InterSystems to announce application integration tool

FRAMINGHAM (10/27/2003) - InterSystems Corp. next week will unveil Ensemble, an application integration platform that includes the functionality of an integration server, application server, and object database.

Ensemble gives managers a rapid development environment to bring together the useful components of existing applications. Ensemble uses what InterSystems calls a Universal Service Architecture (USA) that allows the use of any development tool or technology, including Web services, Java, .NET, XML, SQL, and COM. The practical consequence of this is that to a Java developer, the USA offers up components as if they were Java Foundation Classes. And similarly, a Microsoft Corp. developer would be presented with a set of .NET components.

Ensemble also includes a persistent object engine, which is an SQL-compliant, high-performance object database that manages and stores all metadata, messages between application components, and provides information about a processes' state. Additionally, Ensemble features a customizable management environment that lets an administrator monitor and troubleshoot integrated applications.

Breaking into a new market

InterSystems is well known in the healthcare, financial, and life science markets for its Caché database product. The company enters the application integration market as a new comer to this space. But that's not seen as a huge problem.

"The integration market is very different from the database market, which is relatively stable and has two dominant players," says Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems' vice president for strategic planning. In contrast, there are no clear major vendors today in the integration market space.

The application integration market is expected to really heat up over the next several years. For instance, the analysis firm IDC is predicting a 29.6 percent compound annual growth rate for the application integration software market up to the year 2006.

One reason for such high expectations is that IT priorities are shifting, according to IDC. For example, various IDC surveys of IT managers found that in 2003, their top three priorities were cost-cutting, infrastructure issues, and deployment of new applications. But for 2004, integration has replace new application deployment.

"The need for new application (features) has not gone away," says Grabscheid. He notes what has gone away is the desire to spend lots of money. "There's very little appetite to rip and replace existing applications with new ones."

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