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InterSystems lRIS 2022.1: Taking application development to new heights

application developer working late with two other colleagues in the office

The next-generation data platform InterSystems IRIS never stands still. A complete, cloud-first data platform, InterSystems IRIS is a powerful data platform for application development, making it easy to build high-performance, machine learning-enabled applications that connect data and application silos.

But the world is constantly advancing its use of data. Businesses want to extract ever greater value from information to drive innovation and efficiency. It is by understanding these requirements that InterSystems ensures that InterSystems IRIS remains ahead of the curve.

Last year the platform benefited from significant investment and enhancements with all the 2021 releases. This was chock-full of new capabilities in analytics, cloud, DevOps, data interoperability, speed, scale and security.

This year, the 2022.1 release significantly adds to these capabilities, encompassing InterSystems IRIS and InterSystems IRIS for Health, with four chief areas of enhancement across both InterSystems solutions. These cover platforms, cloud and operations, development environments and advances in analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The most immediately striking aspect of recent developments is that InterSystems IRIS is now twice as fast as it was against SQL benchmarks at the time of the last extended maintenance release in 2021. It achieves this while using 25 percent less infrastructure and operations capacity. This is due in part to better use of table statistics and runtime parameter values.

For production environments, the platform updates offer support for new and updated operating systems and architectures. With 2022.1, InterSystems IRIS provides support for Windows 11, Windows Server 2022, AIX 7.3 and the latest version of Oracle Linux, which is 8.3.

The new release also adds support for MacOS12, also known as Monterey. The big news for developer environments is that 2022.1 delivers new support for Apple’s M1 chipset, adding this capability to its existing support for the powerful Intel-based systems.

Alongside this comes important updates to system alerting and monitoring (SAM) which assist higher scalability and deployment.

The 2022.1 release also includes new interoperability connectors to make working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) easier. The new S3 adapter handles inbound and outbound files in Amazon Simple Storage Service and outbound adapters for Amazon’s monitoring service Cloudwatch, its SNS messaging and Healthlake, its health data service.

Other enhancements enable organizations to deploy InterSystems IRIS in Kubernetes much more easily, using the InterSystems Kubernetes Operator (IKO). Kubernetes is the open-source orchestration engine that automates deployment, scaling and management of containerized workloads and services.

Empowering developers with Python

Empowering developers is central to InterSystems. InterSystems IRIS allows powerful application development in their programming language of choice. With the 2021.2 release, developers are able to benefit from embedded (server-side) Python. Server-side Python speeds time to deployment and value for our customers, and to further enhance the developer experience, 2022.1 continues to offer client-side support for Python.

InterSystems IRIS with embedded Python enables InterSystems customers to invoke all of the powerful functionality available in the platform via the Python programming language, and to reap the capabilities of the world’s most popular programming language with eight million developers and a fast-growing Python ecosystem. Developers can now build mission-critical data and analytics-intensive applications in the platform faster and more easily than ever before, using the skills they already have.

Interoperability and integration

To continue the improvements in developer experience and improve the interoperability of data, 2022.1 makes available some significant additional capabilities, through adapters for .NET 5 and Apache Kafka. .Net 5 combines the best of Windows and Linux frameworks in a best-of-breed development platform, while Kafka is the world’s most popular message broker and event streaming platform.

Fantastic feedback has also come from users of the 2021.2 Visual Studio Code add-ins, which continue in 2022.1. These enable app developers to work faster and through a server-side approach and support for web application workflows, making it easier for developers to find what they need.

Feedback from the growing number of users about InterSystems Reports has also fed into the improvements in installation and integration, employing a new Java installer to wrap customizations to the installation.

Improvements in speed and more gains from Adaptive Analytics

The list of upgrades and improvements as a fully integrated application development platform goes on, including dramatic improvements to speed, scale and security through a new, flexible and high-performance loader utility.

The new release also upgrades the Adaptive Analytics capabilities of 2021.2 which give line of business teams access to advanced data insights. InterSystems IRIS does this by embedding a wide range of analytical tools, such as AI and machine learning (ML), making it much quicker to build high performance analytic applications. Customers can now implement historical reports using InterSystems tools against a data model shared with PowerBI, Tableau and other business intelligence tools.

Adaptations to sharing, InterSystems IRIS scale-out architecture, are another advance in the new release. They significantly aid fast-growing customers who want to grow their cluster without any downtime. Online rebalancing enables redistribution of data without interruption of either queries or ingestion.

Reducing infrastructure bills through compression

With storage making up more than half the infrastructure bills of many customers, it was important for the latest release to tackle this significant source of cost. It does this through journal and stream compression.

The technology compresses inactive journal files, achieving significant savings, with compression ratios of up to 85% possible. Given the economics of infrastructure and ever-cheaper computing power, it also makes sense to compress all streams by default. By choosing a light compression algorithm, this approach only makes a small addition to overhead.

With so many enhancements and upgrades, 2022.1 is set to be a significant release, fulfilling InterSystems promise to support and enable developers and help enterprises with all the challenges of competition in a highly data-driven world.


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