InterSystems has this week launched its free database for the developer community. Globals is described as a fast but flexible NoSQL database with an "extremely efficient" multidimensional data engine at its core.
While the first iteration of Globals is exclusively focused on Java developers, the company specifies that other APIs will be offered (e.g. Node.js) so that developers can build applications using their favorite interface.
Globals' heritage is built on InterSystems Caché, the database that the European Space Agency is using for mapping the Milky Way (handling 112,000 transactions per second) — and is also heavily used in financial services (13% of worldwide equity trades now flow through the Caché database) around the globe.
Globals, however, does not contain the out-of-the box feature-set Caché provides. For example, Globals is not an OODBMS and does not provide Caché ObjectScript technology.
As a product launch (somewhat) uniquely undertaken without the aid of a press release or formal marketing statement, InterSystems is instead hoping to gain viral awareness of its new product via word of mouth inside the developer community. Indeed, the company's website states that it wants the Globals database to be the foundation of a thriving and diverse application developer community.
So why is InterSystems making Globals freely available? Two reasons are given:
- Build awareness of the underlying technology that powers its products
- Enable the growth of a larger pool of developers conversant with the benefits of its approach to building successful applications
According to InterSystems' product FAQ, "Globals offers multi-dimensional array storage. While this is hugely valuable, it's all that Globals provides, whereas Caché offers a much richer set of features. Globals does not include Objects. It also lacks Enterprise Cache Protocol (ECP), Web Services, security features, scripting languages, Studio, and all the other capabilities that make Caché such a rich environment for developing and deploying applications."