Skip to main content

Data Models

InterSystems IRIS® data platform provides a single, integrated data dictionary that can be accessed using one of several data models. Within InterSystems IRIS, data can be modeled and stored as tables, objects, multidimensional arrays, or documents. Different models can seamlessly access the same data without the need for performance-killing mapping between models, and can be simultaneously used on the same data with full concurrency. InterSystems IRIS data models include:

  • Multidimensional access: All data in an InterSystems IRIS database is stored in efficient, tree-based sparse multidimensional arrays called globals. Because they are accessed directly with no file system layer needed, InterSystems IRIS globals provide very fast, flexible storage and retrieval. Globals underlie the InterSystems IRIS object and SQL interfaces, support the Key/Value and No SQL paradigms, and allow InterSystems IRIS to easily handle dynamic data types such as XML or JSON. The InterSystems Native SDKs for Java, .NET, Python, and Node.js provide lightweight interfaces that let you directly access globals so you can implement your own data structures while taking advantage of the speed and flexibility they provide.

  • Object access: InterSystems IRIS provides a sophisticated object model with multiple inheritance and other features. There are several ways to create, store, and manipulate objects in InterSystems IRIS databases, and applications can do so using every commonly used object technology.

  • SQL access: In addition to direct, high-performance access to InterSystems IRIS databases, InterSystems SQL provides high-performance access through ODBC and JDBC (using a pure Java-based driver). It also provides a Relational Gateway to facilitate importing data from relational databases.

  • Document access: DocDB is an InterSystems IRIS data platform facility for storing and retrieving data based on JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which provides support for web-based data exchange, and is compatible with, but separate from, traditional SQL table and field (class and property) data storage and retrieval. InterSystems IRIS provides support for developing DocDB databases and applications in REST and in ObjectScript, as well as SQL support for creating or querying DocDB data.

To learn more about InterSystems IRIS data platform multi-model access, try one of these online exercises:

FeedbackOpens in a new tab