A small Microsoft SQL Server-based medical application vendor called NoteWorthy Medical Systems bought a small Intersystems Cache’-based medical application vendor called Mars Medical Systems. NoteWorthy then decided to rebuild its product line on Intersystems Cache’. A press release ensued.*
*In general, my criticisms of Intersystems’ stealth marketing are beginning to be relaxed. On the other hand, if you want to be technical, I still haven’t actually talked with the company for years …
I spoke briefly with Mark Conner, founder of Mars Medical and now EVP of NoteWorthy, about why he so loves Cache’. (I asked what he disliked about the product; his response was an emphatic “Nothing”.) It basically boils down to two reasons:
Mark thinks hierarchical data models are a great fit for medical applications. For example, the application’s UI (and local schema) look quite different depending on which particular complaints or diagnoses apply to particular patient visits.
Cache’ just runs and runs w/o DBA intervention. Mark cited a figure of two support engineers for Mars Medical, supporting over 1,000 medical (largely group) practices, almost none of which have DBAs.
The latter feature is crucial to small ISVs selling application software to even smaller users, and is a big part of why Progress and Intersystems have large share in that market. More generally, it’s the most important and common technical advantage that mid-range database management systems generally enjoy versus the market leaders. (The other big advantage, of course, is pricing.)