InterSystems updates Cache database

InterSystems Corp. hopes that Cache 2007, the newest version of its object-relational database, will help the Cambridge, Mass.-based company break out of the health care niche it now dominates.

The update to Cache, first introduced in 1997 during the peak of the craze for object-oriented databases, includes new features aimed at Web and Java developers. Cache 2007 is slated to be formally unveiled next week.

One, called Zen, is an Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) framework to enable the creation of data-intensive Web applications. It includes dozens of prebuilt components and allows the rapid creation of other components by extending existing ones, said Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning. "We get rid of the tedium of working with XML," he said.

Dana Gardner, an analyst at Gilford, N.H.-based Interarbor Solutions LLC, said Zen "provides a shared-objects benefit for server and client that balances the chattiness of AJAX apps with performance demands on the server."

Jim Klein, chief technology officer of QuadraMed Corp., a Reston, Va.-based health care software supplier, figures Zen will allow his 200 developers to work between 20 percent and 40 percent faster. "Zen will allow my developers to tackle things we wouldn't have wanted to tackle before," he said.

InterSystems said there are 100,000 licensed Cache databases today. The company, which expects to book $200 million in revenue this year, with 80 percent of that amount coming from health care customers, 10 percent from financial institutions, and 10 percent from other firms.