By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
429,087 Members | 1,508 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 429,087 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Comments on InterSystems Cache Database Platform

P: n/a
Hi all,

We're looking at a vendor who uses the InterSystems Cache Database
Platform, but our IT department has zero experience with this system.
This software package will have a pivotal and mission critical roll in
our organization, so I'd like some comments on what others think of
this database platform.

Mainly I'm curious how easy/difficult it is to query a Cache Database,
and does it use standard SQL calls like Oracle and MS SQL? What about
ODBC connections into the database from Crystal, MS Access, and OLAP
tools? Any other caviets (backup, maintenance, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments Cache.

Sam
Jul 19 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
5 Replies


P: n/a
Alex wrote:
Hi all,

We're looking at a vendor who uses the InterSystems Cache Database
Platform, but our IT department has zero experience with this system.
This software package will have a pivotal and mission critical roll in
our organization, so I'd like some comments on what others think of
this database platform.

Mainly I'm curious how easy/difficult it is to query a Cache Database,
and does it use standard SQL calls like Oracle and MS SQL? What about
ODBC connections into the database from Crystal, MS Access, and OLAP
tools? Any other caviets (backup, maintenance, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments Cache.

Sam


Won't they let you test drive it?

I've never used Cache, but I have gone thru DB evaluations before. I would
only suggest you set out some clear DB requirements (testable if at all
possible). Their sales rep should be able to answer questions about its flavor
of SQL, ODBC support and such. If they cannot (or worse, will not), answer
those simple questions, then run away.

Your post here is not a bad start:
Interfaces/Languages supported - SQL, ODBC, JAVA(JDBC), Special libraries
Standards supported - like SQL, and at what level?
Tool availability - does it have custom Back up/restore programs or is it only
a data file? (
Front end support - Do you have to use their GUI development tools or can you
program using others?
Platforms supported - If next year you no longer want to pay MS for an OS
update license, can you switch to LINUX?
Programmers available? If few people know/use the DB, is training inexpensive?
Are other resources available (e.g. books, usenet discussion groups)?
Performance - run some benchmarks
Flexibility - does the DB adapt easily? (e.g., does adding a column to a table
force you to rebuild the DB? Does it force you to rebuild your applications?

Bottom line is that you need to watch your bottom line. IOW, what is the total
bang for the buck?

Good luck.
--
Ed Prochak
running http://www.faqs.org/faqs/running-faq/
netiquette http://www.psg.com/emily.html
--
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I
I took the one less travelled by
and that has made all the difference."
robert frost
Jul 19 '05 #2

P: n/a
As a long time (satisfied) user of Caché I'll try to answer some of
the points raised.

First of all a few brief comments on the nature of the beast, what it
is and isn't. It's not your typical RDBMS like Oracle or SqlServer.
Caché is described by Intersystems as being "post-relational" which is
a marketing term supposed to convey modernness (I guess) but in
technical terms this is wishy washy and doesn't really tell you
anything. Caché is based on a multidimensional database engine which,
historically speaking, is derived from the M(umps) DBMS. On top of it
sits an object layer that turns Caché into an OODBMS (think classes,
properties, instance methods, class methods, relationships,
inheritance, polymorphism etc pp). Additionally, Caché will offer a
relational projection of object definitions. Every class is projected
into one or more tables. The relational projection allows for querying
via Sql. Obviously, methods will not be available via the relational
view (but class methods can be projected as stored procedures). The
projection works both ways. You can create tables via DDL and Caché
will create classes from that. They call this process "Unified Data
Architecture". You don't have to use the object features of Caché and
treat it purely as an RDBMS but in my opionon you would lose some of
the more stronger features, like encapsulation of business logic.

Interfaces / Languages
Sql, Odbc, Jdbc, Java, Ejb, C++, Com, Soap, Xml
Caché has its own server side scripting languages, Caché ObjectScript
(COS) and Caché Basic (syntactically derived from VBScript).
Particularly COS is a fully fledged and very flexible programming
language that goes way way beyond what you can do with your typical
RDBMS stored procedure languages like Transact Sql.
Also, Caché has its own web development platform, Caché Server Pages
(CSP) which, in much simplified terms, can be viewed as a cross
between ASP and ASP.Net (but the business logic resides on the
back-end not on the web server).

Standards
Sql 92 Intermediate
Jdbc Type 4
COS is backwards compatible with ISO M(umps).

Operational Tools
Online Backup and Restore
Journalling: Before Image, After Image, Shadow (i.e. near-instant
cross-system replication)
Database Repair (the physical db layer is based on B-trees), although
you are unlikely to ever use them. While Caché as a product / brand
name is around 6 years old the underlying database engine has evolved
from its pre-decessor products over the last 25 years (Intersystems
has been in the dbms market since 1978) and is rock solid.

Front-end tools
Any you like as long as they support one of the interfaces into Caché
mentioned above. If you take our company as an example, we have
developed terminal based applications, moved to C++ front-ends with a
low-level COM interface into the Caché multidimensional database,
moved to VB6 with COM interface into Caché Objects, moved to web
applications using Caché's own CSP and, most recently, ASP.Net via
Soap to Caché (i.e. Caché providing web services).

Platforms
Windows, Linux, Unix (HP, AIX, Solaris) and OpenVMS

Performance
One of the big strengths of Caché. Scales excellently while not being
very resource hungry.

Flexibility
Schema Migrations do not require db rebuild

Resources
There is a newsgroup intersystems.public.cache on
news.intersystems.com
Best regards

Wolf Koelling

Ed Prochak <ed********@magicinterface.com> wrote in message news:<Oq*******************@fe39.usenetserver.com> ...
Alex wrote:
Hi all,

We're looking at a vendor who uses the InterSystems Cache Database
Platform, but our IT department has zero experience with this system.
This software package will have a pivotal and mission critical roll in
our organization, so I'd like some comments on what others think of
this database platform.

Mainly I'm curious how easy/difficult it is to query a Cache Database,
and does it use standard SQL calls like Oracle and MS SQL? What about
ODBC connections into the database from Crystal, MS Access, and OLAP
tools? Any other caviets (backup, maintenance, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments Cache.

Sam


Won't they let you test drive it?

I've never used Cache, but I have gone thru DB evaluations before. I would
only suggest you set out some clear DB requirements (testable if at all
possible). Their sales rep should be able to answer questions about its flavor
of SQL, ODBC support and such. If they cannot (or worse, will not), answer
those simple questions, then run away.

Your post here is not a bad start:
Interfaces/Languages supported - SQL, ODBC, JAVA(JDBC), Special libraries
Standards supported - like SQL, and at what level?
Tool availability - does it have custom Back up/restore programs or is it only
a data file? (
Front end support - Do you have to use their GUI development tools or can you
program using others?
Platforms supported - If next year you no longer want to pay MS for an OS
update license, can you switch to LINUX?
Programmers available? If few people know/use the DB, is training inexpensive?
Are other resources available (e.g. books, usenet discussion groups)?
Performance - run some benchmarks
Flexibility - does the DB adapt easily? (e.g., does adding a column to a table
force you to rebuild the DB? Does it force you to rebuild your applications?

Bottom line is that you need to watch your bottom line. IOW, what is the total
bang for the buck?

Good luck.
--
Ed Prochak
running http://www.faqs.org/faqs/running-faq/
netiquette http://www.psg.com/emily.html

Jul 19 '05 #3

P: n/a
Hi Sam,

Cache is really heavy in the Medical field. I worked for a Medical
Lab that was running it on several fronts, and to say the least it was
unreliable and had a VERY high overhead for maintenance and
administration. As it stands now it does not follow very many
"standards" in the industry so some things don't work as well.
Support is another issue. You may call support and get someone on the
line that doesn't understand their own product as well as waiting for
weeks to get a response to any issues you may have. The bad thing
about it is that the initial setup was setup by "Cache" consultants
and they company was still having all these issues.

If you have no knowledge of Cache, then the road will be long. If you
have a choice I would definately do a side by side comparison of other
offerings (Oracle, MS SQL, MySQL and even Filemaker Pro) before
committing to Cache.

I am currently working on a Cache roll out for a large firm that is
doing a 180 day eval and so far not one piece of completed code has
been put into testing. In a way Cache is a road block unto itself.

Don't get me wrong, if the product was that good, then I would think
other companies would be trying to re-develop or "copy" some of the
ideas that Cache uses, but you don't see that.

Please, Cache Advocates, don't be angry with my comments. These are
real experiences from someone who worked closely with the developers
at each of these locations.

sa*****@gmail.com (Alex) wrote in message news:<b8*************************@posting.google.c om>...
Hi all,

We're looking at a vendor who uses the InterSystems Cache Database
Platform, but our IT department has zero experience with this system.
This software package will have a pivotal and mission critical roll in
our organization, so I'd like some comments on what others think of
this database platform.

Mainly I'm curious how easy/difficult it is to query a Cache Database,
and does it use standard SQL calls like Oracle and MS SQL? What about
ODBC connections into the database from Crystal, MS Access, and OLAP
tools? Any other caviets (backup, maintenance, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments Cache.

Sam

Jul 19 '05 #4

P: n/a
As you clearly had bad experiences with Caché I can hardly argue you
out of that. All I'd ask is whether you are sure that the problems
were due to Caché or was it the application that was badly written?

I do need to take issue with one of your statements, however, namely
that Caché has "a VERY high overhead for maintenance and
administration". This couldn't be further from the truth. Caché
requires next to no maintenance at all. As an example I can tell you
the setup of our company. We have a 24x7 mission-critical Caché server
with 250 to 300 concurrent users (incl. background processes) during
standard business hours. It has several databases for different
purposes / user groups and is networked to two off-site application
servers which use the live database. For resilience the live server
has a Shadow and a Disaster Recovery server connected to it which
replicate all database activities. We also have a development server
and a Change Management server. One of my tasks at the company is the
role of the DBA which occupies no more than 10% of my time, mostly
setting up and removing development areas and refreshing the data in
test areas. If you want to call that high maintenance then please give
me an idea of what constitutes low maintenance.

Best

Wolf Koelling

am********@hotmail.com (IT Man) wrote in message news:<11**************************@posting.google. com>...
Hi Sam,

Cache is really heavy in the Medical field. I worked for a Medical
Lab that was running it on several fronts, and to say the least it was
unreliable and had a VERY high overhead for maintenance and
administration. As it stands now it does not follow very many
"standards" in the industry so some things don't work as well.
Support is another issue. You may call support and get someone on the
line that doesn't understand their own product as well as waiting for
weeks to get a response to any issues you may have. The bad thing
about it is that the initial setup was setup by "Cache" consultants
and they company was still having all these issues.

If you have no knowledge of Cache, then the road will be long. If you
have a choice I would definately do a side by side comparison of other
offerings (Oracle, MS SQL, MySQL and even Filemaker Pro) before
committing to Cache.

I am currently working on a Cache roll out for a large firm that is
doing a 180 day eval and so far not one piece of completed code has
been put into testing. In a way Cache is a road block unto itself.

Don't get me wrong, if the product was that good, then I would think
other companies would be trying to re-develop or "copy" some of the
ideas that Cache uses, but you don't see that.

Please, Cache Advocates, don't be angry with my comments. These are
real experiences from someone who worked closely with the developers
at each of these locations.

sa*****@gmail.com (Alex) wrote in message news:<b8*************************@posting.google.c om>...
Hi all,

We're looking at a vendor who uses the InterSystems Cache Database
Platform, but our IT department has zero experience with this system.
This software package will have a pivotal and mission critical roll in
our organization, so I'd like some comments on what others think of
this database platform.

Mainly I'm curious how easy/difficult it is to query a Cache Database,
and does it use standard SQL calls like Oracle and MS SQL? What about
ODBC connections into the database from Crystal, MS Access, and OLAP
tools? Any other caviets (backup, maintenance, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments Cache.

Sam

Jul 19 '05 #5

P: 1
hmmm tech support actually take weeks and I havent heard back from them already, perhaps you could then answer why this situation appeard

>:<Fatal error occurred>]
[Details: <FLoop - func = DQ>]
[%msg: <; Compilation Errors: CacheSql295.INT(380) ERROR #3: <SYNTAX> : '+^GBUSER($p(%qscd(%qacn,2),"||",))#"S":$zu(115,4) ' : Offset:82 [%0ABk1+121^CacheSql295]
TEXT: g:$zu(115,2)=0 %0ABuncommitted i $zu(115,2)=1 l +^GBUSER($p(%qscd(%qacn,2),"||",))#"S":$zu(115,4) i $t { s %qscd(%qacn,267)=1,%qscd(%qacn,268)=$name(^GBUSER( $p(%qscd(%qacn,2),"||",)
Jun 27 '06 #6

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.