GemStone releases Facets 1.1 transactional workspace


News: GemStone releases Facets 1.1 transactional workspace

  1. GemStone Systems today announced the general availability of GemStone Facets version 1.1, the industry's first shared transactional Java workspace. The Facets workspace is a distributed transactional object cache (capable of dealing with transparent persistent objects or JDO's) that plugs into Weblogic, Websphere and other java based applications.

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    Press Release
    Beaverton, Ore. - November 5, 2001 - GemStone Systems today announced the general availability of GemStone Facets version 1.1, the industry's first shared transactional Java workspace, software that dramatically enhances the performance of complex, distributed e-business applications.

    Applications built with Web servers, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications, and Java messaging systems use GemStone Facets to achieve real-time performance by separating transaction control from the delay of communication with backend systems. GemStone's patented technology provides thousands of users and multiple distributed applications with a logically consistent, recoverable real-time view of critical business data across islands of information.

    "A successful e-business deployment requires technology capable of maximizing scalability," said Anita Osterhaug, vice president of marketing, GemStone Systems. "In creating GemStone Facets, we focused on providing the same core technology that has enabled our customers to deploy high-performing, complex e-business applications in a secure environment."

    In today's strategic applications, information is often assembled from diverse and far-flung sources: from partners or customers, back-office systems, and legacy stores. Gathering an application’s working data from all these sources takes time and network resources. If the working set size is limited by available memory, repeated round trips to data sources can seriously degrade application performance and network availability.

    GemStone Facets overcomes this barrier with an object repository capable of handling billions of objects and hundreds of gigabytes of working data. Using the repository, applications can assemble large working sets from distributed sources and use them as needed, avoiding excess communication with backend systems. GemStone Facets also features scalable collection technology so applications can efficiently handle data sets with millions of entries.

    "Our existing customers and strategic partners have shown the benefits of our technology with the deployment of their strategic e-business systems," said Dan Ware, president, GemStone Systems. "With GemStone Facets, our aim is to ensure that enterprise customers and technology partners enjoy those same benefits with any of today’s Java architectures and with emerging Java technologies."

    J2EE Integration
    GemStone Facets boosts performance of J2EE applications by providing an transactional workspace where massive numbers of Java objects can be populated from widely distributed, heterogeneous sources and shared across physical and virtual machines. Transparent persistence streamlines development by reducing mapping requirements to backend data stores.

    Messaging System Integration
    Messaging systems are ideal for communication and coordination between processes. But passing large amounts of data over a messaging bus is not recommended because it can degrade performance as the bus fills, application adapters work overtime converting data to and from the messaging format, and processes are delayed waiting on distributed two-phase transaction control. When applications and processes share working data through the GemStone Facets workspace, these conversion delays are eliminated and the message bus can again be a dedicated communication resource.

    GemStone Facets includes prepackaged caching policies to optimize communication with backend data sources. With asynchronous write-though caching, for example, applications operate from data in the shared workspace while Gemstone Facets handles backend storage asynchronously as resources are available. Aged-out caching flushes unused data from the shared workspace after a time, optimizing access speed and available storage.

    Transaction Coordination
    GemStone Facets includes patented technology that simplifies application design and improves performance through optimistic concurrency control. Optimistic concurrency control allows critical business data to be updated without locking. These services improve performance because critical resources don’t have to be locked, so applications can make full use of system resources. Applications are easier to design because the underlying system handles the concurrent updates.

    GemStone Facets security is compatible with a J2EE container or other Java security mechanisms. For example, a Java servlet’s client ID (X.500 name) can be sent from a container or session and established as the security principal for GemStone Facets operations. GemStone’s security mechanisms provide both user ID/password security mechanisms and digital certificate-based authentication and authorization including access control.

    High Availability
    GemStone Facets provides out-of-the-box fault tolerance through continuous monitoring and automatic restart of processes. Critical processes can be replicated, for automatic failover. For system-level availability, GemStone Facets can be integrated with HA hardware and software solutions such as Sun Cluster III and Integratus, which provide automatic failover of system resources and protection from media corruption and data loss.

    Administration Tools
    GemStone Facets GUI-based administration tools includes a Performance Monitor and an Administration Console for system configuration and management. A full administration API is available for scripted administration tasks.

    GemStone Facets also includes a comprehensive Visual Statistics Display (VSD) for precision tuning of application performance. Statistics are generated automatically by all system components and then written to shared memory for maximum efficiency. They are afterward asynchronously written to the system disk. VSD enables system administrators to correlate events in the statistics stream, identify bottlenecks, and tune accordingly.

    Pricing and Availability
    GemStone Facets 1.1 will be available beginning November 10, 2001, and is priced starting at $30,000 per CPU. For more information contact us at sales at gemstone dot com.

    About GemStone Systems
    GemStone Systems, Inc., creates essential software infrastructure for managing real-time business activities across applications and systems. GemStone pioneered shared transactional workspace technology that enables developers to present a consistent view of distributed business information to multiple users, applications, and organizations. GemStone’s technology and people are driving e-business today through strategic applications including Internet stock and derivatives trading, telecommunications services and logistics, banking, worldwide transport and real-time inventory management. Our customers include InterContinental Exchange, Federal Express, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd., Visa International, Bell South Telecommunications, Chrysler Corporation, Washington Mutual, Sony Interactive, Texas Instruments, and Florida Power and Light.

    Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, GemStone sells and supports its solutions through its US sales force and a worldwide network of distributors. For detailed product and company information, please visit

  2. At my place of work, we have built a very similar solution using COM objects on an NT platform. The most difficult thing by _far_ is providing relational querying capabilities. I wonder if Gemstone has solved that problem?

    Aside from that, using a product like this is like having a reeeeaaally good distributed, caching DAO layer.
  3. I've been advocating this approach for about 3 years. But not at this price. Ouch !!
  4. cost of facets[ Go to top ]

    In my experience most companies will negotiate prices on software that's not shrinkwrapped. You can download a fully-functional eval from the gemstone website:
  5. Well, it often is worth the price if you have a complex enough system (such as what OOCL or FP&L runs).

    Gemstone hasn't quite tackled the relational query problem, though their querying / indexing is promising. That's not to say it hasn't been solved better in private contexts, I know of at least two projects where it has, but it's just a matter of genericizing that R&D. :)