InterSystems CACHÉ Database Helps Bookseller Stay Ahead of Competition

InterSystems Corp. has announced that Koorong Books has migrated its enterprise computer system to run on the InterSystems CACHÉ high-performance object database, enhancing its legacy Pick-based system and improving its performance and integration. Koorong Books is an Australia-based religious bookseller with national brick-and-mortar and online operations and a UK-based publishing and bookselling arm.

With more than 20 physical stores and an online presence offering books, e-books, audio, music, DVDs and gifts, Koorong Books needed a modern and efficient information platform with the flexibility and agility to compete with global online booksellers. In addition to seeking increased performance and better support for internet technologies, the bookseller also wanted to preserve the business logic built up over 30 years in its enterprise system, which was based on Pick technology.  CACHÉ offered the bookseller a broad set of extensions for MultiValue environments, which meant that Koorong Books could migrate its enterprise application and take advantage of CACHÉ's complete range of object and SQL development technologies.

After a 6-month migration, Koorong Books' new CACHÉ-based enterprise system – also aided by new hardware – boosted performance, particularly for online customers. Product lookups which previously required more than 30 seconds on a busy day are now completed in less than a quarter of a second regardless of load. Website stability and uptime has also improved; outages are now virtually a thing of the past due to the stability of CACHÉ's Java interface.

While increased performance and stability were key objectives, CACHÉ's modern interfacing support also offers Koorong Books the flexibility and agility to compete. "One small example is that the previous system could only output daily reports in XML format instead of Excel," says David Perry, manager, IT & Digital Content, for Koorong Books. "That was extremely frustrating because you couldn't open them on mobile devices. As soon as we migrated to CACHÉ, we fixed it."

"With CACHÉ's built-in functionality, the new system has also allowed us to develop our own web service to seamlessly integrate with our new bank's merchant facilities," adds David Guest, System Administrator for Koorong Books.  "This integration means that we will be able to change banks again without having to change our core systems code."

Koorong Books is also benefiting from InterSystems’ iKnow technology, which makes it possible to analyze unstructured data such as free text. "The major attraction of iKnow is that it is tied directly into the database, so we don't have to maintain a separate data warehouse," explains Perry. Koorong Books is using iKnow technology to analyze the unstructured text blurbs for over 200,000 books and DVDs. After identifying common words and concepts, the bookseller can then correlate them against sales figures, for example. It also expects to use iKnow to improve its book recommendation system and to identify and remove duplicate book listings in order to improve its search engine optimization (SEO) and reduce paid listing costs.

One of the most important characteristics of the next generation of applications is that they will utilize all of the data in the enterprise, Robert Nagle, vice president of Software Development, InterSystems, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Although today's applications typically ignore the unstructured data, Nagle notes, this means that applications ignore the vast majority of the data, and as a result, applications that can exploit unstructured data will significantly differentiate themselves.

Another key characteristic of the next generation of applications is that they will need to tailor themselves, dynamically, to different user roles and to different forms of delivery, Nagle points out.  “We sometimes allude to ‘mass personalization’ by which we mean ‘give the user the data s/he needs, in a place and time s/he can act on it.’  Mobility is a huge factor here - the same user, we expect, will interact with a given application at the desktop, at home and when using a smart phone, tablet or other mobile.  All of these imply different display and user interaction formats.  So, in order to deliver actionable data, the application will need to be cognizant of many device formats (and thereby not tied to just one).”

For more information about InterSystems CACHÉ, visit,