InterSystems details new integration suite

SAN FRANCISCO (10/28/2003) - Taking a suite approach to integration, InterSystems Corp. on Tuesday rolled out an integration platform that melds functions from integration and application servers, an object database, and a development and management environment.

Called Ensemble, one of the goals of the new product is to help enterprise users more rapidly implement business solutions that can draw more value out of existing applications, better direct new business processes, and integrate silos of information across a company.

"We think there is an opportunity in this market by taking an integrated approach to application integration. And with delivery of this product we think we can make some headway by speeding up the entire process of integration," said Paul Grabscheid, the vice president of strategic planning at InterSystems.

The technical strength of the product, according to Grabscheid, is its ability to quickly create composite applications that can intuitively integrate the functions of existing applications with those of newly created business logic and data from all parts of an enterprise.

To better accommodate both integration and development, the product includes an XML-based graphical interface intended to help quicken modeling and automating business processes. The suite is built around a universal service architecture, which helps offer a more consistent object representation of disparate programming, models, and data formats. The architecture allows developers to access legacy data as reusable J2EE and .Net components and Web services, a company spokesman said.

The suite also contains a persistent object engine that has the job of managing and storing all metadata, messages, and process state information. With the engine users gain real-time access to both live and previously processed messages for auditing and business activity monitoring.

Ensemble's built-in management and monitoring capabilities, which can be customized, are designed to rapidly diagnose and debug problems. This better enables users to optimize service levels and cut down on staff workloads by automatically monitoring important resources and generating alerts. Company officials said this can help cut down on operating expenses.

The Florida Department of Children and Families is using Ensemble to tie together repositories of information spread across five different systems. Before they implemented Ensemble, information could not be shared across all of the department's programs, including those for mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and family safety.

"What we realized is that in order to provide more of a holistic treatment, you must be able to view all the information relative to the client regardless of where the service was offered or the service location," said Glenn Palmiere, the IT director for the Department of Children and Families for the State of Florida. "We chose Ensemble because it was able to connect things for us at three different layers including the applications layer, the data layer, and Web service data exchange layer."

Palmiere said the department was able to prototype a composite application in 93 days that successfully integrated data from all five host systems, each of which employs a different database. With this pilot program completed, the department is now working on a statewide Web rollout of the composite application that will integrate data contained in all 59 systems.

Available immediately, Ensemble works with Microsoft' Corp.s Windows, Linux, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Alpha Open VMS Tru64, HP-UX environments, IBM Corp.'s AIX, and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris environments. Enterprise licensing pricing begins at US$125,000, company officials said.

More information about Ensemble can be seen at

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