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.
Object access: The InterSystems IRIS object model is based on the ODMG (Object Database Management Group) standard and supports many advanced features, including multiple inheritance. 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.