Globals – a free Database from InterSystems

What is Globals?

Globals is a free database from InterSystems. It is available for download at GlobalsDB.org

Who can use Globals?

Anyone can. There are no restrictions. You can download Globals without registration, experiment with the technology, build applications, deploy them and contribute to the Globals community.

Why would someone use it?

Globals is

  • Fast – insanely fast and outrageously scalable
  • Proven – it provides the same storage engine that lies at the core of tens of thousands of existing applications, deployed at hundreds of thousands of sites and used every day by millions of users.
  • Simple – the API is simple to learn. In less than an hour, a savvy developer can be writing or adapting code to store and retrieve data.
  • Flexible – based on multi-dimensional arrays (aka globals), the API offers a rich approach to data modeling on which different access patterns can be created.

Who is InterSystems?

Our marketing people have a standard answer for this. We like to say that we were founded by a developer, we’re led by developers, we’re challenged by developers to solve tough development problems and we’ve done a good job (for over 30 years) in responding to those challenges.

Why is InterSystems giving away a database engine?

We want to build much broader awareness of the technology that lies at the heart of all our products. In doing so, we seek to generate wider acceptance of products based on Caché and Ensemble. We also want to build a bigger pool of developers conversant with the benefits of our approach to building applications.

Can applications using Globals be put in production?

Absolutely!

Why is it Free?

To appeal to the broadest possible population of developers.

What exactly is Caché?

Caché is an extraordinary database that blends three different data access paradigms, OODBMS, SQL and sparse multi-dimensional arrays. What’s really cool is that these data paradigms can all be deployed concurrently. Like Globals, Caché is

  • Fast
  • Proven
  • Simple
  • Flexible

Read more about Caché: http://www.intersystems.com/cache/

How is Globals different from Caché?

Globals offers multi-dimensional array storage. While this is hugely valuable, it is all that Globals provides, whereas Caché offers a much richer set of features. Globals does not include SQL access, nor Objects. It also lacks Enterprise Cache Protocol (ECP), Web Servicessecurity featuresscripting languages, Studio and all the other capabilities that make Caché such a rich environment for developing and deploying applications.

Globals was originally released with a Java interface, offering Java developers the first API to the database. Next, after a great deal of interest, the wildly popular Node.js was added as the second interface to Globals. Last to join the available interfaces, .NET was added to Globals, with additional interfaces planned for the coming years. In contrast, Caché offers interfaces for all the popular (and many legacy) programming paradigms.

Can I contribute/participate?

Anyone is welcome to join the Globals Community at GlobalsDB.org.

We encourage participation in the Globals Community in order to

  • Learn about Globals
  • Stay abreast of the latest news around Globals
  • Build a community of like-minded individuals interested in expanding the scope of the Globals database
  • Share information (and code) with other members of the community
  • Ask questions and provide answers about Globals

Is Globals a NoSQL offering?

It certainly is. For many decades InterSystems has been successfully tackling the very problems that have spawned the NoSQL movement. Our heritage is in a fast and flexible alternative to row and column data storage.

Remember, though, that InterSystems decided (many years ago) that both object and SQL access to data are also required for successful enterprise applications. In fact, the repudiation of SQL (as evinced by the terminology of NOSQL) flies in the face of the fact that most successful applications need a rich query language to efficiently access data. We believe that SQL is the best solution for this purpose.

That’s why InterSystems created Caché – with its powerful and unique combination of multi-dimensional, SQL and object technologies – over 15 years ago.

Can an application built with Globals run on Caché or Ensemble?

Yes, the features of Globals are a subset of Caché features, and the identical low level Java, Node.js and .NET APIs, provided with Globals, are available in Caché version 2012.2 (and above). Globals applications can migrate to Caché with no code changes.

Will this replace the “free single user download” of Caché?

The free single user download of Caché will still be available. A Globals user can download this to compare the much richer framework offered by Caché with the powerful, but much simpler data access of Globals.

Who provides Support?

Support is available through the Globals Community. InterSystems does not provide support for Globals.

How is Globals Licensed?

The database engine, as well as the APIs, are provided in binary form under the following license terms:

Generally
The InterSystems Globals License, a license to the InterSystems Globals Database software and its Application Programming Interfaces (“Software”), is available at no cost. This license permits you to use and distribute the Software subject to the following conditions:

  1. InterSystems Corporation offers the Software “as is” and without support.
  2. You must provide attribution if you intend to redistribute the Software, but you may not say or imply that InterSystems endorses your use of the Software (see The Fine Print, part b).

The Fine Print

  1. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY INTERSYSTEMS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL INTERSYSTEMS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE. INTERSYSTEMS OFFERS NO TECHNICAL OR PRODUCT SUPPORT OR UPDATES. YOU AGREE TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS INCLUDING EXPORT RESTRICTIONS IN YOUR USE OF THIS SOFTWARE. ANY DISPUTE ARISING HEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS AND MUST BE BROUGHT IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, USA.
  2. DISTRIBUTION AND USE OF THE SOFTWARE IN BINARY FORMS, WITH OR WITHOUT MODIFICATION, IS PERMITTED ON THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: (1) ANY DISTRIBUTION MUST REPRODUCE THE ABOVE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AND THESE CONDITIONS IN THE DOCUMENTATION AND/OR OTHER MATERIALS PROVIDED WITH THE DISTRIBUTION; AND (2) THE NAME OF INTERSYSTEMS CORPORATION MAY NOT BE USED TO ENDORSE OR PROMOTE PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM OR UTILIZING THE SOFTWARE.