of new ways over the last 12 months. First of all, we are empowering developers to build powerful applications in their language of choice. We’ve recently taken that one step further with embedded (server-side) Python.

With an astounding ecosystem of 8 million developers worldwide and more than 137,000 available Python libraries, our support for Python (both client-side and server-side) speeds time to deployment and time to value for our customers.

Our plugins for VS Code are getting better and better, as well as more and more popular. The free ObjectScript plugin has over 28,000 installs and has a steady stream of releases and community contributions.

We are also fostering an ecosystem and continuing to grow the community, which now has over 11,000 registered members. InterSystems Open Exchange now has more than 500 open-source components and applications. If you don’t use it already, check it out!

Cloud and DevOps

When it comes to cloud and DevOps, we have three key areas of focus that we take into account with everything we do. These are supporting modern DevOps using containers and Kubernetes; leveraging new cloud facilities for storage, compute, and analytics; and finally, providing targeted SaaS and PaaS (Platform as a Service) offerings.

In the last 6 months, we have released 3 new cloud services into production: our FHIR Accelerator Service, Message Transformation Services, and Health Connect Cloud. These are evolving quickly, and we have more exciting cloud services in the works!

Speed, Scale, and Security

We’re continually working to keep InterSystems IRIS fast, scalable, secure, compliant, governable, robust, and available, release after release after release — to help us become one of the best data management platforms for enterprises. We’ve recently added security facilities including support for OAuth PKCE and TLS 1.3, performance features including dynamic SQL optimization and stream compression, and scale features including online shard rebalancing and journal compression.

We’ve made it really easy for our Caché and Ensemble customers to migrate to InterSystems IRIS to realize the benefits of our investments, and they are reporting significant speedup of their applications when they move to IRIS. On one customer’s SQL benchmark, InterSystems IRIS is now three times faster than Caché!

Advanced analytics and AI 

From my point of view, some of the most exciting elements of the last year lie in what we’re doing with advanced analytics and AI.

We have three major aims with our use of these technologies: to deliver analytical querying at extreme scale; put machine learning in the reach of SQL developers; and provide unprecedented ease of use for all users.

InterSystems IRIS analytics capabilities help us achieve all of that. How? It brings together all of your data, from the large number of sources and in all its forms, and then embeds a wide range of analytical tools, such as AI and machine learning (ML), making it much quicker to build high performance analytic applications.

What does the future hold for InterSystems IRIS?

As we look to the future, we remain committed to investing in these five key pillars to enable our customers to access data and insights, bring analytics capabilities to an even bigger range of analytic roles, and support a whole new range of composable applications.

Learn more at this year’s Global Summit.


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